Read armadale by Wilkie Collins Online

armadale

This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery....

Title : armadale
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 18872605
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 433 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

armadale Reviews

  • Helen Ροζουλί Εωσφόρος Vernus Portitor Arcanus Ταμετούρο Αμούν Arnum
    2019-05-16 15:49

    Αρμαντέιλ, ένα όνομα καταραμένο απο τη μοίρα, ευλογημένο απο την ελεύθερη βούληση. Προκαθορισμένο ταξίδι στον μεταφυσικά αναπόφευκτο μονόδρομο της προκατάληψης ή τροποποιημένος προορισμός επιλογής ελεγχόμενος απο ανθρώπινες αποφάσεις;Αρμαντέιλ, διαβόητη κληρονομιά αριστοκρατικής προέλευσης δραματικών καταστάσεων και θανατηφόρων σκοπών. Το αναπόφευκτο πεπρωμένο. Αρμαντέιλ, χαρισμένη καταδίκη, κλεμμένα όνειρα που ζωντανεύουν εφιάλτες, εξουσία, προνόμια, κοινωνική καταξίωση με προαπαιτούμενη ασυνειδησία. Ο άγγελος που ζητιανεύει ζωή μπροστά στο δίλλημα, αγώνας ενάντια στο έγκλημα της πατρικής κληρονομιάς ή αποδοχή μακάβριας ευτυχίας;Ένα κλασικό μυθιστόρημα, επικών διαστάσεων γραφής και πλοκής, άριστα δομημένο, αγωνιώδες, πολυδιάστατο και εθιστικό. Ένας θησαυρός τέχνης ανυπολόγιστης αξίας στην παγκόσμια λογοτεχνία. Η βασική του πλοκή τόσο απλή και τόσο περίτεχνη που προκαλεί δέος. Ουσιαστικά πρόκειται για την ιστορία ζωής δυο ανδρών με κοινή ταυτότητα. Δυο νέοι άνδρες με το ίδιο επώνυμο (Αρμαντέιλ) πατρικής κληρονομιάς. Στον έναν, δόθηκε το όνομα σύμφωνα με την οικογενειακή παράδοση. Γνήσιος απόγονος και νόμιμος κληρονόμος,το μεταβιβάζει στον γιο του μέσα απο μακάβρια και τραγικά παιχνίδια της μοίρας. Στον άλλον, χαρίστηκε το όνομα ως αναπάντεχο δώρο απο κλεμμένη ευτυχία. Μια πένθιμη γιορτή στήνεται και στοιχειώνει τη ζωή του. Μεταβιβάζει στο γιο του το όνομα της κλεμμένης ευτυχίας με το βάρος του δολοφόνου. Με αυτές τις ανθρώπινες διαθήκες ξεκινάει η ιστορία μας και ο αναγνώστης θεωρεί αρχικά πως εύκολα θα κυλίσει η αφήγηση με κάποια ίσως ερωτηματικά στην εξέλιξη της. Και είναι κάπου εδώ που αρχίζουν οι άγριες αναθεωρήσεις σχετικά με την βρετανική κοινωνία. Ο συγγραφέας αρχίζει την προσέγγιση του ξεγυμνώνοντας αδυναμίες και κακοτυχίες της ανθρώπινης φύσης. Ο αναγνώστης μπαίνει στην περιδίνηση της γραφής του Κόλινς και εκστασιάζεται. Έντεχνα και αναπάντεχα έρχεται αντιμέτωπος με μια αριστουργηματική μελέτη εμβάθυνσης χαρακτήρων για τη δυναμική του κακού και του καλού στην Αγγλία του 19ου αιώνα. Ξεκινάει με ευθεία αφήγηση και διαλόγους, εισάγει επιστολές και ημερολόγια που ανατρέπουν τα πάντα απο τη μια σελίδα στην άλλη. Ο αναγνώστης εθίζεται, σοκάρεται, βουτάει στην αγωνία και καταλαμβάνεται απο αντιφατικά και περίεργα συναισθήματα. Ο Κόλινς γελάει σαρδόνια και συνεχίζει, σκάνδαλα, δολοπλοκίες, απόπειρες δολοφονίας, εκβιασμοί, ανείπωτα μυστικά θανάτου και προδοσίας, κατασκοπεία, μεγαλομανία, πλαστές ταυτότητες, αδικίες, τοξικομανία, ραδιουργία. Δεν γράφει για εντυπωσιασμό σε καμία περίπτωση. Ελέγχει όλη την ιστορία, τις πολλαπλές παραφυάδες πλοκής και εξέλιξης με απόλυτη φαινομενικά ευκολία. Απίθανο το ενδεχόμενο να προβλέψεις τι θα συμβεί στην επόμενη σελίδα, παρόλο που το θέμα όλο ειναι οι συνέπειες της απόκτησης ενός κοινού ονόματος. Αρμαντέιλ, η μοίρα δυο ανδρών. Επόμενη σελίδα, ανάμεσα στις εκατοντάδες, που ανατρέπει όλα τα δεδομένα, ξαφνικά όλα γίνονται λογικά, μέχρι που μια λεπτομέρεια παρεκκλίνει της πορείας και μας αλλάζει κατεύθυνση. Συμβαίνει κάτι υπερφυσικό; Αδιαμφισβήτητα όχι. Ο Κόλινς πάντα έχει λόγο, σκέψη και λογική εξήγηση. Είναι κάτι μοιραίο και ανεξέλεγκτο; Ίσως ναι, ίσως οχι. Οι χαρακτήρες που πρωταγωνιστούν καλούνται να πάρουν δύσκολες αποφάσεις, με κάποιο δικαίωμα επιλογής, με κάποια επιλογή λάθους. Κυρίαρχη προσωπικότητα και βασική δραματουργός όλης της ιστορίας είναι μια φλογερή μοιραία γυναίκα αράχνη. Μέσα απο τα γραπτά στο ημερολόγιο της εξυφαίνεται μια βαθιά διαταραγμένη ψυχή, μια ορμητική ομορφιά που μπορεί να καταστρέψει τα πάντα, ένας αδυσώπητα σκληρός γυναικείος χαρακτήρας που χτίστηκε απο μίσος και προδοσία. Η γυναίκα σε όλο το μεγαλείο ομορφιάς και πνεύματος, που αμαυρώθηκε απο τη ζωή και παλεύει να σωθεί. Πέτρινη καρδιά, μαύρη βελούδινη ψυχή. Σοκαρίστηκα όταν κατάλαβα πως συμπονώ και σέβομαι αυτή τη γυναίκα, και το χειρότερο απο όλα, ευχόμουν να πετύχει το σκοπό της, που δεν ήταν άλλος απο το φόνο ενός αθώου ανθρώπου. Παράλληλα συμπαθούσα και ήθελα να προστατέψω το επικείμενο θύμα. Εδώ ακριβώς, προσκύνησα τον συγγραφέα. Δορυφόροι της,εκτός απο τους βασικούς συνονόματους ήρωες, δεκάδες χαρακτήρες ήσσονος σημασίας μα τρισδιάστατης υπόστασης. Απο την ηλικιωμένη «κυρία» που φροντίζει και ρίχνει σε αριστοκρατικά κρεββάτια εξαχρειωμένες δεσποινίδες, μέχρι τον περιβόητο γιατρό που προστατεύει τις δεσποινίδες πνίγοντας για πάντα βουβές κραυγές αγέννητων ψυχών. Είναι αυτοί και άλλοι πολλοί αντί-ήρωες στο γαϊτανάκι του Αρμαντέιλ που με ανεπαίσθητες κινήσεις δραματοποιούν ποινικές απάτες, ρομαντικές αντιπαραθέσεις, αναρίθμητα μυστικά και ψέμματα και το αναπόφευκτο πεπρωμένο. Είναι εκπληκτικό το πως ο συγγραφέας αλλάζει προσωπικότητες και γράφει στο ημερολόγιο της μοιραίας γυναίκας σαν να ήταν μέσα στο θολωμένο μυαλό της. Τρισδιάστατοι και τόσο ρεαλιστικοί και οι άλλοι χαρακτήρες ζωντανεύουν και κατοικούν μέσα στο μυαλό του αναγνώστη καθώς παλεύουν εναντίον,κυρίως της μοίρας, βασανίζοντας την ψυχή τους. Το τέλος ανατρεπτικό και αναπάντεχο. Τα τελευταία λόγια του συγγραφέα σχετικά με το βιβλίο και κάποια εξωγενή φαινόμενα προκαλούν ανατριχίλα. Μέχρι την τελευταία σελίδα παίζει με το μυαλό του αναγνώστη. Εξετάζει το ρόλο της τύχης στον προσδιορισμό του μέλλοντος και μας προδιαθέτειγια τα απειλητικά αποτελέσματα που μπορούν να έχουν οι πρώιμες και απερίσκεπτες αποφάσεις στη ζωή μας. 🖤💔🖤💔Καλή ανάγνωση. Πολλούς ασπασμούς.

