Volume two in this series consists of one novel, The Hound of the Baskervilles, and two collections of short stories, which include "Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes" and "The Return of Sherlock Holmes" (a total of 23 stories). These creations by Doyle represent the finest work of his Holmes series, and certainly the most famous. They are reproduced here (and in all volumes) in the order in which they were first published.
First appearing in print in 1890, the character of Sherlock Holmes has now become synonymous worldwide with the concept of a super sleuth. His creator, Conan Doyle, imbued his detective hero with intellectual power, acute observational abilities, a penchant for deductive reasoning and a highly educated use of forensic skills. Indeed, Doyle created the first fictional private detective who used what we now recognize as modern scientific investigative techniques. 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.
Public Domain (P)2010 Audio Connoisseur
The older British public seem to prefer their “classics” read in deep, resonant, “classic BBC” voices, out of a belief that it lends gravity to our profound literary heritage. Factors influencing that preference would be the regular diet of recordings of Shakespeare plays received in school, and the popular costume dramas seen at the cinema, on TV, and heard on the radio. Ironically, we also have a love of authenticity, but only when it suits us ! From an audio book perspective, we should want the narrative of Dracula read with an Irish accent, and the Count’s dialogue a la Bela Lugosi : “Leeson to zem, ze cheeldren of ze nat. What mewsic zay mek !” But contrary as ever, most of us want the lot Christopher Lee style.
So how do we want our Sherlock read, then ? In the rich Edinburgh accent of Conan Doyle ? In the very English tones of Basil Rathbone or Jeremy Brett ? I have to admit a personal fondness for the voices of Basil Rathbone, and the bumbling Watson of Nigel Stock. But as the vast majority of the narrative is from the notebooks of Doctor Watson, a comic, Stock-like voice might begin to try one’s patience after a while. Would an American accent seem inappropriate ? Of course it would, just as you would not expect Stephen Fry to attempt re-makes of John Wayne movies ! ( That would indeed be the day ! ! )
If money is no object, and you love Sherlock, get all three ! Realistically, prioritising your requirements is the best way forward : cost, completeness, or sound.
Oh dear! Don't bother with this rubbish. I'm a big fan of Sherlock Holmes and was really looking forward to listening to this but the sad fact is the narrator is absolutely appalling. He totally spoils the whole recording with his strange pronunciations, accents and bizarre characterizations. You should look for another narrator.
"a list of what you'll find in Volume 2"
The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (short stories, published in The Strand as additional episodes of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, between December, 1892 and November, 1893):
The Adventure of Silver Blaze
(The Adventure of The Cardboard Box) *(see below)
The Adventure of The Yellow Face
The Adventure of The Stockbroker's Clerk
The Adventure of The "Gloria Scott"
The Adventure of The Musgrave Ritual
The Adventure of The Reigate Squires
The Adventure of The Crooked Man
The Adventure of The Resident Patient *(see below)
The Adventure of The Greek Interpreter
The Adventure of The Naval Treaty
The Adventure of The Final Problem
*(I almost titled this review: "The Curious Case of The Switched Introductions" because The Adventure of the Cardboard Box, which is listed in the order it appears above in my physical book of Holmes stories, is absent from this audiobook, but the introduction to Cardboard Box suddenly pops up in the middle of the introduction to The Adventure of The Resident Patient. Very curious! I assume that, for whatever reason, it was decided that Cardboard Box wouldn't appear on this audiobook, but that the part of the introduction that shows how Holmes can deduce someone's thoughts from observing their facial expressions shouldn't be left out, so that section of the Cardboard box introduction was added to the Resident Patient introduction. Incidentally, what comes from this is that the scene changes from being a hot day in August to a windy day in October, so it can be confusing because one minute Watson is telling us that his service in India trained him to stand heat better than cold, and the next he's bundling up against the chilly night air.)
The Return of Sherlock Holmes (short stories, published in The Strand between October, 1903 and January, 1905):
The Adventure of The Empty House
The Adventure of The Norwood Builder
The Adventure of The Dancing Men
The Adventure of The Solitary Cyclist
The Adventure of The Priory School
The Adventure of Black Peter
The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton
The Adventure of The Six Napoleons
The Adventure of The Three Students
The Adventure of The Golden Pince-Nez
The Adventure of The Missing Three-Quarter
The Adventure of The Abbey Grange
The Adventure of The Second Stain
The Hound of The Baskervilles (novel, published in The Strand between August, 1901 and April, 1902)
(Chronologically "The Hound" appears before the stories of "The Return" in the canon, but I can see why it appears last on the audiobook, as one tends to want to hear of Holmes' return from his fate in The Final Problem right away.)
