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Location: Vero Beach, Florida, United States

My name is Pat and I live in Florida. My skin will never be smooth again and my hair will never see color. I enjoy collecting autographs and playing in Paint Shop Pro.,along with reading and writing. Sometimes, I enjoy myself by doing volunteer "work" helping celebrities at autograph shows. I love animals and at one time I did volunteer work for Tippi Hedren's Shambala Preserve.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Woman in White

The Woman in White by Wilke Collins

Paperback: 672 pages
Publisher: Barnes & Noble Classics (April 25, 2005)
ISBN-10: 1593082800

 

 Product Description

The Woman in White, by Wilkie Collins. ,
One of the greatest mystery thrillers ever written, Wilkie Collins’s The Woman in White was a phenomenal bestseller in the 1860s, achieving even greater success than works by Dickens, Collins’s friend and mentor. Full of surprise, intrigue, and suspense, this vastly entertaining novel continues to enthrall readers today.

The story begins with an eerie midnight encounter between artist Walter Hartright and a ghostly woman dressed all in white who seems desperate to share a dark secret. The next day Hartright, engaged as a drawing master to the beautiful Laura Fairlie and her half sister, tells his pupils about the strange events of the previous evening. Determined to learn all they can about the mysterious woman in white, the three soon find themselves drawn into a chilling vortex of crime, poison, kidnapping, and international intrigue.

Masterfully constructed, The Woman in White is dominated by two of the finest creations in all Victorian fiction—Marion Halcombe, dark, mannish, yet irresistibly fascinating, and Count Fosco, the sinister and flamboyant “Napoleon of Crime.”

 I am really glad that I pushed myself to read this book!

It started off really drab and slow.  This, for me, is generally a killer.. a drop this book and find another, thing.

I can attribute the fact that I didn't put the book down to having just read Drood by Dan Simmons.  In that book Wilke Collins is the narrator. Although the story is fiction there were many truths in the book, parts being: the naming and talking of many of the books written by both Wilke and Dickens, and parts of truths about their private lives.  It was because of the later: about their private lives, that made me keep trying to read this book.

I had learned in Drood that Wilke Collins was addicted to the pain killer opium,.. and to huge amounts of it.  I found myself really curious to see what sort of book someone under all that Opium would write.  I also learned that most of what Wilke wrote was written as a serial for Dickens periodicals.

Wow..

I hope not to say that all that Opium helped him write a really good book.. but.. after a horribly slow start.. and even a mediocre dull middle that the last 300 pages were well worth the struggle!  In the end I have to say I really  liked the book.  Now, I'm not going to say that I may read it again one day.. but I did enjoy the mystery he wrote.  I liked most of his characters and he wrote in an easier language than his mentor Charles Dickens writes. 

Now I've only read one Dickens book  , The Old Curiosity Shop, and like many other people, have seen many of Dickens books put to movies (which I enjoy more than reading Dickens)

This was a mystery of many parts.. which you only learn about in the last 200 pages.  It's also a love story.  And Wilke Collins was in no hurry to let out all the love and all the secrets! lol

Would I recommend it?  wow.. hard call.  I REALLY wanted to like it and yet I almost gave up..I'm afraid others WILL give up.. but if you want to read a classic I will say that if you can struggle thru maybe the first 200 pages, which by the way ARE necessary for setting up the whole story, well then you may well be rewarded in the end.. I know I was.

This is book Six for the RIP  Challenge!

13 Comments:

Blogger Cath said...

Oh well done for finishing it, Pat! Loved reading your thoughts. It's so long since I read it that none of it rang a bell. Having rescued it off my charity shop pile I may give it another read - perhaps early next year - but will bear in mind your comments. I had no idea that Collins was an opium addict! How fascinating.

6:21 AM  
Blogger Nymeth said...

You're not alone in having struggled for about half of it - Memory said the exact same - but for some reason, the moment we first see the woman in white on the road, I was immediately into it, and I was never bored again. I'm glad you did like it in the end, and I'm looking forward to Drood!

6:29 AM  
Blogger DesLily said...

Cath: if I had to break it down.. the first 1/4 of the book was slow as molasses!.. the next 1/4 was ok but a bit dragging in areas.. the second whole half of the books was very good! Maybe if I got myself some Opium I could rewrite my trilogy???.. lol.. just kidding

6:30 AM  
Blogger DesLily said...

Nymeth: I'm glad I read Drood first.. I may have set Woman in White aside if I wasn't interested in finding out just how good a writer this Opium made Wilke! I don't know how he wrote a word being on Opium so heavily!! Second half of that book was excellent! I really enjoyed Drood!! Simmons wrote in Wilke's style of writing rather than in Dickens, which makes it easier to read!

6:32 AM  
Blogger Debi said...

Wow...you really are cranking out the chunksters lately, aren't you? I don't seem to be cranking out anything. *sigh* Anyway, I'm glad you stuck with it, as it sounds like it was worth it in the end.

7:04 AM  
Anonymous Jenny said...

For me, Wilkie Collins's books drag in exact proportion to how much I like the narrators. The Moonstone starts out with quite a long, not terribly action-packed narration by this one character, and I could see how it would get a bit tedious. But I liked the character a lot and didn't mind spending time with him. With this one, I didn't like Walter Whatshisface so much, and I agree, it did go slowly to start with.

9:35 AM  
Anonymous She said...

I am glad you ended up liking it towards the end. I totally understand what you meant about wanting to put it down for good!

1:49 PM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

Good for you for sticking with it! I've heard so many rave reviews about this and just recently purchased it...now I am thinking it might move down a notch or two on my TBR pile.

3:28 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

Debi: well there's just so much a busy person can crank at any one time lady!

Jenny: true, but the narrators all had a point of view and that made it interesting. wow, you didn't like Walter? the man who loved her and got her back from the abyss?

She: i usually like the books that grab me right away the best I don't always have the patience to keep reading when it's not making me want to keep reading..this is a rare book that made me go from one extreme to the other and really like most of the book.

Kathleen: i'm glad i read it.. and glad i didn't put it down. I'm not much on classics but I'm finding I'm liking them more and more..though this book could have been shorter and faster..that's not how they wrote back then..eventually they do capture me..if i hang in there long enough i wind up likeing it..which is at least way better than forcing myself to read something and wind up not liking it at all..

3:51 PM  
Blogger Memory said...

It took me a really long time to get into the story too, but I'm so glad I stuck with it! It's wordy, but oh-so good.

I didn't know Wilkie was an opium addict. Huh. The things you learn!

8:01 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

memory: yes I am glad I read it and now I want to read his Moonstone.

3:28 AM  
Blogger Ladytink_534 said...

Everyone seems to be reading this lately! Since it starts off so slow I may have to see if I can find a good audiobook version.

1:52 AM  
Blogger DesLily said...

tink..quite slow for at least 100 pages but it does get more gripping and it is a good book in the end.

6:32 AM  

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