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The Best of Sherlock Holmes (Macmillan Collector's Library) Hardcover – August 23, 2016
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From the Publisher
Founded in 1906 by J.M. Dent, the Everyman Library has always tried to make the best books ever written available to the greatest number of people at the lowest possible price. Unique editorial features that help Everyman Paperback Classics stand out from the crowd include: a leading scholar or literary critic's introduction to the text, a biography of the author, a chronology of her or his life and times, a historical selection of criticism, and a concise plot summary. All books published since 1993 have also been completely restyled: all type has been reset, to offer a clarity and ease of reading unique among editions of the classics; a vibrant, full-color cover design now complements these great texts with beautiful contemporary works of art. But the best feature must be Everyman's uniquely low price. Each Everyman title offers these extensive materials at a price that competes with the most inexpensive editions on the market-but Everyman Paperbacks have durable binding, quality paper, and the highest editorial and scholarly standards. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Arthur Conan Doyle was born in Edinburgh in 1859. After a rigorous Jesuit education, at Stonyhurst College in Lancashire, he trained to be a doctor at Edinburgh University. Eventually he set up in medical practice in Southsea and, during the quiet periods between patients, he turned his hand to writing. Although Sherlock Holmes was Doyle's greatest creation, he believed his historical novels such as Micah Clarke and The White Company were of greater literary quality. He also created the irascible Professor Challenger in The Lost World and the comic French soldier Brigadier Gerard who appeared in a series of short stories. Doyle was knighted in 1902. Towards the end of his life he devoted much of his time to his belief in Spiritualism, using his writings as a means of providing funds to support his activities in this field. He died in 1930.
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Top customer reviews
"In the March 1927 issue of The Strand Magazine, a competition was held to choose the twelve best Sherlock Holmes stories from the forty-four already published in book form. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle had made his choice and placed the titles in a sealed envelope and readers were invited to match the great man's selection. ... It is fascinating to note that not one entrant chose the exact same titles. The winner, a Mr R.T. Norman, managed ten."
These are the twelve stories selected by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
1. The Speckled Band - a personal favorite of mine
2. The Red-Headed League
3. The Dancing Men - fascinating
4. The Final Problem - a must-read for every Sherlock Holmes, where the detective meets his end, almost, at the hands of his nemesis, Prof Moriarty.
5. A Scandal in Bohemia
6. The Empty House - aka the Return of Sherlock Holmes.
7. The Five Orange Pips
8. The Second Stain
9. The Devil's Foot
10. The Priory School
11. The Musgrave Ritual
12. The Reigate Squires
and the 8 additional stories selected for this collection are:
1. The Man With the Twisted Lip
2. The Blue Carbuncle
3. The Copper Beeches
4. Silver Blaze
5. The Greek Interpreter
6. The Solitary Cyclist
7. Charles Augustus Milverton
8. The Illustrious Client
Written after Conan-Doyle's `Final Problem' short story about Holmes' `death' this book takes place before his confrontation with Moriarty at the Reichenbach Falls. Doctor Mortimer from Dartmoor comes to visit Holmes with the story of a beastly hound which has killed Charles Baskerville and will more than likely come after his heir Sir Henry.
Holmes promptly sends Watson off to Dartmoor to guard Sir Henry and report back with all developments. This is the point where Holmes disappears for almost half of the book. But he returns near the end to explain the mystery to all involved.
While it is better than Conan-Doyle's short stories in terms of a stronger narrative and a larger mystery `Hound of the Baskervilles' still suffers from long, ludicrous and unrealistic monologues and superficial contrivances. As always the story is told from the point of view of Watson. But it simply isn't a unique enough point of view to make the first person narrative worth it. I can honestly say that if the story was told in the 3rd person perspective it would make hardly any difference.
I cannot for the life of me work out how this book is sometimes regarded as a horror. Nothing in it scared me at all. The hound doesn't even show up until the end. And even then Conan-Doyle's description doesn't paint a very vivid picture in your head.
There just isn't enough intrigue or reason to keep turning the pages. The human and reality-based side of the story comes thru too strongly to allow any sort of fantastical creativity. As a classic it's a disappointment but compared to the short stories it's definitely better than the norm.
Although I have not myself heard this audio book, I have heard at least a score of books read by Patrick Horgan, who has narrated about 600 books for the Braille and Talking Book Library, a national program for the blind and disabled, of whom I am one.
Patrick Horgan is by far my favorite narrator. He brings each book he narrates to life, with the amazing ability to give every character a distinctive voice (and in whatever dialect the character may speak). His own voice is deep, resonant, very pleasing to the ear, with extraordinarily clear enunciation. He approaches each work with so much energy and understanding that he draws the listener irresistibly into another world, the world imagined by the author. I always listen to his narrations three, sometimes four times.
As his entry at IMDb says, "As well as recording many talking books for the blind, including the entire Sherlock Holmes canon, he is the author of "The Detection of Sherlock Holmes", which proposes links between the stories and Celtic bardic legends. He has also played Sherlock Holmes on stage."
Ironically, after listening to his narrations, I feel that they are much more delightful than my own sighted reading of the same book could possibly be. Personally I would buy ANYTHING narrated by Mr. Horgan.