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The Woman in White Audiobook

The Woman in White

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Publisher's Summary

Exclusively from Audible

Late one moonlit night, Walter Hartright encounters a solitary and terrified woman dressed all in white. He saves her from capture by her pursuers and determines to solve the mystery of her distress and terror.

Inspired by an actual criminal case, this gripping tale of murder, intrigue, madness and mistaken identity has never been out of print since its publication and brought Collins great fame and success. Considered to be among the first mystery novels and the first and finest in the genre of 'sensation novels', The Woman in White is noted for its suspenseful plot and unique characterisation.

Collins's use of multiple narrators drew on his legal training and he states 'the story of an offence against the laws is told in Court by more than one witness'.

In 2003, Robert McCrum writing for The Observer ranked The Woman in White number 23 in the top 100 greatest novels of all time. The novel was also listed at number 77 on the BBC's survey The Big Read.

Charles Dickens was a close friend and mentor of Collins, and the two collaborated together on drama and fiction. The Woman in White, as well as some of his other work, was first published in Dickens' journals.

Narrator Biography

Sir Ian Holm, is a star of the Royal Shakespeare Company, who has played more than 100 roles in films and on television, whilst receiving a stream of awards and nominations. His television debut came as Richard III on the BBC's filmed theatrical production The Wars of the Roses (1965). One of his best-known roles is Sam Mussabini in Chariots of Fire (1981). He has also starred in The Fifth Element (1997), From Hell (2001), The Aviator (2004) and as Bilbo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films. He has provided voice-overs for many television documentaries including 1066: The Battle for Middle Earth (2009), starred in the BBC's The Lord of the Rings radio dramatisations and narrated many audiobooks. In 1989 he was appointed CBE and in 1998 was knighted for his services to drama.

Public Domain (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (296 )
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4.4 (252 )
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4.6 (252 )
5 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Colleen Calvert 07-18-17 Member Since 2016

    Lover of historical fiction. I have turned to audiobooks to supplement scare reading time, amidst a busy job and parenting.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "How did I miss this book for so long?"

    This book exceeded my expectations and stands out as one of the best I've listened to and read in years. The audiobook is excellent but the tale was so riveting I also turned to reading when I wanted to move on more quickly. At 25 hours, there is plenty of opportunity to listen and read. I read somewhere that there are 40 cliffhangers in this story and I believe it. As a huge fan of Victoria fiction I don't know how I missed this book for so long. This book will have you hanging from the beginning to the end. Ian Holm does an impressive narration, rendering each character completely believable and some quite funny (for example, Frederick Fairlie) - the humour is very convincing even though the book was written more than 150 years ago. The writing style remains highly accessible to today's readers. It saddens me to think how long it might be before I read another book as good as this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • "Woman in White"

    Well read, suspenseful and good story plot. Did not know that this was such a detective story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David San Diego, CA, United States 04-18-17
    David San Diego, CA, United States 04-18-17 Member Since 2011
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    "An Early Mystery"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    There were sections of the book I liked very much. As a modern listener, some of the language and ideas were not my cup of tea, but overall I would recommend it.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    There were certain of the short chapters I would have omitted (such as the narrative of the tombstone) as they really added nothing in my opinion.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Ian Holm?

    Holm did a very good job in narrating, even if his voices for some of the female characters were hard to distinguish from each other. I would listen to another book he narrated should I come across one.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    I might try one of the miniseries based off of the book, but have no real strong desire to see either a film or television adaptation.


    Any additional comments?

    Having heard about the role this book played in the development of suspense fiction (as it is considered by some the first true mystery novel), I think I might have set the bar too high. It is easy to tell this work began as a serialized piece at the same time as Dickens. If you like Dickens, then I believe you will like this story. As I am not a fan of Dickens, I found this work reminded me much of some of Dickens in the worst senses. While not bad, I have no strong desire to listen again anytime soon.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Edward Katterson Minneapolis, MN, US 01-22-17
    Edward Katterson Minneapolis, MN, US 01-22-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Now I know shy Dickens loved Wilke Collins"
    Would you listen to The Woman in White again? Why?

