Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Quick-n-dirty wrapup

Is it bad that I felt just sliiiiightly underwhelmed by the end of The Moonstone? I mean, none of the characters in this book live up to Fosco, much less Marian.

1. When Bruff told Franklin Blake that Sergeant Cuff "has retired from the police. It's useless to expect the Sergeant to help you," I thought -- well, you know what I thought; I'm pretty sure if you were writing a movie nowadays and put a line in there you would be guilty of a misdemeanor if Sergeant Cuff didn't then sweep in and solve the thing. But Wilkie cannot be contained by your storytelling cliches, and the Sergeant's subsequent involvement was fairly minimal, I thought, on the whole.

2. Also, I like that Bruff considers Blake's idea of interviewing all the attendees of the dinner as "something too purely fanciful to be seriously discussed". What! Asking all the witnesses if they noticed anything unusual! What are you, crazy!

A rich old lady--highly respected at the Mothers' Small-Clothes-Conversion-Society, and a great friend of Miss Clack's (to whom she left nothing but a mourning ring)--had bequeathed to the admirable and meritorious Godfrey a legacy of five thousand pounds.
It's official, I can't help it: I know Wilkie thinks it's hilarious and karmic and whatnot, but I can't laugh at an old spinster who gets the shaft from the few people she might hope for some help from.

4. Ahhhh, opium. The "all-potent and all-merciful drug". And another thing to add to the list of Things that are Totally Normal in Wilkieland that are Totally Bonkers in the Real World: tricking your patients into taking opium.
Every medical man commits that act of treachery, Mr Blake, in the course of his practice. The ignorant distrust of opium (in England) is by no means confined to the lower and less cultivated classes. Every doctor in large practice finds himself, every now and then, obliged to deceive his patients, as Mr Candy deceived you.
Haha. Oh Wilkie you old drug addict, tell us more about how misunderstood your favorite substance is.

YOU assume that the Hindoo conspirators could by no possibility commit a mistake. The Indians went to Mr Luker's house after the Diamond -- and, therefore, in Mr Luker's possession the Diamond must be! Have you any evidence to prove that the Moonstone was taken to London at all?
HEY. GOOD POINT. Although it did turn out to be true that the diamond was pawned to Luker. Still.

6. Mrs Merridew and the "explosion" -- an easy joke but a good one.

7. From the suggestion that Candy could have drugged Blake to the completion of the experiment was kind of a lot of pages and kind of not much happening... no?

8. Really, the one lone element of Shocking Shock in this final portion of the book was Bad Ol' Godfrey Ablewhite. That was some classic Wilkie. Sergeant Cuff was all
"He's pulling off his wig!"
and then he was all
"Read the name, Mr Blake, that I have written inside."

SO! It turns out that Godfrey Ablewhite was ABLE to WHITEwash his filthy, filthy lies, or something.
The side kept hidden from the general notice, exhibited this same gentleman in the totally different character of a man of pleasure, with a villa in the suburbs which was not taken in his own name, and with a lady in the villa, who was not taken in his own name, either.
Wait, so his secret life was "in the suburbs"? I think you missed a trick there, Wilks. This would all have been much weirder, and dare I say more believable, if his Sin Villa had been in France or something.

9. And then we close with Murthwaite disguised as a "Hindoo-Boodhist" (LOL spelling) testifying that the diamond has made its way back to the idol. Ooh, spooky.

Sigh. Well, that's another readalong in the books. I guess now I have to... read alone? Boo hoo. Hugs to all my fellow reader-alongers!


  1. "tell us more about how misunderstood your favorite substance is." Ahahaha Poor Wilkie.

    DUDE did you and BookBelle search the same thing? 'Cause Scooby Doo.

    I was delighted with the explosion. And the maggots line that everyone is quoting made me lllllol.

    DO GRAPES OF WRATH WITH US. We shall discuss Dustbowly things.

    1. Yes, do Grapes!! Alice has built up an amazing clientele of readalongers, and now I'm here to exploit it, dammit!

    2. Clientele? You're making me sound like a whorehouse, Laura.

  2. Duuude, the thing at the end of my copy was like 'there are no memorable characters in it like Marian and Fosco from WiW' and I was like ...hmm. That's quite true actually. Cause at the moment I'm all like BETTEREDGE! And EZRA! But in a year? I feel like I'll still remember Marian and Fosco, but maybe not anyone from The Moonstone. Except maybe Clack.

    The 'the diamond might not be in London' hypothesis was EXCELLENT, even if it wasn't the case. But still it was like 'oh YEAH!'

    And Mrs Merridew and the explosion! *claps excitedly*

  3. I love the term Sin Villa and now need to figure out a way to use it regularly.

    4. Were doctors really just secretly drugging their patients every once in awhile in Victorian times? Oh Wilkie

  4. #5 -- I guess it would have been silly to have the diamond somewhere besides London, after they spent so much time talking about it being there. I did have a moment of panic when drugged!Franklin got all sleepy and dropped the fake stone on the carpet -- I was really nervous that the solution was going to be something like, "Oh, look, he dropped the moonstone here under the tea table. Satan must have hidden it down there. SOLVED."

  5. Sadness. Reading alone is for suckers.

    6. Ha, the explosions - I forgot about those already. Science is dangerous.

    I did like Woman in White more, overall, but I still thoroughly enjoyed the Moonstone. You're right about the characters though. I think maybe Wilkie's "favourite substance" got in the way there.