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The Moonstone

Written by: Wilkie Collins
Narrated by: Peter Jeffrey
Length: 18 hrs and 45 mins
4 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Exclusively from Audible

Considered the first full-length detective story in the English language, T.S. Eliot described The Moonstone as 'the first and greatest English detective novel'.

The stone of the title is an enormous yellow diamond plundered from an Indian shrine after the Siege of Seringapatam. Given to Miss Verinder on her 18th birthday, it mysteriously disappears that very night. Suspicion falls on three Indian jugglers who have been seen in the neighbourhood. Sergeant Cuff is assigned to the case and though it looks simple nothing can be taken for granted.

The story is recounted by several narrators including the bemused butler, the love-sick housemaid, the enigmatic detective Sergeant Cuff and the drug-addicted scientist, who in turn, speculate on the mystery.

This enthralling tale of romance, theft, and murder inspired the detective genre. In a sense, Collins wrote the rulebook on detective stories as many features of The Moonstone have become conventions in the literature of others.

Charles Dickens was a close friend and mentor of Collins, and the two collaborated together on drama and fiction. The Moonstone, as well as some of his other work, was first published in Dickens' journals.

Narrator Biography

Beginning his career on stage, Peter Jeffrey became a recognisable face on British television while enjoying thirty years with the Royal Shakespeare Company as well as working with all the other great British theatre companies. He was soon in demand for television character parts, playing roles in shows such as The Saint (1964-1965), The Avengers (1966-1968) and Doctor Who (1967 and 1978) as well as being involved in many BBC Radio 4 audio dramas such as The Pickwick Papers. Though a versatile actor, he was often cast in roles of authority such as Inspector Carter in Dixon of Dock Green (1966) but occasionally guest starred in comedy roles such as "Napper" Wainwright in Porridge (1975). He continued to act during his final years, with roles in the BBC adaptation of The Prince and the Pauper (1996), The Scarlet Pimpernel (1999) and Where the Heart Is (1999).

Public Domain (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lucie
  • 2009-01-03

An engrossing detective novel

I was attracted to THE MOONSTONE after reading (Hearing) Wilkie Collins" THE WOMAN IN WHITE. What is fascinating to me is how a book written over 140 years ago can be read eaily without footnotes to explain the significance of the events of the time. The characters and the action brought me into that time period with ease.

I plan to sownload every Wilkie Collins book that is available in Audible.com

24 of 24 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anne
  • 2010-02-26

Surprisingly good

I probably never would have read this on paper - too old-fashioned, too long - but with it narrated (and done so well by Jeffrey!) I was able to hear the voices of the characters and be entertained by the different perspectives as each one tells the story from their point of view. I thought this was a masterfully crafted story, with parts that made me laugh out loud. Had to be able to concentrate when listening to keep track of the plot and characters.

19 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Yvette
  • 2009-02-18

Great book wonderfully read!!!

I read this book years ago & loved it, but it is very long, so I have not read it since. I am VERY glad that I invested the time to listen to it now. The book is even better than I remember it. The author was a great talent & the reader's skill makes it a truely amazing listening experience. I whole-heartedly recommend this book & this reader to anyone who wants a quality, intelligent listen.

18 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kathleen
  • 2011-03-19

So perfect for these looonnnng winter evenings

First, I'm a fan of Charles Dickens' novels, so historical fiction doesn't challenge me in the slightest, provided it has a plot. And The Moonstone has plot in spades, along with one of the most adorable characters I've ever encountered in all of literature (Gabriel Betteredge), and a wonderfully involved, somewhat gothic, mystery. If films like Gosford Park send you screaming, don't even dream of taking on this novel. But if you love English historical and gothic fiction, and enjoy an occasional mystery, this atmospheric gem will provide hours of guilty pleasure. Wilkie Collins was a contemporary (and friend) of Dickens, so expect similar pacing. Peter Jeffrey's narration was superb!

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Cheryl
  • 2010-04-18

One of my favorite Audiobooks

The narrator was wonderful and the story was interesting and highly enjoyable. The plot might be a bit slow and verbose for some people, but if you like a well turned phrase and detailed character depictions, you will like this aspect as much as I did. The narrator's reading and distinctive voices for the different characters was outstanding.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Caroline
  • 2012-04-26

The First Detective Novel Ever Written: A Gem!

Many consider the Moonstone to be the first detective novel ever written. And it's, in my opinion, one of the best. The plot is riveting, the story full of surprises. Even when Collins seems to be losing his way in a subplot, he always manage to enrich the main mystery: what happened to the Moonstone, a huge diamond discovered in India and sent to a young woman from her uncle. Almost as soon as she comes into possession of this magnificient jewel, it mysteriously disappears. What happened to the Moonstone, who took it, why and how? The how is especially puzzling. One thing is for sure, you will be entertained all the way to the final solution to this puzzle. It's a must read for true mystery fans.

The narration done by Peter Jeffrey is first class. I could listen to him telling stories all day long. Enjoy!

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • laurence
  • 2011-02-04

Delightful novel & first-rate narration

Peter Jeffrey does the various voices with great skill and character. The humor of the novel comes through strongly. I wish Peter Jeffrey would do more narration, he's really fabulous.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Beau
  • 2012-03-11

Splendid Discovery

This is one of the best audible listens yet. I am very particular in choosing my audio books and it took me sometime to settle on this one - I don't regret it in the least. It was a marvelous and keen story. Very perceptive and subtly witty. It is not a fast paced or a short book, but I was happy to return to it every time I had the chance to listen. I am looking forward to reading other works by Wilkie Collins and I thought Peter Jeffery captured the emotion and flavor of the work beautifully.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sandra
  • 2008-07-12

i like this book

i enjoyed this book and the reader...i have read the hard copy before and wanted this to listen to while i knit...it did its job well! and his accent is so much better than mine!

19 of 21 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Gary
  • 2009-07-12

Good - if you are not in a hurry

When I first started listening to the book I had to keep restarting it to get used to the accents and sentence structure. Even though this is written in English I felt challenged to understand the train of thought of the writer.

At about one third into the book the perspective changed. The story narration was taken over by another character and I realized that the first narrative was intentionally written in a "wandering" style to reflect the personality of that character.

Subsequent narratives were much easier to understand and to the point of the story. It is easy to see why one might stop listening to the first wordy and tedious narrative.

If you like stories to proceed at quick pace I would recommend the abridged version which I would expect to be more concise.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful