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The Haunted Hotel (eBook)

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Wilkie Collins was an English novelist, poet, and playwright writing in the mid 19th century. His writing was very popular consisting of 27 novels, 50 short stories, 15 plays, and over 100 poems. His best-known works were The Woman in White, The Moonstone and Armadale. Collins was greatly influenced by his friend Charles Dickens. Does the ghost of Lord Montberry haunt the Wilkie Collins was an English novelist, poet, and playwright writing in the mid 19th century. His writing was very popular consisting of 27 novels, 50 short stories, 15 plays, and over 100 poems. His best-known works were The Woman in White, The Moonstone and Armadale. Collins was greatly influenced by his friend Charles Dickens. Does the ghost of Lord Montberry haunt the Palace Hotel in Venice? What is the explanation for the haunting or should we say crime at the hotel? Montberry's beautiful and in some ways terrifying wife, the Countess Narona, and her brother are at the center of the terror that lurks within the hotel. Are the occurrences at the hotel malfunctions or something much darker?


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Wilkie Collins was an English novelist, poet, and playwright writing in the mid 19th century. His writing was very popular consisting of 27 novels, 50 short stories, 15 plays, and over 100 poems. His best-known works were The Woman in White, The Moonstone and Armadale. Collins was greatly influenced by his friend Charles Dickens. Does the ghost of Lord Montberry haunt the Wilkie Collins was an English novelist, poet, and playwright writing in the mid 19th century. His writing was very popular consisting of 27 novels, 50 short stories, 15 plays, and over 100 poems. His best-known works were The Woman in White, The Moonstone and Armadale. Collins was greatly influenced by his friend Charles Dickens. Does the ghost of Lord Montberry haunt the Palace Hotel in Venice? What is the explanation for the haunting or should we say crime at the hotel? Montberry's beautiful and in some ways terrifying wife, the Countess Narona, and her brother are at the center of the terror that lurks within the hotel. Are the occurrences at the hotel malfunctions or something much darker?

30 review for The Haunted Hotel (eBook)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Wendy Darling

    Intriguing opening chapters (view spoiler)[this is how much: I downloaded the Serial Reader app and liked the first chapter so much I couldn't wait for the rest, so I downloaded the free Kindle copy (hide spoiler)] dreadfully dull middle, and suspenseful and exciting horror towards the end. In some ways the writing feels very dated, in others, it still manages to shock and titillate. I really like Serial Reader, though! It's a new free app that delivers a new "issue," or section of a classic, to Intriguing opening chapters (view spoiler)[this is how much: I downloaded the Serial Reader app and liked the first chapter so much I couldn't wait for the rest, so I downloaded the free Kindle copy (hide spoiler)] dreadfully dull middle, and suspenseful and exciting horror towards the end. In some ways the writing feels very dated, in others, it still manages to shock and titillate. I really like Serial Reader, though! It's a new free app that delivers a new "issue," or section of a classic, to your phone every day, with the idea that it allows you to read books in short increments of no more than 20 minutes. Clean, pleasurable interface and reading experience, and it definitely makes tackling old classics you've been meaning to read feel less daunting and more manageable. Small selection so far, but they've just gotten started. I downloaded the app because I posted a photo of A Tale of Two Cities to Litsy, and a couple of people told me they were reading it via SR. I love the idea of people doing that, since Dickens (and Wilkie Collins too) was so well known for having stories published via serials in newspapers. It's a modern day Victorian reading app!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Amy | shoutame

    This is my third Wilkie Collins novel and I loved it just as much as the other two. We follow the story of a family who have been told of their relative's death whilst on his honeymoon in Italy. None of them want to believe the letters confirming his death and they all begin to feel rather suspicious of his new wife; especially as rumours are spread around London regarding her past. They decide to set out to Italy themselves to uncover the mystery behind his death. On reaching the hotel each fami This is my third Wilkie Collins novel and I loved it just as much as the other two. We follow the story of a family who have been told of their relative's death whilst on his honeymoon in Italy. None of them want to believe the letters confirming his death and they all begin to feel rather suspicious of his new wife; especially as rumours are spread around London regarding her past. They decide to set out to Italy themselves to uncover the mystery behind his death. On reaching the hotel each family member experiences something of the paranormal and they begin to question whether their relative really died in the innocent ways that have been described to them - the mystery deepens. What happened to their relative in the hotel? What will they uncover whilst sleeping under the roof where he died? A brilliantly written and enjoyable read! I would highly recommend Collins to any lover of Agatha Christie!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Krystal

