Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins

I highly recommend this novel as a great "summer read." I began by thinking of it strictly as a plot-driven "who done it" about a lost diamond (complete with detectives, quick sand, thieves, opium users, etc.) - the narrative of which is told, re-told and sometimes re-constructed and re-directed by various interlocutors. But it is these shifting narrators, these eccentric and memorable voices whose personas have a way of resonating throughout the entire book. I refer of course to the inimitable: Gabriel Betteredge (the dutiful butler), Franklin Blake (the endearing chap and suitor), Sergeant Cuff (the logical, methodical detective),  Miss Drusilla Clack (the prim, pious and hilariously obtuse relative), Matthew Bruff (the no-nonsense lawyer),  Ezra Jennings (the hapless fellow with a far-fetched remedy), Doctor Candy (the forgetful one), Rosanna Spearman (the doomed servant), Limping Lucy (the woe-begotten misfit ) and last but not least, Rachel Verinder (the refreshingly self-assertive young lady).

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