Apologies for the for being unable to upload the post meant for yesterday. Hence, there shall be two posts for today.
The first post(actually intended for you know when…) is about the book, “The Moonstone” by Wilkie Collins. I picked it up at the Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, while waiting to board the flight to Barcelona.
The book is truly satisfying. The writing is a touch too wordy (in parts mind you) to call it crisp. However, once you get past the first few pages, the story truly retains the attention of the reader.
To a mind that is quite accustomed to reading modern detective novels, the way in which the book has been written can be said to be quite refreshing. The book is written in the form of various characters reporting not various versions of the same story, but various parts of the main story. This proves to be interesting as it imparts different characters to different parts of the story.
From a discussion of the book with a friend, I realised that in modern literature, such twists and turns would qualify as “a drag“. In modern novels, one expects things to be written from a purely objective point of view (too bad our news reporters don’t share this view!!). Even the reporting of different witness accounts is done from a neutral stand, thus adding a cold logical aspect to a story. What does this imply? This implies that any person, having read a sufficient number of modern detective novels, will be able to guess the plot and the true criminal, perhaps halfway through the book.
It is in precisely in this aspect that “the moonstone” can be termed “a refreshing read“(in quotes, because it seems to be used rather freely these days… a little like the term “Bestseller”), despite being a really old “classic“! According to the publishers, it is one of the earliest novels of the “detective novels” genre. If this indeed is the case, then the author truly deserves great applause for producing such an intriguing piece of literature.
Being a person that hates reviews where the entire story is spelt out under the title of “plot” or “plot summary”, I shall refrain from divulging any details about the “plot” of this novel. I am also aware that this story was made into a film and some TV series. However, I would still suggest that anyone contemplating actually reading this book should go ahead with it. The book is totally worth the time ( Considering that this novel is one of the classics, the price might be an issue depending on what one buys, viz. hard/soft-cover, leather bound, collector’s edition…. etc.) and where one buys it! I got mine at a throwaway price :D).
Future readers beware… DO NOT READ the Wikipedia entry about the book. It reveals the entire story under the title of “plot summary”. If you must insist on reading plot-revealing reviews before reading this book, be warned that you shall not enjoy it to the fullest.
Until the next post .. happy reading!