Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Woman in White - Book Review

The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins was our book club book for February.

It's one of the first mystery novels. But it wasn't even written as a novel. It was written in installments, sort of like a sitcom television series but in the written form. The Woman in White is also considered one of the first detective fiction stories.

The Observer listed The Woman in White number 23 in "the top 100 greatest novels of all time" and the novel was listed at number 77 on the BBC's survey The Big Read.

So I really expected to like the book...unfortunately, I didn't like it very much. To me, the story was super slow. I don't usually mind archaic language but this wasn't old English. This was sloth English.

I barely made it through the entire novel but I did. I finished it the night before our book club gathering.

There were a few people who agreed with me and a couple people who loved the story. So, I guess that just goes to show that you can't please everyone.

This would not be a recommended read by me unless you were reading it for a homework assignment.


Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I tried to read one of his books and found it unbearably slow, too. *sigh*

The Happy Whisk said...

The first, very cool. It's fun finding stuff like this. I think.

mystery girl on the train said...

Hi Kim,

I am reading The Woman in White at the moment. I am impressed that you got this read in a month. I think it has taken me about that length of time to get half way. I know what you mean about it being a struggle; it is a long book.

I think it was originally published in instalments in a magazine, which I think would have made it a lot easier to read. My version of the book tells me that when it was originally published as a novel, even then it was actually published as three books, which now act as chapters or 'epochs' in the full novel.

That aside, there are some parts of the book I really liked. Collins is good at building up suspense. I was wondering if Laura would ever meet the woman in white, and I still don't know what, when, and how Sir Percival's secret will be revealed. I was racing through Miss Halcombe's adventure on the windowsill too! Did you like any of those bits?

I’ve just bought the Moonstone and found that is a similarly long book. I think I’ll read something shorter in the meantime before I embark on that one. :)

Kim Kasch said...

I thought bits of it were okay but not worth the time put into the slow parts :( I like to read for fun...