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The Complete Sherlock Holmes (2 Volumes) Mass Market Paperback – October 1, 1986
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About the Author
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was born on May 22, 1859, in Edinburgh. He studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh and began to write stories while he was a student. Over his life he produced more than 30 books, 150 short stories, poems, plays, and essays across a wide range of genres. His most famous creation is the detective Sherlock Holmes, who he introduced in his first novel, A Study in Scarlet (1887). This was followed in 1889 by an historical novel, Micah Clarke. In 1893 Conan Doyle published The Final Problem in which he killed off his famous detective so that he could turn his attention more toward historical fiction. However, Holmes was so popular that Conan Doyle eventually relented and published The Hound of the Baskervilles in 1901. The events of the The Hound of the Baskervilles are set before those of The Final Problem, but in 1903 new Sherlock Holmes stories began to appear that revealed that the detective had not died after all. He was finally retired in 1927. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle died on July 7, 1930.
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* It is a hardcover book with a cloth cover. It has an elegant houndstooth pattern and simple cover design (as shown in the picture). It also comes with a yellow ribbon bookmark and a slipcase for storage. Overall I think it's a really attractive book that would certainly catch my eye on the shelf. It's one of those book designs that makes you want to read it.
* The binding is cloth and seems to be very durable. Cloth bindings are, of course, commonly used on big books, such as bibles and dictionaries, that are large and heavy and need to last a long time. I think that's the goal with this volume as well.
* The book itself is quite large: approximately 10 inches tall, 7 inches wide, and nearly 3 inches thick. It's also fairly heavy owing to its thinnish pages. In my opinion, these attributes qualify as good things. The entire collected works are here in one volume, which I can keep in a single place on my bookshelf, and use as a single volume when I want to take the book on a trip or read the stories to my children. But I see that this is a matter of preference (see my "cons" section below).
* The text is printed on the small side, but I think it falls easily within the readable category (not always to be expected from a single volume edition of Sherlock!). See my photo for a better look.
* The paper is nice, in my opinion. It's not quite as thin or glossy as bible pages, but it's on the thin side. Any thicker and it could never fit into a single volume.
* The price is right. I briefly considered The Complete Sherlock Holmes (The Heirloom Collection), which is beautiful and seems nice (complete with illustrations), but it is $60 and seemed on the pricey side. This Knickerbocker Classics edition is much more affordable, and has the added benefit of matching a large number of other collections of other famous novels.
* Best of all, it contains all 4 novels and 56 short stories -- the full collection, printed in order of publication.
* Many of the things I stated in PROS could also be CONS depending on individual preference.
* Some may prefer to have their Sherlock divided into tiny, lightweight paperbacks that they can stuff in a jacket pocket or purse to read on the bus or at the coffee shop. This volume is not very suitable for that. It's large and heavy and would be MOST awkward to read on the bus.
* Others may find the print to be too small. I have attached a photograph to this product page so that you can get a better idea of how it looks. I would say it's slightly smaller than most academic texts. Personally, that doesn't bother me. But older readers, children, or individuals with bad eyesight may want to look for one printed on a larger font.
* The book is NOT illustrated. Again, to me, this is immaterial, but a large number of readers have become accustomed to Sherlock illustrations and take great care to find books that have certain iterations by certain illustrators, and so on. Keep looking if you want lavish illustrations. I think what you get in this edition is a plain, no-nonsense, quality binding for those interested merely in reading.
Overall, I think it's a great edition for buyers with certain preferences. If it meets your criteria, I recommend it with five stars.
In my quest to find the holy grail of Sherlock Holmes literature, aka; THE definitive collection of original, Conan Doyle penned stories, I actually ended up buying (and reading and rereading) 3 different versions. My assessment of all 3 is as follows:
1 - Sherlock Holmes: The Ultimate Collection - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DCD53C2/ref=x_gr_w_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwgoodco-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00DCD53C2&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2)
* This is a perfectly adequate collection. It DOES include all 4 novels and 56 short stories, but the book is all text, with no real illustrations to speak of. When I first purchased it as an ebook, it did NOT include all the stories, but before I was even finished reading it, a simple Kindle update added all the rest, making it certifiably "complete." So if you see a review of The Ultimate Collection that says it isn't complete, it's probably just an old review. At any rate, the "Film and Television Adaptations" and Beyond the Canon" synopsis sections at the end of the book are also included, but do not appear in the other Sherlock Holmes collections. Kindle formatting isn't so good in this one, however, unfortunately. Individual story/chapters aren't easily accessible from the drop down menu, as they are in other collected SH books. My five star rating is for the writing itself, which is of course, practically peerless.
2 - The Complete Sherlock Holmes: Volumes 1-4 (The Heirloom Collection) - http://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B007PT1PEY?redirect=true&ref_=cm_cr_ryp_prd_ttl_sol_0
* The Heirloom Collection isn't the absolute best compendium of SH stories, but it is extremely good. Most importantly, it does contain all 4 novels and 56 short stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, though not always in the exact same order as other editions -- making it a little confusing, when comparing different editions, to determine if all the stories are actually included (and they really are). Design wise, the graphic presentation (font choices, layout, etc) of this "heirloom edition" is superb -- making it clearly better in that regard than perhaps any of the "complete" Sherlock Holmes books currently available. The color illustrations aren't bad either, but there really aren't all that many for such a large book, filled with so many classic tales. Good Kindle formatting overall, but not as good as it could have been.
3 - The Complete Sherlock Holmes (Illustrated) (Top Five Classics Book 17) - http://www.amazon.com/gp/search/ref=x_gr_w_bb?keywords=9781938938160&index=books&linkCode=qs&tag=httpwwwgoodco-20
* This is the one actually being reviewed here. And it's the absolute best of the three, in my opinion. This Top Five Classics edition includes all 4 novels and 56 short stories by Arthur Conan Doyle. Kindle formatting is superb, and best of all, most (if not all) of the classic illustrations that accompanied the original, first run publication of each story are included. Some short stories even have up to three separate illustrations! Pretty much all of the plates are reproduced in pencil/pen & ink drawn black and white, but the quality of the artwork is vastly superior to what appears in most other SH collections.
So for my money, the Top Five Classics edition (#3) is hands down the very best one currently available. Wish I'd known that before I purchased all three, but none of these collections were much more than $3 to $6 each, and the Sherlock Holmes: The Ultimate Collection was only 99 cents! So if you don't care about illustrations, design quality, or good Kindle formatting, then you can certainly save a few bucks by choosing that particular version of the book (see #1 above). On a final note, The Adventure of the Cardboard Box IS included in the Top Five Classics book, but appears in The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes novel, as opposed to other editions that include it in the collected short story novel, His Last Bow. It's a little confusing at first, with so many "adventures" to keep track of, but rest assured, the Cardboard Box and all the rest really ARE there. So the game's afoot, no matter which edition you choose, but personally, if I had to do it all over again, I'd probably just buy the Top Five Classics edition.