Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Classics Circuit: Wilkie Collins on Tour!

Book: Hide and Seek by Wilkie Collins
Genre: Classic
Rating: B+
For: The Classics Circuit

Yeah! Finally my turn to welcome Wilkie Collins to my blog as part of
the new Classics Circuit. Since I'm at the tail end of this tour, hopefully there's no one out there who will say "Who the heck is Wilkie Collins!?" Also, hopefully there's no one out there saying, "I'm sick to death of Wilkie Collins!"

Anyway, by now I'm guessing you all know that Wilkie Collins was a friend of Charles Dickens, and a wonderful writer in his own right. Unluckily for him, he seemed to be overshadowed by his buddy, and didn't quite make it as big. However, his books, though different, are totally delightful.

I stumbled upon Wilkie years ago, I think it was when an online Yahoo book club picked his book The Woman in White for their selection. I'd never heard of him. But I loved the book. I made my husband read it and he loved it too. Then we read The Moonstone, and really loved it. We started wondering, why doesn't he get any recognition? His books are so funny, witty, clever, articulate, engaging, and memorable.

It was then that we went on a bit of Wilkie kick. Every time we did an Amazon order (because we couldn't find them at the bookstore), we'd add one of his books to the cart. The end result being we now have about ten or so of his novels, some very obscure, in our library. My husband has read them all, but I, somehow (can you even believe it???) got behind.

So I chose to review one of those more obscure novels called Hide and Seek. Sadly, I must say, this is probably the least favorite of his I've read so far. I feel like I've been reading it forever! There were many parts that just dragged on and on. And much too much detail.

But still, the use of words is fascinating. I love it! The story was fun too. It's about a girl who is adopted by this very nice painter man. She had an accident when she was very little which left her deaf and dumb. She was raised by some nice circus people, and the man rescues her from that life when she was about ten. He lives in constant fear that someone will discover her and claim her as their family. That's the "hide" part.

The "seek" part is when a new character is introduced who returns home to England after being abroad for some twenty odd years. We learn right off, as he begins to investigate his long lost family, that of course.... there's a connection to our little friend.

Much of the story was told as a back story, through letters, and long narratives. I kept wishing that those back stories were actually a true part of the book. I wanted to get much deeper into the all trauma and drama... and really get connected and invested in the characters, but we just heard about it... and the actual story itself was quite bland.

Oh, well. I just looked it up and it's listed quite near the top, chronologically speaking, of his huge list of works written. Maybe he just hadn't quite figured it all out yet!

Regardless, Wilkie, you rock! I love your books and will continue in my quest to read all the unread ones I have here on my shelves. I hope those of you who had never heard of him until this blog tour blitz, will give him a try and let me know what you


  1. So far I've only read two books by him, but I need to read more. I get the impression from this tour that he's hit or miss, though.

  2. That's awesome that your husband has read so many of his books! And I totally understand you getting side tracked. Sorry it wasn't a favorite for you! I hope the next Collins you pick up is more rewarding.

    Thanks for joining the Circuit!

  3. I have both THE WOMAN IN WHITE and THE MOONSTONE sitting on my shelves. Really need to get to them.



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