  • Arah-Lynda
    2019-04-27 15:05

    There can be no doubt, I love Wilkie Collins writing. It is like I am sitting in a comfortable chair by the fireside, feet up, sipping my wine and listening intently as he tells me a story. This marks the third Wilkie Collins book that I have read and now my second favourite next to The Woman in White.These days it would seem there are so many new books out there, the ones with buzz, that we all chase after and so we should. There is nothing wrong with that. I just hope that along the way we do not forget about the books of yesteryear. They are worthy of our time and energy and as an added bonus they can also quite frequently be found on sites like Amazon as a free download. And the rewards are huge. This is one such example.This is the story of Alan Armadale, however as the story opens there are exactly 5 people who bear that name. Will the real Allan Armadale please stand up. Fortunately before you get too far into the story most of these men die or are killed off leaving only two. One of course is the real Allan Armadale and the other legally bears that name as result of a stipulation left in a will that allowed the family a good inheritance. The good news for the reader is that one of these Allans is living under the pseudonym of Ozias Midwinter. There are dark and diabolical family secrets here that one of the two Allan's does not want the other to learn of. And there is a rather substantial estate and inheritance at play.Enter the female lead and let me tell you Wilkie Collins sure knew how to write women. I absolutely adored Marian Halcombe from The Woman in White and this time he sets his pen to write a deliciously dark,, deceitful and murderous villainess. Her name is Lydia Gwilt and she is a stunning beauty with a luxurious mane of long red hair. The kind of woman that will turn a man’s head when she enters a room. Also the kind that knows full well the effect she has on men and uses it to her advantage. She is evil and cold hearted while callously setting her plot to achieve her desire. God help anyone who gets in her way. She wants to become Mrs. Allan Armadale thereby having access to all his money. It would suit her purpose even better if her husband was deceased and she inherited the same as his lawful widow. As much as I adored Marian Halcombe, I absolutely loathed this woman. Without question one of the most twisted and devious female villains I have ever read. Collins’s Lydia Gwilt slam dunked those five stars. Allan Armadale has a passion for sailing and convinces his new best friend Midwinter to join him on his small handcrafted yacht. While they are out to sea they are left adrift when their yacht becomes unmoored as they explore another abandoned ship wreck. During this period of time Allan has a dream that he relates to Midwinter. The content of this dream shakes Midwinter to his core as he is the one that holds the family’s dark secrets within his breast. As an appendix to this story Wilkie Collins shares an anecdote with reference to The Dream that figures largely in the narrative. In November of 1865, almost a year and a half after he had finished sketching out this story a vessel lay in the Huskisson Dock at Liverpool which was looked after by one man who slept on board. On a certain day within the week this man was found dead in the deck-house. The next day a second man had accepted the position and he too was carried dying to the Northern Hospital. On the third day a third ship keeper was found dead in the deck-house. The name of the ship was The Armadale and the inquest into the deaths revealed the cause of death as being suffocation due to poisoned air. (toxic fumes would be my guess)I believe that this is Collins longest book but fear not, the narrative just flows and the story is a scrumptiously gothic Victorian feast, so my interest never lagged. If anything I was sorry to say goodby to these characters and turn the final page. Highly recommended. Go on, pick up a classic today. There is an absolute bounty from which to choose and I promise, you will be richly rewarded.My thanks to Cindy Newton for bringing this one to my attention.

  • Jennifer
    2019-05-08 16:52

    I'm going to start this review with a seemingly random quote from The Simpsons. Milhouse, Bart's best friend, is listing the many mean pranks Bart has played on him over the years. One such prank involved lying to Milhouse after Bart's dog eats his goldfish. Bart tries to convince Milhouse that he never had a goldfish to begin with. To this, Milhouse replies, "But then why did I have the bowl, Bart? WHY DID I HAVE THE BOWL?"This quote illustrates the essential difficulty surrounding much of the critical reception for Armadale. Critics of the time protested that the character of Lydia Gwilt was unwomanly, unrealistic, and too wicked to be English. However, Collins took his accounts of (the fictional) Lydia's doings from real articles in newspapers of the time. If it was impossible for any English woman to be jealous, murderous, bigamous, deceptive, intelligent, and sympathetic all at the same time, then WHY DID I HAVE THE BOWL?Having said all this, the book kicks ass. There are five people in it named Allan Armadale. One of those Allan Armadales goes by the alias of-- get this-- Ozias Midwinter. There is a sexy lady villain named Lydia Gwilt, who is a bigamist, murderer, and drug addict. There are prophetic dreams and cryptic warnings. If you want to put on your Intellectual Hat (mine is a gray tweed fedora), there are "scathing indictments" of Victorian society and morals. I can't think of anything else to say to make you read this book.

