Love to read. Mysteries, history, romance, biography, current events, science, classic fiction. No vampires. No zombies. No self-help. Find me on GoodReads and BookLikes.
I agree with the person who said that this book needs to do a better job at the chapter breaks and to include a table of contents. Navigating is not easy when all you get on the iPod screen is chapter 1, chapter 2 --and then those divisions don't have anything to do with where the stories stop and start.
Okay, but that is a technical problem and it doesn't take away from this return to the junior high classroom. Did they really let us read about this opium addict in junior high?? Funny, I don't remember such a detailed description of the addiction, while I do remember that the speckled hat band was a snake and a beryl is a gemstone. Hmm, maybe our school used an expurgated edition.
Good job on the narration, although there are some glitches in the recording.
“I made a blunder, my dear Watson. Which is, I am afraid, a more common occurrence than anyone would think who only knew me through your memoirs.”
Holmes makes this comment at the beginning of the second series of these marvelous recordings. But it applies to the first series as well, of course. Having only known Holmes at an even farther remove than Watson’s memoirs—via movies and TV—it is a revelation to meet the real Holmes, blunders and all, regardless of his quibbles about the good doctor’s literary efforts.
Like reading Ian Flemming’s Bond novels only after steeping oneself in the movies (yes, I made that mistake too), we discover a far more human, cantankerous and fragile person than is revealed even in Jeremy Brett’s masterful performances. And it was a great treat to finally learn how Holmes and Watson were originally thrown together. Like ham and eggs or rum and Coke, theirs is an association so long established and so seemingly natural that we forget they had to have had a first meeting.
About stories that have stood the test of popular opinion as well as these, leaving the reading public consistently agog since their first appearance 126 years ago, nothing need be said. The character of Holmes seems an apogee of High Victorianism: a complete faith in science, progress and the power of rationalism, totally devoid of that other trait we associate with late 19th Century England, sentimentalism. Against this sheer cliff of cold deduction, we flounder along with Doctor Watson, ensnared in conclusions we leap at too quickly and obvious facts we too blithely overlook and a sentimentalism that leads us to do odd things like fall in love and get married. Watson has his moments too, bringing his specialized medical knowledge to bear on wounds and poisons, but he’s usually as in the dark as you or me. Ultimately, I’d rather be like Watson than Holmes—convenient that, since I already am—but Holmes is still fascinating to watch.
And in these recordings he’s fascinating to listen to as well. Without sounding like Basil Rathbone or Jeremy Brett, Charlton Griffin gives us a distinct and vibrant Holmes. His milder, self-deprecating Watson is perfect, as is all the supporting cast except the female characters. Someone else has mentioned that Griffin’s women sound idiotic. While I wouldn’t go quite that far, they do sound a bit too helpless and simple.
Another quibble: the American side of “A Study in Scarlet”, the second part of which takes place among the Mormons of Utah, is something of a challenge for Griffin. True, Conan Doyle’s writing slips off the track here as well—it sounds as if he’s writing about a country and a people he’s only known through stereotypes and hearsay. But Griffin’s wild-west accents only make it worse.
But these are minor points when set against an otherwise masterful performance. Beginning the second series, I seem to detect the women sounding a little brighter, too. Thanks to Audible for making these available and giving me the chance, as with The Count of Monte Cristo and Don Quixote, to catch up on the classics I sidestepped in my callow youth.
The audiobook version of this collection is no better or worse than the print version, but it is a nice change from reading, especially when time is precious. I have a hard time sitting and doing just one thing, like reading, since I always want to do other things at the same time I am being "entertained." I did that a lot with this one, including having a night time story read to me at bedtime!
Volume 2, of course, and any other collections of Conan Doyle.
His narrative and voices are perfectly in line with what you would expect!
Hard to say, but probably Holmes . .
Any Conan Doyle books are winners. Well worth my time and energy.
I just achieved App Scholar!! 1000 hours in 1 yr 7 mo and 10 days!!! I never thought I would make it this far!! Thanks Audible
Old school Holmes at its best!! Some of the stories are better than the others you just have to keep listening!! But overall great short stories that you never see coming try to figure them out!! You will enjoy it!!!!
