Customer Reviews: The Complete Sherlock Holmes Collection (With Active Table of Contents and Original Illustrations)
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on August 9, 2000
In Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle created one of the world's best known and (arguably) most fully realized literary characters. Since Doyle's death, there have been plenty of people writing knockoffs of his stories. But with rare exceptions (Nicholas Meyer comes to mind), most have not lived up to the high standards Doyle set in at least the best of his Holmes tales.

This volume includes the complete canon of Doyle's original stories -- four novels and fifty-six short stories, from "A Study in Scarlet" to "His Last Bow." While there are a handful of cases that bore significantly on international affairs (e.g. "The Bruce-Partington Plans"), most of them are of interest simply because of that touch of the _outre_ that Holmes loved so much and that provided such stimulating material to the ideal reasoner.

There are some clunkers in the canon, of course, but the vast majority of these stories -- especially the earliest ones -- are just brilliant. If you are reading them for the first time, I envy you; the sturdy Dr. John Watson is about to introduce you to a new world, a world of Victorian gaslight and Stradivarius violins, of hansom cabs and cries of "The game's afoot!"

For in reading this volume you will find such classic tales as "The Red-Headed League" and "The Man With The Twisted Lip"; you will encounter the famous dog that did nothing in the night-time ("Silver Blaze") and several versions of Holmes's favorite maxim ("When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth"); and you will meet one of the most fascinating and memorable characters ever to spring from the printed page: Holmes himself.

Perhaps most importantly, you will catch a glimpse of the world as an ideal reasoner might see it -- not as a grab-bag of random atomic facts in which our own role is negligible, but as a vast interconnected whole in which each part bears some necessary relation to the rest, and in which the reasoned pursuit of justice in all matters great and small is the business of each and every one of us.

Incidentally, the twentieth-century philosopher who presented that vision most consistently and cogently is, to my own mind, Brand Blanshard, and any Holmes readers who are interested in philosophy may enjoy investigating Blanshard's works as well.
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on September 20, 2000
Every Holmes fan has more than one version of the Canon, and this should be among the collection as your standard 'reading copy.' Until I discovered this edition, my favorite reading version was the 1970s Ballantine editions (with great introductions ranging from Joe Gores to Ellery Queen to P.G. Wodehouse)--but sadly, that edition is out of print, and never contained the final two Conan Doyle books anyway. This oversized paperback aptly fills the modern role of a definitive edition.
As for the stories themselves, you simply can't go wrong in rediscovering or reading Holmes for the first time. Sure, Conan Doyle's stories sometimes lacked an internal logic (my favorite tale, 'The Adventure of the Red-Headed League," is riddled with plot holes). But there's a reason these have remained as classics that have never gone out of popular fashion, over a hundred years since publication: they're entertaining, cleverly written, wonderfully detailed, and often edge-of-your-seat thrilling. Included are all 57 short stories (ideal for a quite hour in your armchair, or for a commute during which you can escape to Victorian London) and the four longer novels (the most popular of which is "The Hound of the Baskervilles," but don't pass up the sublime and underrated "The Valley of Fear"). This is the ideal book for a long vacation (especially to London!), and, if I were stranded on a desert island, this is the book I'd want most with me (well, after that 'How to Build an Island-Escaping Raft from Coconuts' book).
If you haven't discovered Sherlock Holmes, this is the edition of his adventures to buy. If you read Conan Doyle long ago but haven't picked him up since, this is the edition to buy. If you've got several other Sherlock Holmes books on your shelf but want a single-volume complete edition, this is the edition to buy. As it's been said, 'There's no police like Holmes.'
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on October 22, 2014
The picture does no justice. I really like this product and have uploaded 2 pictures to show what it really looks like. It has that new book smell, thin pages, and it feels nice.
review image review image
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on February 22, 2000
Back in the 1990s, I discovered the excellent Jeremy Brett filmed episodes of Sherlock Holmes...and that experience led me to the stories themselves. I then ended up reading all 56 short stories and 4 novels in short order.

There's a reason the character of Sherlock Holmes is remembered, some 125 years after his debut!!!

As one preface mentioned, Conan Doyle did not know how to write a dull sentence. Which is a very true statement. Virtually all of these stories are gripping ones, but even the lesser ones -- mainly the ones Conan Doyle wrote toward the end -- are so atmospheric, that your enjoyment is scarcely lessened.

Read these tales!! You won't be disappointed!!!
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on January 2, 2010
I love the Sherlock Holmes mysteries and have enjoyed many a bedtime story with the great sleuth, so it was with great anticipation that I purchased the Kindle version of this volume of short stories. I was sadly disappointed, though, to find that apparently the publishers did not understand the audience that buys short story collections; they did not bother to include something most basic and needful in an anthology - a table of contents. Without a table of contents the reader has no choice but to start at page one and hit "Next Page" hundreds of times to access stories further into the volume. This is a ridiculous oversight that completely ruins the experience of picking up a good collection of short stories and choosing a story to read at a whim based on the title. If one cannot see all of the titles in an included table of contents, then one is forced to start at the beginning and read them all chronologically. This may work in a novel, but it decidely does not work as a format for a collection of short stories. Please actually keep the reader in mind the next time that you publish a Kindle version of short stories. Include a table of contents.
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on May 9, 2010
This is a review for the Kindle version.