  • Evripidis Gousiaris
    2019-05-02 13:52

    Τον Wilkie Collins τον είχα γνωρίσει πριν έναν χρόνο με την Γυναίκα με τα Άσπρα. Εντελώς τυχαία είδα το βιβλίο αυτό (άγνωστο για εμένα μέχρι εκείνη την στιγμή) σε προσφορά... ... Το πήρα παρόλο το μεγάλο του μέγεθος, το οποίο στην αρχή με τρόμαξε (1214 σελίδες), χωρίς να ξέρω κάτι για την υπόθεση, έχοντας μόνο μεγάλη εμπιστοσύνη στον συγγραφέα. ΚΑΙ ΕΥΤΥΧΩΣ ΠΟΥ ΤΟ ΕΚΑΝΑ γιατί το βιβλίο ήταν καταπληκτικό! Με εντυπωσίασε το ότι ενώ η εξέλιξη και σχεδόν το τέλος του, προοικονομείται στην αρχή του βιβλίου, δεν έχασα καθόλου το ενδιαφέρον μου. Δεν βαρέθηκα καμία του σελίδα. Αντιθέτως όσο διάβαζα τόσο περισσότερο το βιβλίο με μαγνήτιζε. Και παρόλο που ο συγγραφέας δεν έκρυβε τίποτα από την πλοκή πολλές φορές με ξάφνιασε και με αιφνιδίασε. Οι ήρωες του είναι όσο περισσότερο "ανθρώπινοι" γίνεται φορώντας ο καθένας διαφορετικά πρόσωπα της ανθρώπινης φύσης. Ο χαρακτήρας τους δεν φανερώνει μόνο τα ευπρεπή στοιχεία εκείνης της εποχής αλλά καθρεφτίζει και τις σκοτεινότερες πλευρές του ανθρώπου. Ο Collins επίσης, παρουσιάζει και σε αυτό το βιβλίο (όπως και στην Γυναίκα με τα Άσπρα) μια δυναμικότερη γυναικεία φύση που ήταν κάτι εντελώς διαφορετικό από την συμπεριφορά που επέβαλε ο βικτοριανός καθωσπρεπισμός. Εν ολίγοις πρόκειται για ένα συναρπαστικό ανάγνωσμα όπου το μέγεθος του δεν θα ταλαιπωρήσει καθόλου τον αναγνώστη αλλά θα τον ανταμείψει σχεδόν σε κάθε του σελίδα!

  • Sean
    2019-04-23 18:12

    Armadale is the 3rd novel I have read out of 4 major works of Wilkie Collins. This is Wilkie Collins’ longest novel and has, I believe, one of the most convoluted plots that I have read of his. It is a semi-epistolary novel that is absolutely worth reading.The plot of the book introduces two distant cousins who both share a dark family secret that follows these two men into their adult lives. This family secret results in both men bearing the name of Allan Armadale. One of the Allans inherits an estate in Norfolk and a conspiracy transpires to kill him and steal his family fortune. The other Allan, who goes by the alias of Ozias Midwinter, had hitherto lived a very difficult life and gets caught up in the conspiracy as well. The villain of this novel is Lydia Gwylt, a beautiful yet wicked governess, who creates a web of deceit in order to implement Allan’s demise. This character is what makes this book so worthwhile. Her conspiracy is chronicled in her diary and she paints a picture of herself which is neurotic, selfish, and evil. In other words, a cold hearted bitch. As a result, I believe that Wilkie has successfully created one of the greatest villains of Victorian literature. Armadale often gets passed up for two of Wilkie’s more famous novels, The Woman in White and The Moonstone, which is unfortunate. I believe that this novel is a must read for anyone who enjoys Wilkie’s work or thrillers in general.

  • Cindy Newton
    2019-05-19 17:08

    This is my first Collins. I went into this with the knowledge that Collins had been bff's with Charles Dickens, and for some reason, I started reading with the expectation that Collins was a Dickens wannabe. I was pleased to find that this is not the case, and even more pleased to read in multiple reviews that Collins' other, more well-known novels are generally considered superior to this one. Something to look forward to!I found this book to be much faster-paced than those I've read of Dickens, and without the philosophizing that Dickens indulges in from time to time. Not that I don't love me some Dickens--his sarcasm and satirization of people and government and social organizations that have aroused his ire is flawless! Armadale, however, moves along at a good clip, with plenty of suspense to keep you turning the pages. It is the Lombard Street of plots (for you San Franciscans), with enough twists and turns to make you dizzy. Some of the characters are a little flat, but others are brilliantly developed. The book starts with more characters named Allan Armadale than I could keep track of, but fortunately, all of them die quickly, except for two--one of whom obligingly changes his name to Ozias Midwinter (really--he chose that name!) so that we don't get confused. The one remaining Allan Armadale is pretty flat--he's like a big, goofy puppy from beginning to end--but Midwinter is more complex, with tortured depths that are not fully explained, even at the end. Lydia Gwilt is the villainess of the piece, and ahh, what a delight she is! Beautiful, charming, manipulative, scheming, ruthless--these all describe our lovely Miss Gwilt, but we are also shown the other side of the coin, as well. She has been abandoned by everyone she has known throughout her life, and mistreated, double-crossed, and abused by the people she loved and trusted. She reminds me of Scarlett O'Hara: constantly doing things that she shouldn't, but we can still empathize because we know why she's doing it and that her back is to the wall. The story shifts to her point of view several times, and her strength, determination, and humor are very refreshing, and make her stand out from your typical Victorian female. I read this as a group-read and had real difficulty putting it down to keep to the schedule. I am definitely going to be reading more of Collins' books, and soon!

