(P)2009 BBC Audiobooks Ltd
"The great detective at his best!"
These stories show Sherlock Holmes playful and enigmatic and passionate and inventive. They are sometimes truly bizarre and sometimes trivial - but, as Watson observes, Holmes is not interested in 'important' or 'high profile' cases, just in the ones which will keep away his dreaded ennui. Watson is a good commentator to his friend's adventures - measured, compassionate, patient and Sherlock can try the mildest temper; but there is genuine affection between these two which helps make Holmes' mercurial, infuriating and elusive behaviour entertaining instead of insufferable!
Mr Jacobi is a fruity presence in the book - his reading of Watson's character is a little querulous for my taste; I prefer something a bit more muscular!
"Excellent series of 12 mystery stories"
I had not read any Sherlock Holmes before, but will now be buying more of these excellent books from Audible. The stories are all about an hour long and each one is superbly written and wonderfully read by Derek Jacobi. They are a varied selection and have introduced me to the wonderful deductive skills of the original Holmes and the awe of his endearing sidekick Watson. I can now understand why Mr Holmes was and is such a phenomenon.
"A must listen"
You cannot go wrong with Sherlock Holmes and this version is excellent, thoroughly enjoyed it.
Derek Jacobi is a master at naration, and perfect for this like Stephen Fry for HP. The short (one hour or so) stories themselves are a little basic and telegraphed, but enjoyable nevertheless. A good easy listen for a journey.
What a great narrator and what wonderful stories! If you haven't read or heard these stories for a few years I strongly recommend a re-visit! Joy.
This my first audio book that I have listened to on audible and I was not disappointed. The narrator was a very good choice. I found he really sounded like he was from the era of Holmes and each character was different.
I can't wait to get to get the rest of the series.
"Which one is best ?"
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 ! ! )
So, from the vast array of narrator choice, who should we go for ? Griffin’s “Complete” is good value for money. Jacobi’s jaunty “hint of Nigel Stock” is very enjoyable. With Edward Hardwicke you get a selection of stories, but with him you are getting the real McCoy – the man who played Watson so convincingly in the very successful TV series. 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.
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