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  • Summary

  • Sherlock Holmes is the most portrayed fictional character of all time, and he has been reimagined by actors, playwrights and directors over centuries - but who is the creator behind the detective?

    Arthur Conan Doyle's own life was often stranger than fiction, and his most famous characters' stories and personalities bear more than a passing resemblance to his own life and his closest friends. Biographer and broadcaster Lucinda Hawksley gains unprecedented access to a treasure trove of Doyle's never-before-seen personal letters and diaries. This is a chance for Sherlock fans to see their detective hero and his creator as they've never seen them before.

    Through interviews with Doyle aficionados, academics, actors and family members, we explore Doyle's travels and sailing adventures across the globe, his pioneering work as a doctor, his life in the Freemasons and his fights against miscarriages of justice. As well as his many triumphs, we will also explore the challenges he faced, from the death of his first wife and son to the initial rejection he faced as an author.

    We will also look beyond Sherlock to Doyle's other great works including his fantasy and science fiction novels and hear how one of his most famous - The Lost World - part-inspired Michael Crichton's book of the same name, which became the successful Jurassic Park film franchise.

    This is an Audible Original Podcast. Free for members. You can download all 6 episodes to your Library now.

    ©2019 Audible, Ltd. (P)2019 Audible, Ltd.
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Episodes
  • Feb 28 2019

    Creator of the most portrayed fictional character of all time, we embark on the story of author Arthur Conan Doyle, whose own life was often stranger than fiction. We discover how Conan Doyle’s years in medical school would inspire some of his most renowned characters and his origins as storyteller.

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    21 mins
  • Feb 28 2019

    Taking a break from his medical studies, Conan Doyle sets sail on the international adventure that would shape him into a man, despite nearly threatening his life. On his return, his first medical practice’s lack of patients would fuel his gift of writing.

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    24 mins
  • Feb 28 2019

    Conan Doyle’s inventive mind gives birth to one of Britain’s most-loved characters, Sherlock Holmes. Though the detectives debut slips under the radar at first, Conan Doyle’s following works are quickly pursued with success and acclaim as he travels to Paris and Vienna.

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    25 mins

What listeners say about The Real Sherlock

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dreadful editing

honestly whoever edited this series should find a different job.. half of each episode is made up of clips of what we are about to hear ,what will be in the next episode, introduction and credits and unfortunately whats in between is very weak with little substance.

47 people found this helpful

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FLIMSY AND UNENLIGHTENING

This series has too much repitition of the same facts. We'll hear snippets at the end of one episode as a trailer to the next. That is then repeated at the top of the next episode as a preview to what's to come and finally we hear it in context, by which time one is so familiar with it one can repeat it along with the broadcast. This also means that valuable time where new info and insights could be aired are not forthcoming.

The first episode has the 'exciting' moment where the inkpot Doyle owned is brought out. It's not described or given any significance or even referred to again. It's a dull moment that is unconvincingly whipped up into something that the presenter calls 'exciting' with a lack of conviction that's almost farcical

Truly significant moments in Doyle's life, his decision to resurrect Holmes, his work on real cases of injustice, his hatred of his character are speedily glossed over resulting in a thumbnail which has no illuminating quality.

Familiar music used in TV reality shows make for an irritanting soundtrack and further cheapens the series

It is however entertaining to see how many clichés the presenter can squeeze into her linking narrative.

In short, a disappointing shallow series made all the more frustrating because the source material offers so many opportunities that none of the production team exploit.

61 people found this helpful

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Cheaply produced and thin on content

There are a huge number of people who love the Sherlock stories (me amongst them) and so there will be lots of interest in a series that reveals the back story on his development. This is not it. Apart from some vacuous gushing over Conan-Doyle's nightshirt, the rest of the content are some bland platitudes from actor Bill Patterson and a cosy chat with two of Doyle's descendants. I am searching my mind as to whether I learned anything at all about Sherlock from this.

If this had not been free, I would have sent it back.

15 people found this helpful

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Terrible editing

We don't need to hear the same clips 3 times, particularly for such short episodes.

10 people found this helpful

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Disappointing

Not enough of real interest here. Lots of repetition in the form of 'what's coming up' in the next 1/2 hour. Would have made a reasonable hour long program with careful editing.

10 people found this helpful

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Boring

I listened to 95% but can tell you this is very dull. It's very shallow and not very informative at all. Very poor effort on this production- glad it was free!

6 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars

good for passing the time

I was expecting so much more! For such a literary genius, the content is actually quite disappointing.

I listened to two episodes and I think that was quite enough.

2 people found this helpful

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Interesting but repetitive

Great subject matter but tediously repetitive. Each episode told you what it would tell you, told you it, repeated it, then repeated it some more. Pandering to a market with a short attention span perhaps?!

4 people found this helpful

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Interesting topic, terrible production

Fascinating insights into Cohen-Doyle however there is only about one episode worth of interesting material, the rest of the series is filler and repeating what has already been said. While listening to the last episode I had to double check twice I wasn't listening to an earlier episode given the amount of repetition.

6 people found this helpful

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Interesting life, clearly a formidable intellect

Enjoyable listen, hadn't realized A Conan Doyle had written the lost world, brushed shoulders with Oscar Wilde and Winston Churchill and written a number of historical military books.

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  • Admiralu
  • 21-09-20

A Nice Documentary

This was one of the better Audible Originals. A biography of the famous author done in an interesting format. The narrator talks with actual family members who share stories inter-sped with the story of his life, works and friends. The highlight of course is the creation of Sherlock Holmes, his inspiration and struggle to get his tales published. Actors read selected highlights of his works at appropriate times as well as highlights from his extensive diaries. Entertaining, a nice overview of his life. The actor reading his works, Charles Edwards, wasn't my favorite, his reading didn't really make the work stand out for me. That is difficult, since after seeing Benedict Cumberbach and Martin Freeman.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Steph
  • 04-04-22

Educational!

I learned a lot from this podcast. There were some things that were lost in an audio format because they were visual (like when family members showed items that Arthur owned, or the infamous forged fairies photograph), but otherwise it was educational.

I didn't know ACD's story The Lost World was the inspiration for Jurassic Park! I should put that on my TBR.

4 out of 5 Deductions.

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  • Gilbert M. Stack
  • 20-04-21

Quick and Informative

This is a quick and informative biography of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. What I liked most about it was the biographer’s decision to delve into Doyle’s Professor Challenger character and not just the more famous Sherlock Holmes. A significant amount of time is also spent on Doyle’s obsession with spiritualism—something that often surprises people who expect Doyle to be more like his character Sherlock. If you’re looking for a very quick look at a famous author’s life, this is an enjoyable one.

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  • Trudy
  • 24-11-20

Very informative

I found this to be really interesting and full of things I did not know such as Jurassic Park stemmed from a story by Arthur Conan Doyle called The Lost World. I liked how there were interviews by various relatives, some original Arthur Conan Doyle interviews, etc. That really added to the story to make it fuller.