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Publisher's Summary

When Walter Hartright encounters the "solitary figure of a woman, dressed from head to foot in white garments" on a lonely road, he is haunted by her. He falls in love with his employer's niece, Laura, because she resembles the mysterious woman. Laura, however, is betrothed to the evil Sir Percival, who wishes to marry her for her money. The woman in white, it turns out, is Anne Catherick, who was confined in an asylum by the evil Sir Percival because she knew a devastating secret about him. Now he is determined to destroy Anne, disguise Laura as Anne and confine her, and obtain all of her money. The only one who can stop him is the courageous Marian Halcombe, Laura's half-sister. A tremendous success when it was first published in 1860, The Woman in White still enthralls over a century later.
(P)1987 JimCin Recordings
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Virginia Waldron on 12-21-07

The Woman In White

This is the most wonderful presentation of a fascinating story. The plot is intricate and beautifully brought to a conclusion. The readers are simply marvellous. To listen to them all in roles of the colourful characters was a pure joy. An absolute thrill. Wilkie Collins writes with such clarity without wasting a word. Beautifully musical sentences. Lots of fun and a glimpse into an intriguing historical era. Wilkie Collins was a bon vivant and his writing reflects his thirst for life. Witty and clever writing. One of the best mysteries I have read. Great characters and I loved the settings of the action. Reading this has made me want to explore all his other stories and read his letters and biography. There is a Wilkie Collins Society in London which I will join when I finish reading and listening to all his works. I also listened to a shorter story called A Rogue's Life. This was great fun and very tongue in cheek. Again Collins creates a thrilling and symmetrical plot. When I listened to The Woman in White I also bought the book just so I could read the superb language he creates. There is not a single dull moment in this book. I recommend this famous novel to you. Next I am going to listen to and read The Moonstone. Wilkie Collins conveys tension and intrigue in a way that simply grips the reader. He sets scenes to a point where the reader feels totally immersed in his world. He is interesting in the way he treats his women too. The reader sees the sexism of the Age but also feels that Collins himself was not one to stereotype women to the extent that one may see in Dickens' characters. Collins creates somewhat more rounded characters. His virtuous characters are not quite as sickly as those Dickens creates. His villains are really wicked and conniving to an engaging and thrilling extent. Collins takes the reader on a ride that one wishes would never end but which forces one to rush enthusiastically to the conclusion. Brilliant presentation of a gem!

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36 of 36 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Laura on 01-20-08

Classic Victorian Mystery

Listening to this audiobook was the reason I joined Audible. The strength of this is the narration which is incredibly well done. I loved the fact that they had different readers for different parts as it totally brought the characters to life! Yes, as others have noted, this can be a bit wordy, but that's simply a reflection of the style of the times. Writers in the Victorian era never used 10 words when 20 would do.
Wilkie Collins was ahead of his time not only when it came to writing well-plotted mystery; but, like Austen, Dickens and others, he was a keen social observer and his characters, especially the women, reflect their relative place in society. The women characters may seem easily manipulated to us today, but their depiction by Wilkie is an accurate reflection of the times in which they lived.
Basically, if you couldn't care less about the genre and the social context in which it was written, how about just a good story, well-told and SUPERBLY narrated? If that's what you're after, then this one is for you.

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25 of 25 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
1 out of 5 stars
By Clare on 03-11-08

Terrible version!

Novel is great fun, but don't be fooled by the brief audio snippet provided on the website into thinking that this is an English version, it is American - and how! Some of the readers are OK, but their 'English' accents are terribly mannered and weak at times. Two hideous examples of mispronunciation as well - 'Torquay' being the most memorable. Truly dire attempts at cockney and other regional accents as well. High point was a hilarious rendition of the effeminate hypochondriac Frederick Fairlie - extremely well-observed by actor.

Liked idea that there were different voices for each individual's 'testimony', it's just a shame that they were Americans making a largely feeble attempt at 'doing' English accents, accents which frequently slipped into their native American ones. (I haven't checked, but I imagine that this version is quite an old one. I don't think that this would pass rigorous standards set for modern versions.)

If you're not keen on American accents and have never read the book before steer clear - I don't think that this version would add anything to your enjoyment.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By N. Price on 06-24-07

Great novel, dreadful reading

Wilkie Collins' 'The Woman in White' is a compelling mystery full of suspense and intrigue. The characterisations are vivid and the situations depicted are by turns sentimental, intriguing and terrifying. All in all, it's a thoroughly satisfying Victorian novel and a fascinating historical link in the evolution of the psychological crime story.

This reading, however, is the worst that I've encountered at Audible, where the standard is usually pleasingly high. The readers are all North Americans attempting to do English accents and, although some are better at it than others, the results over all are pretty dreadful. It would have been better if they had just read their parts using their own natural accents. Instead, we get a peculiar mixture of stilted pseudo-British enunciation and clanging American vowel sounds that this reader found most disagreeable and highly distracting.

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15 of 17 people found this review helpful

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