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Comment: Independent bookstore since 1970. In stock, quick shipment with delivery confirmation on domestic orders. 2011. Hardcover. Fine. Dust Jacket is Fine.
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The Narrative of John Smith Hardcover – October 31, 2011

4.3 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“One couldn’t ask for better scholarship. Lellenberg is the learned and extremely dedicated representative of the Conan Doyle estate in North America (as well as the author of an archival history of the Baker Street Irregulars) and Stashower is a noted biographer whose books include an Edgar Award–winning life of Conan Doyle, Teller of Tales.”
(Michael Dirda New York Review of Books)

“Someone, I think it was the noted Janeite Lord David Cecil, once said that Jane Austen was the kind of writer on whose laundry lists and notes to the milkman any keen reader would pounce. While Conan Doyle may not be considered to be in quite that category there can be no doubt that the heart of every lover of British writing will rejoice at this discovery of an early and as yet unpublished work by the creator of Holmes, Watson, Moriarty and Professor Challenger. The breadth, depth and scope of Conan Doyle’s knowledge and curiosity is often overlooked. He was the first popular writer to tell the wider reading public about narcotics, the Ku Klux Klan, the mafia, the Mormons, American crime gangs, corrupt union bosses and much else besides. His boundless energy, enthusiasm and wide-ranging mind, not to mention the pitch-perfect, muscular and memorable prose is all on display here in a work whose publication is very very welcome indeed.”
(Stephen Fry)

About the Author

 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859 –1930) was a British physician and writer, most noted for his stories about the detective Sherlock Holmes. He was a prolific writer whose other works include science fiction stories, historical novels, plays, romances, poetry, and nonfiction.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 138 pages
  • Publisher: British Library; First Edition edition (October 31, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0712358412
  • ISBN-13: 978-0712358415
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #369,920 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Really beautiful book, which is much recommended to anyone who likes Mr. Doyle, or who got as sentimental as me after seeing Criminal minds season 8 ;)
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Format: Hardcover
The lost manuscript of Arthur Conan Doyle....This book is lost for sure...No, this is NOT much of saying it is a "novel." Although if one can get through the pages, the reader can get an idea of how some of Conan Doyle's thought process was to start here and end with all of his wonderful Sherlock Holmes mysteries. The book gives some insight as to his thinking. Some parts are ahead of time for that timeline period of authors. I would not recommend this book as "the" novel, even though on the cover to hype the efforts of getting this book into a Conan Doyle fan "His Unpublished First Novel," just doesn't do it. I think I could have gone without adding this book it to my collection of Doyles. The book does hold many historical bits of information, and Doyle's thoughts of this time in London. i.e. Doyle discusses what London would be when found among the ruins in the year of 7000...there are thoughts in discussion with Dr. Julep with aging and how long, given the right environment, one could live to be 70...Insight on the contribution past civilizations and their culture left as opposed to what their ruins looked like. Religion and medicine are also brought to light. Conan Doyle within this writing captured many interesting visual images and I can see he was a person having written on many subjects in his novels, to follow, that were never brought out into the literature pages of his contemporaries. Read between the lines here not as the "a novel" take a peek over Arthur Conan Doyle shoulder and I'm sure you'll pick up something to store up in your (...as Doyle wrote within these pages) "mind attic."

I'd only give it 3 stars...Maybe others will see it differently. I'm a big fan of most of Arthur Conan Doyles work. Spent many hours lost in his writing.
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Format: Hardcover
Arthur Conan Doyle lost the manuscript of his first novel, and later professed horror at the thought that it should be found and published. As we now know, he rewrote much of it from memory, and "The Narrative of John Smith" has indeed been published. As it stands, it's not a long book, and next to nothing happens. I doubt it would have seen print in the 1880s, but now we're familiar with the author's life and work, and we're interested to follow his development as a writer, a thinker and a person. John Smith, perhaps Conan Doyle's vision of himself as an older man, is confined to his room by gout; the narrative consists of his reflections on life and his conversations with his doctor, his neighbours, his landlady, and the local curate - characters who are depicted with a lively authenticity. Nowhere else in his fiction does Conan Doyle discourse on such a range of topics - politics, religion, philosophy and much more - with the boldness of youth and often with the wisdom of maturity. Perhaps it's not a novel so much as a series of sketches: I was reminded of the "Sketches by Boz", which is no bad thing. The Narrative is a precursor of "The Stark Munro Letters" and "A Duet", rather than "The Hound of the Baskervilles", "The White Company" or "The Lost World", but there are details here that would become important elements in the chronicles of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Nigel and Professor Challenger. The admirable notes are by Jon Lellenberg, Daniel Stashower and Rachel Foss.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm a died-in-the-wool Sherlock Holmes fan... and decided to read this because; (1) it was written by Arthur Conan Doyle, and (2) it played a part in a very poignant "Criminal minds" episode (Mathew Grey Gubler's love)...

I'm having trouble getting through it... not sure of its 'purpose'... it is sort of a stream of consciousness "Narrative" as the title suggests. I will struggle a bit further, but probably won't finish it.

A disappointment.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It was interesting to read because of it being Doyle first attempt at writing a novel. He was trying to sound like an older man (all of 50) reviewing his life and making commentary on the local village life. Sadly, it comes across as mere ramblings and very little action. The narrator is stuck in a single room on bed rest.
It was now really worth the price.
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Format: Hardcover
Significant as Doyle's first novel, though it was never published until recently. The original manuscript was lost by the British Postal Service on its way to the publisher. No second copy so Doyle spent the rest of his life recreating the story from memory. He never did finish the rewrite and apparently thought that was for the best.That copy too, was thought to be lost, but recently recovered. The novel itself is not a story as much as Doyle's discourse on various subjects, religion, colonialism, etc. It is worth reading as an introduction to the young Doyle's thinking and subsequent growth as seen in his later works.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
One can see the writer emerging who had yet to pen his greatest works, but the foundation is there. The dry humor, the wit and the irascible style that could only lead to Sherlock. I rue it's premature end.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am attracted to this book by the TV Series "Criminal Minds" when Dr. Reid and his never meet girl tried to give the other this same book as a present for the first date. In the show the girl was killed. I tried to read as my English is not good and there are so many details in the narrative that even a dictionary cannot help. People with substantial knowledge would find it fascinating.
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