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The Haunted Hotel [Paperback]

Wilkie Collins
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)

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Book Description

October 5, 2011 0486243338 978-0486243337 New edition

The author of The Moonstone and The Woman in White applies his acclaimed narrative powers to this thrilling tale of mysterious women and blood-drenched conspiracies. Set amid the picturesque palaces and waterways of 19th-century Venice, Collins's suspenseful novelette recounts an obsessed countess's attempts to thwart what she perceives as her fatal destiny.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

British author whose writings paved the way for suspense and detective fiction. Collins’ pen also produced insightful observations on various social issues of his times. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications; New edition edition (October 5, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486243338
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486243337
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,003,807 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Subtitled: A Mystery of Modern Venice - 1860 vintage September 25, 2004
Reading a novel by Wilkie Collins requires substantial time, but my investment is usually well rewarded. His lesser known novel, The Haunted Hotel, is uncharacteristically short, and is an easy way to become acquainted with Wilkie Collins. The Haunted Hotel offers a fast moving, tight plot that maintains the reader's interest. It is a mystery story, a ghost story, and an early psychological thriller, all melded smoothly together.

The story begins in London, but later moves to the modern Venice of 1860. The dark, wet waterways and aging palaces provide an ideal setting for a mysterious death and a possibly related disappearance. Suspicion there is, but evidence is sparse. A threatening apparition indirectly hints at further clues.

The psychology component revolves around the Countess Narona, one of the most memorable characters created by Collins. The seemingly amoral Countess foresees, or believes she foresees, her eventual punishment and doom for previous evils. Her obsession leads her step by step toward the very retribution that she hopes to avoid.

The Haunted Hotel - A Mystery of Modern Venice was first published in 1879. I recommend buying the inexpensive Dover edition (ISBN 0486243338). Dover also reprints other books by Wilkie Collins, including The Moonstone, The Lady in White, The Dead Secret, Basil, No Name, and others. Through these works Wilkie Collins is credited with having popularized the classic detective mystery story.
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars True Collins Style. July 26, 2000
If you are a Wilkie Collins fan, well then, add this title to your list. I have. A story filled with suspenses and mystery. It keeps you turning the pages until the end. Who killed the count or did anyone? What happened to the courier? Is the countess mad? Told partly by letters and differing characters' perspective it is typical of Collins' narrative style. He takes the readers to a most stupendous climax in Venice. It is a ghost story, a fun read, like watching an old black and white movie. Recommeded!
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A supernatural, melodramatic mystery September 18, 1998
By A Customer
Wilkie Collins, who wrote such landmark (and lengthy) mysteries as "The Moonstone" and "The Woman in White," has a very short effort, too. "The Haunted Hotel" is that effort. As mysteries go, this one is rather understated, though one must make allowances for the fact that it was written in 1878, long before Christie, Carr, and others gave the genre a more definite shape. (One must also make allowances for the sexism contained in the book lest one hurl the book at the nearest wall, window, or other suitable repository.)
The story begins when a man and woman become engaged. Sadly, though, he was already engaged. His first fiancee very graciously bows out, and the man marries his second fiancee. They head to Venice, where their stay in a castle is marked by mystery. A maid quits. A porter then disappears without a trace. Finally, the man dies. All of these events lead toward a series of coincidences that draws the many characters together for a final revelation.
The story, though, is more a melodrama than a mystery. Indeed, the mystery is subverted for much of the story as the characters' lives overlap, collide, and generally run into each other. It is easy, amid this seeming chaos, to lose sight of the second fiancee, a fascinating character who is so dominated by her sense of fate and supernatural vengeance that she causes events for which she later blames Fate. Unfortunately, she is the most interesting character and is absent from too much of the story. She alone seems to break free of the rather confining roles imposed on the others by the times and the culture. In a longer book, her absences might be a source of great consternation, but the reader who pushes through the first 80 or so pages will be well rewarded in the last 50, where she reclaims center stage and where the mystery also comes to the fore.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Near unique blend of detective story and ghost story February 4, 1999
By A Customer
The book's real strength lies in the character of the villainess/ victim Countess. As in Armadale, Collins creates a female character capable of enormous evil,and at the same time so riddled with guilt,and so seemingly trapped by her destiny, that we feel a horrified sympathy for her from the off.
None of the rest of the book's characters really come up to the same level, but the plotting as always is excellent, and the variation on the 'substitution' device in 'Woman' marks another first in crime fiction, which has been ripped off ad infinitum. The ending is truly chilling; if the hero(s) and heroine had had a bit more blood in them, this would rank with the very best.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Is Room 14 haunted? May 30, 2011
By Jetpack
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have very much enjoyed the works of Wilkie Collins that I have read, so happily downloaded the free Kindle version of The Haunted Hotel.

Unfortunately, I'm not a big fan of the main female and male characters. The main female is just too perfect and everyone loves her. Bleah.

However, I think the Countess redeems the story. As she describes herself, a woman of good and evil (i.e., an actual character). Watching her mental state as the story evolves is quite interesting, and how she reveals what happened in Venice is certainly one of the more unusual ways.

Is Room 14 haunted? Considering this is a Victorian novel, it very well might be.

Give it a try if you like Wilkie Collins.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved "The Haunted Hotel"
I loved "The Haunted Hotel". I love every Wilkie Collins book. This was a great classic "haunted" mystery in a great European back drop - Venice!
Published 1 day ago by KellyD
4.0 out of 5 stars Good mystery
Not as good as The Moonstone, but was still worth reading. The reader really does not understand the title of the book until well into the book, but be patient and you will find... Read more
Published 16 days ago by luvkosmo
4.0 out of 5 stars old fashioned mystery
This is another excellent book by Wilkie Collins. Very atmospheric. It is hard not to be annoyed by the weakness of his female characters but it is a true reflection of the times.
Published 1 month ago by J. Baybusky
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun Read
Not a great novel but an enjoyable read. Insights into an old way of life. Moonstone is a better work.
Published 1 month ago by Patrick McDonald
3.0 out of 5 stars Haunted Hotel
not his best work nevertheless a very compelling tale that brought in the supernatural and mystery he was so accomplished I. doing.
Published 2 months ago by Susan
3.0 out of 5 stars Odd book
The book was interesting enough. However the characters were somewhat unreal, somewhat more of an undeveloped caricature than people. Read more
Published 2 months ago by miki
4.0 out of 5 stars Another intriguing Wilkie Collins Book
Well written as always, good page turner, I would recommend this book as he always produces books of intrigue. Hope this is helpful
Published 3 months ago by A. GREEN
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Wilkie Collin's best
I am a Wilkie Collins fan, and I'm working my way through all of his books. The Haunted Hotel is my least favorite one, so far. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Judith
3.0 out of 5 stars good but still...
The female leading character is so unlike his usual strong woman. She is too saccharine and bland! Not his best by any means,
Published 9 months ago by Nate
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read!
Well written and in the standard vernacular of Wilkie Collins' other books. A good and exciting read if you like his style of writing of life and dialogue in the 1800's
Published 9 months ago by Steven J. Lambrecht
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