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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (821 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Wilkie Collins Narrator: Traci Svendsgaard Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2009 ISBN: 9781455196470
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When the Countess Narona meets Agnes Lockwood, the woman jilted by her fiancé, she feels a great sense of foreboding. After Countess Narona’s marriage, she moves with her husband, Lord Montbarry, to Venice. There, disowned by his family, the lord apparently becomes a recluse and falls fatally ill. As much as Agnes tries to forget the episode of her broken engagement, her fate and that of the countess seem to be inextricably woven. Both are relentlessly drawn to the Palace Hotel in Venice for a final and dramatic encounter in the room where more than past emotions resurface to haunt them.

Loosely based on a case from the annals of French crime, the scene, scenery, players, conflicts, and especially the horror of this mystery come through the invention of one of our classic novelists.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “In this story, as the chief character is internally melodramatic, the story itself ceases to be merely melodramatic and partakes of true drama.”

    T. S. Eliot

  • “A pleasingly nasty affair.”

    Times (London)

  • “It is is this formula of the exciting and at times a fanciful plot tinged with the supernatural but peopled by wholly credible and engaging characters that make The Haunted Hotel:A Mystery of Modern Venice such a fascinating read. In essence Collins’ ideas, themes, and motifs introduced in earlier works are streamlined and concentrated here into this tight novella.”

    David Stuart Davies, editor, writer, and playwright

  • “One of the best ghost stories of the century.”

    Nuel Pharr Davis, author of The Life of Wilkie Collins

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Linda | 2/19/2014

    " Saw this in the 'Classics' section of my library so gave it a whirl. I quite enjoyed reading it, in a gothic horror sort of way, but it was nowhere near as good as The Moonstone or The Woman in White. Still, glad I tried it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jen | 2/17/2014

    " This book was really disappointing. It could have been so much better if just rearranged a bit, or written in first person by Henry or Agatha. Still a fan of The Moonstone and The Woman in White, so I will keep trying other Collins, they have to be better than this! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Eddy Allen | 2/9/2014

    " Is there no explanation of the mystery of The Haunted Hotel? Is The Haunted Hotel the tale of a haunting -- or the tale of a crime? The ghost of Lord Montberry haunts the Palace Hotel in Venice --- or does it? Montberry's beautiful-yet-terrifying wife, the Countess Narona, and her erstwhile brother are the center of the terror that fills the Palace Hotel. Are their malefactions at the root of the haunting -- or is there something darker, something much more unknowable at work? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Aingheal Apryll | 2/8/2014

    " I had expected more from this book. The plot is very interesting, intricate, complex and farfetched; good for a gothic novel. Style of writing is... not that great. Add to that, that I've the feeling the narrator is a sexist bastard (as well towards men as women). Do not want. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pamela | 2/7/2014

    " Typical Collins. Great characters. Great story. A very good time. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Keith | 2/6/2014

    " I never made it past the first 30 pages and it pained me to get even that far. This is one of only a few books I ever gave up on. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Susan | 1/29/2014

    " The old-fashioned text was a bit tedious, and the plot slow. Written in the late 1800s. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sandra | 1/26/2014

    " I'm on a Wilkie Collins jag. Not as grand as his Big Two, The Moonstone and The Woman in White, this shorter effort is notable as a combination mystery story, ghost story and psychological thriller. Beginning in London, the story shifts to the haunting streets and canals of Venice where the Countess Narona, who married a man betrothed to another, foresees meeting her punishment and doom for past evils when she comes face to face with the woman who was wronged. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Heather | 1/23/2014

    " Beautifully written and very creepy. The Victorian ghost stories are still the best and always will be. As with a lot of Victorian era writing, the female characters are either very wicked or weak and watery but Collins' women have a little more to them than usual. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Potjy | 1/20/2014

    " I read this book long time ago. I don't remember much, except THAT fireplace scene. Yessssss! I love it to the last blood cell! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tino | 1/17/2014