  • Zaphirenia
    2019-04-25 11:53

    Στην εισαγωγή της έκδοσης αναφέρεται ότι το Αρμαντειλ ξεσήκωσε αντιδράσεις από τους κριτικούς όταν κυκλοφόρησε αρχικά (εκδιδόμενο σε συνέχειες σε κάποιο περιοδικό, όπως συνηθιζόταν το 19ο αιώνα). Ουδεμία έκπληξη! Καταρχάς, η εξαιρετική (αντι)ηρωίδα του βιβλίου είναι μία γυναίκα δυναμική, με ατρανταχτη θέληση και καπατσοσύνη, αψηφά τις νόρμες της αυστηρής κοινωνίας στην οποία ζει και τους περιορισμούς που η κοινωνία αυτή θέτει για το φύλο της και αποφασίζει να χαράξει τη δική της πορεία (οκ, στην πορεία διαπράττει και μερικά εγκληματάκια αλλά ποιος είναι τέλειος;). Δεύτερον, ο Collins περνάει από κόσκινο την υποκρισία της (υψηλής και όχι μόνο) κοινωνίας της εποχής του: λαϊκά δικαστήρια στήνονται στις επαρχιακές πόλεις, οι καλοί χριστιανοί προσφέρουν απλόχερα τη βοήθειά τους στους αδικημένους (εν προκειμένω τη Λύντια Γκουίλτ, που μόνο αδύναμη δεν είναι, τα είπαμε αυτά, να μην τα ξαναλέμε) με αντάλλαγμα το δικαίωμα να επεμβαίνουν στη ζωή τους και να ελέγχουν τις επιλογές τους, πολιτικοί που επηρεάζουν τη δικαιοσύνη στην προσπάθειά τους να γίνουν αρεστοί στο πλήθος και να ικανοποιήσουν τα πάθη των ψηφοφόρων τους, εχθροί που αλληλογραφούν βρίζοντας και προσβάλλοντας ο ένας τον άλλον αλλά πάντα με την υπογραφή "στοργικά δικός σας" ή "ταπεινός σας δούλος", και άλλα πολλά. Αυτό το βιβλίο είχε από όλα: ηθογραφία, κοινωνική σάτιρα, μυστήριο με ανατροπές και αγωνία, συγκίνηση (όχι από αυτή που εκβιάζεται αλλά συγκίνηση αυθεντική). Χίλιες διακόσιες σελίδες κύλησαν νερό, δεν κατάλαβα πότε τελείωσε. Εξαιρετικό!

  • Sophia
    2019-05-12 12:59

    Καιρό ήθελα να το διαβάσω, αλλά με τρόμαζε ο αριθμός των σελίδων του. Για την κατηγορία του μαραθωνίου B.R.A.CE. 2017 ένα βιβλίο με περισσότερες από 800 σελίδες ήταν ότι πρέπει και με το παραπάνω. Μου πήρε σχεδόν έναν μήνα γιατί λόγω όγκου παρέμενε στο κομοδίνο και "απαιτούσε" την προσοχή μου κάθε βράδυ.Ξεκάθαρα, για μένα, η Lydia Gwilt είναι η πρωταγωνίστρια αυτού του έργου. Πόσο εκπληκτικός χαρακτήρας για την περίοδο που γράφτηκε (1864-1866), μια γυναίκα τόσο κόντρα στα πρότυπα και στις πεποιθήσεις. Όπως χαρακτηρίζεται σε διάφορα κείμενα, αντί-ηρωίδα, γυναίκα δηλητήριο, απόλυτα κακιά κτλ. Αλλά εγώ είδα μια γυναίκα τσακισμένη από την ζωή, από επιλογές και αποφάσεις άλλων για την ίδια και την πορεία της. Ναι, οι πράξεις της είναι κόντρα στην ηθική μας, αλλά είναι μια γυναίκα που απλά θέλει να επιβιώσει και να εξασφαλιστεί όταν κανένας άλλος γύρω της δεν νοιάζεται για την ίδια και τις ανάγκες της.Όταν έχεις μόνο εσένα στο πλευρό σου κάνεις τα πάντα για να επιβιώσεις. Δεν δικαιολογώ τις πράξεις και τα σχέδια της, αλλά ειλικρινά απόλαυσα τον χαρακτήρα της. Την αγάπησα, κατανόησα την λογική της, στεναχωρήθηκα για εκείνη. Οι σελίδες με το ημερολόγιο της τόσο πραγματικές, τόσο γεμάτες ζωή.Η ιστορία κυλάει τόσο φυσικά, νιώθεις τις ανατροπές να έρχονται αλλά δεν μπορείς να προβλέψεις. Είναι ένα υπέροχο βιβλίο, πραγματικό αριστούργημα και σίγουρα μια ιστορία που δύσκολα θα ξεχάσω.

  • Donna
    2019-04-24 13:59

    Before I begin my review, I need to get something out of the way. I loved The Moonstone, the only other book I had read by Collins so far. So I couldn't help wishing this book were as amazing and charming as it was, even though the subject matter in this book was completely different and needed a different treatment. There. Now you know part of my disappointment in this book was due to it not measuring up to The Moonstone, however unfair that is. Now on with the review. This book's introduction, written by Mr. Collins, was a plea for understanding from his readers as he stretched the boundaries for fiction at that time with Armadale. It was also in defense of the story to come. He stated, "Time will help me if my work lasts. I am not afraid of my design being permanently misunderstood, provided the execution has done it any sort of justice. Estimated by the clap-trap morality of the present day, this may be a very daring book. Judged by the Christian morality which is of all time, it is only a book that is daring enough to speak the truth." Who could resist reading the book after that introduction to learn just how daring a book it was for its time? Not I. I was set for a whale of a story, in more ways than one, since this book weighs in at over 700 pages. And let me tell you, I got more than I bargained for, yet not enough. This was a sensationalistic and feverish story that pushed the boundaries for melodrama to the limit. But that's one of the beauties of reading a classic. The modern reader can forgive things in classics that literature of today can't get away with. In another example, there were four Allan Armadales in this book, though not all of them were on the page at the same time. The first two appear in a lengthy, head-spinning prologue taking place in 1832 which sets up a "sins of the father being revisited on the sons" story as the book then leaps ahead to the next generation around twenty years later. In a nutshell, this is a plot driven story about fate, and it feeds on fear and superstition that evolves into paranoia and psychological horror, propelled by a warning from the grave for one of the Allan Armadales to avoid the other at all cost. That's assuming there is such a thing as free will as opposed to destiny which this book examines at length. Add to that a magnificent dream sequence which just about clinches the fact that there are other forces at work in the universe that decide people's futures. I was in awe of this convoluted story Collins fashioned that took such an amazing imagination and involved a variety of unique characters who played a pivotal part in not only the two Allans' destinies, but in their own destinies due to them crossing paths with the Allans. Many of these characters were mean and spiteful, or pitiful people who at their core all wanted love and a measure of peace, though for some, lots of money would do in their place. There were also kind and well behaved characters in this book, but not many. So if you're in need of reading about mostly admirable characters, you won't find many of them in this book. Though certainly, their weaknesses made them sympathetic characters whenever they weren't getting on my nerves. But so far, none of this bothered me even though I prefer a character driven novel with characters I can care about. What did bother me was when the main villain appeared and hijacked the ingenuous set up in this book where the author had been one step ahead of the reader who had been one step ahead of the characters and could then wait for their horrified reactions to upcoming events. Instead, beginning around the one third mark, the story was told through the villain's diary entries, not dialogue and action as it took place. This became tedious when being stuck inside the head of the self absorbed and scheming villain, hearing only that person's take on people and events. In smaller doses, it would have been fine, but as it stood, it made for exhausting and mostly passive storytelling. Still, even though I wished for the author to ditch this new format and to pick up the pace, the suspense was over the top. I kept reading and reading even as I kept thinking the ending had better be worth the long winded wind up--and it was worth it. My emotions were flying all over the place as the final scene laid the story to rest. Well done, Mr. Collins. And you may be happy to know that I wasn't even scandalized, though I wouldn't be surprised if readers during your time were. So five stars for the well paced beginning third of this book and for the ending, but three stars overall for the remainder of the book which was too long and tedious, same as my review has become by now.

