Just my .02."
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.
I have to save my sensitive eyes for thesis-writing, so audiobooks are how I keep up with my favourite authors and have fun.
A great Sherlock Holmes story with a Jack the Ripper twist. Very well done, very atmospheric, and well worth a credit!
I've always been interested in the Ripper killings, ever since seeing "From Hell". Knowing these atrocities happened in real life all those years ago makes for a gruesomely eerie premise. Being a fan of Sherlock Holmes's escapades, the joining of these two things made for a brilliant read. I expected to be presented with a different version of Holmes and Watson, with this being a far more ghastly adventure than Doyle ever wrote. Imagine my surprise when I started listening to the book and discovered that Faye has practically cloned the mannerisms and personalities of both characters and placed them in her story as if they were simply plucked from Doyle's head. The characters are exactly the same as we remember them from Doyle's books, and it's fantastic. Seeing these two put in this situation is a refreshing change and the toll it exerts on both men is very realistic and far from what we are used to seeing them deal with. Holmes is stretched to his absolute limits by the Ripper and it ends up making the killer possibly Holmes greatest nemesis yet, even perhaps surpassing Moriarty.
I can't think of any other book quite like this one. It most closely resembles a Conan Doyle classic Holmes novel, since it is told from the POV of Dr Watson. The violent nature of the novel sets it apart from those books, but the structure is very much the same.
Vance brings the characters to life in a great way. His voice for John Watson reminds so very much of Davies' narration on the Conan Doyle Holmes audiobooks, which was fantastic. Because of this, I wish his Holmes voice sounded the same as well, but we can't everything. Even so, his Holmes is the cooly spoken man we would expect. Even minor characters are given a life of their own as each is as different as the last. Great job from Vance all round.
It didn't make me laugh or cry, but I was both intrigued and unsettled a bit by how far Holmes is pushed to his mental limits in this novel. It's a fantastic change to see him brought low by this enigmatic killer who is always one step ahead.
I hope Faye brings us another meticulously researched tale starring Holmes and Watson, but I fear there is nothing in history that will be able to blend itself and Holmes so completely and fantastically together as this book. One can only hope...
It is inevitable that writers feel a deep-seated urge to pit Sherlock Holmes against Jack the Ripper. The murders happened in the midst of Holmes's career; his contemporary readership must have wished he could step out of the pages and hunt down their nightmare for them. So it's no surprise that this is not the first time the idea has been pursued; there have been a couple of films (Murder by Decree with Christopher Plummer and James Mason as Holmes and Watson, and A Study in Terror), a handful of other books (including Michael Dibdin's The Last Sherlock Holmes Story), and a video game. This was my first foray into the mashup.
Half an hour into the audiobook, I had small doubts. Holmes and Watson both faithfully give their solemn word that they will never reveal the details of the case the story starts with … but the concept is that the book is one of Watson's memoirs (albeit one he leaves sealed). It seems a bit odd that he'd even write the story down. I wasn't fond of this beginning, this prologue, wondering why it was starting there, with such an extended look at another case … until nearly the very end, when the reason for starting there becomes clear and it all just adds to the brilliance of the book.
First of all, as I commented somewhere, if Simon Vance narrated all audiobooks I would never read another page for myself again. I love this performance – every character is dead on: Watson, warm and a little dusty; Holmes, the famous clear strong tenor; Miss Monk, believably feminine and East End without going falsetto Eloiza Doolittle. And the Welsh accents just made me happy. All the accents made me happy. The reading was a joy.
I loved the Doyle-esque "Several highly publicized investigations that year displayed Holmes's remarkable skills to the public, including the appalling affair of the faulty oil lamp, and the matter of Mrs. Victoria Mendoza's mysteriously vanishing thimble and its consequences." Shades of the Giant Rat of Sumatra … Although perhaps Ms. Faye can be prevailed upon to do what Doyle never did, and give us those stories. (Along with "the affair of the second cellist".) I live in hopes that this is only the first of a new Holmes series.
There was, it seems, an innocence that was lost when Jack the Ripper began his work. It's hard to fathom that before 1888 ordinary folk could not conceive of such atrocities – or at least this is the sentiment Lyndsay Faye puts into the mouths of the gentlemen set to pursue the monster, from Holmes to the lowliest constable. Now, with 24-hour news and CSI and Criminal Minds and true crime novels, it's sadly hard to conceive of such a sweet time. There had been serial killers before the Ripper, but through some confluence of the media and the infancy of modern investigative techniques he became the first one to cause such a tremendous flurry, the first one to make the history books.
It's been some time since I read the actual original stories, but not so much time since I watched the wonderful current BBC series, and something that strikes me throughout Dust and Shadow is that this Holmes is much nicer than Benedict Cumberbatch's. He is much freer in his friendship with Watson than I was expecting – this Holmes is less "sociopathic genius with absolutely no social skills" than "so much smarter than everyone else there's no point in talking to them, with the exception of Watson". He placates Mrs. Hudson and pours tea for his friend and everything.