    I have, again and again. Why? Because each review is pure pleasure. I've been copying quotes that have denoted my life precisely.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I need to have a happy ending every once in a while. Mill on the Floss nearly killed me. But for the guy to get the girl or vice versa, too easily deflates the true value of love. Hard won love is the best. Ah, Mr. Hartright, your are a man of true character and worthy of... well, best let the listener listen on.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Oh dear, the sense that each personality is real, set my mind ablaze. I know that they are real. I think I once worked for Count Fosco... You might as well ask me my favorite color.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Three to be honest, set my heart and kleenex in motion. The first was the intense and good relationship of Marian with Walter from the beginning. It was clean, pure and deep. Secondly the parting scene with Walter and Laura... more kleenex. Third, I could have screamed at the scene of the tomb with Hartright and the two women. Oh, to have missed those first few precious moments.... ah well, my heart filled in the blanks.


    Any additional comments?

    I have cruely entrapped my sister into the bliss of audio books. I'll buy her this one and the mean old evil big sister will be forever indebted to baby brother. (I'm 64, she's, well older)

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. Cordes West Chester, PA 01-13-17
    D. Cordes West Chester, PA 01-13-17 Member Since 2015
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    "literature AND mystery"

    a conspracy and mystery novel that is literature. wonderfully written IF you love language.....may be too long for the edge of your seat thriller readers (I enjoy these too) but a treat for dickens fans.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ollie 01-05-17
    Ollie 01-05-17
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    "Disappointed."
    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    I bought this version on the basis that a professional actor was reading it. I was very disappointed with the performance. There was very little difference between the various voices and and fell very flat for me. I expected more from a big name. I didn't finish it and will look for another version.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Hon 10-29-16
    M. Hon 10-29-16
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    "A first class thriller!"

    The Woman in White presents a roller coaster ride of intrigue, suspense and reversals peopled by a reluctant hero, complex villains, and a colorful supporting cast. Though written in 1851, this story seems fresh and modern in its plot, character development, and resolution.

    The narration is well-paced and enhances the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    peregrine 05-20-16
    peregrine 05-20-16 Member Since 2017
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    "Still a masterpiece, and so is Sir Ian Holm."

    I cannot imagine a better rendition of this unsurpassed classic.
    In the voice of the villain:
    Bravo.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah R. Jacobs 05-20-16 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "You'll never guess the truth!"

    Far more exciting than anything Sherlock Holmes ever accomplished are the deeds done by Walter Hartright.

    He's an art tutor for upper-class and rich adolescent girls when he meets the love of his life.

    His great ardor and devotion to the kind, delicate, and gorgeous Laura Fairlie set him and Laura's brilliant and strong half-sister, Marian Halcombe, on a course of detective work. Laura is an honorable and decent girl who fulfills the promise her dead father has made, despite her own heart's fondest wishes and influences.

    That obedience to her father strips her of her own dreams for the future.

    Read The Woman in White to get to the truly unforeseeable truth of how that promise came to be made in the first place. And how another mysterious young woman, the one in the white dress who looks so much like Laura, lived in the shadows, knowing that her only benefactor was the victim of her mother's blackmail scheme, and the cloud of knowing she could not trust a single promise made to her by anyone in the world.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DFK 10-27-16
    DFK 10-27-16

    DFK

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "What a difference a good narrator makes!"

    I almost gave up on this book (with a different narrator - I wrote a brief review) and decided to give it a chance with a different narrator. Given the number of versions, it was not simple to decide, because the versions with multiple readers only provide a sample of one of the readers. I took my chance with Ian Holm and was rewarded with a "page-turning" experience. He was superb, and because of his narration I almost rated the story itself a 5, better than I actually think it deserves. Not that it wasn't a good story - it was excellent, but there are some flaws. The flaws are that some of the plot devices were quite obvious, and you are just waiting until the characters in the story figure them out. The narrator does such a good job of sounding suspenseful, that you are almost fooled into expecting a real surprise, but there are only a few surprises in all the "mystery". And then, the book does not have the depth that a true 5* book has, so I left it at 4. But it is a fun ride, and Ian Holm is a super companion to take it with. I would listen to other books by Wilkie Collins,

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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  • Kaggy
    United Kingdom
    2/12/16
    Overall
    Performance
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    "Who needs television?"

