Dust and Shadow is a pastiche of Sherlock Holmes that is worth the listen. While by and large movies and television have been the most often used media for Holmes stories it seems that literary efforts are becoming more popular. Both this and the House Of Silk are recent examples. Dust and Shadow puts Holmes in the context of Jack The Ripper, an obvious plot device as both in reality and in the Holmes universe Sherlock Holmes and Jack The Ripper were contemporaries. The 1979 movie Murder By Decree explored this theme and was quite nicely done. Dust and Shadow is not quite up to that level, however. There is something lacking. Dust and Shadow comes off as a card board cutout of Holmes, something along the lines of a movie set, all facade and nothing behind. This Holmes and Lyndsay Faye try too hard. Here, Sherlock Holmes is lacking in humor, which was never the case in the canon even in the most trying and serious of circumstances. And those delicious bits of Holmes personality are few and far between. Apart from a couple of references to digging tobacco out of his Persian slipper we don't hear much about Holmes quirks. Sherlock Holmes stories have never been about solving the case and as much as Holmes decries Watson's use of the sensational, what we love about Holmes is Holmes, and in Dust and Shadow the shadow is, in fact, Sherlock Holmes. There is an interesting plot device that is, on the other hand, very nicely done - what might be called the gutter press. It's not giving anything away to relate that Holmes is skewered by an unscrupulous journalist, truthful facts being twisted by the suggestion of alternate meanings, that suggestion being that Holmes is himself the Ripper. Whether Faye is making his own suggestion of the contemporary use of twisting facts to reach a foregone conclusion or not, you can feel Holmes' frustration and impotence against the blackening of his name. Simon Vance does a fine job of narration, well paced and modulated, with sufficient differentiation of each characters voice both male and female. There is nothing to complain about here.Dust and Shadow is worth the listen. It's not great but then even Conan Doyle had more than a few efforts that were less than stellar, and put in that perspective Dust and Shadow is a good addition to Sherlock Holmes stories.
I thought this book was excellent. Simon Vance is by far my favorite narrator - so that helped - but I thought that Lyndsay Faye did a very good representation of Conan Doyle's writing style and story telling ability. I was immersed in the story from beginning to end, and wished that all the posthumous Sherlock Holmes stories were as well written as this. I can't say enough great things about this book and would heartily recommend it. Thanks!
I selected this book a little apprehensive about what it might be like. I loved the stories of Sherlock as a child and have very fond memories of many hours spent in the world of Sherlock and seeing his incredible mind pick up on the smallest detail and solving the most impossible crimes. I was more nervous when I saw that this book used the "Ripper killings" as its source material, as this was an unsolved crime and I did not want to listen to a story that had no satisfying resolution. I studied crime fiction at University and the most important element of the genre is that the story resolves itself, which is even more important if you are going to tell a Sherlock Holmes story. The brilliance of Lyndsay Faye is that you are left wondering all the way to the end and are never sure if the resolution will be satisfactory. That Faye was so restrained as to follow the rules of the genre shows respect for Conan-Doyle and a love of the characters included in the story.
Simon Vance's reading of the story is just as strong as Faye's writing. He captures the essence of the characters and consistently delivers the voices so that in a story with a large cast of significant characters whose stories you had to follow to understand you never ever felt lost. I particularly liked the way he slipped with ease through the accents as he read the various disguises that Sherlock puts on. His characterisation of THE great detective is the most spot on that anyone has ever achieved.
I will not reveal the ending, but I'll tell you that once you get into it you will not be able to stop until you know who the ripper is, if Sherlock will finally stop him and whether any sense of order can be restored after these senseless killings. A more perfect union of genre, author and performer is impossible to imagine.
A deductive and conclusive look into the great detective's methodology trying to unravel the grizzly Whitechapel Murders in 1888. A delightful spin on what could have happened.
All the twists and turns. We travel from Chinese opium dens to the dockyards, workhouses and even to the darkest streets of the East End itself! The story wraps you up and won't let you out.
