Book Reviews of The Woman in White

The Woman in White
The Woman in White
Author: Wilkie Collins
ISBN-13: 9780765353955
ISBN-10: 0765353954
Publication Date: 12/1/2005
Pages: 688
Rating:
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1

4 stars, based on 1 rating
Publisher: Tor Classics
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

34 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The Woman in White on + 73 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
The first 100 pages are the hardest to get through, but once Collins ushers his readers and protagonist alike into the isolated gloom of Limmeridge House it becomes plain why this is one of the most celebrated mysteries ever written. The lead couple is rather bland, in particular the heroine, but that weakness is more than compensated for by the presence of such memorable characters as the clever, resourceful Marian Halcombe and the insidious Count Fosco. The tale of greed, murder, madness, revenge and conspiracy that unfolds is well worthy of being considered one of the best and most influential gothic novels of all time.
reviewed The Woman in White on + 73 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
The first 100 pages are the hardest to get through, but once Collins ushers his readers and protagonist alike into the isolated gloom of Limmeridge House it becomes plain why this is one of the most celebrated mysteries ever written. The lead couple is rather bland, in particular the heroine, but that weakness is more than compensated for by the presence of such memorable characters as the clever, resourceful Marian Halcombe and the insidious Count Fosco. The tale of greed, murder, madness, revenge and conspiracy that unfolds is well worthy of being considered one of the best and most influential gothic novels of all time.
reviewed The Woman in White on + 1139 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
This book has a plot that kept me awake and reading feverishly far too late into several nights, and characters that I loved, or loved to hate, who come to life in the pages. If you're disinclined to read a long novel that's well over 100 years old and was written by a contemporary of Charles Dickens, in predictably flowery Victorian prose, please reconsider, or you'll miss one of the best mystery stories you'll ever find.
reviewed The Woman in White on + 27 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This was my first novel that I read by Wilkie Collins. It is definately close to my favorite book of all time. It caused me to read several other novels by him and so far I have not been disappointed. It is definatly not fast reading, however, it is well worth it!
reviewed The Woman in White on + 224 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Wow, this is an amazing story, well-written, inventive. I lost a little sleep reading into the wee hours of the morning with this one, I found it to be engaging. I was somewhat concerned when I saw how long ago the story was written, but there was no cause for worry. It's a great book, I highly recommend it.
reviewed The Woman in White on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This book was highly recommended to me at an airport used bookstore. Truly one of the BEST detective books I've read. English writer, and ahead of its time. I truly did not want it to end. Enjoy!
reviewed The Woman in White on + 296 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This absolutely classic book is probably the first written that can be called a "mystery." Anyone interested in that genre really should read it!!
reviewed The Woman in White on + 143 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This mystery was first published in 1860. It's a wonderful old classic, the prose is beautiful, the mystery enticing. I thoroughly enjoyed this book but it's not for everyone.
reviewed The Woman in White on + 900 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Somehow I know I will have a wonderful read when I pick up a novel by Wilkie Collins. So it was! It begins with a man named Walter Hargrave walking at night to a new position where he is to instruct two young women in painting. As he strolls, musing about his new role, he encounters a woman alone - dressed in white. His encounter with her leaves makes a deep impression on Walter, particularly when he gives her directions and two men meet him later asking about a woman alone. He follows his instincts and misdirects the men thereby protecting the young woman.

References to the woman in white are frequent in this novel and most essential to the plot. As one might suspect, Walter falls in love with one of his students, who loves him, too. However, she is destined to marry someone else - a promise she made to her father on his death bed and will not break. The woman in white has a connection to the fiance and is believed to have written Laura a disturbing letter about him.

The key characters are the teacher, Walter Hargrave; two sisters - Laura Fairlee and Marian Holcombe; the fiance, Sir Percival Clyde; and the Count, Sir Percival's friend. Many characters tell the story - a technique that could be upsetting to readers but is not in this case. Each narrator begins where the other left off or some times a bit before and the effect enhances the novel. My favorite characters were Walter and Marian, a strong and intelligent individual who protects both Walter and Laura.
reviewed The Woman in White on + 60 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
If you enjoy historical fiction, you MUST read this book. There is something about classical hi-fi that is incredibly richer than modern works. While contemporary hi-fi may take you back in time, authors usually try to phrase and write in comparison to our time. Classics are the real thing. Every character in this book is excellently developed and the plot never gets old. This book doesn't just take you back to the 1850's, you will be plunged back in time, and your thoughts will linger there long after you finish the book. Feel free to email with any questions. ~LeAnn
reviewed The Woman in White on + 113 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book is an amazing teaching tool. Not because it conveys any great lessons in life or exhibits profound understanding and insight but because it so clearly delineates the beauty and differences in 19th century writing and 21st century writing.

The story is definitely very gothic and one of the best mysteries available. It is in the length of the story - most especially the length of the writing that will probably cause many readers to balk. The descriptions, the conversations, the ideas... virtually everything is pondered at length. Reading this in today's society, where TV, the internet, pictures, videos etc. etc. grant us instant understanding and gratification, can be a tedious and boring job. In order to truly appreciate Collins writing, one must put themselves in the shoes of a reader amid 19th century standards. Most people knew little of life outside their small communities. Few traveled or had experience with people and places beyond the immediate. Thus the need for long explanations and descriptions. It was the only door open for a reader to experience life beyond.

A perfect example would be the description of Count Fosco, a very large Itallian man. His description was so intricate and detailed as to take pages (not paragraphs - pages.) To us, that description might seem never-ending. To one who had probably never seen, let alone known an Italian man - good or bad - it described one so perfectly that the reader (without our modern day photography) could picture him with ease.

