©2007 Roger Johnson; (P)2007 One Voice Recordings
"Roger Johnson, editor of the Sherlock Holmes Society of London's journal, knows the Great Detective like few others. Here he has recreated Sherlock Holmes's life and times, in that world where it is always 1895, without sacrificing the real-world role of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle as the character's creator and the stories' author. It is an exemplary audio accomplishment, both by him as writer and by David Ian Davies as narrator, all the more for being highly entertaining at the same time. Both those new to the Sherlock Holmes stories and those who already know them well will enjoy greatly this audible visit to Baker Street through the years. (Jon Lellenberg, U.S. representative of the Conan Doyle Estate)
"The most incredible one-person audio you have heard. Has to be heard to be believed. David Ian Davies creates theatre in a book." (Charles Prepolec, one of the most respected Sherlockians)
I wasn?t quite sure what to expect from this CD, and became confused after a few minutes, when it seemed I was listening to a dramatisation rather the advertised narration. It is actually a narration, with sound effects, but the infinite variety of David Ian Davies? delivery makes for an absolutely splendid listening experience. Roger Johnson?s work itself is an entertaining, informed, and useful introduction to Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and the Sherlockian Canon. Like all the best guides, it is likely to be appreciated as much by those who have already visited the literary territory as newcomers. It begins with Holmes and Watson being interviewed after the death of Conan Doyle, a device which serves as an extended metaphor to reinforce how dramatically the characters have outlived their creator.
In an hour, Mr Johnson covers not only all of the essential elements of the Canon, but also plenty of interesting information about Doyle and the genesis of the stories. He also poses several pertinent questions. Doyle was famous for his love-hate relationship with Holmes, and the number of times he tried to end the Great Detective?s career. But if he really wanted to be rid of Holmes in 1893, why did he have him killed at the Reichenbach Falls, where there was no corpse to confirm the death? For that matter, Moriarty?s body wasn?t recovered either, and one can only wonder if the canny Doctor Doyle didn?t protest too much.
The commentary on the Canon is followed by mention of the living legend of Holmes, as continued in film and pastiche today, and the recording concludes with a couple of fascinating tit-bits about Doyle, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Dr Joseph Bell. In summary: an excellent guide to Holmes and Doyle from an expert in the field, performed by an equally expert narrator.
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