  • Issicratea
    2019-04-22 12:42

    Armadale is one of Wilkie Collins’s finest concoctions—up there, in my view (and, indeed, T.S.Eliot’s), with his more famous The Moonstone and The Woman in White. It is almost the perfect type of a Victorian sensation novel, mingling the Gothic-romantic (a family curse; shipwrecks; poison; prophetic dreams; a character called Ozias Midwinter) with a mid-nineteenth-century version of everyday metropolitan realism (hackney cabs; milliners; an early private detective agency; an upmarket Hampstead sanatorium catering to the “nervously deranged;” a seedy Pimlico beauty salon boasting the name of the Ladies’ Toilette Repository.) Add to that a memorably dastardly flame-haired female villain, and no fewer than five characters with the name of Allan Armadale. What’s not to like?Reading and rereading Collins over the past couple of years, I have been struck by the sympathy and sensitivity with which he represents “outsider” characters: both women on the wrong side of Victorian morality, and men on the wrong side of Victorian masculinity norms, such as the flamboyant, disabled Miserrimus Dexter of The Law and the Lady. We find the same here with one of the protagonists of Armadale, Midwinter, who is characterized as highly-strung, emotive, intuitive, and superstitious, possessed of what is defined at one point as a “sensitive feminine organization.” He is also mixed-race, the son of a dissipated West Indian plantation owner and a “woman of the mixed blood of the European and the African race.” Having been repelled by Thackeray’s racist depiction of the mixed-race heiress Miss Schwarz in Vanity Fair, I was worried initially that I might find something similar with Midwinter. In fact, there’s very little that seems to me racist in his treatment, at least by Victorian standards. We get the occasional mention of his “hot Creole blood” or “savage blood” rising, but it never actually leads him to do anything hot-blooded or savage. He is exoticized, certainly, but as a romantic, mystically-inclined, wandering scholar-gypsy type, rather than anything more racially encoded; and, although much is made in the novel of his darkness, as a contrast with the blondness of his friend Allan Armadale, Collins doesn’t give these physical characteristics their cliched moral associations with evil and good. The dark, brooding “foreign” Midwinter is distinctly more appealing as a character than the bluff, unsubtle, hyper-English Armadale, who is described by the scheming Lydia Gwilt on their first meeting as “one of those noisy, rosy, light-haired, good-tempered men whom I particularly detest.”Lydia is one of the great pleasures of the book: a cynical fortune-hunting belle dame sans merci, with a murky past and a fierce desire to see herself the wife—and as soon as practicable afterwards, the widow—of Armadale. In an intriguing twist, she is in her mid-thirties, practically a crone by Victorian standards, yet capable of passing for much younger, and undeterred by the fact that her intended husband/victim is almost fifteen years her junior. Although she disappointingly reveals herself to have a conscience in the end, for most of the novel, Lydia is invigoratingly amoral and wonderfully dismissive of the usual Victorian pieties. “I am in one of my tempers tonight,” she notes in a letter to a co-conspirator, at her first introduction. “I want a husband to vex, or a child to beat, or something of that sort.” I especially enjoyed Lydia’s interactions with the suave and sinister Dr Downward (alias Dr Le Doux), owner of the modern Gothic, house-of-horrors sanatorium in which the magnificent plot climax takes place. I entirely disagree, by the way, with the statement in the introduction to the Oxford World’s Classics edition that Armadale is a novel of “unrelieved intensity,” lacking the humour and charm of The Woman in White. Dr Downward is a fine comic character, as is, earlier, the chirpy young lawyer Augustus Pedgift Junior, whom we see entertaining a fractious picnic party with his “irreppressible concertina.” There are some evocative locations, as well: the stormy coast of the Isle of Man, where Armadale and Midwinter spend a night on a wreck; the beautifully described Norfolk Broads, where Lydia makes her first, mysterious, twilight appearance; and Fairweather Vale, the half-built Hampstead suburb where Dr Downward’s new-build sanatorium fatally rises.

  • Zozetta
    2019-04-21 17:56

    Εξαιρετικό ψυχογράφημα/θρίλλερ για την εποχή του και ο Κόλινς αριστοτεχνικός στη δημιουργία σασπένς και την αφήγηση. Το απόλαυσα πραγματικά.

  • Margaret
    2019-04-23 14:42

    I can't imagine why Armadale isn't as well-known as The Woman in White and The Moonstone - wow, what a fabulous book. The plot is even more tortuous than The Woman in White and thus fairly indescribable (particularly without spoilers) but it turns largely on issues of identity, with no less than five characters named Alan Armadale - happily, only two of them appear for any length of time, and one of those goes by an alias.Easily the most compelling character in the book, though, is the villainess, Lydia Gwilt, a woman of intelligence, charisma, and daring, superbly drawn by Collins. Much of the book is told through her diary entries, so that even though she's wicked and clearly the villain of the book, it's easy to sympathize with her - in fact, I don't think it would be easy not to sympathize with her, given her history and personality. Lydia surpasses even the lively Marian Halcombe of The Woman in White.(Man, I really need to reread this.)