"Wonderful Collection of Doyle's Finest Pieces"
There isn't much better than "Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes" and "The Return of Sherlock Holmes". These stories show ACD at the top of his game. Like I mentioned in my review of Volume 1, the brilliance of Doyle's detective stories is they are universal, they are timeless and they are -- elementary.
While Doyle is a master of short stories, he isn't a consistent distance writer, and his previous longer pieces were usually a tad uneven (Study in Scarlet, Sign of Four). However, with "Hound of the Baskervilles", Doyle shows a marked improvement.
All-in-all this is a wonderful collection of some of Doyle's finest pieces. Definitely not to be missed. Griffin is a wonderful narrator for Sherlock Holmes. His range is impressive, yet he still manages to not hog the stage. His narration is varied, but still rather understated.
I have long been a fan of Charlton Griffin, and have loved Sherlock Holmes since I was a boy and was thus thrilled to find he'd recently preformed (for he does far more than simply read) the Sherlock Holmes stories. His performance of these stories was unbelievable. Though the entire recording was some 26 hours, I was terribly sad when it ended...Bravo and thank you to firstly, Aurthur Conan Doyle, Charlton Griffin & Audio Connoisseur...simply fantastic. I now see that Vol3 has been released with-in the past few weeks, and thus my enjoyment can continue for a further 26 hours.
"Vol. III due at end of 2010"
The publisher's web site says, "Look for Volume III at the end of 2010." I believe that Vol. III should complete the series and include all the stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
These books and stories are in the public domain, but, having them in a collection and with good narration, these volumes (I & II) have been very entertaining and a well worth a credit each.
"A Solid Set of Holmes Stories"
This audiobook combines two Holmes collections (The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes and The Return of Sherlock Holmes) and one novel (The Hound of the Baskervilles). The near 28 hours of stories make a solid addition to the Holmes canon, cleanly and vividly written, with occasional flashes of humor, brilliance, and intellectual play. They even include the death and resurrection of Doyle’s genius detective. Sometimes the culprit is rather guessable early on, and there is little action in the way of gunfights and brawls and the like. But it is a pleasure to watch Holmes at work through Watson’s idolizing eyes.
As for Charlton Griffin’s reading of the three books, it is appealing if you like his voice and approach to reading in general. I first heard him reading The Iliad and found it wonderful. As in that book, in this one his pronunciation of words is clear and his delivery authoritative. He does tend to get rolling on the Griffin Rhythm, which at times threatens to make the different books by different authors he reads sound as if they were written by the same person. But I do like his distinctive style. Because Griffin is American, his British accents may be a little dodgy, but he uses an effective, neutrally British-flavored accent for Watson’s narration. And his Holmes is pleasurably intellectual, proud, and sardonic. The only criticism I’d make is that most of his women sound simpering, nasal, high-pitched, and weak; I wish he’d try less hard to make them sound “female.” But the majority of voices in this audiobook are male, and he’s quite good with them.
Griffin effectively uses mood music related to the subjects of the stories to introduce and conclude each one, as well as spooky hound howls to introduce the chapters of The Hound of the Baskervilles. Apart from one story featuring gunshots, there are no other sound effects in this audiobook.
In conclusion, this is a fine Holmes collection.
"Classic tales marred by misproununciations"
This narrator is almost perfect for the part. It's a big job -- there are tens of characters across the stories. He's got a great accent and keeps the characters straight.
But he mispronounces words.
So he speaks with what *sounds* like an English accent, but he mispronounces common words like "disconsolate" which he says "disconSOlate" instead of "disCONsolate" and he calls Charing cross (which should rhyme with "bearing"), Charring cross. He rhymes it with "barring".
He calls Sydenham, Sidenham (it should be Sid to rhyme with Hid not side to rhyme with hide). And he calls Norwich nor-which instead of the more proper "Norritch".
He pronounces the word "clerk" in the American fashion rhyming it with Berk instead of the proper English pronunciation Clark.
