More than halfway through The Haunted Hotel by Wilkie Collins, I wondered when we were going to get to the haunted hotel part, so a lot of things I didn’t like. It’s a slow moving wheel, disappointing and not Wilkies’ best work. I put it down a few times before I finished it. If you’ve never read Wilkie Collins, don’t start with this one. The story is not as developed as his other stories, certainly not as plausible in some parts and the end requires a big push of explanation. The story setting is Venice, Italy and there is eventually a haunted hotel, so it has promise and possibilities, but it disappoints. I had no empathy for the two main female characters, Agnes or the Countess, and felt no connection to any of the characters, which is unlike any other Wilkie Collins book I’ve read. And I would have liked more of Venice as part of the storyline.
I have a large print book, this I liked, and it’s a short story. The Haunted Hotel is in the public domain, which means it’s free to read and listen to on Gutenberg.org and Librivox.org. I don’t recommend this book, but as a Wilkie Collins fan, no one’s opinion or review would have kept me from reading this or any of his other books. So if you’re a die-hard Wilkie fan like me and you just want to read all of his books, then go to your quiet place and start reading or listening.