The Moonstone (Oxford World's Classics, 1) by P.D. James
Echoing the original World's Classics series, this title is one of an initial batch of 6 mini hardbacks produced to gift book standard with stitched binding, head and tail bands, printed on 60msg paper and featuring matt laminated jackets in a retro look design. P. D. James provides an introduction to one of the greatest mystery novels in English literature, Wilkie Collins's The Moonstone. Her latest thriller is A Certain Justice (Jan 98).
2 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
Details, details, details!, June 22, 2003
I'll give you a basic plot line: This guy did it! nope, here's why. This guy couldn't have done it, here's why. This guy did it! nope, here's why. This guy did it! yup, here's why. But Wilkie Collins, (yeah, I never heard of him either), is able to turn this into a 473 page book by going down to the most minuscule aspect ... about everything. I suppose it is arguable that he does this because it is a detective novel, but the trivial details just litter the pages. Even when you do get past the first narrative, (which is mostly a jumble of character introductions), and into the main plot, the reader is almost overwhelmed with details. On another matter, Wilkie Collins is either terribly sexist, or he likes to give his Gabriel Betteredge that characteristic. Perhaps it is just the times, but our Sir Betteredge seems to "understand" women completely ... I hate to sound like a psychotic feminist, but comments such as, "But it is a maxim of mine that men (being superior creatures) are bound to improve women." This is just one of countless examples. I wonder what Wilkie's true opinion is. I suppose one can account for the dragging on as being a consequence of 19th century literature, and I suppose the characters are disputably vivid, but I am sad to say that, although I tried to keep an open mind, this book just didn't captivate me. Thirty pages in, I kept convincing myself that after all the characters were introduced, it would get better ... but alas, the interest hardly picked up; the reader and current narrator just change their suspicions from character to character. I read this because guilt would have taken me for putting a book down half finished.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition