Wilkie Collins

The Moonstone Readalong! The final section.

SPOILERS, FOR REAL PEOPLE. DON’T READ THIS IF YOU HAVEN’T EXPERIENCED THE DELIGHT THAT IS THE MOONSTONE.

 

Holy crap it’s over! AND IT WAS GODFREY THE WHOLE TIME!! And despite his constant shady ways, I never saw it coming. I suck.

Also, who’s so much better than I thought he would be? Ezra Jennings. Cause I totally thought he was gonna be all creepy and malicious, but Wilkie sure proved me wrong on that one and instead made him so awesome. And way nicer than most people would be, cause people were straight-up assholes towards him. Except for Rachel, she was sweet to him so she gained major points in her favor with that. Also, Franklin Blake is THE MOST BORINGEST NARRATOR EVER. Dude his chapters sucked. The last section of the book was totally saved by Ezra and the reappearance of Cuff & Betteredge. And that little Gooseberry kid.

Betteredge, I love you forever. “You shall be obeyed. The maggots notwithstanding, sir, you shall be obeyed.” Even if you were a total douche to Ezra, you were hilarious while doing so and I can forgive almost anything if it makes me laugh.

Soooo… am I supposed to have deep thoughts? I have none. I’m more like:

1. Betteredge is the man. So if Cuff. And Ezra.

2. I totally thought Lady V died in a weird way. I wish Wilkie had down more with that.

3. YAY Wilkie for not loving only white people, and for returning the Diamond to India in the end. Cause it would have been kind of jerky if Rachel & Franklin had recovered it and got to keep it.

4. I need to work “There’s a tract for that.” into more day-to-day conversations.

5. I need to write down ALL the hilarious Betteredge quotes down somewhere.

6. Holy crap still surprised it was Godfrey. That sly bastard.

7. W. C. loves his opium. For reals.

And I could probably go on for ages, except it would probably get boring. So my first experience with Wilkie = major giant thumbs up. Maybe this fall I’ll finally get to read The Woman in White and join in on all this Marian-lovin. Cause you guys seem to really dig her.

 

Love that way that the fur matches your giant beard, dude. Really minimizes your gigantic forehead.

It’s been fun guys! Can’t wait for the next one 🙂

~Sarah

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The Moonstone Readalong! The third section.

 

So! The third installment of Alice’s awesome The Moonstone readalong. Sorry this is late guys, I kind of forgot to read it in time, lol. And then I was all busy and yeah, time escaped me. Well, I JUST finished reading this section and my only thoughts are “Wait… what?”

The person Rachel is protecting is Franklin, but he claims to not remember ever having even been in her room, let alone taking possession of the diamond?

Ok, so let’s back up. Miss Clack’s ridiculousness of a narrative ended, which was by turns exasperating and hilarious. I kind of thought that Godfrey was about to propose to her near the end of that, but nope. And Mr. Bruff’s narrative kind of shows us that Godfrey was a jerk and only after Rachel’s inheritance. Why do I not see these things coming? I mean I thought that he was kind of a weirdo and maybe a womanizer, but I think part of me wanted to like him because Betteredge liked him. Silly me.

Franklin’s dad dies (this is like a Disney movie with all the parental figures being absent or dropping dead) and it turns how he’s mega rich now. So he comes back to England and is all upset cause Rachel STILL won’t see him, so he goes to Betteredge & they FINALLY read Rosanna’s letter and find out that she hid HIS nightgown with the paint stain. WTF? (And I kind of liked Rosanna in her letter, in which she’s all “Psssshhhh, Rachel is not as hot as ya’ll think.”)  And then he figures it’s all a big misunderstanding so he makes Rachel see him and she says SHE SAW HIM TAKE THE DIAMOND WITH HER OWN EYES.

Except that if this were actually the case, then I highly doubt that Franklin would have started all these narratives by wanting everyone to write down their experiences related to these diamond shenanigans. But since Franklin is a guy, and short, and she says she saw his face… how could she possibly be wrong there?

I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT’S GOING ON. Although I still suspect that Rachel’s mother played a part in this somehow. And I miss Betteredge.

I’m off to read & comment on all the posts I missed yesterday. You guys are probably noticing things and guessing at stuff correctly.

~Sarah

The Moonstone Readalong! The second section.

Alrighty, week 2 of this book of awesome AKA The Moonstone.

So, stuff is happening, yes? It appears that Rosanna McMorbid tossed herself into the Shivering Sands and I can’t say that I’m disappointed about it. But not before she sent out some incriminating letters apparently, and I can’t wait till we get to see what that note that Limping Lucy has in her possession says. Meanwhile, Rachel and her momma are looking more and more guilty, yay! Although now that Lady Verinder has kicked the bucket, I guess even if she was the one who stole the diamond it won’t matter too much.

