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The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Short Stories (2 Vol. Set) Hardcover – November 17, 2004
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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
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Baring-Gould's "The Annotated Sherlock Holmes" was published in 1967, the year he died. I still have it, and have been reading it since acquiring a copy of the two-volume set in the mid-1970s. It was then and is now a wonderful reading experience -- the text of the stories flanked by helpful annotations. Don't know what a dog cart is, for example? Baring-Gould supplied you with an informative -- and often charming and witty -- note about it.
But clearly, it was time for an update. Enter "The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes," a project overseen by Leslie S. Klinger, a lawyer and writer. Basically, Klinger shows the same respect for the Holmes canon as did Baring-Gould, but offers new annotations and insights gleaned from all the Holmes scholarship that has taken place in the four decades since Baring-Gould died.
I refrain from giving it four stars for just one reason: Unlike Baring-Gould's, this two-volume edition contains only the 56 Holmes short stories and NOT the four Holmes novels. Personally, I think the project could have been done without expanding it to a three-volume set, but unfortunately that did not happen. For the novels, you will have to buy Klinger's "The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes: The Novels." However, I must also confess that I went ahead and purchased that separate volume. Die-hard Holmes fans will do the same. If you have such a person in your life, getting these three volumes for him or her surely would be considered a marvelous gift.
Notes and comments appear rather US oriented, and some of the definitions and explanations reveal a somewhat lack of familiarity with the English way of life. Does an American need a definition of a tram-car? Nonetheless, I treasure my copy!
Yes, I think all Holmes and Watson fans should visit London and get their own 3-D localized experience, instigated by this great book! F.J.Morant.
Great books to read and nice to have all the stories together in one volume.
A must have for all Sherlock fans!