    Ehhhhhhhhh not sure about this one! Very slow on the suspense and intrigue and creepiness, but I was definitely suckered in by the foreshadowing. Absolutely fascinating characters, and I quite enjoyed the way the Countess was introduced, as it garnered instant sympathy for her and her troubled spirit. Agnes was pretty bland, considering how much hinged on her, but it was balanced by the enigmatic Henry through his devotion to her. The characters were all introduced in different contexts which reall Ehhhhhhhhh not sure about this one! Very slow on the suspense and intrigue and creepiness, but I was definitely suckered in by the foreshadowing. Absolutely fascinating characters, and I quite enjoyed the way the Countess was introduced, as it garnered instant sympathy for her and her troubled spirit. Agnes was pretty bland, considering how much hinged on her, but it was balanced by the enigmatic Henry through his devotion to her. The characters were all introduced in different contexts which really enhanced that idea that nothing was as it seemed. I liked that I questioned everyone's motives, and each different tale. It was cleverly written, that's for sure. I guess what I didn't like was that it all felt like a bit of an anti-climax to me. It's called 'The Haunted Hotel' but the hotel doesn't even exist until well over halfway through the story. The opening chapter was superb, but the rest was really dragged out. There just wasn't any horror, and aside from (view spoiler)[the missing courier (hide spoiler)] there wasn't a great deal of mystery, either. That ending though, wow! that really hooked me. (view spoiler)[I feel like maybe that terrible, decaying head might haunt my dreams a little tonight (hide spoiler)] Overall, a decent expression of atmosphere and an okay tale of intrigue. If you're looking for horror or major chills, though, I'd probably look elsewhere.

  4. 4 out of 5

    George K.

    Δεύτερο βιβλίο του Γουίλκι Κόλινς που διαβάζω, μετά την ατμοσφαιρική αλλά μάλλον μέτρια νουβέλα "Ο ζωντανός νεκρός" που διάβασα περίπου τέτοια εποχή πριν από πέντε ολόκληρα χρόνια. Τώρα έχουμε να κάνουμε με ένα αρκετά καλογραμμένο αλλά παλιομοδίτικο μελόδραμα μυστηρίου με υπόνοιες υπερφυσικού τρόμου, το οποίο υπό προϋποθέσεις μπορεί να συγκινήσει και να αγγίξει τον σύγχρονο αναγνώστη. Η ιστορία κυλάει με αργούς και σταθερούς ρυθμούς, οι όποιες εξάρσεις είναι σχετικά λίγες και δοσμένες μελοδραματ Δεύτερο βιβλίο του Γουίλκι Κόλινς που διαβάζω, μετά την ατμοσφαιρική αλλά μάλλον μέτρια νουβέλα "Ο ζωντανός νεκρός" που διάβασα περίπου τέτοια εποχή πριν από πέντε ολόκληρα χρόνια. Τώρα έχουμε να κάνουμε με ένα αρκετά καλογραμμένο αλλά παλιομοδίτικο μελόδραμα μυστηρίου με υπόνοιες υπερφυσικού τρόμου, το οποίο υπό προϋποθέσεις μπορεί να συγκινήσει και να αγγίξει τον σύγχρονο αναγνώστη. Η ιστορία κυλάει με αργούς και σταθερούς ρυθμούς, οι όποιες εξάρσεις είναι σχετικά λίγες και δοσμένες μελοδραματικά, γενικά μάλλον δύσκολα ο σύγχρονος αναγνώστης θα εκπλαγεί από τις διάφορες αποκαλύψεις που γίνονται. Από την άλλη, η όλη αποτύπωση της εποχής κατά την οποία διαδραματίζεται η ιστορία είναι πολύ ρεαλιστική και δίνει την ευκαιρία στον αναγνώστη να πάει (πολύ) πίσω στον χρόνο και να γνωρίσει έναν άλλο κόσμο, ενώ και η ατμόσφαιρα είναι σαφώς εξαιρετική. Η γραφή δείχνει σε πολύ μεγάλο βαθμό τα (σχεδόν) εκατόν τριάντα χρόνια της, όμως μπορώ να πω ότι μου άρεσε: Εδώ που τα λέμε, γενικά απολαμβάνω αυτή την κάπως παλιομοδίτικη γραφή των Βικτωριανών συγγραφέων (αν και δεν έχω διαβάσει όσους πρέπει ή θα ήθελα να διαβάσω - θα γίνει και αυτό, όμως!). Γενικά, πρόκειται για ένα ενδιαφέρον και συμπαθητικό ανάγνωσμα, το οποίο πιστεύω ότι είναι και μια καλή ευκαιρία για να γνωρίσει κανείς τον συγγραφέα.

  5. 5 out of 5

    ᴥ Irena ᴥ

    3.5 The last chapters transform this story from decent to pretty good. The title promises ghosts, but the way that is handled is subtle and never in your face. The supernatural element is there, but it never gets the attention you'd expect in a story like this. I found some of the characters beyond annoying though. The Haunted House is also a murder mystery. You are left questioning what you've read in the end.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Silvery

    0,4 estrellas Es una novela gótica y fiel a su época. Me recordó mucho a "Mi prima Rachel" de Daphne Du Maurier. Tienen mucho en común; Sin olvidar que esta fue escrita en 1878 y la de Du Maurier en 1951. De lectura ágil, su desenlace no defrauda como muchas de su tiempo. La recomiendo!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Paradoxe