There are so many titles in the Sherlock Holmes series, and I have been in a real quandary about where to start! I knew I would eventually get every title, and what a huge amount of credits that would be; a strain even on the Platinum plan! And how do you pick a favorite title to begin with when every story is so clever?
Needless to say I was THRILLED to see the first volume in a series of three anthologies; for three credits I will be able to get every title. "The Complete Stories" in the title makes me so happy; there are no compromises to be made here. What joy!
The narrator was excellent; while I did not care for his female voices, there are not that many times when women are actually speaking in a Sherlock Holmes story. His male voices are excellent; it was always easy to distinguish between Watson and Holmes. Sherlock's voice had that edgy quality that reminded me of the best Sherlock actor from the old black and white movies (Basil Rathbone?).
I know I will listen to these stories again and again! I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Volume 1 and am eagerly awaiting Volumes 2 and 3. Just think - three titles and I'll have them ALL (insert gleeful chuckle). :-)
En Dieu Ma Foy
As any true mystery fan knows the two giants of the genre are Poe and Doyle. These two great masters of literature wrote the book on great mystery fiction and great detectives. This is of course Sir Doyle's masterpiece and so the book itself needs no introduction or review from the likes of me. Because of this I choose instead to focus on the reading of this masterpiece. Since this is really a narration by one of the characters, the desired reader must be capable of selling himself as Dr. Watson. Charlton Griffin does this with a flair for the dramatic that makes you truly feel as if Dr. Watson himself is reading you his notes on some of the most famous cases in history. There were moments when I could envision Watson sitting next to the fireplace at Baker St. and reading to visitors intent on seeing the famous address and learning about the most famous duo in crime fighting. Because of this it is no surprise than Charlton Griffin reads some of the most recognized works in classic literature. He is a true master of his craft.
I never thought that I would be that into Sherlock Holmes. I purchased this mainly because I've decided to become better acquainted with classics that have shaped the literary landscape. I had never found a mystery novel that I had much use for and really without the urging of a friend to at least try Sherlock Holmes I probably wouldn't have.
I was blown away by how much I enjoyed this first part. Amazing book with some brilliant quotes. Very very pleasantly surprised.
I took one star off the performance because the narrator has pretty much one female voice which caused me to have to go back and re-listen to figure out who was speaking. Holmes and Watson are incredibly well voiced.
A book lover with varied interests: history, political and technical and economic thrillers, mysteries, crime dramas, futuristic fantasy.
I was enchanted by Charlton Griffin's portrayal of Sherlock Holmes. His reading transported me into the Holmes' persona and gave me the opportunity to fully experience the famed Sherlock Holmes mysteries I relished the depiction of Holmes as a cocaine smoking, bi-polar eccentric who traded indolence for full speed ahead involvement in some of the most intriguiging stories ever told. The stories also provided a look into the society of A. Conan Doyle.
Mr Griffin reads with energy and gives each character a very distinct accent. Mostly this works well, though some of his pronuciation sounds a little strange to a British ear. The hero's name comes out as "Horms" much of the time, and some place names like "Wool-witch" give away that the excellent British accent hides a non-native English speaker :-). That said, this is one of the best Holmes readings available.
I downloaded these because I was bored and in desperate need of something to fill the silence, but all the while harbouring the honest feeling that Sherlock Holmes was a little culty and geeky and I'd never really get into it. So wrong.
What a joy this series was. Engrossing, exciting, perplexing, funny, and, in the later years, even a little racy! I truly felt drawn into the world of the 19th century and actually feel like I learned more than I ever expected to about an era gone by.
The performance is phenomenal; Griffin can fulfill any accent, any character.
Holmes has enjoyed a real spike of popularity in the past decade and I often overhear debates over the "best Sherlock ever." I can honestly now say that the best Sherlock ever, WAS Sherlock, no updating or sexifying required. There's a reason these books are still favorites.