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The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Kindle Edition

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Length: 465 pages Word Wise: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

For the most part, this volume of short Sherlock Holmes pastiches—a mix of straightforward imitations and parodies—delivers on its goal of presenting the best of such work from the last 30 years. All but one of the 28 entries is a reprint, largely from such recent anthologies as Gaslight Grimoire and Shadows Over Baker Street, and many introduce the supernatural into the rational sleuth's world. Stephen King does a solid job of giving Dr. Watson a chance to show his own detective skills in The Good Doctor. Barbara Roden's The Things That Shall Come Upon Them riffs cleverly on M.R. James's Casting the Runes. Perhaps the highlight is Peter Tremayne's The Specter of Tullyfane Abbey, which offers a plausible explanation for a classic untold tale in which a man disappears from the face of the earth after returning home to fetch an umbrella. Holmes authority Christopher Roden provides an introduction. (Oct.)
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Review

"Short of revisiting Arthur Conan Doyle's original texts, you may not have more fun with the great detective than in Night Shade Books' collection THE IMPROBABLE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES. [...] From pirates to spirits, IMPROBABLE covers a lot of genre-fiction tropes, yet every author hews closely to Doyle's winning, winsome storytelling style. As the game is afoot, you're in able hands." --Bookgasm

"The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes is a good place to start or rediscover your love for one of the world's greatest literary creations, Sherlock Holmes." --io9.com

"These 28 short stories are impressive in their variety and quality [...] This is a substantial collection that will entertain." --School Library Journal

"The improbable intersection between Sherlock Holmes and science fiction is further demonstrated in this teeming collection of Holmes pastiches. [...] Not all the results are fantasy. In fact, many are not, and you cannot guess which will be from the respective bylines. [...] Some [stories], like Tanith Lee's powerful and heartbreaking "The Human Mystery," treat the immortal detective with a depth of understanding that makes one wish they could be declared official entries in the Holmesian canon." --SCIFI Magazine (A+ rating)

"A satisfyingly chunky 450-page anthology [featuring] twenty-eight curious accounts by a remarkable array of authors. [...] A grand collection." --The District Messenger (The Sherlock Holmes Society of London newsletter)

Product Details

  • File Size: 934 KB
  • Print Length: 465 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1597801607
  • Publisher: Night Shade Books (September 1, 2009)
  • Publication Date: September 1, 2009
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0070YQTA4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #107,573 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

78 of 80 people found the following review helpful By Severian TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 23, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There have been innumerable Sherlock Holmes theme compendiums out there, and most of them have been "one trick ponies" with 2 or 3 good stories in them combined with many lame and / or inept pieces padding things out. The talened anthologist Mr. Adams has cherry picked what would generally be considered the finest pieces from various themed anthologies and presented a uniformly excellent mix herein.

Three caveats: first, not all stories necessarily feature SF, fantasy, or horror elements. Some stories start out with seemingly paranormal events that are eventually explained (a la "straight up" Conan Doyle... or Scooby Doo!)and some are "merely" conventional mysteries. All are credibly written, and the variety makes things reasonably interesting. Anthologies of entirely supernatural Holmesian themes can quickly grate on the reader (e.g. "Shadows Over Baker Street") and the Adams approach is a better solution.

Second, though there is a brief "intro to Holmes" article kicking things off, if you are unfamiliar and / or hostile to Holmes and his typical literary appearances, this book will do little to enlighten you or change your mind. Adams suggests one can use this volume as an intro to Holmes, but realistically this would be a stretch. If you've never read Conan Doyle at all, start there first and then come here.

Third, as with the original stories, you can't read these in big sequential chunks. Read one or two then come back a few days later and read some more. If you read them all back to back, you will find characters and details blurring into one big mess. Follow a course of moderation and you will enjoy this anthology more. Assuming you are not taking this book to a brief desert island stay, this should not be a problem for most.
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42 of 46 people found the following review helpful By RIJU GANGULY on October 17, 2011
Format: Paperback
This fascinating collection of pastiches represent both extremes of apocryphal Sherlockiana: some of them place Holmes in pretty outre situations that are bound to be considered as plain improbable (and hence not to be considered even with a few sacks of salt for anything apart from 'fun'), and some are so realistically (that is in the style of Sir ACD, and not of some pompous pretender) created that they could have walked into the canon. Unfortunately, there are also quite a few stories (as are bound to slip in such a hefty tome) that are neither realistic nor 'fun'. But let me recount the stories one-by-one: -

(*) Introduction by J.J.Adams: a frank confession regarding his editorial ambition, as well as clarification that this book consists of almost entirely reprints.

(*) A Sherlockiana Primer: a very good introduction to the Gaslit world of Holmes & Watson for the novice and the naive.

1) "THE DOCTOR'S CASE" by Stephen King: a stunning story, which could have been very much probable.
2) "The Horror of the Many Faces" by Tim Lebbon: a sharp decline after the high of the first story, this one is improbable (with all its Lovecraftian under/over-tones) as well as rather unwarrantably long.
3) "The Case of the Bloodless Sock" by Anne Perry: a very good story, and nothing 'improbable' as such in the story or the characters.
4) "THE ADVENTURE OF THE OTHER DETECTIVE" by Bradley H. Sinor: improbability strikes with a vengeance as Dr. Watson (and the reader) visits an alternate reality where Professor Moriarty occupies 221B Baker Street, accompanied by Sergeant Murray, and the inevitable happens, er..., inevitably.
5) "A Scandal in Montreal" by Edward D.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Jeanne Tassotto VINE VOICE on March 4, 2010
Format: Paperback
Inevitably every fan of Sherlock Holmes will reach the final story and sadly realize that there will be no more trips to 221B Baker Street from Arthur Conan Doyle's pen. The tantalizing hints dropped by Watson of other adventures seem to be destined to be forever untold. Happily others have taken up the task of chronicling these and other adventures of Holmes and/or Watson. Some have produced tales worthy of being included in the 'Canon' of Doyle's stories and others....well others make the reader appreciate Doyle's work even more. These works have appeared in various forms, full length novels, screen and stage plays and short stories - many, many short stories which have appeared in various publications. There are quite a few collections of these stories, often selected in a particular theme.

This particular anthology features stories that share a fantasy or science fiction slant, in some the stories are set in an alternative universe, in others the stories fit in with the original canon almost seamlessly. Many of these stories are meant to be taken seriously, others are strictly for fun. The quality of these selections also varies, many are page turners equal to Doyle's own stories, others are surprisingly amateurish, and a few a just boring.

This is a worthwhile read for fans, although it is not a place to begin reading the Holmes' stories. The gems found in this collection are wonderful additions to the canon, well worth wading through the lesser selections. Dedicated fans may have run across some of these stories before, most have been published elsewhere.
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