- Series: Penguin Classics
- Paperback: 720 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Classics; Reissue edition (April 29, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0141439610
- ISBN-13: 978-0141439617
- Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1.2 x 7.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1,240 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,959 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Woman in White (Penguin Classics) Reissue Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Josephine Bailey and Simon Prebble turn in stellar performances of Collins's classic, commonly regarded as the world's first mystery novel. Late one night, on the way to his new post, art teacher Walter Hartright encounters a ghostly woman dressed all in white, tending to a grave. The next day, he meets his new pupils, Laura Fairlie and her half-sister, Marian, and discovers that the sisters have mysterious ties to the woman in white. For a story told by a sequence of first-person narrators, Bailey and Prebble provide well-paced, alternating readings: Prebble's Hartright is steady, even-keeled, and sensitive; his Marian is bright and clear and blunt. Bailey's Laura is equally well rendered: kind and young, sad and sweet. The voices both narrators provide the host of other characters—including the hot-tempered Sir Percival Glyde and the devious Count Fosco—are attended with equal imagination and skill. A must-listen for mystery lovers. (Jan.)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“Collins was a master craftsman, whom many modern mystery-mongers might imitate to their profit.” —Dorothy L. Sayers
Top Customer Reviews
A note on Kindle formatting: I have seen reviews of other Kindle freebies that were badly formatted and/or edited, but that was not the case with this book. Not only were there few (if any) typos, the formatting was quite readable. The one addition I would have liked is a linked table of contents. If you find a 99 cent version that boasts such a TOC, I'd recommend buying it instead of downloading it for free as I would have like to have looked back at different characters' accounts after reading them.
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But what of the title? Who is the Woman in White? Her chance meeting with Walter Hartright on the road to London provides the catalyst upon which the entire narrative turns. She is at once and both the key and the puzzle. She is a victim. She is a harbinger. She scares Sir Percival out of his wits.
This book offers vivid portrayals of Victorian England, its mannerisms, its wardrobe, its inhibitions, its attitude. This book eerily reflects our own time, our own angst, in the 21st century. Once you read it, you'll know what I mean. Deception has no age.
P.S. Whatever you do, don't turn your back on Count Fosco!
"The Woman in White" is not just one of the most engaging and gripping Victorian novels I have ever read, it is one of the most engaging and gripping novels of all time. Collins creates vivid, memorable characters (ranging from brave intelligent Marian to the surprising and sinister Count Fosco) who are engaged in a plot that twists and turns like nothing else. There are so many unexpected, even shocking incidents, and Collins moves between them with exactingly precise yet graceful and beautiful prose. Not only that, his narrative style, which moves from character to character, allows for fantastic comic interludes which break up the drama (the chapter from the point of view of the hypochondriac uncle is gut-bustingly funny).
A couple of people I know, who are generally not fond of 19th century literature, loved this book. I have never met someone who has not been charmed by it. I strongly urge anyone and everyone to read it.
Laura becomes the victim, Walter the absent hero, and it is all up to Marian, the lion-hearted defender of her sister, who stands as protector, investigator, and emotional supporter to Laura, that is until tragic circumstances force their separation. Just when things seem the darkest, a surprising twist grabs the reader for a rousing finale that carries Walter incognito from Central America to London to Blackwater Park to Cumberland to Welmingham to an old church where the "Secret" of Sir Percival Glyde is revealed and wickedness is recompensed.
A guaranteed page-turner that will keep you up way past your bedtime. Everything is explained at the end, except for the reason that Laura's late father wanted her to marry Percival Glyde in the first place.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very riveting story. The characters come to life, and the descriptions of people, places, and events keeps the reader engaged even when trying to understand some of the old... Read morePublished 2 days ago by Amazon Customer
The classics are fun to read. The woman in white put you right there in the 1800's. Entertaining & realisticPublished 4 days ago by Bernadette Osborn
Fantastic story! Suspenseful and engaging tale with a love story woven throughout.Published 4 days ago by Christine S
This is another of those books that I've long intended to read but somehow never got around to. My resolution for 2017 is to rectify some of that neglect. Read morePublished 5 days ago by PlantBirdWoman
That even this simple title is messed up on the cover. Really, Amazon, do you not check ANYTHING?Published 6 days ago by NB
Something happened here. Buyer beware. This novel is of some length. The copy I received, as advertised, is 136 pages long. This is not the entire book. Read morePublished 8 days ago by Cynthia D.
A Victorian-style novel with enough suspense and twists and turns to keep the reader engaged from start to finish. Read morePublished 8 days ago by Amazon Customer
This is a classic by the one of the first mystery writers. Exciting story told in the first person by the different people involved, and so delivered from their perspective and... Read morePublished 10 days ago by Amazon Customer