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Elizabeth Kosotova on the book you have to read

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Elizabeth Kosotova on the book you have to read

Elizabeth Kostova, author of The Historian, recommends Wilkie Collins’ The Moonstone (Oxford, $6.95).

It’s 450-plus pages in paperback, it’s been around for 137 years, and it’s told in seven completely different voices. The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins, grandfather of the modern literary detective novel, is guaranteed to knock your silk stockings off. I reread it recently and was re-amazed by the page-turning power of this psychological thriller, which boasts all of the beautiful language and insight you’d expect from a 19th-century giant. The length makes Collins’ story all the easier to get wonderfully lost in, although I have to confess that after planning to reread it slowly, I got nothing else done for three days while I devoured it again. It’s also one of the last remaining Victorian novels not to have taken a beating from Hollywood lately — hope this doesn’t give anyone any ideas.