It's infuriating and maddening. It ruins a perfectly good delivery. His narration is practically flawless in every other respect, but holy smoke: if you're reading about England, try to learn the names of the places before you start.
And it's strange because these Americanisms come out of a very plummy if old-fashioned Engish accent.
If you can bear the occasional mangling of a place name or an unusual adjective (he says trusulent for truculent) then this is for you. But if you're English, then maybe it's more than sanity can bear.
My suggestion: buy the first one and see if you can stand it. I've bought two volumes now, and it's touch and go if I'll buy the third.
But maybe that's just me.
The stories hold up surprisingly well, 120 years after they were written. They pre-date fingerprinting, for example, and even the internal combustion engine; but the principles of forensics laid down here, and the structure of the stories is echoed across the decades by everybody we now know, from Kathy Reichs to Lee Child.
I read them all as a boy, of course. This has been a wonderful way to re-read them. Barring of course the egregious pronunciation which is slowly driving me completely mad.
The Complete Stories of Sherlock Holmes, Volume 2 / B003FCIORQ
I really enjoy the Sherlock Holmes stories and books, so I was happy to find this available in audiobook form. The narration isn't as great as I'd like -- the narrator speaks a little too quickly for my tastes and some of his voices (particularly for female characters) sound a little distractingly silly -- but overall this is a solid compilation and I'm happy to have it. Note that while it's the "complete" stories, they're spread across three volumes, so you'll have to buy all three to have the total collection. Speaking of, I really wish the Audible application could show which track corresponds to which story (rather than just Chapter 1, Chapter 2, etc. for the whole kit and kaboodle) but that may be a technical limitation they couldn't get around.
Volume 2 consists of the novel "The Hound of the Baskervilles", and the stories in "Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes" and "The Return of Sherlock Holmes".
"The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes" contains the following stories:
- The Adventure of the Silver Blaze
- The Adventure of the Cardboard Box
- The Adventure of the Yellow Face
- The Adventure of the Stockbroker's Clerk
- The Adventure of the "Gloria Scott"
- The Adventure of the Musgrave Ritual
- The Adventure of the Reigate Squires
- The Adventure of the Crooked Man
- The Adventure of the Resident Patient
- The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter
- The Adventure of the Naval Treaty
- The Adventure of the Final Problem
"The Return of Sherlock Holmes" contains the following stories:
- The Adventure of the Empty House
- The Adventure of the Norwood Builder
- The Adventure of the Dancing Men
- The Adventure of the Solitary Cyclist
- The Adventure of the Priory School
- The Adventure of Black Peter
- The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton
- The Adventure of the Six Napoleons
- The Adventure of the Three Students
- The Adventure of the Golden Pince-Nez
- The Adventure of the Missing Three-Quarter
- The Adventure of the Abbey Grange
- The Adventure of the Second Stain
~ Ana Mardoll
"A good rendition"
Mr Griffin reads with energy and gives each character a very distinct accent. Mostly this works well, though some of his pronuciation sounds a little strange to a British ear. The hero's name comes out as "Horms" much of the time, and some place names like "Wool-witch" give away that the excellent British accent hides a non-native English speaker :-). That said, this is one of the best Holmes readings available.
"Just As Good (If Not better) Than Volume One"
With stories that have stood the test of time as well as these have, the question of their purchase-worthiness does not arise. The only issue, in the case of an audio edition, is whether the reader is up to the task and Charlton Griffin is consistently superb. I was lucky enough the snag all three volumes during sales, but they are well worth full price.
"Really lovely to revisit an old friend..."
I downloaded this after watching Guy Ritchie's god awful film "Sherlock Holmes." I loved Shelock Holmes when I was younger, and remember him being an interesting, complicated, multifaceted character who had many exciting -- sometimes violent -- adventures. Ritchie's film turned Holmes into an action star / weirdo -- and his 'adventure' in the film was absurd instead of clever.
It was nice to re-read Sherlock Holmes and discover that I was right about him all along -- much more interesting and exciting a character than in that silly movie. The audio book itself has excellent narration -- crisp, convincing, and with very subtle voicework. The audio quality (format 4) was a little hissy, but i suspect this is because the original recording is slightly older.
Spend your credit -- rediscover Holmes.
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