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The Moonstone

Written by: Wilkie Collins
Narrated by: Patrick Tull
Length: 20 hrs and 28 mins

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Audible Editor Reviews

Patrick Tull's performance of The Moonstone is a nail-biting listening event. Tull's rich and dynamic voice keeps the audience engaged in this Victorian mystery. The story follows the Verinder family as they investigate the theft of a yellow diamond. Before belonging to the family, the jewel is said to have been resting on the forehead of an Indian idol. Is its disappearance a result of a legendary curse?

The Moonstone is a classic in the genre of detective fiction. With a remarkable story and memorable cast of characters, mystery lovers will be delighted by this audiobook.

Publisher's Summary

No, the "Moonstone" isn't a celestial relic, it's a gigantic yellow diamond of unearthly beauty that was given to Rachel Verinder as a present on her 18th birthday - and stolen that very night! Betteredge, one of the most beloved butlers in English literature, is the focus of this seminal detective novel, which examines how one family's life is turned upside-down by the theft. And find out why the answers to all of life's problems can be found in the pages of Robinson Crusoe.

Public Domain (P)1989 Recorded Books

What the critics say

"The first, the longest, and the best of modern English detective novels." (T.S. Eliot)
"This finely crafted tale is riveting in the audio medium." ( Library Journal)

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • KD
  • 2005-08-23

Fantastic Victorian Fiction, Superbly Read

If you love good Victorian fiction, with its keen insights into human relationships and motivations, you'll love The Moonstone. This novel was never intended to be a physical action story. Ignore those people saying it's too long or--gasp!--boring. It's just right! The novel is told from several points of view with several narrators performing the various characters. In addition to Patrick Tull as the butler, audiobook customers might be interested in knowing that the narrators include Davina Porter and Frank Muller, both of whom have a large and loyal following. The Moonstone is also a great introduction to Wilkie Collins, whose works, in my opinion, are equal to those of his friend and mentor, Charles Dickens. At least two other Collins novels are available from The Woman in White and The Evil Genius. I hope there will be more in the future.

34 of 34 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Catherine
  • 2003-05-22

One of the best readings ever

The Moonstone is a classic, and if you like mysteries it is a must-read (or must-listen). What is truly special about this rendition is the reading. The reading is superb, done by several actors to match the voices of several narrators.

Although it is VERY long, I never once got bored - in fact I couldn't wait for my drive to/from work so that I could listen some more. This is my favorite audio book to date (I've been doing this about a year now).

49 of 50 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Ingrid
  • 2007-12-01

Don't steal sacred diamonds

The performance was outstanding. I usually do not think much of using multiple readers for novels, but in this case it truly added to the book.

The Moonstone, a valuable diamond that has already been stolen once, is stolen again. There are 7 (8?) narratives that tell the story of the mayhem surrounding the loss of the diamond and attempts to discover the thief and recover it.

What I don't see noted in many of the reviews of this book is the humor. There is drama and mystery, love and death, but this is a funny book. Betteridge, the Butler, with his fierce allegiance to Robinson Crusoe is perhaps one of my all-time favorite characters.

I agree that it does seem longer than it is -- even when it ended, there was still more to go. Part of it's Victorian charm, I suppose. I'm going to recommend this one to anyone who has the patience for it. Not a quick read, but a worthwhile one.

22 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Lisa L. Hilton
  • 2004-08-01

Not for the faint of heart

Written before the invention of the television, this book is not for those with short attention spans, or who like to get to the crux of the mystery right away, or who like fast-paced chase scenes through the streets of Paris. (The book only leaves England for a brief stint or two in India.)

However, if you enjoy fascinating character studies with a dash of mystery thrown in, this book is a definite must-listen. Different sections are told from the POVs of different characters, each with a very unique view on the world. The narrators do a wonderful job catching the flavor of the different characters. (Though I confess the Ms. Clack section could have been shorter and I wouldn't have minded, but only because the character herself is so well-penned that she bothers me.)

