View Full Version : Wilkie Collins / Booth Tarkington

08-02-2006, 06:03 PM
I just had to know if there were other writers scanning through Project Gutenberg for these authors. They are my absolute favourites! So far I've read:

Poor Miss Finch by Wilkie Collins - I LOVED this book! The main character is blind, but the story's journey truly shows the truth about disability: we all have them, and sometimes we can find strengths or special talents in them.

The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins - The first mystery novel I've ever liked. Collins has a way with characters

Seventeen by Booth Tarkington - Funny! The little sister says the funniest things!

The Flirt by Booth Tarkington

Alice Adams by Booth Tarkington - a somewhat sad story. Yet, Tarkington keeps your interest and hope for the characters.

For both of these authors, their biggest asset was their imagery and way with words. Collins can keep your attention just with a character sitting in a buggy on the way to a house. In Poor Miss Finch, this is how the story started, yet her words drew me in.

Fabulous writing all the way!

08-03-2006, 12:26 AM
I have a copy of The Moonstone floating around here somewhere; I think it was supposed to be the first "real" mystery novel?

I have to admit I never actually read it; I seem to recall getting it in a $10 box of books from a garage sale, and thinking it was a horror novel from the cover (garish skull with glowing green eyes). By the time I learned better, I didn't have the time to read it.

But maybe I'll go look for it. :)

08-03-2006, 01:38 AM
Yes, I like Wilkie Collins, he's much underated. I think the opening of 'The Woman in White' is as impressive in its own way as the opening of Charles Dickens' 'Bleak House'. The rest of the novel is darned good too.

Booth Tarkington I vaguely remember as being very Victorian in attitude and a bit twee.

08-03-2006, 02:14 AM
I like Wilkie Collins. I've read The Moonstone, The Woman in White and a selection of novellas whose titles escape me. I enjoyed them all. Never tried Booth Tarkington, though.

Penguin Queen
08-03-2006, 05:06 AM
Wilkie Collins is great. You have to slow down to Victorian writing/reading speeds to enjoy him properly --- it all takes a bit more time, like the life-threateningly fast 30 mph of the first trains... but once you have mentally shifted gears, he writes a great suspense story, very beautifully plotted & very nicely written.

Booth Tarkington I admit to never having heard of. Must have a look.
Didn't they have great names back in the 19th century?

...the name is Tarkington. Booth Tarkington.

08-03-2006, 05:36 AM
Seventeen is a good novel to start with. Quite funny.

I'm unable to read print books so many of the books I read are the Project Gutenberg range. At first I thought, Oh great! This will be boring! Now I've read a nice collection I love them. My favourites are:

Booth Tarkington
Wilkie Collins
E. F. Benson - scariest short stories I've ever read! Try and get through Catepillars without reacting!
Laura Lee Hope - her series were quite fun. The Bobbsey Twin books are quite adventurous. A little like Babysitters' Club, but they don't hang around in a bedroom all the time!
Beatrix Potter - Of course!

08-06-2006, 06:52 AM
I love going to the Project Gutenberg site. Could spend hours there searching. It is a fantastic project. Did you ever sign up, or consider, to be one of their Distributed Proofreaders? I downloaded Seventeen after reading your recommendation and look forward to reading the story.

08-09-2006, 12:00 AM
I've read both, and find Tarkington rather facile and shallow. Collins, on the other hand, is underrated, and deserves more attention. And if you like him, there's his even more underrated and excellent contemporary, J. Sheridan LeFanu, whose most famous novel, Uncle Silas, is available free on-line at http://www.litrix.com, along with some of Collins and Tarkington's Alice Adams.