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Poor Miss Finch (English Edition) [Format Kindle]

Wilkie Collins
5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)

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Revue de presse

praiseworthy novel ... it is well worth exhuming (David Holloway, Sunday Telegraph)

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This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.

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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 going back in time ! 13 avril 2014
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
A wonderful atmosphere, almost as if you were in the Bronte's world again. Well written and although predictable a page turner !
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 3.6 étoiles sur 5  7 commentaires
25 internautes sur 26 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 A Real Curio from the Author of "The Moonstone" 30 janvier 2002
Par Tsuyoshi - Publié sur
Wilkie Collins will be justly remembered as writer responsible for "The Moonstone" and "The Woman in White," both written in the 1860s, but after the golden decade he continued to write pretty good books, and his fame was not to suffer very much even though he never gained the zenith of his reputation he gained by these two masterpieces. "Poor Miss Finch" belongs to such post-"The Moonstone" period of the 1870s when he wrote quaint books -- less mystery but more unusual situations. "Poor Miss Finch" is one of them.
The story goes around the heroine Lucilla Finch, who lost sight because of cataract since childhood, and now she leads an independent life in quiet countryside. In her life joins the narrator Madame Prantolungo, and the identical twins (both very handsome) Oscar and Nugent. She falls in love with Oscar, and he in her, but one secret he can never disclose to her greatly troubles him, because by doing so, he might lose her love. In the meantime, Lucilla is given a chance to restore her sight. Then, Collins goes on; What if, with the amazing twists and turns of the story, Lucilla is led to think that Oscar's twin brother Nugent is Oscar himself?
You say it is a very preposterous development (I remembered David Cronenberg film "Dead Ringers" made in 1988), and that has been the general reception of the book since the publication. But the story keeps a good pace, and if you just suspend your disbelief for a while, you may forget the outrageous situation. After all, it was from the pen of master of suspense. But more important thing is behind the surface of text.
Oxford Classics gives very usuful introduction of Catherine Peters, author of acclaimed biography of Wilkie Collins "The King of Inventors," and she places the book in the historical context to explain several aspects of the book. One of the most intriguing is the fact that Collins researched thoroughly medical records of people who regained their sight after long-time blindness since childhood, and their reaction to the newly-given power of seeing. Lucilla experiences many difficulties in identifying objects she sees, and Collins makes good use of those records. Another aspect of the novel which Peters points out is that Collins uses blindness of "Poor Miss Finch" as a means of criticizing rigid Victorian moral codes. As a blind girl, Lucilla is less restrained in observing the strong sense of "respectability." She is made a little willful, obstinate heroine, but it is clearly intentional. With these things in mind, the book might become more entertaining, and inform you something about Vitorians.
As a literary work, "Poor Miss Finch" never achieves the height of "The Moonstone" and "The Woman in White," so I recommend those two books if you haven't read them yet. However, if you are interested in something very unique, you can try this one.
As Peters says in Introduction, intriguing theme of blindness is recorded in Dr. Oliver Sacks's tale "To See and Not See." This tale can be found in his book "Anthropologist on Mars," and partly became the basis of a film "At First Sight" (1999) starring Val Kilmer and Mira Sorvino. The film is not a masterpiece, but still gives some insight to the topic.
12 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 An Additional Perspective on Poor Miss Finch 6 janvier 2007
Par Bluestalking Reader - Publié sur
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
The two other reviews of this book are extremely perceptive and well-written. I'd just like to add more on what's truly special about this book, and why I think it deserves a little better notice than it gets.

Yes, the plot is improbable, but it's not exactly singular for that alone. A lot of Victorian-era fiction demands we suspend disbelief. It's a fact the Victorian audience wasn't as completely jaded as we are in the 21st century, so judging it by today's standards isn't entirely fair. The book is romantic and at times laughingly improbable, yes, but it's still what I'd consider a ripping good yarn of a book.

Aside from this, what made it exceptional at the time was the fact no one had really written from a blind person's perspective before, or at least not with the sort of detail and thought Collins did. The passages written after Lucilla regains her sight (okay, cat out of bag partially but there's MUCH MORE to it) are wonders of insightful prose. Collins describes her challenges with things like depth perception, and in thinking about it doesn't that make perfect sense? Lucilla has to close her eyes, at first, just to make her way across a room. Distance has no meaning for her as she'd never seen it before, or hadn't since before she was one year old.

Writing was a challenge, too, though she could write when she was blind. She knew how to form characters but couldn't recognize them when she saw them, much less make them by use of her sight. In another very moving scene Lucilla is shown a round and a square object, and asked "which is round?" She couldn't say. She'd never SEEN the concepts of round and square before. Again, she had to close her eyes and feel them both to know the answer.

Throughout all these "tests" Lucilla felt completely humiliated and stupid that she couldn't do these very basic things, and declared she wished she were blind again. Really moving stuff, written with so much empathy and attention to detail.

That's an even more exceptional dimension to Poor Miss Finch, in case anyone wasn't swayed by the great storyline. I recommend it very highly to those who love Victorian fiction and would like to explore more of Wilkie Collins's works.
9 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 A flawed effort... 13 octobre 1999
Par Un client - Publié sur
Lucilla Finch, the protagonist mentioned in the title of this unusual Collins' novel, is not one of his more endearing heroines. Oft times impetuous and fickle, even in her gentlest moments she's impossibly dull, even with the "affliction" of blindness. This is one of the many flaws in this rare Collins novel. The plot is mercilessly silly and wildly implausible. Collin's characters are mostly cardboard- with the exception of the narrator. Collins is not asking for reader's pity in Lucilla's plight for love in the sighted world, but pity for those who are bound to it's narrowed understanding. Not one of Collins' more accomplished works yet in many ways deeply thought provoking.
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Riveting, compelling and a real page turner 27 août 2013
Par AF Michael - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
The characters in this book are at once strange, strangely interesting and so different with bits of profound thought sprinkled in the tale.

The book struck me as though Wilkie had a few "characters" that he dreamed up based on information he'd acquired and didn't use in other stories and lumped them all in - a food loving optic surgeon, an eccentric young blind woman, a French expat and widow of a revolutionary, and a set of twins, an annoying minister who doesn't know when to shut his mouth and the "damp" wife (as she is often described) of the minister who produces children at regular intervals to a wandering 3 year old who wanders in and out of the tale at strange times and created a story around them.

The character study is rather like a patchwork or tapestry with a lot of threads woven in and out. The tale of a young blind woman, blind since infancy and her perception of the world and its denizens is intriguing. Everyone pities her, except herself. Of course, she has the advantages of that time of life to see her in good stead to assure her survival. She falls in love. Her sight is restored by the surgeon - and the story kicks into high gear to see how she adapts (or not) to the world, to the love she thinks she feels (or not) is compelling to say the least.

The story is deeply textured and rich. The characters will annoy you, fascinate you, make you laugh, cry and astound you and you won't want to put the book down. I loved it...absolutely loved it. I didn't expect to, but I did. I think you'll love it too.
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Victorians era 27 août 2014
Par sissyjazzmom - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
If anyone likes Dickens or any other Victorian era authors, you'll love this. I get such a kick out of the contrast between today's subpar authors and there filth and authors that could be so eloquent without the f bomb and sex every other page. Today's authors, for the most part, just don't measure up!
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