Doyle ended up writing four novels and 56 short stories featuring Holmes and his companion, Dr. Watson. All but four are told in the first person by Watson, two by Holmes, and two are written in the third person. Together, this series of beautifully written Victorian literature has sold more copies than any other books in the English language, with the exceptions of the Bible and Shakespeare.
Volume 1 in this series consists of two novels, A Study in Scarlet and The Sign of Four, followed by a collection of short stories entitled The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.
(P)2009 Audio Connoisseur
I don't want to overstate my problem with this, because not everybody will be so fussy - but I cannot *stand* the choice of an American narrator.
It's not that the guy reading it is 'bad at his job'. Not at all. If I were to find him the narrator of an American novel, I expect he might be excellent. But because he's not British, a). his accents are slightly off, and b). he mispronounces certain words in a way that really, really jars.
For instance; "lab-ra-tory". I'm sorry, but a physician in Victorian England would have pronounced it, "lab-ora-tory". "Enth-oo-siasm" should be sounded, "enth-yoo-siasm". And when the narrator attempts to 'gentrify' certain words, he changes the vowels inappropriately - yes, "bath" becomes "barth", but "fancy" does not become "farncy". That's all within the first three minutes.
If you're as finickity as I am, it's intolerable. I couldn't get past the first quarter of an hour. All that said, the stories are great so, if you're not fussed by such things, feel free to ignore me. I'm stunned, though, that nobody has reported this already...
The actor is seriously miscast. He not only cannot sustain an English accent but pronounces words in ways that do not exist in any spoken version of English that I know of. The most prominent and annoying of these is that he pronounces the 'l' in Holmes (and in 'folk'). Deeply disappointing, as I bought all the volumes of the short stories.
Oh thank you, thank you to the other reviewers. I thought it was just me! There has to be a problem when the sounding of those missplaced 'l's in Holmes actually make me flinch. I love these stories and the narrator made a good effort but why? Don't tell me there wasn't a single actual english actor to read these oh so english books! Hovering undecided over the buy button for volume two.
I found the narrator's different accents irritating. When listening to stories I go off into my own little bubble of imagination, picturing the characters, but this narrator's accents would pop that bubble.
Wonderful to get back to the originals after the various films, tv series and books and compare the character of Conan Doyle's Holmes and Watson with the numerous alternatives offered today. I bought all three but am deeply frustrated at the choice of narrator. I gave up on the attempt to list the numerous everyday words which jarred, but above all he pronounces the central character 'Hawlms' instead of 'Homes' which grates on the ears over and over and over.
It's too late for me, and I will listen to them all (gritting my teeth) but please, Audible, consider redoing them?
I found the accent of the narrator irritating, but I never thought he was American. I thought he was doing Historically Informed Performance with authentic late Victorian vowels: Dorg for dog, orficer for officer and meek for make. That was irritating, although probably no more corny than the stories themselves. But doing women and children in falsetto is really off putting. The cockney accents are overdone.
But no worse than Dick Van Dyke's valiant and famous attempts at cockney in Mary Poppins.
The two novels (Study in Scarlet and Sign of Four) are not a patch on the short stories once Doyle had got into his stride.
It is soooo easy to make this a success- the stories are well established and successful, but the choice of narrator is atrocious. Think American trying to do an Anglo/Indian accent with a heavy cockney leaning plus a smattering of 1930's BBC announcer. It would be better if he had stuck to his US accent instead of making too cringing to listen. Has made me want to look in to refunds/returns to Audible for the first time in three years' membership.
The Complete Stories of Sherlock Holmes is a very good book and this narration is as well as the it was expexted, very close to the book so is very easy to follow the book while listening, making this audiobook a very good option for those who are learning English and need to practice but also for those who enjoy hearing well-tell stories.
The only but is that sometimes the speed of the narration is a little bit fast.
I adore these stories, so wonderfully written. I would recommend these books to anyone. The English language at it's literary best. However, this book misses a 5 star rating based purely on the narrator. Conan-Doyle's Holmes demands a native English speaker. Whilst this is one of the better English accents I've heard from an American, there is some laughable pronunciation 'orff' (off) and 'lorng' (long) 'parssenger' etc etc.
But, all in all the writing is strong enough to withstand this onslaught. It greatly depends on how particular you are about these things... If you want these stories in all their glory, then the only narrator is Derek Jacobi.
Lots of other reviews mention the annoying habit of the narrator mispronouncing some of the quintessentially English words. I thought I would find this equally annoying. However, I was able to get past this and lose myself in the plots and dialogue between Holmes and Watson. The recording is some 20 hours long and once I was into the collection, the mispronunciations faded into inconsequence. Great value for money for your "credit" too. However, with so many marvellous British voices to choose from, the question is why did they choose an American? That being said, for Holmes fans who can listen to the book whilst picturing Basil Rathbone in his distinctive coat and deerstalker, you won't be disappointed.
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