• The Two Destinies

  • By: Wilkie Collins
  • Narrated by: Samuel West
  • Length: 9 hrs and 40 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (60 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In this late romantic novel, the author explores the powers of telepathy while telling a skilful tale that interweaves suspense with the familiar ingredients of Victorian melodrama.
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  • Unabridged Audiobook

What listeners say about The Two Destinies

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Lovely Gothic Romance

Not sure why this novel gets mediocre reviews. It’s an engrossing tale of two children who fall in love, are separated, and then reconnect later in life without recognizing each other. There is the psychic mystery of how their minds communicate when they are apart. The ESP is close enough to the realms of reality to be believable. The emotions and experiences of the lovers are relatable to modern readers. I need to add that the climax is probably the least consistent part of the story and is more in keeping with Gothic tastes than with the character of the protagonist.

This is a Wilkie Collins gem that I hadn’t read yet. I was grateful to find it as an audiobook with such an excellent reader. His voice is a bit reminiscent of Jeremy Irons. The delivery is smooth and evocative. He does justice to the excellent prose style of this under-appreciated Victorian writer.

This was a treat.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Nadia
  • 07-22-11

Uneven story, really well read

I love Wilkie Collins's stories. They plunge you into a whole different world and keep you wanting to know what happens next. At the same time, I have to admit this is not one of his best (there's an excellent version of the Moonstone read by Peter Jeffrey on Audible). There's still a lot to enjoy and Samuel West does a great job of keeping you going through the bits that are not so good. I'm left with a few very vivid portrayals and descriptions of places and a rather uneasy feeling towards the protagonist.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Shirley
  • 04-04-13

excellent

I just couldnt stop listening to this Audio Book day and in the night. Sam West is a brilliant reader, accents and appropriate pauses all perfect. The authors format is most unusual and like any good story, poem, symphony, it has all the necessary sections in place.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Clare
  • 03-28-13

Not my favourite Collins

I am a Wilkie Collins fan, but perhaps this is the book I have liked the least. Not the usual lightness of touch and humour he uses, except for one excellent character, Mr McGlue the doctor. Feels quite long and hard going despite the short length, though still a well crafted book with the usual vaguely supernatural twist

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Philip
  • 03-08-12

long and dull

Samuel West reads it beautifully- though why he bothered I can't say....

The Cambridge companion to Lit in Eng. says something to the effect that Wilkie Collins talent died with the 1860s. This was written in the 1870s.

It's long, it's tedious, it's sentimental and, a few twists excepted, completely predicable.

Avoid it- unless you happen to be fascinated by telepathy.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Veronica
  • 05-28-11

A twisting tale...

Samuel West narrates a largely overlooked title by an excellent writer. He manages to make all the voices commencing and compelling and draws you firmly into the narrative. Would definitely recommend.

2 people found this helpful

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  • NutwoodWanderer
  • 08-11-21

Such a dull story- not a patch on Woman in White

I was desperate for this to end - it was dreadfully tedious. I love Woman in White and The Moonstone, but this, unfortunately, was devoid of plot, interest and affection for characters.

The main character is really pathetic, with his various infatuations. The spiritual part didn’t move me or make me curious. If it wasn’t free I would have returned it!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Louisa
  • 09-25-13

Not his best but interesting

This is really for the aficionados - the story is rather strange and pivots on Swedenborgianism and the belief in twin souls. The plot is a bit silly. However, it's an interesting book as it gives an insight into Collin's thinking and placed in the context of 19th investigations into the occult and the supernatural the book is perhaps not quite so bizarre as modern readers might think it. I recommend it to anybody who is interested in Collins or in the more outré novels of the mid 19th century. It is quite unlike his two famous books The Moonstone and The Woman in White but you can certainly feel an echo of those two great works. Samuel West rivals his father as a superb reader and despite the rather weak story line, I was never board.

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  • Hima
  • 07-03-22

Very typical of one of my favourite authors.

I enjoyed this book immensely. Collins creates a very convoluted plot which maintains interest and a desire to see a conclusion. He writes so elegantly and with passion and his characters described in detail making them credible. I’m always sorry when his novels come to an end.

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  • eGJ
  • 06-14-22

A satisfying Victorian epic

Beautifully narrated, an eerie tale with the supernatural effected throughout. Quite a long slow burn, but of course with the ending one always wished for.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-15-22

A splendid listen to a 19th Century mystery story.

The Two Destinies covers just about every aspect of humanity. Wilkie Collins and and death, love and lust, poverty and riches, kindness and cruelty all stirred up with a hint of mystery and mesmerism as well as medical pomposity and curiosity. All brought to life by Samuel West’s beautiful performance.