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The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Short Stories (2 Vol. Set) Hardcover – November 17, 2004

4.4 out of 5 stars 55 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Sherlockians and more casual Holmes fans alike will delight in this comprehensive edition of the 56 original short adventures featuring the world's first private consulting detective. Modeling his efforts on William S. Baring-Gould's 1968 Annotated Sherlock Holmes, Klinger (The Sherlock Holmes Reference Library) packs as many extras into these two volumes as a special director's cut DVD: detailed essays on subjects as diverse as the Boer War and the history of rugby, illuminating citations to early drafts of Doyle's original manuscripts,and full discussions of the numerous theories developed over more than a century concerning ambiguities, contradictions and unresolved issues in the stories. Those new to such scholarship will be fascinated by the sophisticated multidisciplined approach, much of it based on close readings and historical research similar to Bible study. The synthesis of the commentaries will engage veteran Sherlockians, who will be able to compare hypotheses concerning, for example, the true identity of the king of Bohemia or Holmes's actual whereabouts during the Great Hiatus. First-time readers might want to skip Klinger's brief intros to each tale, as they presume familiarity with the plot and often hint strongly at the solutions. Many will prefer this to the Oxford University Press uniform edition of a decade ago.
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No Sherlockian can fail to be overwhelmed and overjoyed by Klinger's annotated edition of Holmes's most colorful cases. -- Martin Gardner, author of The Annotated Alice

This is what we have been waiting for: all the Holmes stories with the most learned, interesting, revelatory annotations possible. -- Peter Straub

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1700 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Slipcased Edition edition (November 17, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393059162
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393059168
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 4.3 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #148,648 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Leslie S. Klinger is considered to be one of the world's foremost authorities on those twin icons of the Victorian era, Sherlock Holmes and Dracula. He is the editor of the three-volume collection of the short stories and novels, THE NEW ANNOTATED SHERLOCK HOLMES, published by W. W. Norton in 2004 and 2005, winner of the Edgar Award for Best Critical/Biographical Work and nominated for every other major award in the mystery genre. THE NEW ANNOTATED DRACULA, published by W. W. Norton in 2008, offers a similar in-depth examination of Bram Stoker's haunting classic and its historical context. It received a starred review in Publishers' Weekly.

Since the 1960s, the study of the rich fantastic literature of the Victorian writers has been Klinger's consuming passion. He has written dozens of articles on Sherlockiana, published 20 books on Sherlock Holmes in addition to the Norton work, and regularly teaches UCLA Extension courses on "Sherlock Holmes and His World" and "Dracula and His World." Klinger's Sherlock Holmes Reference Library has been called by the Baker Street Journal "the standard text of reference for all serious Sherlockians." He contributed essays to Playboy Magazine and the Times of London on vampires and served as the technical adviser for Warner Bros. on the "Sherlock Holmes" films starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law. He has edited several anthologies of stories relating to Holmes, vampires, and Victorian fiction, including "In the Shadow of Dracula" and "In the Shadow of Sherlock Holmes" for IDW Books. The first of the four-volume "The Annotated Sandman" in collaboration with Neil Gaiman for DC Comics appeared in January 2012; the next volume will appear in October 2012. He is also working on "The New Annotated H. P. Lovecraft" for W.W. Norton, to appear in 2014.

Born in Chicago, Illinois, Klinger received an AB in English from the University of California, Berkeley, followed by a JD from Boalt Hall (School of Law, U.C. Berkeley). Since then, he has lived in Los Angeles, pursuing a legal career in tax, estate, and business planning. Klinger is a member of the Baker Street Irregulars, the Horror Writers Association, and the Mystery Writers of America. He served for three years as the chapter president of the SoCal Chapter of MWA and on its National Board of Directors, and he is the Treasurer of the Horror Writers Association.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I cannot exaggerate the excellence of this edition. In almost every way, it's an improvement on its predecessor (the Baring-Gould "Annotated Holmes" of 1968). Like the earlier one, this is a "Sherlockian" edition which discusses the stories as if they were histories of actual persons and events-but it avoids the clubby, cutesy excesses of many Sherlockian publications and provides many useful historical asides and photographs. The annotations entertain and often enlighten.