    Μη με αφήνεις μόνη Χένρι! Δε μπορώ να πάω κάτω, στους χαρούμενους ανθρώπους Το Στοιχειωμένο Ξενοδοχείο είναι το μοναδικό άλλο έργο του Γουίλκι στο οποίο χρησιμοποιείται συμβατική εξιστόρηση, όπως συμβαίνει και με το νεώτερο κατά 6 χρόνια Άρμαντέιλ. Από την αρχή έκανα τη σκέψη πως υπήρχαν στοιχεία ομοιότητας που πλησίαζαν το μεταφυσικό και μου έδιναν την εντύπωση κάποιας συγγενής φύσης με το Ντίκενς, κάτι που δεν είναι αυτονόητο επειδή ήταν φίλοι. Σε κανένα άλλο έργο του Γουίλκι δεν έχω δει κάτι Μη με αφήνεις μόνη Χένρι! Δε μπορώ να πάω κάτω, στους χαρούμενους ανθρώπους Το Στοιχειωμένο Ξενοδοχείο είναι το μοναδικό άλλο έργο του Γουίλκι στο οποίο χρησιμοποιείται συμβατική εξιστόρηση, όπως συμβαίνει και με το νεώτερο κατά 6 χρόνια Άρμαντέιλ. Από την αρχή έκανα τη σκέψη πως υπήρχαν στοιχεία ομοιότητας που πλησίαζαν το μεταφυσικό και μου έδιναν την εντύπωση κάποιας συγγενής φύσης με το Ντίκενς, κάτι που δεν είναι αυτονόητο επειδή ήταν φίλοι. Σε κανένα άλλο έργο του Γουίλκι δεν έχω δει κάτι τέτοιο, ενώ μια τάση να μοιάζει σε κάποια σημεία του φαίνεται να ακολουθεί ο Ντίκενς. Έχω αδιαφορήσει σε καφετέρια για τη δυσφορία που προκαλεί αυτή η άποψη μου σε όσους θεωρούν το Ντίκενς κλασικό άρα και άγγιχτο, πόσο μάλιστα σε μια προσωπική αξιολόγηση που κάνω. Εν πάση περιπτώσει, σε πολλά σημεία λοιπόν, είχα την αίσθηση πως κάτι στην όλη ατμόσφαιρα μου θύμιζε τη συλλογή διηγημάτων του Ντίκενς που περιείχε τη Δίκη και άλλες τύπου νουάρ ιστορίες. Δε θυμάμαι τον τίτλο. Έπρεπε να φτάσω στη σελίδα 345 για να γκουγκλάρω του Γουίλκι, γιατί η αλήθεια είναι πως ο συγκεκριμένος τίτλος δε μου έλεγε κάτι, ενώ γενικά γνωρίζω την εργογραφία του Γούιλκι. Σύμφωνα με τη Wiki λοιπόν, το έργο αυτό είναι αποτέλεσμα συνεργασίας του Κόλλινς, με το Ντίκενς, τη Γκάσκελ και ορισμένους άλλους. Σύμφωνα με τα παραπάνω λοιπόν καταλαβαίνουμε πως στο παρόν υπάρχει φλερτάρισμα με το μεταφυσικό. Θα μου επιτραπεί να αποφύγω τον όρο υπερφυσικό και νομίζω πως όποιος το έχει διαβάσει, ή θα το διαβάσει, θα κατανοήσει γιατί εμμένω σ’ αυτή την άποψη. Αυτό δεν είναι συνηθισμένο στο Γουίλκι. Επίσης, σε συνέχεια με τα παραπάνω, εδώ δε θα βρούμε εξιστόρηση πολλών προσώπων όπου θα μας ανατριχιάζει ο τρόπος που ο συγγραφέας γίνεται ( με μεγάλη έμφαση αυτό το ρήμα παρακαλώ ) ο κάθε ρόλος για να δούμε τα όσα γνωρίζει απ’ τα μάτια του. Υπάρχει μια φωνή αφήγησης και κυλιόμενα αρκετοί διάλογοι, όπου η σκιαγράφηση είναι αρκετά καλή, έως άριστη για κάποιους χαρακτήρες. Ενώ για άλλους, όχι και τόσο. Άρα αμέσως – αμέσως αυτή η μεγάλη αρετή του Κόλλινς να γίνεται και άντρας και γυναίκα και παιδί και νέος και γριά απουσιάζει. Τον αισθάνομαι να βρίσκεται μέσα στην Κόμισσα σε κάποιους διαλόγους, αλλά και πάλι μπορεί να είναι ιδέα μου. Το Άρμαντέϊλ είναι κακό έργο λοιπόν που ακολουθείται συμβατική εξιστόρηση; Όχι βέβαια! Από το συγκεκριμένο έργο όμως δεν απουσιάζει το πνεύμα του συγγραφέα στη φύση κάθε χαρακτήρα και επίσης δεν είναι έργο μυστηρίου, όσο κι αν αποτελεί μυστήριο πολλές φορές για τον άντρα, η γυναίκα και για τη γυναίκα, ο άντρας. Για να γυρίσω όμως στο Στοιχειωμένο Ξενοδοχείο, πήρα μυστηρίου του Κόλλινς, για να διαβάσω Κόλλινς και απ’ αυτή την άποψη δεν ικανοποιήθηκα. Τα βασικά σημεία που κυνηγάει το μυθιστόρημα είναι η θυματοποίηση ή αγιοποίηση ορισμένων ανθρώπων που βασίζεται στην ‘’αύρα’’ της πρώτης εντύπωσης, είτε αρνητικά, είτε θετικά και σε αυτό επιτυγχάνει να είναι έργο κλασικό, όσο και σύγχρονο, ίσως πολύ μοντέρνο για την εποχή του. Άλλο ζήτημα είναι η αύρα ορισμένων χώρων ή τόπων και το πώς μας προκαταβάλλουν και μετά απ’ όλα αυτά υπάρχει μια λυσσαλέα μάχη αν τελικά το έργο θα γείρει περισσότερο προς το μεταφυσικό στοιχείο ή προς το ρεαλιστικό. Είναι ενδιαφέρον το παιχνίδισμα αυτό, ουσιαστικά προσφέρει μια διαδραστική θέση στον αναγνώστη. Αυτό θα μου επιτρέψετε να ξέρω ότι σίγουρα είναι προσφορά του Κόλλινς στο έργο. Γενικά του αρέσει να φλερτάρει με τον αναγνώστη και να τον συμπεριλαμβάνει. Έχετε ακούσει ποτέ γι' αυτό που λένε γοητεία του τρόμου; Έλκομαι από εσάς, από μια γοητεία του τρόμου. Δεν έχω το δικαίωμα να σας επισκέπτομαι, δεν επιθυμώ να σας επισκέπτομαι: είστε εχθρά μου. Για πρώτη φορά στη ζωή μου, ενάντια στη θέληση μου, υποτάσσομαι στην εχθρό μου. Βλέπετε! Περιμένω, επειδή μου είπατε να περιμένω - και ο φόβος μου για σας ( το ορκίζομαι! ) έρπει μέσα μου, όσο στέκομαι εδώ. Ω, μη μου επιτρέψετε να σας κινήσω την περιέργεια, ή τον οίκτο! Να είστε σκληρή και αδυσώπητη, και μνησίκακη, σαν αυτόν. Κάντε μου τη χάρη, να μ' ελευθερώσετε. Πείτε μου να φύγω Αν διασκέδασα; Καταδιασκέδασα! Πολύ γρήγορο, ατμοσφαιρικό, ζωντανό με μεγάλη ενάργεια στην παρουσίαση των χαρακτήρων. Κάποιοι απ’ τους οποίους μου ήταν πολύ αγαπητοί. Αλλά δεν είχε βάθος. Και σε κάποια σημεία μοιάζει συγκεχυμένο. Θίγει ορισμένα θέματα, όπως ταίριαζε άλλωστε και στους δυο συγγραφείς, που οριοθετούνται και περιγράφονται με κοφτερή ακρίβεια, αλλά τα θέματα αλλάζουν σαν το καλειδοσκόπιο, σαν εικόνες δηλαδή που φεύγουν, κάνουν κύκλο και μετά τις ξαναβλέπεις κάποια στιγμή κι ίσως να δει και κάτι άλλο. Γιατί πρέπει να βρεις ντε και καλά και κάτι περισσότερο, θα αναρωτηθεί κάποιος, η απάντηση είναι πως όταν μπαίνουν κάποια ονόματα στον τίτλο, εγώ έχω ορισμένες απαιτήσεις διότι με καλόμαθαν οι ίδιοι. Τέλος, η επιμέλεια των εκδ. Ερατώ ήταν πάρα πολύ καλή και οι σημειώσεις υπέραρκετές. Κατά τα λοιπά, είναι ένα ωραίο εργάκι που κάνει καλή παρέα και σε πάει όπου θες να πας.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Gabyal