An empathetic air from Holmes. We rarely witness the Great Detective showing any kind of sympathy for the female sex. It's a nice, crisp change from the traditional misogynistic tone he usually takes regarding the fairer sex.
Enjoyable for newcomers as well as Baker Street Irregulars. It's a read not worth missing.
I'm always a little dubious about authors being able to get Holmes 'right', but Faye does a great job of capturing not just Holmes but the Holmes/Watson relationship dynamic--they really seem like their canonical selves, despite the extremely grisly case they're working on. She also does a good job of introducing a likable female character who assists with the sleuthing in realistic ways, rather than falling into the trap of introducing a character who's clearly meant to be the female equivalent of Sherlock himself!
It starts out a little slow but rapidly picks up as Holmes and Watson get more engrossed in the case.
I loved this book! It was extremely true to the 'voice' of Conan-Doyle and the plot was gripping throughout. Simon Vance is superb; "acting" out all characters.
I loved it all
Probably the scene where Holmes and Watson are chasing the Ripper and Holmes finds him self alone and gets stabbed. This was a very exciting and descriptive section of the book and added to the tension nicely.
I love listening to the narrator! He does each character very well and conveys emotions through his voice skillfully.
Not a moment, but the overall description of London's East End.
He portrays Dr. Watson as a rational being, rather than the bluff, slightly stupid Watson of other days. Again, he is able to communicate character via his voice that can't be had in books.
I took a star off for the story because I thought the ending could have been better. On the other hand, not too many writers do a decent job with endings, and this one was still pretty good.
An old broad that enjoys books of all types. Would rather read than write reviews though. I know what I like, and won't be bothered by crap.
This book was very accurate on the history of Jack the Ripper and Sherlock Holmes on the case made it fun.
It was very true to the original character of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. That is good, but the outcome of who the Ripper is was kind of a letdown. That being said, a Holmes story is always going to be about Holmes and not the villain he is after.
He has an excellent voice for Holmes and Watson. Pitch Perfect!
I enjoyed when Watson, Miss Monk and Mr. Dunleavy broke into the newspaper office to do a little sleuthing of their own. Also after the explosion, when Holmes rushed into the burning building to save Miss Monk, I was particularly anxious!
Good book, I hope Ms. Faye does more Sherlock Holmes books. I grew up on them.
This was fun, terribly fun. How can a book about the Ripper killings be fun? It is fun because the murderer is caught, by none other than Sherlock Holmes! The feeling of London in 1888 is accurately described. I am absolutely no expert of either Sir Conan Doyle or the Ripper killings, but having listened to this book I feel I am well acquainted with both now.
If you are worried that the story could be too gory, don’t worry. It isn’t. The delight you get from this book is how Sherlock Holmes solves the crime. You will love meeting him. He is so clever. And don’t forget Watson, who writes it all out for us. You come to know him too. Two marvelous people brought to us from the distant past. You will love them for their skill and for their words. They will have you smiling as you listen to their thoughts and speeches and explanations. Me, I need to laugh when I am reading about a terrible event.
Simon Vance’s narration is impeccable. The narration could in absolutely no way be improved. If you listen to the book with your eyes closed you will feel that you are in London, the date is 1888 and Watson, Sherlock Holmes and the other characters are speaking to you.
This book is pure FUN! I have heard that The Gods of Gotham by this author is even better. Really? I will have to find out. This is a complete new genre for me. I never thought I would enjoy solving a mystery! Do I like it so because it has an historical setting? Do I like it so because the Ripper killings did happen? I don’t know. I just know I truly enjoyed every minute spent listening.
I think I would. It's a pretty good book. It does drag in spots, and I think overall it's a bit long and wordy for the whole plot, but overall, the story is good, the research has obviously been done and is great, and who doesn't love Sherlock Holmes, after all?
Simon Vance is a master, that's no secret.