Tuesday, April 02, 2013

No Name, by Wilkie Collins :: Reading to Know Book Club

Reading to Know - Book Club

We've wrapped up March (Easter weekend prevented me from reading links but I plan on doing that this week!) and now it's on to April. Tim from Diary of an Autodidact is hosting this month's read and he selected No Name, by Wilkie Collins. I don't know about you, but I actually found the book a bit hard to find (as I didn't want to pay $12 for it). I ended up paying $10 but it was at a used book store and on trade. Hopefully your library has a copy - if you don't think you want to own it - but I'll go ahead and be gracious enough to mention that you can download this book free to your Kindle. (Yes. That is so.)

I've been looking forward to reading another Collins after having read The Woman in White (linked) back in 2011. So this is one of my most anticipated of the book club reads.

Tim kindly wrote up some of his thoughts in preparation for reading/discussing this book. They are as follows:


Wilkie Collins (named William Wilkie after his father) was one of the most influential authors of the Victorian era, yet his name is often just a side note. He is known for The Woman in White and maybe The Moonstone, but little else. During his lifetime, his best known novels were classified as “sensation novels.” We now recognized them as early examples of detective and suspense fiction. Although Edgar Allan Poe wrote the first true detective story, “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” which set the conventions of the genre that would eventually be associated primarily with Sherlock Holmes, it was Collins who expanded the form into the full length mystery. The Woman in White is his first effort, containing most of the usual elements; but it was The Moonstone that is the fully developed prototype of the genre. T. S. Eliot and Dorothy Sayers (herself a master of the mystery) both gave high praise to The Moonstone.

No Name belongs to the other side of Collins’ writing: suspense fiction. There is no mystery to be solved - unless you count the mystery of what will happen next. The book begins a bit slowly, and appears to be a novel of domestic manners, perhaps in the vein of Jane Austen, or Anthony Trollope (one of my favorite authors); but it eventually goes completely off the tracks as tragedy strikes.

continue reading here


Are you planning to read along with us this month? If so, let us know in the comments below!


Shonya said...

I downloaded it for free last week. ;) I haven't started it yet, but I do hope to get it read (esp since I never got to The Woman in White last time).

BerlinerinPoet said...

Yes, I admit his name is a side note when I'm thinking about Charles Dickens (which happens a lot). I'm really excited for this one.

Bluerose said...

I downloaded it for free, too. Those hard to find Classics are so much easier that way! ;)

Should I admit I'm a little disappointed that the author is male? (I seem to struggle with male writing more). I really thought it was a woman. :S Still reading, though!

Emmy D said...

I've already stated it (yay, the library had a copy)! After how much I enjoyed both The Woman in White and The Moonstone, I am eager to experience Collins' genius again.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to have to skip this one even though I would love to read it! There seems to be so many books to get read and not enough time. I am beginning to feel buried.

Cassandra said...

I HOPE to read along. My library only has one copy and it was in storage. Storage! I requested it to be transferred to my branch so we'll see how long it takes...

Barbara H. said...

I think I am going to sit this one out. I looked at the first few pages on Amazon and just wasn't at all drawn it, and Tim's description of a main character as outrageous just doesn't appeal to me.

That said, it did make me interested in The Woman in White. Whenever I look up classic audiobooks at Audible, that one pops up, and I had never heard of Wilkie Collins before. So I might give that a try some time. And if the descriptions of No Name at the end of the month sound really good, maybe I'll change my mind about that, too.

Heather VanTimmeren said...

I've started it, and I'm hooked. Now we'll see if I can find the time to finish it!

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