The Tangled Skein

  • by David Stuart Davies
  • Narrated by David Ian Davies
  • 5 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In The Tangled Skein, author David Stuart Davies accomplishes a creative coup by arranging the fateful meeting of two of literature's most resilient characters: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes and Bram Stoker's Count Dracula. The setting is 1888 London, shortly after The Hound of The Baskervilles case. It opens with Holmes' characteristic derisive reaction to a newspaper account of a local lecture by Amsterdam University Professor Abraham Van Helsing upon the subject of vampires. The Baker Street detective's opinions of the supernatural are quite set and intransigent. The events which proceed from this moment of contempt and disbelief, however, eventually make a believer of Holmes and of the listener to David Stuart Davies' ability to resurrect the very spirits of Holmes and Watson. A mysterious illness begins to afflict the young ladies of a finishing school for girls. Reports of children being attacked and left with bite marks upon their necks appear in the papers.
From the outset, Holmes himself is stalked by an assailant whose obsessive, unmitigated hatred and cleverness may cost Holmes his life. So filled with complications is this gripping drama that the evocative title Tangled Skein could scarcely have been better suited. Portraying it all with customery style and wit is British actor David Ian Davies, whose solitary voice work weaves its own magic and allows us to enter into that place and time, beholding it all vividly in our minds, and forgetting that One Voice has captured our imaginations.

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What the Critics Say

"With great aplomb and bravado, [David Ian Davies] acts out the drama in a full-blooded theatrical manner...An ideal entertainment for a dark winter's night." (Alan Perry)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Hmmm?!

More a pastiche of a pastiche than an original story, as it resembles one of the "wolfman meets Dracula" films of the 40's rather than one of Conan-Doyle's efforts. Basically a sequel to the hound of the Baskervilles with Dracula tacked on. Not that there isn't some slight entertainment here, but fans of Holmes or the Count may be disappointed by this rather cardboard outing for their heroes.
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- Jim

Sherlock Holmes meets Dracula

The book itself is fine. The story is perfectly decent. There are some problems, but nothing too terrible, and if you're open to the idea you'll probably enjoy it.

... Just stay away from this audiobook. This one officially wins the award for the worst audiobook I've *ever* heard. And I'm not exaggerating here. We're talking Ed Wood levels of incompetence. Not one thing went right.

Technically, it's pretty bad. You can oftentimes clearly hear jazz/swing music in the background. (Is it from the other side of a cassette tape??? If so, why is there jazz on the other side???) It's incompetently slapped together-- you can tell exactly where the sound engineers made a cut and threw in a new audio clip. At completely random moments, a character's dialogue will be enhanced with an echo, and I never saw any rhyme or reason to this choice. Is it only done in an echo-ey room? Nope, because while we stay in that room of the house the conversation suddenly becomes normal again. It can even happen in the middle of a conversation that has been entirely normal until now! It's basically a moment where the sound crew gets to go "Surprise!" before resuming business as usual.

And the narrator? My goodness, he does not get one single inflection right. Not one single word made me believe any of this was going on. His voices for the various characters are barely differentiable, and he has the same laugh for *everyone*! Whether surprised, pleased, or diabolical, it's the same cackle and it gets irritating. Not only that, he ploughs through his words so quickly that you barely get the time to process his information.

In short, it was a fascinatingly terrible audiobook. I listened spellbound before turning it off and reading the book for myself. If you want to read this book, please conserve your sanity and stay away from this audio production.
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- Patrick

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-27-2003
  • Publisher: One Voice Recordings