    Bueno, la narración de la historia me ha gustado, es muy fácil y rápido de leer, los personajes están bien logrados, para mí fue un libro de suspenso más que de miedo o de fantasmas , creo que era predecible lo que iba a suceder.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)

    I liked this story. It was multifaceted in that it was not just a haunted house story, but also a murder mystery. Collins builds the suspense and the feeling of curiosity that keeps the reader engaged. I found the writing to be far from dated. The language was not antiquated, but felt almost modern in some ways. The print for my copy is rather small, and that's the only reason I didn't read it faster. Yesterday, I kept saying, I'll read to this point, and to that point, before I knew it, it was I liked this story. It was multifaceted in that it was not just a haunted house story, but also a murder mystery. Collins builds the suspense and the feeling of curiosity that keeps the reader engaged. I found the writing to be far from dated. The language was not antiquated, but felt almost modern in some ways. The print for my copy is rather small, and that's the only reason I didn't read it faster. Yesterday, I kept saying, I'll read to this point, and to that point, before I knew it, it was quite late and I had to put the book down to go to bed. I didn't find the prose melodramatic. Instead, I found that Collins is matter of fact in describing horrors. It's merely in the reading of such things that the horror is evoked. I was quite surprised at the horrible things that had occurred, and it wasn't due to that Campy Gothic or Victorian Penny Dreadful tendency to use outlandish language to evoke a dark, sinister tone. I liked his subtle but hilarious humor, particularly in the part in which Francis Westwick goes to the room in question. I was laughing out loud on that part. The Haunted Hotel starts out in an curious manner, with a false narrator. Which is quite brilliant. This beginning narrator never makes another appearance, and I was left to wonder how this plot thread would end up in the titular place. Further reading shows Collins' tendency to continuously introduce new point of views, leaving it up to the reader to see how it ties together. As I consider this novella, I wonder if this was not his way of revealing the intriguing character of the Countess through different eyes. So one cannot easily make up their mind about her. (view spoiler)[ I have to admit that I felt sympathetic to her up to almost the end of the story. While what she does is completely heinous and terrible, I felt that her allegiance to her awful brother was no small factor in her moral failing. In the end, she seemed to merely live down to everyone's expectations of her, instead of reaching higher. Instead of staying true to what I felt was an inner cord of strength, she followed that fatal path to destruction. So I admit that in the end, I still pitied her despite her actions. I was in no small way surprised that she actually was guilty. I thought perhaps she was just a victim of a bad reputation. My feelings towards the Countess make me admire this story more for the clever way in which it was written. (hide spoiler)] Now an impatient reader will wish for Collins to get to the point, but I rather enjoyed the journey. I found the characters interesting, all of which evoking sympathy to some extent (except the Baron, who I found totally repugnant). Collins has a way of writing characters that is quite appealing to me. Even the lesser important characters come to life and earn their screen time when they come into the scenes. I enjoyed the roundabout way of presenting a story that was actually quite chilling in parts. I appreciated how intricately the mystery builds to a satisfying climax for this reader. In the end, I was impressed with this novella by Mr. Collins. I will read more of his work because I think he has a way of writing mystery and suspense that is timeless, drawing me into his writing and not easily letting me go. His characters have impact and come to life for this reader, not sacrificed to a greater goal of evoking horror or terror, as can sometimes happen in this genre. I for one recommend this story to fans of classic/gothic horror and suspense. Read out of The Haunted Hotel & Other Stories.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sean

