Reading is one of life's greatest pleasures...and, now that I've found audiobooks, I can read even while performing mundane tasks!
His Last Bow (short stories, published 1908-1913, 1917)
The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge
The Adventure of the Cardboard Box*(see below)
The Adventure of the Red Circle
The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans
The Adventure of the Dying Detective
The Adventure of Lady Frances Carfax
The Adventure of the Devil's Foot
His Last Bow (told in the third person)
The Valley of Fear (Serialized novel published 1914-1915)
The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes (short stories, published 1921-1927)
The Adventure of the The Illustrious Client
The Adventure of the Blanched Soldier (Holmes narrates)
The Adventure of the Mazarin Stone (told in the third person)
The Adventure of the Three Gables
The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire
The Adventure of the Three Garridebs
The Problem of Thor Bridge
The Adventure of the Creeping Man
The Adventure of the Lion's Man (Holmes narrates)
The Adventure of the Veiled Lodger
The Adventure of Shoscombe Old Place
The Adventure of the Retired Colourman
*(The Adventure of the Cardboard Box chronologically appears in the canon in The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes - circa 1892-1893 - but, for some reason, appears in this Volume 3 audiobook.)
The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (short stories, published in The Strand as additional episodes of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, between December, 1892 and November, 1893):
The Adventure of Silver Blaze
(The Adventure of The Cardboard Box) *(see below)
The Adventure of The Yellow Face
The Adventure of The Stockbroker's Clerk
The Adventure of The "Gloria Scott"
The Adventure of The Musgrave Ritual
The Adventure of The Reigate Squires
The Adventure of The Crooked Man
The Adventure of The Resident Patient *(see below)
The Adventure of The Greek Interpreter
The Adventure of The Naval Treaty
The Adventure of The Final Problem
*(I almost titled this review: "The Curious Case of The Switched Introductions" because The Adventure of the Cardboard Box, which is listed in the order it appears above in my physical book of Holmes stories, is absent from this audiobook, but the introduction to Cardboard Box suddenly pops up in the middle of the introduction to The Adventure of The Resident Patient. Very curious! I assume that, for whatever reason, it was decided that Cardboard Box wouldn't appear on this audiobook, but that the part of the introduction that shows how Holmes can deduce someone's thoughts from observing their facial expressions shouldn't be left out, so that section of the Cardboard box introduction was added to the Resident Patient introduction. Incidentally, what comes from this is that the scene changes from being a hot day in August to a windy day in October, so it can be confusing because one minute Watson is telling us that his service in India trained him to stand heat better than cold, and the next he's bundling up against the chilly night air.)
The Return of Sherlock Holmes (short stories, published in The Strand between October, 1903 and January, 1905):
The Adventure of The Empty House
The Adventure of The Norwood Builder
The Adventure of The Dancing Men
The Adventure of The Solitary Cyclist
The Adventure of The Priory School
The Adventure of Black Peter
The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton
The Adventure of The Six Napoleons
The Adventure of The Three Students
The Adventure of The Golden Pince-Nez
The Adventure of The Missing Three-Quarter
The Adventure of The Abbey Grange
The Adventure of The Second Stain
The Hound of The Baskervilles (novel, published in The Strand between August, 1901 and April, 1902)
(Chronologically "The Hound" appears before the stories of "The Return" in the canon, but I can see why it appears last on the audiobook, as one tends to want to hear of Holmes' return from his fate in The Final Problem right away.)
A Study in Scarlet (novel; 1887)
The Sign of the Four (novel; 1890)
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (short stories, published in The Strand between July, 1891 and December, 1892):
A Scandal in Bohemia
The Red-Headed League
A Case of Identity
The Boscombe Valley Mystery
The Five Orange Pips
The Man with the Twisted Lip
The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle
The Adventure of the Speckled Band
The Adventure of the Engineer's Thumb
The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor
The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet
The Adventure of the Copper Beeches
From what I can tell from a quick internet search, Volume 1 of this audiobook covers the Holmes cannon faithfully from the first. I'm eager to start Volume 2 to see if the coverage will be as comprehensive.
I liked Charlton Griffin's Sherlock and Dr. Watson, but I didn't like his portrayal of any of the female characters (they sounded so wimpy and foolish, even when they were written otherwise).
I read several of the short stories, out of order, years ago. Listening to this audiobook to "read" the cannon from start to finish is great because I can follow the character development of Homles and Watson, and their relationship.
