Search This Blog

Friday, 5 July 2019

The Moonstone ~ Wilkie Collins

The Moonstone audiobook cover art

One of my literary goals is to read certain classics, and two titles by Wilkie Collins featured in there.  After completing this book, Collins can now be ticked off my list.  

Like  The Woman in White, The Moonstone is, most definitely, a narrative drive novel, and though this book is good too I enjoyed The Woman in White more.
I thought Collins’ satire in the guise of the piously, hypocritical Miss Clack and her manic religious-tract giving was very humorous:
Here was a golden opportunity! I seized it on the spot. In other words, I instantly opened my bag, and took out the top publication. It proved to be an early edition—only the twenty-fifth—of the famous anonymous work (believed to be by precious Miss Bellows), entitled The Serpent at Home. The design of the book—with which the worldly reader may not be acquainted—is to show how the Evil One lies in wait for us in all the most apparently innocent actions of our daily lives. The chapters best adapted to female perusal are “Satan in the Hair Brush;” “Satan behind the Looking Glass;” “Satan under the Tea Table;” “Satan out of the Window”—and many others.
“Give your attention, dear aunt, to this precious book—and you will give me all I ask.” With those words, I handed it to her open, at a marked passage—one continuous burst of burning eloquence! Subject: Satan among the Sofa Cushions.
LOL. What an awful woman, such perfect reading to gift to dying aunt ;)

Betteredge, the butler, much to my delight, constantly refers to Robinson Crusoe ,
"I am not superstitious; I have read a heap of books in my time; I am a scholar in my own way. Though turned seventy, I possess an active memory, and legs to correspond. You are not to take it, if you please, as the saying of an ignorant man, when I express my opinion that such a book as Robinson Crusoe never was written, and never will be written again. I have tried that book for years—generally in combination with a pipe of tobacco—and I have found it my friend in need in all the necessities of this mortal life. When my spirits are bad—Robinson Crusoe. When I want advice—Robinson Crusoe. In past times when my wife plagued me; in present times when I have had a drop too much—Robinson Crusoe. I have worn out six stout Robinson Crusoes with hard work in my service. On my lady’s last birthday she gave me a seventh. I took a drop too much on the strength of it; and Robinson Crusoe put me right again. Price four shillings and sixpence, bound in blue, with a picture into the bargain."

“The man who doesn’t believe in Robinson Crusoe, after that [a quote from Crusoe], is a man with a screw loose in his understanding, or a man lost in the mist of his own self-conceit! Argument is thrown away upon him; and pity is better reserved for some person with a livelier faith.”

During the writing of this book, Collin’s seems to be using Ezra Jennings as the voice to document his own pain driven addiction to opium – opium taking pops up everywhere –
Back again, this morning, to the old routine! Back again, tonight, to the dreadful alternative between the opium and the pain! 
I liked Ezra and thought his personal ‘ending’ was rather sad.

Adding here for others that get overcome with the urge to toss this book and read something faster paced or shorter:  About a third of the way through the book I was wondering if I wanted to keep investing in this "taking forever" serial styled story  - I’d figured out who the thief was, but not how the young couple got back together again – time to read a quick summary and see where the story was going.  I’m glad I did, as it gave me the impetus to keep listening to Peter Jeffrey's excellent narration of this work.  

No comments:

Post a Comment

Polite comments are welcomed :)

The number beside each book is my personal rating for the book, or audiobook, at the time of reading with the range being:

(1) = would not recommend,

(2) = some interesting aspects but not one of my recommended reads,

(3) = would recommend.

(4) = Really good, enjoyable, (or worthy) read, would definitely recommend

(5) = Excellent book, highly recommend