  • Bettie☯
    2019-04-29 12:54

    (view spoiler)[Bettie's Books (hide spoiler)]

  • Laura
    2019-05-05 17:56

    Free download available at Project Gutenberg.And the audio version is available at LibriVox.To all readers: read the Prologue carefully since it will give all the main hints to the narrative.Another magnificent and suspenseful story written by Wilkie Collins, my favorite so far.Major Characters: Allan ArmadaleOzias Midwinter – His friendLydia Gwilt – Forger and laudanum addict, the anti-heroine of the novelMinor characters:Decimus Brock – A minister and friend of Alan Armadale and Ozias Midwinter. He is a correspondent of Ozias Midwinter and privy to his secretMrs Maria Oldershaw – owner of the Laadies' Toilet Repository and Lydia Gwilt's co-conspiratorAllan Armadale (1st) – Father of Allan Armadale (2nd)Allan Armadale (2nd) – Son of Allan Armadale (1st) and father of the main character Allan ArmadaleAllan Armadale (3rd) – Father of Ozias Midwinter and murderer of Allan Armadale (2nd)Mr. Neal – Stepfather to Ozias MidwinterMr. Bashwood; Lydia Gwilt's admirer and Allan Armadale's stewardMiss Milroy; resident of Thorpe Ambrose and neighbor to Allan Armadale, later to be Armadale's fiancéeAugustus Pedgift, Sr. – lawyer and adviser to Allan ArmadaleAugustus Pedgift, Jr. – Pedgift's son , a junior lawyer and friend to Allan ArmadaleDr. Downward – criminal associate of Mrs. Oldershaw, later the founder & operator of Friendvale SanatoriumCaptain Manuel – one of Lydia's Gwilt's former husbandsFirst edition cover, which was first published in serial form in Cornhill Magazine in 20 monthly installments from November 1864 until June 1866.There is TV series Der rote Schal (1973) which was made based on this book, with Ellen Schwiers as Lydia Gwilt, Heinz Ehrenfreund as Allan Armadale, Fred Haltiner as Ozias Midwinter.3* The Woman in White4* The Moonstone4* Who Killed Zebedee?4* The Dead Alive4* Mrs. Zant and the Ghost3* A Fair Penitent4* The Frozen Deep4* The Haunted Hotel4* The Law and the Lady4* No Name3* My Lady's Money3* Mad Monkton And Other Stories4* ArmadaleTBR Poor Miss FinchTBR Blind LoveTBR The Dead SecretTBR Man and WifeTBR Basil

  • Elizabeth (Alaska)
    2019-05-22 09:52

    It's been more than 5 years since I read my last Wilkie Collins - far too long to have waited! He is just such good fun. This one has Goodreads members shelving in a variety of ways, from Classics (naturally) to mystery, thriller - and gothic. I looked at these because, in the first 100 pages or so especially, I thought this read like a gothic novel, and sure enough, so did others. It is deliciously dark. Some last-left instinct of her married life in its earlier and happier time pleaded hard with her to respect the youth and the sex of her child. But jealousy respects nothing; in the heaven above and on the earth beneath, nothing but itself. The slow fire of self-torment, burning night and day in the miserable woman's breast, flashed its deadly light into her eyes, as the next words dropped slowly and venomously from her lips.And this, I'll tell you, is not about the true villainess. Oh, the real villainess of the novel is such a diabolical woman! What is her scheme, why is she here? I felt as if the reader knew everything - so not as much mystery as one might find elsewhere - except for this why.Collins prose is wonderful. His characterizations are not quite as fully-fleshed as is my usual want, but this genre doesn't usual provide such and I wasn't too disappointed about it. But the lack drops this from a rousing 5 stars, so that it sits toward the top of the 4-star stack. I was about halfway when I knew I wanted to read more of Collins and purchased the Delphi Complete works. I want to have them all on hand!

  • Kerrie
    2019-05-22 09:47

    This is THE Wilkie Collins novel I recommend whenever I get the chance for those brave souls who want to brave the denseness of Victorian literature. The plot, which is all about mistaken identities, really requires concentration (no speed reading!) and the Bad Girl (or is it heroine?) Lydia Gwilt is an amazing character. Her final scene (in Wilkie's OTT-but-OMG-so-awesome prose) simply took my breath away - so much that I was totally gushing about it to my totally-not-interested blue-collar co-workers at the widget factory. And I didn't care because I was in the grips of Wilkie Love. Over the years I've been working my way through Wilkie's very prodigious output, and this is the one novel of his that I will definitely re-read.

  • Karla
    2019-05-17 11:49

    How I felt reading this book? Well, after reaching the halfway mark with no real plot propellant in sight (beyond the vaguely seen and sometimes referenced Lydia Gwilt), I was hanging around a 3. Then Lydia showed up and things bounced up to a 4. She was snarky, she was hard, she was driven and manipulative.Then her diary kicked in and WOULD...NOT...LET...UP. She was way more interesting when tossing off random asides about people and skipping through events. When her entries were broken down into hours and we heard about every little detail of her plot, and every little detail of others reacting to her plot, and details that really had nothing to do with stuff, I got sick of her in short order.By the end it got even worse. I skipped the end and went straight to Wiki. I hear the final confrontation is fantabulous, but I honestly didn't care after slogging through so many pages. This is the bad side to serialization and getting paid by the word. I love Wilkie Collins, but this was way too verbose for the simple melodramatic plot at its core. Thank God it's his longest so it's now out of the way and I can enjoy his more succinct tales, in page count if not in pacing.I'd just come off reading The Name of the Rose, FFS! A book that isn't exactly linear and full of adrenaline and stripped of all excess. I thought I was prepared. Apparently I wasn't.I'm sure I'll go back to this in about a dozen years and try it again. Or I'll skip to 54% and start reading with Lydia's permanent entrance and power through to the end before any of the characters overstay their welcome.3 stars. Barely. In my heart I know it's at least that, even though right now I want to set it on fire.

  • Amy
    2019-05-03 11:12

    When Allan Armadale is a young man, he finds out an alarming and life altering story from his long deceased father. There is another man living, close in age, also named Allan Armadale, that he must never cross paths with. It is a matter of life and death. But as is so often the case when we are actively trying to avoid something, we accidentally end up colliding with it. Such is the case with both Allans, which sets them on a path of brotherhood and danger. To say anymore would be giving away the delicious twists and turns of the story that Collins has fitted together like a puzzle. I don't believe that Wilkie Collins is given enough credit when it comes to the classic authors that are considered a "must read". He often uses the supernatural as a red herring. Women are often the protagonists and as such are shown in an unsavory, albeit powerful, light. And they are easy to read! Collins incorporates the proper English of the times, but there is little flowery prose or description that does not pertain closely to the story at hand, at least in this novel.I am an ardent admirer of the classic novel and Armadale was very enjoyable indeed!

  • Claire
    2019-05-02 11:46

    Well worth the effort it required! I loved the ending, which really affected the way I now view the entire book. The Victorians were the true masters of the novel, and especially of the ending! The characters were all well-drawn and lifelike, especially Midwinter and Miss Gwilt. I loved the Rev. Brock and the doctor was positively creepy. Just a delicious book that I'm not quite ready to leave yet.

