The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

  • by Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Narrated by Derek Jacobi
  • 11 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Scandal, treachery and crime are rife in Old London Town. A king blackmailed by his mistress, dark dealings in opium dens, stolen jewels, a missing bride - these are cases so fiendishly complex that only Sherlock Holmes would dare to investigate.

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Customer Reviews

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For the Fun of It

What a great narrator Derek Jacobi is! His reading of "Sherlock Holmes" unabridged is just flawless. Sherlock Holmes cannot be beat for sheer fun and enjoyment. Try these books in the car -- each story is not too long but still really compelling. There is a reason that Doyle and Holmes are classics -- add Jacobi and you have a winning combination indeed! Elementary!
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- C. Telfair "Audible has changed my life! Dry , itchy eyes were destroying one of my greatest pleasures - reading. Now I am experiencing books again!"

Holmes's first short-story adventures

"Crime is common. Logic is rare. Therefore it is upon the logic rather than upon the crime that you should dwell. You have degraded what should have been a course of lectures into a series of tales."

- Holmes to Watson, "The Adventure of the Copper Beeches"

"I believe in hard work and not in sitting by the fire spinning fine theories."

- Inspector Lestrade, "The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor"

I’ve arrived in my chronological listening to the Sherlock Holmes tales to the 56 short stories that form the real meat of the canon. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes collects the first 12 of these stories and includes several well-known classics, including “A Scandal in Bohemia,” which introduces Irene Adler, the crafty woman who outwits Holmes, and the often-assigned school reading, “The Adventure of the Speckled Band.” (The latter is rightfully familiar, as it contains all the ingredients of the best Holmes stories: a brisk plot, brooding atmosphere, a fiendishly clever crime, and Holmes and Watson risking life and limb for a client.)

Here are tales of a priceless jewel found in the throat of a Christmas goose (“The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle”), of long-simmering resentment and revenge (“The Boscombe Valley Mystery”), of an inexplicable disappearance (“The Man with the Twisted Lip”) and of a complicated and hilarious diversion meant to facilitate robbery (“The Adventure of the Red-Headed League”). Each story lasted about 45 minutes to an hour – the perfect length for my commute – so I looked forward for several days to hearing the details of a new case presented in the morning and finding out how Holmes unraveled the mystery in the evening.

One story in particular (“The Adventure of the Copper Beeches”) contained enough Gothic elements – dark family secrets, inexplicable behavior, a locked wing of rooms and a plucky, resourceful governess – to fill an entire novel. I would happily have spent more time in the company of Violet Hunter, Holmes’s perceptive and brave client. She deserved a book of her own.

A few of the solutions seemed a bit cliché, which I attribute to the legions of imitators who have followed Holmes, and to how indelibly these characters have been a part of popular culture for nearly 130 years. Only one story frustrated me outright with its weak ending (“The Five Orange Pips”). Holmes solved some of the cases while barely leaving his Baker Street rooms, but my favorites involved him and his trusty Watson conducting more active investigations in and around London.

I enjoyed Derek Jacobi’s performance once again (although he really should avoid doing American accents!) Besides his familiar, pitch-perfect readings of Holmes and Watson, I particularly liked his characterizations of the pompous King of Bohemia and self-important “Noble Bachelor.” Sir Arthur Conan Doyle poked fun at the nobility with these two clients, both puffed up with pride but inwardly dull and vacuous.
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- Felicia J

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-08-2009
  • Publisher: Audible Studios