20 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • J. C. Ledbetter
  • 2004-12-07

Great Victorian mystery, but be warned, it is long

This is a wonderful mystery, but just like his contemporary Charles Dickens, Mr. Collins writes a very long novel. Some may find this wearisome and should stick to 20th Century Pulp Fiction. Those willing to commit the time (nearly 21 hours in listening time) will find the effort worthwhile and the various readers add a dimension that make the length more than tolerable (my favorites are Gabriel Betteredge and Miss Clack)!

16 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • jasmine00
  • 2005-03-17

Vastly Victorian

I was sick in a Mexican hotel for a week while I listened. This audio book makes that week a treasured gift. The voices of the characters living different class roles in English town and country was mesmerizing. This is a medley of perspectives on values and the nuanced relationships between people. The narration is so good it seems almost impossible.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Charles
  • 2004-11-21

The Moonstone

Let me start by saying this was my first audio book and I only hope that I will find more as entertaining and well done as this one. When I downloaded it I realized just how long it was however when I got to the end all I wanted was another segment.

There is no instant gratification here, no detective sitting down all the suspects and telling us who done it. Instead Collins reveals the pieces to the mystery slowly and in such a way that even when we know where the end is leading, there are new twists for us, and his characters, and we wonder how he is going to get us there. At the same time, he reveals aspects of the characters and pulls us into their lives.

While the situations may be somewhat foreign by an ocean and a hundred and fifty some-odd years, the human story is constant and as relevant today as it was then.

As for the reading I enjoyed that as much as the story. Having different readers do the various narratives really brought the characters to life and they all did very well.

Don't let the length scare you off. This book is well worth you time and just in case you couldn?t tell, I enjoyed it immensely.

17 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sarah
  • 2004-11-29

Sarah from South Carolina

A great period mystery. The various readers are splendid and add much to the joy of listening to the book. I listened to some parts of the book several times just to enjoy the voices and accents. The reader of the butler's part was especially entertaining.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kathi
  • 2014-05-01

Worth a listen, just for the WONDERFUL narration!

Wilkie Collins' writing and the late, beloved Patrick Tull's narration are an unbeatable combination, not to be missed! I read The Moonstone years ago, but had forgotten what a wonderful window into the origins of the genre of mysteries it is. Arguably the first, or among the first, of mysteries to incorporate many elements we now take for granted in mysteries (the country house, the use of a detective, suspicion falling in various places, etc) it is still a great read a century and a half after it was written.

Briefly, Rachel Verinder is given a huge and priceless diamond for her 18th birthday. She is unaware that the diamond, referred to as "the moonstone" was obtained in India under reprehensible circumstances by her uncle during the wars. Throughout the story there are three Indian men who lurk about, hoping to get it back, but the inhabitants of the house don't exactly understand that that is who they are. The story is played out in marvelous fashion, as the diamond is quickly stolen, and suspicion falls everywhere among the various characters as they try to discover who took it. They even call in Sgt. Cuff, of Scotland Yard, who attempts to solve the mystery.

There are a couple of narrators, the precious butler Betteridge, with his priceless self-serving asides, and Drusilla Clack, a religious relative. But without question, an already excellent book is thoroughly brought to life by the incomparable narration of the extraordinarily talented Patrick Tull. He had the ability to breathe more life and personality into each separate character then many other narrators are ever able to do. This book would be worth the listen just to get to hear him perform. I very highly recommend this book for every reason. It was just such a wonderful listening experience!

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Stephanie
  • 2007-06-08

Book and Cast 10/10

If you love British literature then do not miss this romantic classic. Collins masterfully presents the mysterious tale of the theft of the Moonstone, a magnificent Indian gem of great price. The story is told from multiple perspectives ranging from the lovable butler Gabriel Betteridge (sp?) to the dashing hero of the story, Franklin Blake. The cast of performers in this audio edition do Collins' work ample justice.

All the right audio book elements: mystery, romance, happy ending, and flawless readers. Enjoy! And if you like this book then listen to Collins' "The Woman in White."

18 of 20 people found this review helpful