    The Haunted Hotel is a short ghost story/mystery concerning the death of Lord Montbarry and the strange occurrences that happen at his palace of residence in Venice which is converted into a hotel after his death. This novella skips a lot of the description and detail that is found in his longer and more famous works. Therefore, the story does seem to be rushed and summarized. However, this is good place to start if you want something a little more fast paced and want to get familiar with Collin The Haunted Hotel is a short ghost story/mystery concerning the death of Lord Montbarry and the strange occurrences that happen at his palace of residence in Venice which is converted into a hotel after his death. This novella skips a lot of the description and detail that is found in his longer and more famous works. Therefore, the story does seem to be rushed and summarized. However, this is good place to start if you want something a little more fast paced and want to get familiar with Collins’s writing style. Although it doesn’t stand up to Woman and White or the Moonstone, it was worth reading and gives some variety to Collins’ repertoire.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    Really 2 and 1/2 stars. This felt more like an outline of a novel, as the characters were not well-developed nor very interesting. The two main female characters (Agnes and The Countess) were pretty annoying at times. There was a big "info dump" at the end that seemed like lazy writing on the author's part. Not as well-written as some of the author's earlier books, and not as much fun to read. Don't start with this book, if you are new to Wilkie Collins. He does write some good novels - this boo Really 2 and 1/2 stars. This felt more like an outline of a novel, as the characters were not well-developed nor very interesting. The two main female characters (Agnes and The Countess) were pretty annoying at times. There was a big "info dump" at the end that seemed like lazy writing on the author's part. Not as well-written as some of the author's earlier books, and not as much fun to read. Don't start with this book, if you are new to Wilkie Collins. He does write some good novels - this book just isn't one of them.

