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FirelightSpirit

The Moonstone - What did you think? - Spoilers!

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I think a few of us must be finished this by now, so what did you think?

I confess I was mistaken in who I thought had 'dunnit'. I thought it was Betteredge, not out of any sinister motive, but out of a desire to protect the family from what he clearly thought was the curse of the Moonstone and the three Indians. I have a habit of never trusting narrators in stories like this.

It did twist and turn very expectedly. I think even people who read detective novels regularly would be surprised. Maybe someone who does could comment? I really was quite surprised at the way it turned out. I kept thinking that Collins had thrown Luker in as a red herring and he didn't really have the Moonstone.

As for the curse of the Moonstone, it did seem to enact a terrible revenge on Mr Godfrey.

I was a little dissatisfied by the way it was written in places, but I think this is a lot to do with the convention of the time.

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Just finsihed!

So, overall, very enjoyable. I disliked certain parts and it had the usual weaknesses of most 19th Century detective novels. Otherwise a good story with a good plot and a good solution. But I had guessed very early who it was; I just didn't know how...

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This novel romped along nicely. Having the different narratives helped a lot both in readability and with plot development. My main quibble, as I mentioned in the 'first thoughts' thread was the style Collins used for Rosa Spearman's letter - too 'standard' English I thought for this character and so I couldn't quite engage with her. On the other hand, what a comic creation was the 'rampant spinster'!

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On the other hand, what a comic creation was the 'rampant spinster'!
And what a wonderful phrase to describe her!

 

I really enjoyed this book. There were lots of twists and turns in the plot, and with each one I had a different suspect...with motives that were entirely in my imagination ;)

But I never, never suspected Betteredge. How could you, FirelightSpirit? :yikes:

 

The things that made the book so enjoyable were

a) the comic element to the characters, such as Betteredge and Robinson Crusoe, Sergeant Cluff and his roses, Miss Clack with her tracts, and the irrepressable 'Gooseberry' with his googly eyes

B) The little humerous touches like Mrs Merridew and the explosion, and the Gooseberry standing on a chair to see the 'unveiling' of the murdered man.

c) the multiple narrative, revealing the plot bit by bit from different points of view...and leading the reader up the garden path.

 

By the time Sgt Cluff had put the name of the thief in the envelope I had finally settled on him, too, but I still enjoyed the tension that Collins built up in that little bedroom as his identity was revealed.

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I can only say that I agree with Meg wholeheartedly. All the items she pointed out are just so true.

I don't normally read crime stories but this one was really great, in my view. Maybe someone who does was disappointed but for me it had just enough crime in it and more of the rest.

I loved the descriptions of the characters, and since they were done by different people, you got the impression to get to know them even better than normally.

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I have just finished The Moonstone and I must say I thoroughly enjoyed it.

It was humorous at times and I particularly enjoyed the narratives of Betteredge and Miss Clack.

All in all I would say it is one of the best books I have read this year.

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I was searching the shelves for something to read and my hand fell on this...had I subconciously registered the book of the month. Mine is a very old copy containing 3 novels. I thoroughly enjoyed re reading it. I found Miss Clack's narrative particuarly satisfying, her complete disregard of the feelings of others in her pursuit of her beliefs was masterfully done. I enjoyed Betteredge too. Rachel remains a more shadowy character I'm not sure anyone really described her. But all in all a satisfying read and surprisingly accessible.

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Only just finished this because of other reading. I understand this is 'the first, the longest and the best of the modern English detective novel' according to T.S. Eliot. As the first, it was interesting to think about that when reading it. It is certainly long and it may be one of the best up to the time of Eliot. I have to admit I don't read a lot of crime fiction, but I certainly enjoyed this one.

 

I love the way Collins tells his story through various points of view in the first person narrative. It add to the theme of detection because its necessary to read it though so many different eyes. Some of the characters were powerfully written but a few were a little vague and therefore perhaps weak - or was that intentional by Collins.

