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Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.   

This Penguin Classic is performed by Jessie Buckley, Richard Cordery, Julian Wadham, David Sturzaker, Hugh Fraser, Bruce Alexander, Oscar Batterham, Matthew Spencer, James MacCallum, Stewart Clarke and Jot Davies. This definitive recording includes an introduction by Sandra Kemp.   

The Moonstone, a priceless yellow diamond, is looted from an Indian temple and maliciously bequeathed to Rachel Verinder. On her 18th birthday, her friend and suitor Franklin Blake brings the gift to her. That very night, it is stolen again. No one is above suspicion, as the idiosyncratic Sergeant Cuff and the Franklin piece together a puzzling series of events as mystifying as an opium dream and as deceptive as the nearby Shivering Sand.

Public Domain (P)2019 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about The Moonstone

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SPOILERS IN THE FIRST 5 MINUTES

If you don't already know the story of the Moonstone and want the mystery to remain a mystery, do NOT listen to this audiobook. The first hour of the recording is an introduction the spoils the solution to the mystery in the first 5 minutes. I was so angry while I was listening that I almost crashed my car.

10 people found this helpful

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Excellent Victorian Dectective Fiction

First, skip the first audio book chapter because it's a scholarly introduction and has plot spoilers. I'm going to listen to it now that I'm done with the novel. The servant's narrative is long and can get a bit tedious, but overall Collins has a wicked and somewhat subtle sense of humor that amused me to no end. I was intrigued by the story and pleasantly surprised that it's not an imperial romance, at least not in the usual sense. In fact, it might be the first Victorian novel I've read that treats other cultures with sensitivity. The moneylender isn't Jewish, which really breaks the mold, and I found myself wanting to know more about Collins' beliefs and politics. He seems to be actively countering gendered and racialized stereotypes. If you like long, meandering novels that you can settle into like a comfy robe then this is a novel for you.

4 people found this helpful

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Wonderful performance

The Moonstone is a novel that gains immeasurably from multiple narrators — if those narrators can, as they do here, hold their own against each other. Penguin has been especially astute, or especially lucky, in choosing people to read the different parts of the book. There are too many to name, and I can't remember them all (especially with no reference guide available — hint, hint), but one of them is the brilliant Jessie Buckley: it's always gratifying to see that the future of acting is in safe hands.

The narrators who read the audiobook correspond to the narrators Wilkie Collins invented to tell the story. It falls into the same pattern as Dracula in this respect, with each narrator having been invited to tell his or her part of the story by someone who is trying to pull all the threads together. Collins makes the brilliant choice of starting off with the genial servant Betteridge, whose warm and garrulous narration draws you into the complex story before you realize what's hit you. And the book has fun playing the knowledge and ignorance of the different narrators off against each other: it's not that some of them are unreliable on purpose, but none of them are omniscient, and you get to see the same event — or person — from different perspectives.

It's a great story filled with remarkable characters, a huge cast where everybody still manages to stand out as an individual. It's deftly plotted as well, for the most part moving along in a predictable detective-story fashion, but with enough mind-benders thrown in to keep the reader on shaky ground. (Fittingly, some of the story takes place near a stretch of quicksand on the coast called the Shivering Sand.)

There is one step in the resolution of the mystery that I find implausible, and it's especially unfortunate because it's coupled with some of the best writing and one of the most moving characterizations in the book. But even that step I can't really think of as a MIS-step, because it's part of the gradual unfolding of the truth that makes The Moonstone such a joy to read. It's like watching a flower come to full bloom from a seed.

3 people found this helpful

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liked Woman in White, Moonstone is a bore

That's it. This was a big bore of a story. Hard to believe the same person wrote The Woman in White.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mr. NJ Spearing
  • 12-04-19

Do not listen to the introduction

One of the great detective stories of all time, so why on earth would you have an introduction that gives away the entire plot and the ending? Do yourself a favour and skip to the beginning of the book (Chapter 2) and then go back and listen to the introduction at the end.

14 people found this helpful

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  • Sarah
  • 05-16-20

A tedious tedious classic

I gave up with this - Wilkie Collins may have been a classic writer but in this particular book he badly needed an editor to cut and slash this right down! I knew the story but the frankly tedious, though well written narrative defeated me! No person would write their individual narratives in such detail - every passing thought recorded!! Where was the editor?! Returned it but if you have many hours of emptiness to fill go for it.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-08-20

Good story

This is a good story overall. I had problems with the narration. When Betteridge spoke his voice was higher class English. When others later spoke for him it was of a much lower class. Too. Inconsistent.