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.
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