  12. 5 out of 5

    David Sarkies

    Another Wilkie Mystery 17 August 2018 For some reason, ever since I read The Moonstone at book club I have been somewhat drawn towards works by Wilkie Collins. Maybe it has something to do with him being a lesser known 19th Century British writer, lesser known in the sense that I had never heard of him until they decided to read him. Okay, he has been credited with writing the first detective novel, the aforementioned Moonstone, but this book also seems to come across as a mystery as well. Basica Another Wilkie Mystery 17 August 2018 For some reason, ever since I read The Moonstone at book club I have been somewhat drawn towards works by Wilkie Collins. Maybe it has something to do with him being a lesser known 19th Century British writer, lesser known in the sense that I had never heard of him until they decided to read him. Okay, he has been credited with writing the first detective novel, the aforementioned Moonstone, but this book also seems to come across as a mystery as well. Basically, we have the protagonist Agnes whose fiancé basically leaves her for another woman, the Countess Narona. In fact the Countess, who basically stole Agnes’ fiancé, comes into see a doctor to confess to him, though of course the doctor really isn’t all that interested in listening to somebody’s personal problems. I would say that he isn’t that sort of doctor, but then again I suspect that since we are still at least a quarter of a century away from Sigmund Freud, I’m not entirely sure if any of those sort of doctors actually existed, or at least counselors whose job was to basically tell their client’s that everything is all right, and as long as they aren’t actually breaking the law, then screw morality, just do what feels good. Anyway, Agnes’ ex-fiancé suddenly dies of bronchitis, but for some reason the wife of one of their servants receives a thousand quid out of thin air. This sort of raises some questions, but then the insurance company gets involved, as they are prone to do whenever they are forced to pay out any money, and come to the conclusion that the death was legitimate and settled the policy (though I suspect that like most insurance companies, particularly life insurance companies, they will go to great lengths to not actually pay anything out). So, the book then jumps to Venice, because as it turns out after they had finished their honeymoon they decided to stay in Venice and buy and old, run down palace (as a house in Venice is known as). A few years later, another person purchases the palace and turns it into a hotel, however it turns out that one of the rooms is haunted (or at least believed to be because, well, us rational people really don’t believe in ghosts, do we), in the sense that the people who stay in that room end up having nightmares. Well, this book isn’t one of those Sherlock Holmes, everything has a rational explanation type of stories, though it probably isn’t as much of a mystery as those of Holmes, or more so the later detective writers where they riddled their works with clues so that the reader could attempt to work it out before the author revealed all (not that I’ve ever been all that good at that, but then again I’ve never been a huge fan of detective fiction anyway, other that Holmes of course, but that has a lot to do with him actually being a cocaine fiend that spends his spare time prize fighting and visiting brothels). The other thing is that this book really doesn’t have a big reveal, or at least a big reveal by some French detective with a ridiculously long moustache that looks so bad that it completely put me off the movie. Though we are told a few things, if only because the confession is written as a play. Actually, when the play was being explained, it sort of reminded me a lot of Hamlet, where Hamlet writes a play, or at least gets the players to perform a play, that is so similar to what he believes happened to his father, that the king has a fit and storms out of the room. Yet it makes me wonder whether such a confession would actually be accepted, you know, where the guilty person writes a story that appears to be entirely fictional, but in reality they are basically telling a story based on what they actually done. I guess it has something to do with some people really, really wanting to actually confess to their crimes. Sure, not everybody is like that, many people are so convinced that they haven’t done anything wrong that the feeling of guilt simply does not exist. Yet others get so torn with guilt that the only way that they can overcome that dreaded feeling is to actually say something. Maybe writing it out as a form of fiction is a way to confess one’s guilt without actually outright saying that they committed the crime. Then again, the Countess certainly was the type of person who suffered from guilt, particularly since at the beginning of the play she goes and sees a doctor to confess that she is in the habit of seducing other people’s partners for her own pleasure. Yet it also makes me wonder about this idea of one constantly seeking affirmation for behaving, well, like a jerk. Maybe she wanted to confess because she wanted affirmation from somebody to tell her that what she had done was right. Well, killing somebody certainly doesn’t fall into that category, at least in the case here in this book, but the whole thing of dealing with guilt is an interesting thing, particularly where you basically seek that affirmation from your friends, or simply post it on Facebook to see how many likes you happen to get.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Brendagarza

    Me declaro fan de Wilkie Collins, no se puede negar que el hombre tenía una mente bastante retorcida. Si bien este libro está catalogado como terror, es en un estilo muy típico de su época, no puedo evitar pensar en la gente sentada alrededor de la chimenea leyendo esto para pasar el rato y luego no dormir, es inevitable admirar que Collins a más de 100 años de distancia nos dejara un escrito donde se disfruta esa innegable capacidad para generar un ambiente tétrico, una enorme capacidad para gen Me declaro fan de Wilkie Collins, no se puede negar que el hombre tenía una mente bastante retorcida. Si bien este libro está catalogado como terror, es en un estilo muy típico de su época, no puedo evitar pensar en la gente sentada alrededor de la chimenea leyendo esto para pasar el rato y luego no dormir, es inevitable admirar que Collins a más de 100 años de distancia nos dejara un escrito donde se disfruta esa innegable capacidad para generar un ambiente tétrico, una enorme capacidad para generar suspense. Yo me inclinaría a catalogar este libro más en lo gótico, pero eso es lo de menos, el mejor categoría en el que entra es en el "de los buenos libros" En independencia de que en la actualidad este libro podría resultar, incluso "ingenuo" refiriéndose al tiempo de terror que maneja, la realidad es que es lo que es innegable es que Collins tiene la enorme habilidad de mantener al lector pegado a la historia y sin darnos respiro. El personaje de la condesa es tremendo, el final maravilloso y construido además de una manera magistral. Una escritura maravillosa y muy entretenida, imposible parar de leer, una vez que comencé, no lo pude soltar (no sé si al final de mi vida voy a padecer más de problemas de cuello o de vista), simplemente me he bebido este libro y lo he leído en una tarde, productiva en lectura e improductiva en la vida cotidiana, pero soy honesta, ha valido la pena no lavar trastes, no cenar y dejar plantada a una amiga 😂😂😂 Me ha gustado mucho

  14. 5 out of 5

    Irene

    El hotel Encantado, demuestra el miedo que habita entre nosotros mismos. El giro entre lo romántico y el suspense y la ambientación gótica, magnífica en Venecia, Italia. El hotel y sus dependencias, hacen parecerá que el lector despierte de su letargo en tal lugar y despliegue su mejor ingenio jugando con el ambiente y con la aparición de la pérfida condesa-no así en Inglaterra que es donde se inicia la novela. Pero lo mejor, es que no lo resuelves del todo, hasta el final.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Xfi

    Novela gótica sencilla y previsible aunque muy bien escrita, logra transportarte a una época y a unos personajes afectados y sufrientes por cosas que ahora parecen ridículas. Buen libro para la época de Halloween y para el que guste de las novelas victorianas.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Amelia

    Well it wasn't to bad but it wasn't good

  17. 5 out of 5

    Guzzo

    Elegante libro de horror victoriano que se lee con gusto. Más misterio y terror psicológico que emociones fuertes. Creo que no es lo mejor de Collins, pero sí un buen principio. Recomendable.