Betteredge was not quite as awesome in this section, which was sad. He was a bit of a drama queen:

“- and began to wonder, for the first time in my life, when it would please God to take me.”

and his jerky little paragraph about how men are superior creatures to women wasn’t as funny as some of his previous kinda-misogynistic lines. And he insists that Rachel is innocent, even though Cuff TOTALLY SCHOOLED HIS ASS with his three predictions.

Aaaaaand then enter Miss Clack! Well isn’t she a basket full of uber-religious crazyness! And she brings the lady-hatin’ on full force. Miss Clack makes me wonder if Wilkie intended a lot of satire / sarcasm in this book – like all the women-bashing and over-the-top religion in Miss C is exactly the opposite of how Wilkie feels – or so I desperately hope. While I get that she was so wacky and insane that it was kinda humorous, I spent most of her part rolling my eyes. I mean, come on…

“Oh, my young friends and fellow sinners! be aware of presuming to exercise your poor carnal reason. Oh, be morally tidy! Let your faith be as your stockings, and your stockings as your faith. Both ever spotless, and both ready to put on at a moment’s notice!”

I cannot wait to exclaim to someone “Oh, be morally tidy!”. Although they won’t get the joke, but it’ll be funny to me. Overall though, she just induced a lot of “…wow” and “geez” and “ohmygod she’s nuts” written in the margins.

I did kind of like how Miss Clack totally busted that lawyer with his own argument against Godfrey.

BOOM! Lawyered.

 Even though she’s coming from a hostile crazy place, I totally agree with her that Rachel likely played a part in the theft of the diamond. There! I’ve declared my guess. And I’ll probably be wrong in the end, but oh well. Especially since everyone keeps going on about how “true” and “honest” Rachel is…

Oh yeah and apparently Godfrey & Rachel are engaged! Don’t see that lasting… possibly because Rachel’s mom just died. Anyone else think that was kind of suspicious? Like she was fine this whole time, and all of the sudden some doctor tells her she’s sick and gives her medicine to take, and then she croaks. Maybe the medicine was poison? Hmmmmmmmmm? OH and who is this “respectable gentleman” that’s walking around with the Indian dudes? I have a hunch that maybe it’s Mr. Murthwaite, cause we haven’t seen him since the beginning of the book and it seemed at first like he was going to play a major part. And what happened between Rachel & Franklin to make him skip the country? And what is Wilkie REALLY trying to say with all this madness?

I JUST HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS.

~Sarah

The Moonstone Readalong! The first section.

 

YAY for the first section of Alice’s The Moonstone Readalong!

SO! This section is narrated by Betteredge, who I cannot help but picture as Carson:

And Betteredge is pretty hilarious, especially when you imagine him with Carson’s voice. That being said, Betteredge introduces us to various other characters such as the suspicious Indian trio walking around, the servant with a sketchy past Rosanna Spearman, his daughter Penelope, and Mr. Franklin & Godfrey, both of who wish to marry Rachel. He tells us his account of how the moonstone came into Rachel’s possession, how it went missing, how Superintendent Seegrave was an incompetent douche, and how Cuff is a weird little man but also kind of awesome.

Well, you know what all happened, you read it.

I know that we’re only 1/4 into the book now but I’m loving it. I can totally see why this was so popular back in the day and why it pretty much invented the mystery/detective genre. Maybe it’s just because I NEVER see what’s coming, but I have no clue who took the diamond. And I’m totally all wrapped up in the mystery and intrigue and it’s SO HARD not to read ahead. So far no obviously awesome female characters have been made known, but that may change later. But basically I’m all wrapped up in my love for Betteredge because he says hilarious things like:

“Selina, being a single woman, made me pay so much a week for her board and services. Selina, being my wife, couldn’t charge for her board and would have to give me her services for nothing.” (Oh come on tell me that doesn’t sound risqué.)

and

“Study your wife closely, for the next four-and-twenty hours. If your good lady doesn’t exhibit something in the shape of a contradiction in that time, Heaven help you! – you have married a monster.”

and he goes on a big rant about the boredom of rich folk, and dude loves Robinson Crusoe like it’s his JOB, and he speaks plainly about his fondness for female figures, and makes fun of Mr. Franklin for being practically schizophrenic. I really like Betteredge and I’ll be sad when his narrative is over. I don’t like Rosanna much, cause she’s weird and morbid as all crap. I don’t have a solid opinion yet of Mr. Franklin or Godfrey, except that I assume that Godfrey is some sort of womanizer, because why else would he be all into these female charity thingys? And I don’t like Rachel’s mom, cause she’s kind of annoying and I half-suspect her of stealing the diamond… but then again I half-suspect that of everyone.

Oh and I like Cuff! He’s kind of an oddball, but he shut Seegrave DOWN! And with style. It reminded me of  Paul Smecker and that stupid cop in The Boondock Saints. Even his little humming thing reminded me of Smecker listening to his classical cd while investigating the crime scene in the alleyway. Plus he’s sensitive to the servants being people too and not instantly trying to pin the blame on them, which is nice.

