Sunday, 17 November 2013

#readWilkie: The Half-Way Point

This weekend marks the half-way point for The Moonstone read-along. And what a half! I'm loving it. On the first of this month, after a long wait, I finally picked up my copy of Wilkie's The Moonstone and opened that first page. Since then it has been like a non-stop party in my cranium with all the Wilkie loving going on. I decided a long time ago that Wilkie is one of my favourite authors and so far (and don't let me down) The Moonstone is confirming my love and nudging him up the leader board. 

The Moonstone starts in India where the slightly dodgy John Herncastle may or may not have done some really naughty things to get his grubby mitts on the stone. Nothing is clear. Zoom forward a few years and the stone is bequeathed to JH's niece, Rachel Verinder (who is perhaps a tad dodgy herself). BUT disaster strikes when the stone mysteriously goes missing overnight from a locked house and nothing looked to have been messed with. THE PLOT THICKENS. And there we have it, enter a bunch of awesome characters and some suspect ones and The Moonstone is underway.

I'm currently on page 336 out of 527, in the middle of the lawyer, Mr Bruff's narrative. Bruff is very different to the previous two narrators, just as Clack was very different to Betteredge. There are many things I love about Wilkie and his ability to write characters is one of them. Betteredge was just brilliant - someone (sorry, I forget who) described him as like a grandfather, albeit a slightly sexist but ultimately well-meaning grandfather. His love of Robinson Crusoe really is outstanding and even slightly persuaded me to try for a reread of that (ghastly) book. Then we move onto Miss Clack, the 'rampant spinster' who is determined to enlighten all those around her with her various religious tracts. She has some pretty impressive skills for spreading the word.

I must say, considering the title of the book and all, the actual moonstone gets forgotten a fair bit. I question whether they really want to find it or are more interested in the gossip and the excitement of talking about the missing moonstone. And the scandal. Who doesn't love a damn good scandal?! Still, tell me where the shiny is!

I'm actually dying to just sit down and devour the remainder of the novel but I am working hard to resist so that I can savour the experience. Reading a Wilkie biography is helping with that - I'm still getting Wilkie goodness but making it last at the same time. I have noticed one or two of you lovely participants have already finished. Clearly the Wilkster is hard to resist. 

So, hows it going? Is the Wilkie love contagious? I know I have certainly bought myself one (or two) of his other novels...



  1. It took a little to warm me to the story, but once I got into the rhythm of it I have had a hard time stopping! I wanted to try and ration it out so it's more like an actual readalong (I'm loving the twitter convos) but I'm not sure how I'm going to do with this final half. It's possible I'll read the whole thing in one go!

  2. I finished it last night. I...just couldn't put it down. I did really well with pacing myself for the first half, and then couldn't stop reading the second half. Haha! I will reserve my end-of-the-readalong comments for the end.

    At the halfway point I was really loving the book. Betteredge is by far my favorite character. I love his fascination with Robinson Crusoe--he made me want to read that again.

    I'm pretty sure that I had the thief pegged by the halfway point. Maybe we were supposed to have it figured out by then. I still wasn't sure of the "how," though.

  3. I'm tempted to read a book about Wilkie too. I also had the same feeling that the diamond itself is kinda secondary and focus is more on drama, but who doesn't love drama that is written by Wilkster!

  4. "The Wilkster"... OMG YES. I shall refer to him this way from now on. That was probably his college nickname or something. :D

    I haven't read as far as you - library book deadlines and all - but I'm not THAT far off the halfway mark. I'm enjoying it SO MUCH, Moonstone Talk or No Moonstone Talk, with all the beautiful writing and brilliant characters and intriguing... er, intrigue. I'm fairly sure that once I get started on the second half of the book I won't be able to put it down, so I'll see you at the finish line!

    P.S. *stands firm with Betteredge in love for Robinson Crusoe* :P

  5. I finished this last Thursday and COMPLETELY fell in love with it. I was surprised by how nobody actually seems all that bothered about where the Moonstone has gone, but hey ho!

    I really want to read a biography too, but I should probably read at least one other book by him before I start on that!

  6. The Moonstone is just brilliant!! I love how at the end of the first half everybody is sort of drifting off in their own direction and sort of shrugging their shoulders about losing £20,000 worth of diamond! What are you DOING, people?! But I still loved it and reading about the characters was enough for me.

    I almost never read non-fiction (which I used to profess would change but seeing as I'm 27 and that fact still remains true will probably be a sad fact forever...) so I'm not super likely to read a biography but I DO have a lot of love for good old Wilkie. More than I thought, to be honest!

    I can't WAIT for people to start tweeting and posting about the ending - I did a rubbish job of spreading the book across the month because I'm a bookish monogamist (because I'm rubbish at reading more than one book at a time more than anything else!) so finished pretty early.

    Bring on The Woman in White! :)

  7. Man, I am still struggling. I'm in Clack's section now and for some reason the book just hasn't clicked for me. What am I missing?!?!


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