 

I loved Miss Clack, as some of you have already said. The way she was presented through 'her own words' was so comic; she thinking she was so good and pious and yet the reader understanding her interfering ways. I also loved Mrs. Merridew; a minor character I know but the way she is so insistent on being 'warned of the explosion' which was bound to happen because of the 'scientific experiment', brought her to life for me.

 

I enjoyed Seargent Cuff and his attempts to be professional and was glad he was able to see how it all turned out after his retirement. I found his discussions on growing roses fascinating in giving another side to his character. Jennings was also a well written character for me; I could almost feel his pain.

 

Bettridge is, of course, wonderful. I too must now read Robinson Crusoe and I was always in Franklin's corner anyway.

 

Altogether a great book, full of great characters, well written and an intriguing story well told. Nicely tidied up at the end too. Thanks for the suggestions everyone.

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I loved Miss Clack, as some of you have already said. The way she was presented through 'her own words' was so comic; she thinking she was so good and pious and yet the reader understanding her interfering ways.
Miss Clack should serve as a warning to everybody, that we do not see ourselves as the rest of the world sees us, and that we give ouselves away out of our own mouths. :angeldevi:tapedshut:

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I thoroughly enjoyed re reading it. I found Miss Clack's narrative particuarly satisfying, her complete disregard of the feelings of others in her pursuit of her beliefs was masterfully done.

If you enjoyed this characterisation, you should certainly read Augustus Carp Esq. by himself. Subtitled Being the Autobiography of a Really Good Man it's in very similar vein to the sections of The Moonstone penned by Miss Clack.

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I can only say that I agree with Meg wholeheartedly. All the items she pointed out are just so true.

I don't normally read crime stories but this one was really great, in my view. Maybe someone who does was disappointed but for me it had just enough crime in it and more of the rest.

I loved the descriptions of the characters, and since they were done by different people, you got the impression to get to know them even better than normally.

I read crime novels, and was thoroughly NOT disappointed in the Moonstone. I liked the suspense, the building up, the characters, and that I was kept guessing all the way through as to where on earth the diamond might have gone. I also felt there was enough murder / death (albeit towards the end) to satisfy even the most dedicated crime fan!

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4 years late to the party as normal...

 

So this is, supposedly, where it all began, the first detective novel - as opposed to story, presumably, since Edgar Allen Poe's Inspector Auguste Dupin, created a quarter of a century earlier, is often cited as literature's first policeman. However, the red herrings and the country house setting suggest that Agatha Christie might well have found this an inspiring novel.

 

For me, it missed some of the qualities of its successors in the genre, but not in a bad way. In the modern crime novel, I often find that the detective is the most interesting character; sometimes to the extent the crime is almost coincidental to the novel. However, I guess because Sergeant Cuff's narrative is relatively brief, we don't get to learn a lot about him beyond his opinions on the growing of roses.

 

I worked out fairly early on who the guilty parties were even though I wasn't sure how they'd done it. The pleasure came more from the narrative voices and the humorous elements into the characters. Since I was expecting something melodramatic and overwrought this came as quite a pleasant surprise.

 

I liked the fact the novel really has two detectives working independently, which is unusual - we find out most of what has actually happened through Franklin Blake's investigations rather than Cuff's deductions.

 

I listened to this on audiobook and, where books like this often have multiple narrators, here all were done by the same reader. A challenge, but reader Peter Jeffrey acquitted himself with aplomb, moving easily from Betteredge's Yorkshire brogue to Drusilla Clack's self-righteous Christianity to the ailing Ezra Jennings.

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Lovely to find this old thread and read all your thoughts. Loved every minute of it. I also listened to the Peter Jeffrey's narration on audio and I agree he did an excellent job, highly recommedned.

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I thought that the Indians had used some sort of mind control on Blake. Because of the way they had used the small boy. I was completely shocked when it turned out to be Ablewhite.

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