    This is a wonderful Victorian gothic melodrama that has been festering on my 'to read' list of far too long now. The hour flews by as I listened with delight to Ian Holm revealing the dastardly plot with the appropriate level of melodrama and humour. Who can possibly resist a villainess who's 'buttered toast waits for nobody' and a plot so cunning that it has weasel stamped all over it. If I get another cat he will undoubtedly be named Count Fosco.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • woodpigeon
    4/20/13
    Overall
    "Exquisite"

    A great, ripping yarn of a story, wonderfully narrated, and with some surprising humour - I shan't forget this one in a hurry. I hadn't read the book, which might have made it all the more captivating. If you are looking for your next listen, don't hesitate. If you don't know the book, and have reservations over the period (1850-ish) and style (perhaps you're not big on other classics from the period) don't let that put you off.

    And Wilkie (for those unfortunate enough to share my ignorance) is a man.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Amy
    2/13/15
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    "A Masterpiece"

    Narrated perfectly, captivating storyline throughout, faultless. A narrative which should not be missed, The Woman in White is a masterpiece.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Victoria
    12/4/14
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    "Brilliant!!"
    If you could sum up The Woman in White in three words, what would they be?

    Compulsive , enthralling, unputdownable


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The main character because of his determination to find the truth


    What about Ian Holm’s performance did you like?

    His voices


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Victorian melodrama


    Any additional comments?

    A very enthralling story unusually told from the viewpoint of different characters so that circumstances and links helped the understanding of the story to unfold.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Molly
    10/31/14
    Overall
    Performance
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    "Suspense, romance and so well read"
    If you could sum up The Woman in White in three words, what would they be?

    Victorian romantic melodrama


    What did you like best about this story?

    It has so many twists and turns you want to keep listening and it is really fast paced and there is great humour. Ian Holm is an amazingly good narrator.


    Have you listened to any of Ian Holm’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    I haven't but if they are all as good as this I shall look out for more.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    I hadn't listened to any Wilkie Collins and considering when it is set and was written this is fast paced, intricately plotted and has such touches of humour that I cannot recommend it highly enough.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Trevor
    Craven Arms, United Kingdom
    8/18/13
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    "Excellent reading of a classic book"

    Without the distractions of radio, television or the cinema those who, in the time when Wilkie Collins was writing, had time to read tended to have plenty of it. Thus the potential listener to this audio book should be warned that it is both long and sometimes long-winded.
    Whilst some will find its style and language archaic it is nevertheless a classic book and well worth listening to, particularly because of the excellent reading by Ian Holm, who catches the idiom brilliantly.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ms. Q. B. Osborne
    Bedford
    8/27/17
    Overall
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    "Superb!"

    The voice and character voices are supreme-Sir Ian Holm marvellous!

    The story, although a bit mellow dramatic in places, is wonderful. Thrilling pace and suspense throughout.
    The finale faultlessly executed and all lose ends are realistically completed.

    I think Mr Wilkie's novel is well worth a read!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • SEA, Charente
    8/23/17
    Overall
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    "First class rendition"

    Truly excellent narration of this classic mystery.
    À story which retains its secrets and dramatic tension to the last, perfectly complemented by Ian Holm. A real pleasure to listen to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lady Macbeth
    Scotland
    8/23/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Long but SO good."

    The suspense rivals anything more recently written in the same genre - can you BE on the edge of your seat for a whole book?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • c.silk
    5/7/17
    Overall
    "Long but worth it."

    This is a long well written mystery. Well worth the effort as the characters are well drawn and the mystery well constructed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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