  18. 5 out of 5

    James McCormick

    After reading Wilkie Collins’ The Moonstone I was disappointed overall with the Haunted Hotel. It really isn’t in the same class. The start is gripping enough and compelling enough to keep you reading. In fact, Countess Narona (pale skinned and dark haired) who we meet from the start is probably the most interesting character in the story. I expected (and wanted) Gothic melodrama and theatrical dialogue so this in itself wasn’t a problem. Rather it seemed that as a story it just doesn’t hold tog After reading Wilkie Collins’ The Moonstone I was disappointed overall with the Haunted Hotel. It really isn’t in the same class. The start is gripping enough and compelling enough to keep you reading. In fact, Countess Narona (pale skinned and dark haired) who we meet from the start is probably the most interesting character in the story. I expected (and wanted) Gothic melodrama and theatrical dialogue so this in itself wasn’t a problem. Rather it seemed that as a story it just doesn’t hold together. There are too many threads that just seem to fade away. The supernatural ending also was very plodding and apart from Countess Narona’s dark monologue failed to impress.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Duane

    This review contains a major spoiler. 3.5 stars. Published almost 20 years after The Woman in White, they were similar in certain aspects, especially switching identities of deceased people. Although entertaining, it is nowhere close to being as good as his earlier classic. But I like the writing style of Collins and I have many more of his books to look forward to.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    I wanted to like this so much more than I did. On the plus side I liked most of the characters (outlines) and the story was good but we were lacking a bit of atmosphere and I didn't feel Venice at all. And there could have been more character development - I only really felt the Countess and Henry. It's worth a read but it is low on horror and is told slowly!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jessy

    Me gustó más de lo que creía, la verdad es que no tenía muchas expectativas sobre el libro. Se lee muy rápido y es una buena historia para estos días lluviosos y nublados.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Isabel

    Overall, it was a bit underwhelming. I feel as if there was a rush to write this story and, because of that, a few things are a bit confusing or underdeveloped.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Brooke

    Wilkie Collins, a close friend of Charles Dickens, is best known for his novels The Woman in White and The Moonstone, and The Haunted Hotel is very similar in its tone and atmosphere. The Countess Narona steals away Lord Montbarry from Abby Lockwood. Despite Abby's forgiving nature, the Countess is convinced that Abby has doomed her to a tragic ending. When Montbarry dies and his courier disappears, Montbarry's family slowly unravels the mystery that is left behind. Collins has a tendency to cons Wilkie Collins, a close friend of Charles Dickens, is best known for his novels The Woman in White and The Moonstone, and The Haunted Hotel is very similar in its tone and atmosphere. The Countess Narona steals away Lord Montbarry from Abby Lockwood. Despite Abby's forgiving nature, the Countess is convinced that Abby has doomed her to a tragic ending. When Montbarry dies and his courier disappears, Montbarry's family slowly unravels the mystery that is left behind. Collins has a tendency to constantly switch narrators, a technique that is also present here. It can be disconcerting until you meet all the characters and get a feel for each of them. He uses each narrator well, however, as each one is able to fill in parts of the story that the others are not able to. The resolution of The Haunted Hotel is particularly horrific, which is odd, given how simplistic it is compared to the many serial killer and horror novels I've read. The chills come from the total depravity and indifference that the villains exhibit towards the victims and towards each other. The Haunted Hotel is available in many editions; I recommend one that contains Collins' other (very) short stories as well.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Renee M

    Good, Ghostly, Grisly, Melodrama filled with plenty of paranormal activity, a little romance, and a ghoulishly entertaining mystery. Delightfully diverting!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Onaiza Khan

    It's a great story, liked it

  26. 4 out of 5

    Book Wyrm

    Well, this was disappointing. The gilded wallpapered parlour room drama of broken relationships and pining for cousins dragged on for an eternity, and this felt more like a murder mystery for the most part, lacking anything that suggested the book had the right to call itself 'Haunted Hotel'. All except one thing, and the book had the common sense to open with this and it tricked me into reading all of it: The Countess. She was goddamned fascinating, the best character whenever she appeared becau Well, this was disappointing. The gilded wallpapered parlour room drama of broken relationships and pining for cousins dragged on for an eternity, and this felt more like a murder mystery for the most part, lacking anything that suggested the book had the right to call itself 'Haunted Hotel'. All except one thing, and the book had the common sense to open with this and it tricked me into reading all of it: The Countess. She was goddamned fascinating, the best character whenever she appeared because she was a total enigma. Was she a villain or victim, was she wronged or a liar, does she have unusual powers or is she just a complete nutter? Her role in this otherwise tripe hack of a book was perfect, as I could never quite figure out her character, and even by the end there's still a little ambiguity on her motivations, deeds and powers. The Countess aside, this was readable but hollow, with a few smatterings of horror and spookiness thrown in near the end to justify the title, but it seemed completely out of place amongst the rest of the narrative. Unimpressed and angry to be fooled, but long live the Countess.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Franky