I love reading and listening to books, especially fantasy, science fiction, children's, historical, and classics.
Anton Chekhov's The Kiss and the Duel and Other Stories translated by Constance Garnett (1916-1923) is an excellent collection. Each story features a crisis in some human relationship: between strangers in "The Kiss" (1887), when a bespectacled, lynx-whiskered, milquetoast army officer is mistakenly kissed by an unknown woman in a dark room at a tea party; enemies in "The Duel" (1891) when a coldly superior botanist challenges a lazy, spoiled, and amoral intellectual official to a duel; brother and sister in "Excellent People" (1886), when a listless sister who has always worshiped her wannabe literary figure brother begins asking him about the principle of non-resistance to evil; dupes and vamp in "Mire" (1886), when a younger cousin and his older cousin take turns visiting a cynical and mercurial Jewess who owes one of them money; brother, sister, and friend in "Neighbours" (1892), when a young country gentleman rides to confront his beloved sister and the idealistic and pathetic married man she's run away to live with; and royal and subject in "The Princess" (1889), when a spoiled princess who believes she's an angel dispensing light and joy to humanity asks a doctor she's fired to tell her the truth about her mistakes.
To explain the crisis and prepare for the climax of each story, Chekhov dispassionately and sympathetically cores the human soul. His insights into the human heart and mind are accurate, humorous, and devastating. He excels at placing people out of their depths in intolerable situations, so that if they manage to swim back to shore it's a heroic feat. At the same time, he concisely depicts Russian culture near the end of the 19th century, complete with growing conflicts between different classes, cultures, regions, philosophies, and so on.
Interestingly, Chekhov's stories, no matter how bleak, give me intense pleasure, and make me feel more alive. How does he do it? It must be his irony and empathy, keen eye for observation, and original mind for metaphors. Whenever his characters resolve to righteously take someone to task and then find themselves instead wimpishly appeasing the person, I think, Ah, that's me! The best we can hope to achieve, it seems, is coming to understand, as one character says near the end of "The Duel," "No one knows where the real truth lies." That and trying to treat people with humanity and kindness.
Fred Williams gives a solid reading of the stories. He doesn't dramatically change his voice for different characters, unlike virtuoso actor-readers, but he reads every word clearly and every sentence with appropriate rhythm and emphasis, and he enhances the text with appropriate wit and emotion. And I really like his deliberate, deep, and slightly gravelly and nasal voice. The only difficult point about the audiobook lay in my unfamiliarity with Russian names, so that, especially in the novella "The Duel," I sometimes mixed the characters up in my mind when listening. So I'd recommend getting a text version of the story (many free ones are online) and reading the character names in it once or twice so as to be able to hear their differences more readily.
You have to love lines like this from "Neighbours":
"It's a charming house altogether," she went on, sitting down opposite her brother. "There's some pleasant memory in every room. In my room, only fancy, Grigory's grandfather shot himself."
And it's a testament to Chekhov's genius that of the conclusions of the last two stories in the collection, the self-realization of the first nearly makes a happy ending, while the self-delusion of the second surely makes an unhappy one:
"From Koltovitch's copse and garden there came a strong fragrant scent of lilies of the valley and honey-laden flowers. Pyotr Mihalitch rode along the bank of the pond and looked mournfully into the water. And thinking about his life, he came to the conclusion he had never said or acted upon what he really thought, and other people had repaid him in the same way. And so the whole of life seemed to him as dark as this water in which the night sky was reflected and water-weeds grew in a tangle. And it seemed to him that nothing could ever set it right." (from "Neighbours")
Trying to look like a bird, the princess fluttered into the carriage and nodded in all directions. There was a gay, warm, serene feeling in her heart, and she felt herself that her smile was particularly soft and friendly. As the carriage rolled towards the gates, and afterwards along the dusty road past huts and gardens, past long trains of waggons and strings of pilgrims on their way to the monastery, she still screwed up her eyes and smiled softly. She was thinking there was no higher bliss than to bring warmth, light, and joy wherever one went, to forgive injuries, to smile graciously on one's enemies. The peasants she passed bowed to her, the carriage rustled softly, clouds of dust rose from under the wheels and floated over the golden rye, and it seemed to the princess that her body was swaying not on carriage cushions but on clouds, and that she herself was like a light, transparent little cloud. . . .
"How happy I am!" she murmured, shutting her eyes. "How happy I am!" (from "The Princess")