Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Wilkie Collins: Gumshoe Groundbreaker

First Edition, 1871 (from: Wilkie Collins-Info.com)

"...But I was surprised and delighted to discover a whole new set of pleasures in The Moonstone. As a writer, I was struck by how masterfully Collins pulls together the different strands of a complicated plot. T.S. Eliot called The Moonstone 'the first, the longest, and the best of the modern English detective novel.' I could see why. Reading the book was a little like seeing the Wright brothers maneuvering their first aircraft, except there was no awkward bucking, no crashes.
     Many conventions of the detective novel that we take for granted — a mysterious crime that is systematically unraveled through a process of inquiry, a detective with unusual powers of analysis, the surprise when the criminal turns out to be someone unexpected — are being used by Collins for the first time."
— Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, NPR Books
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