    " This is my first Wilkie Collins book I have read, and I enjoyed every second of the tale of the haunted hotel. This is an essential read. I was gripped from beginning to end. I hope other Wilkie Collins books are just as entrancing as this one! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sherene | 1/15/2014

    " I downloaded this book and started reading it with the expectation that it will soon join my ever-lengthening list of "currently-reading". I should have known better than to doubt Wilkie Collins. True to form, he engrosses with his narrative and makes it impossible to lay down. Loved it! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dfordoom | 12/31/2013

    " Published in 1878. A fascinating mix of mystery fiction and the gothic, nicely ambiguous and very atmospheric. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Aingheal Apryll | 12/28/2013

    " I had expected more from this book. The plot is very interesting, intricate, complex and farfetched; good for a gothic novel. Style of writing is... not that great. Add to that, that I've the feeling the narrator is a sexist bastard (as well towards men as women). Do not want. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Burke Hodgson | 12/15/2013

    " Mildly interesting, but I won't reread it. This is the first book by Wilkie Collins I've read. His prose is surprisingly crisp and does not seem anywhere nearly as archaic as Dickens, Thackeray, Trollope, et. al. Perhaps his status as a second rank author kept him from spending time GuhRate WRiiiiter-izing his books -- not a single semi-colon in the whole shebang. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bookend7 | 12/12/2013

    " Great Victorian mystery/ghost story. The backdrop of London and continental Europe adds to the exotic nature of the tale. Love the writers depth of characters, dialogue used to convey hidden messages and the level of description of scenery creating ghostly, eerie atmospheres "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Samantha Adams | 12/8/2013

    " hands down one of the best books I have ever read. It had me from the first sentence to the last and kept me guessing the whole way through. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lauren | 12/3/2013

    " I really liked the plot of this one, and it was nice and short. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lauretta | 12/3/2013

    " I listened to the audiobook "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rachel | 12/2/2013

    " Not on the same level as WiW or Moonstone -- more of a brain candy mystery story. Even a bit cheesy at times. But easy/fun read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mandy | 11/30/2013

    " Not nearly as good as the Woman in White, but still a good deal of fun. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cheryl | 11/18/2013

    " Nice one. Scary. Love a good scandal. Big fan of Collins since The Moonstone, and this one just makes me like him more. Took me little to no time to get through this book since it is pretty fast paced and do intriguing. I couldn't stop reading! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jagswags | 10/5/2013

    " I love Wilkie Collins books, but this was my least favorite. I just did not find it as spell binding as all the others, but still has some of the same twists and turns of his other books. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Susan | 10/1/2013

    " The old-fashioned text was a bit tedious, and the plot slow. Written in the late 1800s. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kayleigh | 9/15/2013

    " Good... but not scary enough, Wilkie. Not this time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Barbara | 8/22/2013

    " I really like Wilkie Collins. I read this short novel in one sitting and enjoyed the creepy aura with no interruptions. Free on my kindle. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelly | 4/16/2013

    " Yummy little proper mystery that none-too-gently hurls you toward the surprising ending. Little gore, lots of fine toes trod upon, and people dying at the right time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris | 3/26/2013

    " Not as good as Collin's other books, but it's a quick read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris | 2/16/2013

    " Not as good as Collin's other books, but it's a quick read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennifer | 1/24/2013

    " A slow start but hard to put down from around a third the way through. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alexandra | 11/21/2012

    " Not as amazing as the other Wilkie novels I've read, but still soooo good. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julia | 10/6/2012

    " I had to read another Wilkie Collins after Woman in White, and this was the most available to me. It is a slender volume; not the commitment of Woman in White, but nevertheless engrossing. Dated, of course, but that is part of the charm. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kel | 9/14/2012

    " An interesting, if far-fetched, gothic mystery. Woman in White was better. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nick | 8/24/2012

    " Not a bad book, but probably forgotten fairly easily. Simple writing style too... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pam Modricker | 7/9/2012

    " Another good page turner from Wilkie! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jen | 6/28/2012