And this pastiche makes me want to go back and read all of the original work soon (had I world enough, and time). The characterizations of Holmes and Watson, and also LeStrade, are so engaging that part of me wants to hold them up against the originals. The tone of the writing feels very genuinely Watsonian. (Quotes are a right pain to make note of in the audio format – I usually hear lines I wish I could make note of while driving – but there have been several descriptive flourishes which made me smile at their Victorian purple tinge. Ah, there's one: "shafts of lunar illumination": beautiful) This is a Watson I want on my side, a Watson I want more of, staunch and solid and not remotely stupid. I love this Watson.
And I love this Holmes. A great deal of it is, of course, the really gorgeous tone of the narrator – his Holmes just rings out, clarion. But this is a Holmes that fits the template in my head: he feels right. This is one of the reasons I keep reading fan-fiction and pastiche and media tie-ins despite all the garbage that brings: when it's bad it's unconscionable, but when it's good – when the writer captures the voice of a well-known and well-loved character - it's so very much fun.
I also enjoyed the new part-time member of the team, Miss Mary Ann Monk. She's thisclose to being a cliché – but Lyndsay Faye pulls off a young woman toward whom it seems Watson and Holmes both harbor fondness, and indeed admiration – and I don't mind. Non-canon romance, liaisons outside of the bounds of the Official Story, is usually something that raises my hackles, but I found myself mentally nudging one or the other of the duo her way.
I think the only fault I can possibly find is that there's not enough Mrs. Hudson. I can live with it. And honestly, the use of Mrs. Hudson – particularly at the end – was wonderful. So … not a fault, after all.
There is a comeuppance that is received a good ways into the book which was one of the most satisfying examples of just deserts ever. And the final confrontation hit all the right notes. And that's all I'll say about that.
Being me, I looked up Ripper history. Lyndsay Faye was completely faithful to it up to the point of Holmes's growing involvement, and in fact wove him into the reality with enviable skill. And part of the brilliance of this book is the life breathed into a one hundred and twenty-four year old story: new suspense is added with the question of how it would play out. Would Holmes manage to save any of the victims? How would his involvement affect the sequence of events? Would the inconclusive end – the Ripper kills just ending with no real explanation – be worked into the tale? I can't really answer the questions without massive spoilers, so instead I will say simply this:
The narrator was very good at giving the different characters different voices, a couple of areas that seem to be slips in voices but good overall. Story was okay but didn't have quite the ah-ha moments of a good Holmes story.
Having read many, many books about Jack the Ripper I couldn't resist picking this one up and I wasn't disappointed. It successfully weaves established Ripper lore in with the avante-garde, deductive detective work of Sherlock Holmes, while steering clear of the more ludicrous consipiracy theories. Not an easy feat.
This is the second audiobook I have listened to with Simon Vance narrating and he is quickly shaping up to be one of my favorites. He gives perfect voice to both Watson and Holmes, amongst others.
I thorougly enjoyed this book and I think it remains true in spirit to both Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Holmes and the factual Jack the Ripper murders.
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Classic Holmes and Watson, faithfully reimagined by Faye, who sets the famous sleuth on the trail of true crime in Victorian London. I haven't enjoyed a period crime mystery so much since Anne Perry's Monk novels.
Who would have thought that no one had ever thought of doing this story before? Using a well loved character is a different matter, but Lyndsay Faye borrowed Holmes in an expert manner while following the historical aspects of the Jack the Ripper case rather well. Faye's hypothesis on what had occurred is intriguing, but quite enthralling when paired with the fictional detective. The narrator's voice fits almost perfectly for Dr. Watson, as I've always wanted it to be. As I listen to my audible gems while at work, I was unable to stop listening, to the point in which I told my co-workers to leave me alone, and when they asked why, I started babbling about this novel. When I described the premise, I was met by shocked faces, as they were amazed they hadn't heard about this work. All in all, if you enjoy either Sherlock Holmes or have ever been fascinated by Jack the Ripper, this should be at the top of your listening list.
It felt like an overcast Saturday afternoon bundled in front of the ol' tele watching mystery theater with really good Sherlock Holmes movie( black&white, of course). Only thing missing was a bowl of steaming popcorn and a good friend to discuss with about “who dunnit” and what's gonna happen next!
Watson of course!
Well done! His interpretation of Holmes was a fantastic mix of all the classic Holmes portrayers from movies past.
Kudos to the author for the research and authenticity of the information that formed a really solid mystery!
Absolutely! I thoroughly enjoyed this book...well worth the time and money spent. The writer's way with words was so good that I could almost travel down the dark winding alleys with Dr. Watson and Holmes, seeing it through their eyes. I especially liked Simon Vance's narration...I hated for it to end!
Very hard to decide...when Holmes goes into the room and does not come out...Dr. Watson follows him in after calling his name and Holmes does not answer.
the above, or I really don't know...too many, I think
not really...just couldn't stop listening...listened all the way through in a couple of days!
If you are a Sherlock Holmes, or mystery fan...you won't be disappointed!