  • Elena
    2019-05-07 17:56

    4.5 stars.I am so grateful for Wilkie Collins' works. Ever since I discovered him with The Woman in White, I've been enjoying every single one of his books. If older novels are not your thing, or if you think they are overly long, descriptive and boring, you should give him a try.What a story Armadale was! It is not a full 5 stars only because it took me a while to get really invested in the story, and because there were a couple of parts which I didn't find all that interesting, but it was still a masterpiece. The story was wonderfully intricate, with many twists and turns, and the ending was fantastic. Do you know the feeling when you are frustrated because you can't read fast enough? That's how I felt reading the last 200 pages.I am hesitant to name a favourite character because there were many I liked. Allan and Midwinter were opposites and yet I loved them both equally. Their friendship was so precious and heartwarming, it was very moving at times. The Pedgifts, although secondary, were deliciously funny and cunning and I loved their scenes. And lastly Lydia Gwilt was a phenomenal anti-heroine. Many readers seem to like her the most and I can see why. She is probably the character whom I will remember the most. Manipulative, wicked and ruthless, she was a great villain, but she was also beautifully complex. Despite her being a negative character, it was possible to sympathize with her after everything she had been through. (view spoiler)[Her genuine feelings for Midwinter, even if apparently so out of character, were portrayed in a very realistic way, and they gave a whole new level to her character. Her decision to save him in the end was also satisfying and believable. (hide spoiler)]Very much recommended.

  • Bruno
    2019-05-21 14:07

    3.5

  • Μ
    2019-05-11 15:50

    [Κέρδισα το βιβλίο στον χριστουγεννιάτικο διαγωνισμό των εκδόσεων Gutenberg το 2015 και μπορώ να πω ότι είναι ένα από τα ωραιότερα δώρα Χριστουγέννων που έχω λάβει ποτέ. Αρχικά δίσταζα να το ξεκινήσω επειδή μετά το "Πόλεμος και Ειρήνη" δεν ήθελα να διαβάσω κάτι πολύ μεγάλο για φέτος, ωστόσο το "Αρμαντέιλ" με τράβηξε ανεξήγητα την περασμένη Κυριακή και αποδείχτηκε ότι ήταν το βιβλίο που χρειαζόμουν να διαβάσω αυτή την εποχή.]Αληθινά εξαιρετικό. Παρά τον όγκο του διαβάζεται με αμείωτο ενδιαφέρον χάρη κυρίως στους ανθρώπινους χαρακτήρες του (με εξέχουσα μορφή την δεσποινίς Γκουίλτ), τις διαρκείς ανατροπές και την ικανότητα του συγγραφέα να προσφέρει μία καθαρή εικόνα και καυστικό σχολιασμό της βικτωριανής κοινωνίας και ηθικής. Όπως δηλώνει και ο ίδιος ο Κόλλινς στην αφιέρωση "Αν εκτιμηθεί με βάση την κενή ηθική της σημερινής εποχής, το βιβλίο αυτό μπορεί να θεωρηθεί πολύ τολμηρό. Αν κριθεί με βάση τη χριστιανική ηθική, που είναι διαχρονική, είναι απλώς ένα βιβλίο που τολμά να πει την αλήθεια".Υ.Γ. Το μεγαλύτερο συν της παρούσας έκδοσης είναι το πολυτονικό της σύστημα (το οποίο γενικά υπεραγαπώ) και έκανε την ανάγνωση του βιβλίου διπλά απολαυστική.

  • Shobhit Sharad
    2019-05-11 11:08

    I love Wilkie Collins' writing. He so easily engages and draws me into his stories, it is a struggle to leave them and go back to the real world. This was a not-very-beautiful, but subtle and clever portrayal of the world we live in and the people within it (rather a world he lived in). The good part about the book is, apart from it being a convoluted story, many important themes have been left entirely up to your interpretation, so whether you are a superstitious person who seeks and finds omens and such in your vicinity, or if you are a person who chooses to rely on the conclusions derived from the machinations of your brain, both will tend to love this book, as I did.

  • Nikos Apostolopoulos
    2019-05-14 17:07

    Προσπαθώντας να δώσει στην ιστορία του μια πιο επική χροιά απ'ότι στην Γυναίκα με τα Άσπρα, ο Κόλινς, με την ογκώδη παράθεση ονομάτων και παρελθοντικών γεγονότων στο πρώτο μισό του βιβλίου, χάνει εν μέρει σε βάθος (συ)στήνοντας το σκηνικό και τους χαρακτήρες του, γεγονός που κάνει το μυθιστόρημα του να μοιάζει φαινομενικά λιγότερο προσωπικό. Από των κολοσσιαίων διαστάσεων κόσμο του, αναδύεται στο συναρπαστικό δεύτερο μισό ένας σκοτεινός και τρομακτικός λαβύρινθος, που επαναπροσδιορίζει την σχέση ηρώων και πλοκής. O συγγραφέας κερδίζει για ακόμα μια φορά τον τίτλο του μάστορα της πλοκής και της ανθρώπινης ψυχοσύνθεσης και παραδίδει τελικά ένα ακόμη μυθιστόρημα που δεν μπορείς να αφήσεις από τα χέρια σου μέχρι και την τελευταία σελίδα του.

  • Tristram
    2019-05-10 12:52

    Laudanum, Anyone?It’s just not fair that Miss Lydia Gwilt, the female master-villain of Wilkie Collins’s novel Armadale should be reduced to the necessity of taking laudanum, despite all its harmful side effects, in order to find sleep, whereas we, the readers, find in the novel itself a much more reliable soporific, whose only side effect is, as far as I’ve found out, a headache and the bitter awareness of having wasted a couple of hours of valuable lifetime.Armadale is definitely the family ham among Wilkie Collins’s novels as it is unnecessarily verbose and as pathetically clumsy in its attempts at conjuring up an atmosphere of menace and a sense of the dramatic as a fat old man who has donned a bed sheet and cries boohoo in a third-rate haunted house at a funfair. It relies on contrived coincidence to such an extent that even Miss Gwilt herself finally writes in her diary – no doubt the author must have felt keenly embarrassed at all the nonsense he expects his readers to stomach –, “And how unnatural all this would be, if it was written in a book!” Yes, Mr. Collins! How right you are! The only problem being, it is written in a book.The story is about two young men who are linked by a dark murder mystery in the past and who both – as their fathers – go by the name of Allen Armadale. There is also Miss Gwilt, who wants to marry the rich Armadale and who, finding that he is already in love with another woman, decides to kill him and pass off as his widow. The plot could be very intriguing if Collins had not chosen to add the element of fate and of dreams that are heavy with meaning and that are rehashed over and over again. To be fair, there were moments when I was hooked by the story and read avidly on in order to know how events would unfold, but these moments were few and far between. The rest was, unfortunately not silence, but words, words, words. Had this book been written by Dickens, for instance, I’m sure it would not have been half as bad because then there might have been some entertaining side characters and typically Dickensian descriptions that conjure up a powerful and memorable atmosphere. As matters stand, however, the lesser talent of Wilkie Collins takes the yarn far too seriously and stretches it beyond any sense of decency.There are only two things that impressed rather than depressed me: The first and foremost was the character of Miss Gwilt, whom Collins did ample justice to by describing her as a villainous, yet multi-faceted woman. I must admit that she was the only reason I read on and that I almost fell for her. The second reason was the way in which the story is told. Here Collins deftly manages to make us share the perspectives of various characters by telling large sections of the plot in an epistolary form, using a lot of flashbacks.On the whole, though, Armadale is a bloated mess of a novel and will probably only find favour with the inveterate Collins aficionado, or with guilt-ridden people who think reading should not be too much of an enjoyment, but then there are always old train schedules.