The table of contents, yes it is really is there, is nicer than the
over version(s) that I have previously bought.

So far I have found no formating errors.

And the use of font sizes looks better than other version(s).

Both of my 20 something year old sons and myself are enjoying
reading this together. My wife is about ready to join in too.

Nice to be reading Sherlock Holmes again.
And how are you going to beat 99 cents!

This is what Kindle is all about!
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on January 14, 2009
This is a Kindle-specific review by AGB.

Value for money: an excellent discount set (but with a few faults) of one of the classics of literature: the 4 long novels and the 5 volumes of short stories.

Presentation and Format: clean and attractive, with the text set fully justified..

Cover etc.: there's a simple, attractive cover, though no further illustrations.

Opening Linked Table of Contents: there's a full Linked ToC to either the beginning of each of the novels, or each of the short stories. There's an error in the ToC of Volume 6, "The Return of Sherlock Holmes" - avid readers will be surprised at the inclusion of a hitherto unknown Holmes story, "Murder in Westminster"! This is in fact simply the second half of the previous, correct story, "The Adventure of the Second Stain" ("Murder...." is a newspaper headline included in the text of the story...).
(Note: the "Linked ToC" enables you skip to predetermined points in the file - individual books, chapter openings etc. Without a good one, a long or very technical work can be tiresome to navigate on the Kindle.)

("Metadata" refers to some hidden coding that publishers insert into the text file to enable Kindle to list and display correctly the essentials of the book - Author, Title etc. Kindle owners are able to correct indexing errors - which are very, very common - via a 3rd party software program called "Mobi2Mobi", but is both annoying and time-consuming to have to do so. )

Author: incorrectly set to Index under "A" for Arthur..... Strictly speaking, he should be under "D" for Doyle, though many will prefer "C" for Conan Doyle....
(General Note: although Kindle displays author names in the form "Bram Stoker", in order for him to be positioned in the Kindle Author List under "S" for Stoker rather than "B" for Bram, the Metadata must be set by the publisher in the form "Stoker, Bram". )

Title: it's a quibble, but the set will Index under "C" for Complete.... I'd prefer "S" for, say, "Sherlock Holmes: The Complete 9 Volumes"
(General Note: although Kindle knows to ignore an opening "The" in a title, it simple takes the first proper word in the metadata title to index the book. Publishers often include words before the proper title of the book that lead Kindle to place it misleadingly in your displayed Title List.)

Search: works properly.
Lookup: works properly.
(General Note: for reasons I don't yet quite understand, a number of Kindle format books - usually at the less expensive end of the range - don't allow Search or Lookup to work properly.)
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on July 1, 1998
I discovered Sherlock Holmes via a couple of short stories in anthologies in the late 1950's, when I was in 7th grade. These whetted my appetite for more, so I was tickled to discover a copy of this book (in an earlier printing) at the house of a friend. I wish it had been available as a multi-volume edition -- this one was mighty hard to sneak under the covers for post-bedtime reading by flashlight. And it's highly unsuited for summertime use: it'll sink your canoe or cause your hammock to sag to ground level! Still, it's a good, reasonably priced, solidly bound, and well-printed volume that should be in the library of any lover of classic mystery stories.
As for the stories themselves, they're not only THE best mysteries in the English language, but fun to read as a picture of life in the Victorian era. There are some clinkers, and some of the situations and characters are rather absurd (Doyle shares with most of his fellow-countrymen an ineptitude for writing convincing American English!), but in general I'm still amazed at Doyle's ingenuity and his convincing portrayal of life in many different sectors of society. This is one of the few favorite books from my childhood that I still enjoy -- not as an exercise in nostalgia but as a Good Read.
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on February 13, 2012
Well it's not bad for the price, but it doesn't seem to be complete.
I just happen to have a two-volume edition of The Complete Sherlock
Holmes and there seem to be two stories missing in this edition when
I compare it to the second volune of my Doubleday edition: in His Last
Bow, "The Adventure of the Cardboard Box" and in The Casebook of
Sherlock Holmes, "The Adventure of the Illustrious Client". Why were
they left out? I'm curious...
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on June 15, 2001
To be a well-rounded person, you must read the wonderful stories of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. You will be amazed by the number of English expressions and culural assumptions that originate in these stories.
The Doubleday hardcover binding was atrocious, however. I bought this edition to read completely cover-to-cover, so I concede the edition was in for some heavy use. But the bound pages began to separate from the cover on the first day. By the time I was done. the cover was separated, and the bound pages had fallen into a number of chunks. Even the title print on the spine had been struck twice and appeared sloppy. The book was damaged beyond usefulness after one reading.
Read the stories, but don't get the Doubleday hardcover.
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