    " This book was really disappointing. It could have been so much better if just rearranged a bit, or written in first person by Henry or Agatha. Still a fan of The Moonstone and The Woman in White, so I will keep trying other Collins, they have to be better than this! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Misti | 6/6/2012

    " WOW! This was a really good book! Very suspensful the whole way through. It got my attention in the first chapter. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 J | 5/22/2012

    " Gave it 2 stars and think I am being a little generous. Found it a bit drawn out, has undercurrent tension running through it but I felt it did not deliver in the end, I was expecting more. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah Syahirah | 5/22/2012

    " A heart-racing storyline, a good read in general, better being read when you're alone and in a quiet ambiance with no interruption. BEST if you read it when it is dark and raining outside. Hehe.. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Samantha Adams | 4/25/2012

    " hands down one of the best books I have ever read. It had me from the first sentence to the last and kept me guessing the whole way through. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sherene | 4/22/2012

    " I downloaded this book and started reading it with the expectation that it will soon join my ever-lengthening list of "currently-reading". I should have known better than to doubt Wilkie Collins. True to form, he engrosses with his narrative and makes it impossible to lay down. Loved it! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 MountainShelby | 4/3/2012

    " But not nearly as memorable as the Woman in White and The Moonstone. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Naomi | 11/2/2011

    " Wilkie is my man..He is my favorite all time male author and def. way before his time. This book proves it..I don't understand how it only has 3.35 stars. this book was creepy and twisted. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura Javier | 9/8/2011

    " Wilkie Collins' writing is brilliant and humorous, as usual. Loved the turn of events but the book left me hanging. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tango | 4/29/2011

    " An enertaining read. This would have made a good novel (as opposed to novella) as I really liked the characters. This was my first Wilkie Collins and I will definitely read some more. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Liz | 12/21/2010

    " Not a great book. but a good afternoon read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Naomi | 12/20/2010

    " Wilkie is my man..He is my favorite all time male author and def. way before his time. This book proves it..I don't understand how it only has 3.35 stars. this book was creepy and twisted. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chris | 12/2/2010

    " Not my favourite Wilkie Collins book but by no means poor. By a third of the way through I'd guessed how and what had happened but did not anticipate how the plot would unfold to the other characters. Something for everyone in this a classic a mystery and some romance.
    "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 astrangerhere | 9/27/2010

    " Meh. I am underwhelmed by Mr. Collins when he is not collaborating with Mr. Dickens or some of their other literary circle. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Potjy | 9/17/2010

    " I read this book long time ago. I don't remember much, except THAT fireplace scene. Yessssss! I love it to the last blood cell! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelly | 8/20/2010

    " Yummy little proper mystery that none-too-gently hurls you toward the surprising ending. Little gore, lots of fine toes trod upon, and people dying at the right time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julia | 7/31/2010

    " I had to read another Wilkie Collins after Woman in White, and this was the most available to me. It is a slender volume; not the commitment of Woman in White, but nevertheless engrossing. Dated, of course, but that is part of the charm. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dfordoom | 6/4/2010

    " Published in 1878. A fascinating mix of mystery fiction and the gothic, nicely ambiguous and very atmospheric. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Misti | 4/21/2010

    " WOW! This was a really good book! Very suspensful the whole way through. It got my attention in the first chapter. "

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About the Author
Author Wilkie Collins

Wilkie Collins (1824–1889) studied law and was admitted to the bar but never practiced. Instead, he devoted his time to writing and is best known for his novels The Woman in White, No Name, Armadale, and The Moonstone, which has been called the finest detective story ever written. A number of his works were collaborations with his close friend, Charles Dickens. The Woman in White so gripped the imagination of the world that Wilkie Collins had his own tombstone inscribed: “Author of The Woman in White.”

About the Narrator

Traci Svendsgaard is a veteran of a twenty-five year voice-over career. In addition, she and her husband, Lars, host The Retro Lounge on Jefferson Public Radio. They live a simple life in Southern Oregon.