    As with many other Wilkie Collins novels, The Haunted Hotel has elements of fate, romance, danger, deception, murder and mystery. The story begins with Lord Montbarry breaking off his engagement to Anges Lockwood. Countess Narona, who will marry Lord Montbarry, comes to see a doctor to evaluate her sanity. The Countess seems to be under a good deal of stress about this marriage, as she was unaware Montbarry had already been engaged. There is an aura of fatalism about the Countess, as she feels a As with many other Wilkie Collins novels, The Haunted Hotel has elements of fate, romance, danger, deception, murder and mystery. The story begins with Lord Montbarry breaking off his engagement to Anges Lockwood. Countess Narona, who will marry Lord Montbarry, comes to see a doctor to evaluate her sanity. The Countess seems to be under a good deal of stress about this marriage, as she was unaware Montbarry had already been engaged. There is an aura of fatalism about the Countess, as she feels an impending sense of dread about this situation.However, the marriage goes through, and it seems that the Countess and Agnes Lockwood will cross paths several times. When a mysterious death takes place a bit later, followed by a disappearance of equal mystery, then things get more complicated. Fate seems to beckon all key characters to an ill-fated hotel with one seriously spooky room. The novel’s conclusion, where all is unraveled in the denouement, is probably the most effective part of the book and mystery to the plot. As always, Collins knows how to put everything together in amazing fashion and hold our interest by delaying major plot developments. This makes the final few chapters quite compelling, as we await the fates of key characters and the mysteries involved with the hotel. I also really enjoyed the “book within a book” approach that Collins utilizes as a key component in the mystery. Still, I think that several of Collins longer books are much more effective at creating a well-timed pacing and building the appropriate amount of suspense and tension. The pacing for The Haunted Hotel seems to be off, with long bouts of romance and trivial developments in the first half that stall the story. At these moments where we learn a bit of the background the plot moves at a plodding pace, with no sense of tension or real drive to get going anywhere. It is only when several character motives are in plain view, and when the hotel becomes the focus, that the suspense takes off and heads to a fitting conclusion.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Abrir un Libro

    Siempre es un placer leer a Wilkie Collins y a su fantástico estilo narrativo aunque en esta novela, El hotel encantado, no llega a alcanzar la maestría de otros de sus libros como por ejemplo la maravillosa La dama de blanco (1860) o La piedra lunar (1868). Wilkie Collins, después del gran éxito de ventas alcanzado con sus novelas -gracias a la revista All the Year Round y a su amigo Charles Dickens-, inició su declive como escritor, apuntando todo a la fuerte drogodependencia por el láudano a Siempre es un placer leer a Wilkie Collins y a su fantástico estilo narrativo aunque en esta novela, El hotel encantado, no llega a alcanzar la maestría de otros de sus libros como por ejemplo la maravillosa La dama de blanco (1860) o La piedra lunar (1868). Wilkie Collins, después del gran éxito de ventas alcanzado con sus novelas -gracias a la revista All the Year Round y a su amigo Charles Dickens-, inició su declive como escritor, apuntando todo a la fuerte drogodependencia por el láudano a causa de una gota reumática y, posteriormente, a la pérdida de su mentor y amigo, Dickens, en 1870. En El hotel encantado –The Haunted Hotel-, escrito en 1878, ya se aprecia este declive aunque... http://www.abrirunlibro.com/2016/01/e...

  29. 4 out of 5

    F.R.

    The first Wilkie Collins book I read was The Woman In White, which is excellent and I would heartily recommend. Since then I have always been somewhat disappointed by him. The Moonstone - thanks to a ludicrous denoument - disappoints, while Armadle is a mess. As such I approached this short novel with a sense of mild trepidation, but this is actually a strong tale. A mysterious European countess marries an English Lord who dies shortly afterwards, the ramifications affect his entire family. Writte The first Wilkie Collins book I read was The Woman In White, which is excellent and I would heartily recommend. Since then I have always been somewhat disappointed by him. The Moonstone - thanks to a ludicrous denoument - disappoints, while Armadle is a mess. As such I approached this short novel with a sense of mild trepidation, but this is actually a strong tale. A mysterious European countess marries an English Lord who dies shortly afterwards, the ramifications affect his entire family. Written in a more straightforward style than his more famous works, Collins does succeed in maintaining the mystery and tension throughout. To be fair the supernatural elements are somewhat glossed over, but this tale of sex, guilt and murder does have more than enough grisly twists and turns.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    Nice mystery, revolving around a neat twist. Collins isn't as profuse in his writing as his friend, Dickens, thankfully, and the story zips along at a fair (if occasionally improbable) pace. On the other hand, his characters aren't as vivid as Dickens' either. There's no one much who stands out in the book as a strong character, though at least the young women have some personal strength compared to the overly romanticised heroines Dickens often produced. Anyway the book isn't really about chara Nice mystery, revolving around a neat twist. Collins isn't as profuse in his writing as his friend, Dickens, thankfully, and the story zips along at a fair (if occasionally improbable) pace. On the other hand, his characters aren't as vivid as Dickens' either. There's no one much who stands out in the book as a strong character, though at least the young women have some personal strength compared to the overly romanticised heroines Dickens often produced. Anyway the book isn't really about character: people come and go and are mostly there to serve the functions of the plot. Unfortunately, another reviewer on Goodreads spoilt the surprise for me when I happened to glance at their review in which they revealed the twist. Very naughty!

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