 Totally loving Wilkie Collins so far. I went to the library today to see what other books of his they had and was severely disappointed to see that they only have The Moonstone and The Woman in White. If I’m still really digging him after the readalong is over, I may have to do a bit of online Wilkie-shopping.

~Sarah

If Gabby likes to cuddle with it then it MUST be awesome.

The Moonstone Readalong – Beginning Post

The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins

Mine.

It’s HERE! I had to skip out on Alice’s The Woman In White by Wilkie Collins readalong and I am super jealous that I missed the epicness of it. Soooo here I can finally join in what is sure to be another awesome readalong and experience the Wilkie-ness of it all. Yay!

Oh right, supposed to introduce myself. Hi, I’m Sarah *WAVES* and I missed TWIW readalong in April because my poor grandma was sick and then she died and you know, I had stuff to do cause of that. I’m sure that my grandma very much regrets making me miss out on the fun. Hmmm… what else? I’m 25, I’m a homebody, obviously I like to read and……… I’m hungry.

Seeing as how this will be my first Wilkie Collins book, I don’t have a whole lot to say here. According to my awesome powers of looking stuff up on Wikipedia, The Moonstone is about some guy giving his niece a giant-ass diamond (AKA THE MOONSTONE) for her 18th birthday, but that diamond was stolen from a holy statue in India and there are dudes looking for it and it gets stolen and drama and mystery ensues. Just like The Woman in White, this book is considered to be among the first of the crime / mystery genre and introduces a number of the “classic” mystery novel icons, like “red herrings” and “an inside job” and so on and so forth.

I did read the introduction, which was a lot of “this character is regarded as this and this novel is so celebrated because of this” and explained some of the background of big popular diamonds. (And the intro did give a little background on the messed-up-ness that happened at Seringapatam.) There are also two prefaces by the author, in which he admits that while writing this he was in bed suffering massively from gout, but that he couldn’t stand the thought of his readers missing his weekly sections of the story so he dictated the book from bed. The intro points out that because of this, he was probably high off his ass on opium while writing some of this book.

So obviously this is going to be awesome.

~Sarah

 

 

The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins, 1st update

The Woman in White, Wilkie Collins, readalong

So, the first part of TWIW readalong! Actually, I only read about 73 of the 122 pages that were “due” for today. I was pretty busy yesterday cooking for Easter, and I meant to read the rest this morning… but got a call at 4:30 AM that my grandma passed away during the night. Needless to say, this is depressing and it also means I’m going to be doing a lot of stuff concerning that today, so I’ll just update on what I did read.

So, The Woman in White. She was odd, yes? All frantic during the middle of the night and stuff. I like Pesca & Marian the most so far, and Mr. Hartwright is alright. Marian is kind of funny, I feel bad that she has a man-ish face cause she’s pretty awesome, and I kind of hope that she ends up being the main “heroine” of the story. I like that she’s all “yeah well women in general suck but I’m so great” cause… I don’t know, just cause. It makes me laugh. And the part I last stopped at was where she’s all “her fiance is a baronet of course”. DUN DUN DUN!!! Oh man, the suspense.

So, overall I’m enjoying it so far. Wilkie definitely has Mr. Hartwright ramble on and on sometimes (dude loves describing various roads, I swear), but sometimes the rambling is okay. Like when Hartwright is going on and on about how he loves Laura but didn’t mean to and should’ve checked himself before he wrecked himself, that was good.

So, that’s all I got for now… sorry for the half-assed-ness of this update. Can’t wait to see what everyone else thinks!

~Sarah

My late-ass Woman in White starting post

The Woman in White book cover, Wilkie Colins

The copy of The Woman in White that I'm reading.

So, apparently I was supposed to do this on Monday but I was busy being all sick & working extra hours, so I kinda missed it.

So, Alice wants us to say basically our thoughts concerning Mr. Wilkie Collins, his huge forehead, & The Woman in White.

I gots none.

Basically, I’m going into this blind. Wilkie (sounds like such a perverted name, btw, I don’t know why) is a new author to me, so I have nothing to judge him by yet. I know nothing about The Woman in White. I thought it was about ghosts, but Alice quickly put those rumors to rest. I THINK it’s a mystery of some sort?

Also, yes, Wilkie Collins has quite a huge forehead. I don’t have a picture to show you at the moment, but just google the man. You could use it as a billboard. Poor guy.

So, I’m quite looking forward to starting The Woman in White, if for no other reason than it’s hosted by Alice and her last readalong was ohsomuchfun and I bet this one is gonna be too. Plus, this is a classic and I almost always hear that people like it.

Now, I better get started, because I have to read 122 pages to write about on Monday. THAT IS ONLY LIKE 3 DAYS. And one of those days is Easter and I’ll be stuffing my face with family so it’s really like 2 days. Sheesh.

~Sarah