  • Bruce
    2019-05-09 15:57

    Having greatly enjoyed Wilkie Collins’ novels The Woman in White and The Moonstone, I turned to Armadale with great anticipation, and baggy and imperfect as it is, it did not disappoint. A more convoluted plot would be difficult to imagine. Allan Armadale disinherits his son, Allan Armadale, leaving his fortune to his nephew on the condition that said nephew changes his name to, you guessed it, Allan Armadale. The disinherited Allan Armadale, under the assumed name of Fergus Ingleby, cheats the new Allan Armadale out of his perspective bride, this new Allan then murdering Fergus Ingleby but not before Ingleby has fathered an Allan Armadale of a further generation – as does the murderer. These two ultimate Allan Armadales then meet, although one is living under the name of Ozias Midwinter. And the plot winds on, one of the ultimate protagonists being good-natured, impulsive, and a bit shallow, the other moody, idealistic, superstitious, and improbably selfless.The central figure of the novel is Lydia Gwilt, formerly lady’s-maid to one of the Armadale’s mother. Gwilt, of very dubious background, great charm, and malevolent history, harbors family secrets which she intends to use for her own advantage, and the bulk of this very bulky novels revolves around her machinations. Collins uses Gwilt and her relationships with the other characters to explore morality and its ambiguities, social roles and class, and free will and chance. His ability to delineate character and personality is masterful, and his descriptions of emotional states and physical locations foster an ambiance as tense as it is compelling.Collins uses a variety of narrative devises most effectively to tell his story – straight narrative, flashbacks, diaries, letters – and despite its length the tale does not lag. If it is improbable at times, its improbability does not detract from its interest, and the reader is drawn into a labyrinth that captivates even in its obscurity. If you like long Victorian novels with which to curl up over an evening – in this case, many evenings – this is one for you. Enjoy it. I certainly did.

  • Elena T.
    2019-05-18 15:05

    "Armadale è un nome, ma il romanzo non è la storia del personaggio che lo porta. È piuttosto la storia del nome stesso, anzi del mistero che vi si cela".La storia si estende fascinosamente su due generazioni di famiglie Armadale, la cui trama complessa avvolge con efficacia i capostipiti della "Collins-novel": scambio di identità, inganno, omicidio, passione.L'anziano Allan Armadale, nel prologo ormai sul letto di morte, fa una rivelazione che in quel presente sconvolge più di una persona, ma che avrà ripercussioni sui futuri Armadale come la peggiore delle maledizioni. Per non parlare di colei che tutto osserva, Miss Lydia Gwilt, audace personaggio che da più di un critico venne definita "il cuore nero della sensational novel", apprezzabile sotto più di una sfaccettatura, un fiore che inizia ad aprirsi realmente nelle ultime duecento pagine.Brillante, forte, grandioso archetipo di come un romanzo lungo 800 pagine possa riuscire a mantenere sempre viva l'attenzione del lettore ed a non annoiare un solo istante.

  • Sylvester
    2019-05-02 17:04

    While not actually disliking Wilkie Collins, I have never been that impressed by his writing - until now. Well! I was afraid it was going the mystical/sensational way as the others at the beginning, but this book is really about character - great character development - and the wonderful thing is how Collins gives us a taste of each person's perspective. I loved going from Armadale and Midwinter's perspective to Lydia Gwilt's. Seeing her side makes everything that much more convoluted and interesting - and I did, at times, find myself wishing her well in her horrible plans!!! (Bad little me!) I was never sure where things were going, and had several theories that came to nothing in a wonderful way. If only Collins knew how many evenings I listened with pleasure to his story while doing the cooking and washing-up!

  • Amaranta
    2019-05-21 15:04

    Nella perfetta tradizione fumosa londinese si colloca questo libro di Collins, re del noir ottocentesco fra misteri, carrozze, porti e vascelli. Due uomini con lo stesso nome, due amici fraterni, una donna a dividerli e a complicare la scena. Fino all’epilogo prevedibile. L’ho trovato un po’ forzato in alcuni punti, una lettura che in qualche caso ho trascinato ma che in altri risultava avvincente e scorrevolissima come la penna di Collins sempre assicura.

  • Anna Kļaviņa
    2019-05-12 14:10

    4.5A spoiler-ish rambling.Am I mad? Yes; all people who are as miserable as I am are mad.Before I started this book, I expected that Miss Lydia Gwilt (35) is going to be evil and manipulative as Shakespeare's Iago. And while she definitely lied, manipulated and was ready to commit a fraud and murder, she wasn't evil and not even cruel. Years of poverty, abuse and betrayal had made her an angry, lonely, embittered and desperate woman, and yet she was strong, intelligent and had wicked sense of humour. Who cares for the misery of such a woman as I am? who believes in it?And her hate towards Allan(22) grows when Midwinter(21) is cold towards her, and when she sees that Midwinter loves him more than her. [...]my mind went back to what he had said to me about myself. In remembering 'the miserable day' when we first saw each other, and 'the better angel' that had warned him to 'fly the sight of my face She is betrayed by her husband and it hurts, and she returns to her plotting. *Allan is one of the most irritating characters ever, in Miss Gwilt's words a rattle-pated young fool— one of those noisy, rosy, light-haired, good-tempered men whom I particularly detest. Honestly, I stopped reading this book at 28% and didn't touch it almost for a month because he annoyed me so much. I didn't like Miss Milroy(16) She, too, is rosy and foolish; and, what is more, awkward and squat and freckled, and ill-tempered and ill-dressed. In another life she might have become "wicked" as Miss Gwilt. She clearly showed that she isn't as naive and innocent as she acts, but since she acted like that to get a husband, most people wouldn't even notice it, I think. *One of the questions Collins's asks in this book is Do the sons bear the sins of the fathers or not? Just compare Allan and Midwinter with their fathers, and you have an answer. (Their mothers weren’t better) *Did someone else notice that Mr Brock and Miss Oldershaw, and the Pedgifts and the Bashwoods are portrayed as complete opposites? *And big kudos to Collins for believing in women rights and creating a cool mixed race character. * While reading the last part I listened to Silentium, Arvo Pärt.