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Publisher's Summary

Wilkie Collins' most financially successful novel, The Evil Genius, opens with a jury determining the fate of a sea captain whose ship allegedly facilitated a diamond theft. The story develops into a powerful novel of Victorian private life, including deception, adultery, and divorce. An 'evil genius' is threatening to rip apart the fabric of the Linley home. Who is it and why? Is it the orphaned young governess for whom the father lusts; the brother-in-law who appears to help everyone, but often succeeds in making things worse; the meddling mother-in-law whose good-intentioned interferences lead to greater heartache; the disloyal father, or perhaps the unassuming daughter?
©2000 Tantor Media Incorporated
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By Margaret on 06-06-07

Story is fine, but not a mystery.

I think the description is misleading. The novel begins as if it will be a mystery (like The Moonstone or The Woman in White)but the "mystery" only introduces the main character and is never explored after that. Enjoyable nevertheless, except for the narrator whose women's voices made me cringe.

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10 of 10 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Shelly M. Felton on 01-13-09

Ruined by inept narration

Lest any reader be deceived by the title of this book, the "evil genius" refers to a general evil spirit or bad influence among the characters, rather than one malevolent person. This is a fairly well-written Victorian melodrama. Interest in the storyline is impeded by narration which is so ridiculously inept, so comically bad, as to induce amazed laughter. Personally, if it were my job to choose a narrator for a novel set in Victorian England and Scotland, I would not choose an American reader with a speech impediment. The Scottish characters sound like an amalgamation of a Swedish Chef, Charlie Chan and the Lucky Charms Leprecaun. The female characters are voiced in breathy falsetto. Every word ending in "ing" is mispronounced. "Singing while walking in the evening" sounds like "Singeen while walkeen in the eveneen." Amazingly, the story was interesting enough for me to accept and overlook these annoyances.
Far better novels available from Audible with similar themes and plotlines comprise The Forsyte Saga, by (Nobel Prize winner) John Galsworthy. The narration of these novels is far better as well.

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7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
1 out of 5 stars
By Painter on 01-03-08

Reading skills

I am a fan of Wilkie Collins and looked forward to this book. I'm afraid I found it dreadful and would not have given a star rating at all. It is not simply that the narrator is American but that he does not have the reading skills necessary to make the text 'live'. His attempts at an English accent - several different characters required - and female voices would be comic if they weren't so irritating. I've listened to Americans reading English novels before - including other Wilkie Collins' - and have not found that hindrance to enjoyment. This particular reading, however, is impossible to finish. Such a disappointment.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

1 out of 5 stars
By A. Gouldson on 03-24-11


I love Wilkie Collins novels but this was good story totally ruined by the narration - Dreadful accents - laughable really - a total waste of time and money. A rare dislike of an Audible book.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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