The production values are stunning: the typography is elegant and clear, and despite the abundance of notes on many pages, the layout is never cluttered. It is big and heavy, but surprisingly you can actually READ this edition, which one cannot say for the Baring-Gould. And the reproductions of hundreds of period illustrations are simply the best I've ever seen in a Holmes edition. Sidney Paget (for example) has often been ill-served by muddy, contrast-less reproductions, but here they are as clean and crisp as the original materials probably permit them to be. Kudos to the photo editor!

My regrets are few. The introduction, though long and well-written, seems a bit skimpy treating the movie and radio adaptations of Holmes: Basil Rathbone and Jeremy Brett are adequately represented, but the rest of the section (too brief) is a scattershot itemization of a few movies. (I mean, does "Without a Clue" really warrant any mention at all other than as a comic anomaly?) Holmes iconography in general could really have stood a few more pages, since it has been so central to Holmes's continuing popularity.
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Format: Hardcover
There have been many many collections published over the years of the Sherlock Holmes canon. I think it is safe to say that this one surpasses them all. Leslie Klinger is considered one of the foremost Holmes authorities in the world. He not only provides a lucid and thorough introduction to the work but his forward tells the reader what the Victorian world was like at the time the works were published.

The stories themselves are treated with the utmost respect. No Bible thin paper quality here. The pages are thick and the type large and easily read. The text is written in column form with copious notes written for the general reader by Leslie Klinger appearing along side the text vs. footnotes at the bottom of the page. These notes provide in depth explanations of references in the text that may not be familiar to the modern reader. To make this volume an extra special treat are the numerous illustrations that are interspersed directly into the text at the location the illustration refers to. These are the original illustrations by Sidney Paget that appeared in the Strand Magazine or Frederick Dorr Steele in Collier's among many others. Vintage photographs appear throughout lending the tales an added level of realism. Mr. Klinger has also written articles to educate the reader such as the Boer War, the guns of Sherlock Holmes, swamp adders and various other topics pertaining to the stories.

These two volumes represent all the short stories featuring Sherlock Holmes. In one year, the novels will appear in a separate volume. THE ANNOTATED SHERLOCK HOLMES is a superb work and should be the cornerstone of any home mystery library. It is truly a joy to read and marvelous to look at.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There's no question that William S. Baring-Gould's "Annotated Sherlock Holmes," now 37 years old, has long been the definitive guide to the Great Detective. I still recommend it to baby Sherlcokians. Now, however, Leslie Klinger has produced a NEW Annotated for THIS generation, and it's really quite wonderful. These are the first two volumes (the complete Doyle short stories) of what will be a three-volume masterwork (the third volume will hold the four novels). They come beautifully slipcased. The reproductions of the old illustrations are crisper and sharper than I've ever seen them. The terrific annotations to all 56 stories are not only very well done but are presented in color, making reading very easy. This set belongs on the shelf of every serious Sherlockian.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This two volume box edition would be a wonderful gift for the reader who loves the stories of Sherlock Holmes. There are many solid collections of these 56 tales by Arthur Conan Doyle, but if the reader is looking for explanations of the background and history of the Victorian age in which the stories are set, this is the edition for you.

This large oversize set is similiar in size to last year's "Far Side" collection of all of Gary Larsen's drawings. With nearly 1,900 pages, the annotations are placed alongside the text for quick reference along with some of the original illustations which accompanied those stories. And frankly, the Amazon price is a steal for an edition of this quality (think of the Library of America publications).

The reader should be aware that the four Sherlock Holmes novels (like "The Hound of the Basketvilles", "A Study In Scarlet", et al) are NOT in this edition --they will be published in a third volume next year. This new edition is more comprehensive than the two volume set of William Baring-Gould (1968) and far less bulky than the nine volume edition from Oxford University Press. The writing is clear and concise by the editor (Leslie Klinger) who has performed considerable research on the world of Sherlock Holmes. This is an edition that the reader will return to again and again on a cold winter's night.
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