Therefore, any accurate review of this book must allow for those differences. Readers who enjoy the beauty of the written word just for itself will absolutely revel in this story. Those who are more story driven will need to put on their patience caps to get through it. The story itself is immaculately well-done, it is dark without being terrifying, riveting without being graphic. It is just couched within a style long forgotten and truly appreciated.
reviewed The Woman in White on + 296 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This, along with "The Moonstone," is considered to be one of the first, and finest, of what is now categorized as "mystery fiction."
reviewed The Woman in White on
Helpful Score: 1
One of the best from the writer who created the mystery novel in the 19th century.
reviewed The Woman in White on + 296 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This absolutely classic book is probably nearly the first one that can be called a "mystery" despite being 150 years old. Anyone interested in that genre should read it!!
reviewed The Woman in White on + 5 more book reviews
A mystery written in the 1800s that stands the test of time! Lots of twists!
reviewed The Woman in White on + 468 more book reviews
Owning a Kindle has given me the opportunity to download many of the classics that I should have already read. Reading this one on the heels of Jane Eyre, I thought that I would be disappointed. Far from it! I was immediately engaged and couldn't turn the pages fast enough. I've already downloaded several of his other works. Time to get busy.
reviewed The Woman in White on + 2 more book reviews
Another fun read by Wilkie Collins. He keeps you guessing until the end. No violence, no yucky stuff--just suspense! I enjoyed his multiple narratives style.
reviewed The Woman in White on + 167 more book reviews
EXCELLENT, EXCELLENT
reviewed The Woman in White on + 2 more book reviews
Narrative in its finest. Brilliant use of multiple narrators. A novel that keeps you turning pages, even more than 150 years after it was written.
reviewed The Woman in White on + 6 more book reviews
A great read. Wilkie Collins has become one of my new favorites!
reviewed The Woman in White on + 22 more book reviews
Couldn't get into the book.
reviewed The Woman in White on + 179 more book reviews
Hugely popular in its time, Collins's mystery-suspense novel is now largely forgotten. Its decline has been due partly to an extravagantly intricate plot (one improved by abridgment) and partly to an equally convoluted structure. The story is told through the accounts of several characters in succession. Because the accounts contain dialogue, listeners are treated to the unusual spectacle of hearing every character filtered through each of the others. Such complexity would have overwhelmed anything less than virtuoso performances. Fortunately, both Nigel Anthony and Susan Jameson rise to the occasion. Listeners will be excused in mistaking this for a full-cast dramatization, so expertly distinguished is the multitude of voices within voices.
reviewed The Woman in White on + 150 more book reviews
I love slow-moving, epistolary novels, but I do expect them to pay off in the end. Unfortunately, the mystery here revolves around very bourgeoisie issues of title, something that I find endlessly tiresome but that is not even hinted at until well over halfway through the novel. I expected the sexism rampant in the book due to the time period; I didn't expect such a dull mystery. This is unfortunate as the first half of the book is deliciously gothic. Too bad Collins didn't continue in that direction.

Check out my full review.
reviewed The Woman in White on + 67 more book reviews
This is a Literary Classic written in 1860, though you may not have heard of it. Surprisingly it reads like a modern novel. Good mystery with lots of interesting characters. We used it for our Book Discussion Group and it worked very well.
reviewed The Woman in White on + 150 more book reviews
I love slow-moving, epistolary novels, but I do expect them to pay off in the end. Unfortunately, the mystery here revolves around very bourgeoisie issues of title, something that I find endlessly tiresome but that is not even hinted at until well over halfway through the novel. I expected the sexism rampant in the book due to the time period; I didn't expect such a dull mystery. This is unfortunate as the first half of the book is deliciously gothic. Too bad Collins didn't continue in that direction.

Check out my full review.
reviewed The Woman in White on + 5601 more book reviews
First published in 1860.
reviewed The Woman in White on + 31 more book reviews
A unique mystery book.
reviewed The Woman in White on + 6 more book reviews
I liked The Moonstone, also by Wilkie Collins, but was very disappointed in The Woman in White. I kept waiting for some big revelation...and waiting and waiting. Others might like this but for me it was a lot of reading for an anti-climactic ending.
reviewed The Woman in White on + 163 more book reviews
This was a mystery? Entertaining enough, and I guess there were a few details to be explained at the end, but I think we all knew what happened as the book went along.

Anyhow, enjoyable. I heard from someone that some people are starting to reconsider Collins, and put him up in the echelons of Dickens. Nope.

*****SPOILER BELOW******



Oh - also? He should have ended up with Marian Halcombe. Laura was a twit.
reviewed The Woman in White on + 608 more book reviews
I loved this book by Wilkie Collins. It has everything that I like in a good story: mystery, intrigue, good guys, bad guys, romance and a happy ending. This Gothic tale also had a plot that was thrilling and suspenseful. It was rather long and I'm sure could have been cut back for an even more enjoyable read. But if you like this type of book then I recommend you should read this one.
reviewed The Woman in White on + 371 more book reviews
With an introduction by Anne Perry. This is a scholarly edition.
reviewed The Woman in White on + 7 more book reviews
19th Century Mystery
reviewed The Woman in White on + 3 more book reviews
awesome!
reviewed The Woman in White on + 129 more book reviews
I read it in Grad school, so it has a loot of my notes in it..almost on every page. It was a really good story, though I enjoyed it. So if you don't mind the markings...or if you're a student that might have to read it, it's perfect for you!!