"Don't let the accent put you off"
As other reviewers have pointed out, the choice of narrator for this audiobook is a little odd. I am not all that fussy when it comes to accents so I listened to this quite happily. Even so, there were a couple of places where the pronunciation of a word would distracted me from the story. But it wasn't annoying enough to out do the great stories covered by this volume.
My advice would be to stay clear of this if you are badly affected by strange accents. Everyone else should listen carefully to the sample audio and bear in mind that the quality of the stories themselves will keep your interest.
I am quite satisfied with this edition. Surely, the accent is a bit off since the narrator is not British, but I am not a native speaker myself so I did not mind that much. For an American, his performance is actually pretty decent. I especially appreciated that all Sherlock Holmes stories are put together in just 3 volumes so it is easy to get them all. I'd say that for this price it's a good product.
"The stories speak for themselves..."
I'm British and I can't see what the big fuss is in the odd (sometimes amusing) mispronunciation of words - if I can abide it in my friends, I can forgive Charlton Griffin for it. I am surprised to hear that he's American however as that was the one accent I felt he struggled with!
Contrary to a few former reviewers my first priority when buying audiobooks is the ability to distinguish between characters. Griffin has such a brilliant range of voices, albeit with no theatrical differences. But I had to double-take when I first heard him as a woman!
Anyway I recommend this to anyone who simply wants to hear the great stories being read to them (at a very decent price!) in an accent that is true to the time and true to a doctor-esque style. On to Volume II!
"One of several excellent readings"
The older British public seem to prefer their “classics” read in deep, resonant, “classic BBC” voices, out of a belief that it lends gravity to our profound literary heritage. Factors influencing that preference would be the regular diet of recordings of Shakespeare plays received in school, and the popular costume dramas seen at the cinema, on TV, and heard on the radio. Ironically, we also have a love of authenticity, but only when it suits us ! From an audio book perspective, we should want the narrative of Dracula read with an Irish accent, and the Count’s dialogue a la Bela Lugosi : “Leeson to zem, ze cheeldren of ze nat. What mewsic zay mek !” But contrary as ever, most of us want the lot Christopher Lee style.
So how do we want our Sherlock read, then ? In the rich Edinburgh accent of Conan Doyle ? In the very English tones of Basil Rathbone or Jeremy Brett ? I have to admit a personal fondness for the voices of Basil Rathbone, and the bumbling Watson of Nigel Stock. But as the vast majority of the narrative is from the notebooks of Doctor Watson, a comic, Stock-like voice might begin to try one’s patience after a while. Would an American accent seem inappropriate ? Of course it would, just as you would not expect Stephen Fry to attempt re-makes of John Wayne movies ! ( That would indeed be the day ! ! )
So, with the vast array of narrator choice, who should we go for ? The best three are probably Griffin, Jacobi, and Hardewicke. If money is no object, and you love Sherlock, get all three ! Realistically, prioritising your requirements is the best way forward : cost, completeness, or sound.