The narration - Derek Jacobi is very good, though his portrayal of Holmes was his weakest characterization. Very whiny.
No - Not very Holmesian. The characters are there, the setting is there but the heart of what makes Holmes is missing.
Ran some sections of the narration at triple speed - just too cheesy to listen to.
The book jumped the shark for me when Horowitz resorted to the lamest of plot devices: putting the protagonist out on the highest of tree limbs. He has Holmes set up for murder in the most unHolmesian way - the old "don't be an idiot and go in that door, Oh he went in that door" type of set up. Holmes would never go into that circumstance without utilizing all of his resources, having worked out plans B though F. Horowitz instead had Holmes acting as an B movie idiot. Very disappointing.
As a Sherlock Holmes fan, I found this book to be disappointing on all levels -- the narrator and the story. I respect Derek Jacobi as an actor, but I think him a poor choice as narrator for Sherlock. The voice he chose for Holmes did not suit the charactor and I found it hard to listen to. Female voices were nonexistent -- everything sounded the same. On the story level, I didn't feel that I was listening to a Sherlock Holmes mystery. Sherlock did not behave as I would have expected. Where were the disguises? Where was the infiltration into the criminal network? I am 3/4 into the book and ready to return it -- I can't get past Sherlock Holmes' voice.
I hold a BA in History from York University of Toronto; a 3yr Diploma in Computer Networking from Sheridan College in Oakville Ontario. I have been "reading" audio books sinces the late 80s and a member of Audible back to 2004. What a really like is a good long story preferable over 30 hours. :)
I enjoy mystery novels where the chances of guess the solution are null. For that part of the story it's all right. The problem I had with this book is that it really is far more worried about modern view of social problems of this period London then with say the story. Charles Dickens would have approve of the age spent on worrying about the fate of the street children but that is not in keeping with Sherlock Holmes. The book seems obsessed with fitting itself into the Sherlock Holmes story; not as the original author did by the need to refer all the time to the other stories and event and not just worry about the story. In turth the mystery seems to be second fiddle to Mr Horowitz social agenda and Mr. Horowitz need to put the story in the Sherlock Holmes's timeline.
I suggest pasting.
There's very little of Sherlock Holmes in the book - he's conveniently absent for most of the book - probably because the author didn't dare attempt much of a rendering. The story was wholly unsatisfactory to me, failing to conjure any of the atmosphere of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's wonderful work (of which I've read all the Sherlock Holmes stories, as well as some of his others). It might have been inoffensive even so but the story descends too far into the hypocritical underbelly of Victorian vice for something that's surely meant as entertainment, and I wish I hadn't listened to it.
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Great story,in this book they pull no punches and they hit you with a big ending.It is what you think.wow I think at times it is hard to separate Watson and Holmes voice. Jacobi could have switched it up a little better.....
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Here I was, settling happily into a Holmes tale that gave real promise, when I began to suspect that Anthony Horowitz was going to use the most cliche of Victorian cliches to resolve this mystery. I won't spoil anyone's experience by referring to the ending, but I will say that I was surprised and disappointed that, in 2011, a writer would resort to exploiting a prejudice that may have been common in Victorian England (and certainly in Doyle) but that has no place in the resolution of a novel written today -- especially when so many other Sherlockian avenues were available to him.
In other ways, I enjoyed Horowitz's adherence to the canon and his portrayal of Holmes and Watson and Mycroft. But he does bring a modern sensibility in questioning Holmes' exploitation of street children, for example, and in portraying poor old Lestrade and the police in a better light -- somethings I feel would not have occurred to Doyle. So, I was especially disappointed when he used prejudice to indicate villainy -- a lazy way to resolve what could have been a great book.
Derek Jacobi, as always, does a great job and has a grand old time with the characters.
So, it's a shame...
This ranks as one of the best audiobooks I have ever listened to.
Enjoyed Horowitz's take on the Holmes canon. The focus is on Watson. We hear more of his thoughts and emotions in this book. It is not just a chronicle of the mystery. Horowitz respects the Conan Doyle stories and fits this tale into the chronology in a reasonable way. There is a nice balance of action and exposition from Watson's point of view that kept me completely engaged.
Derek Jacobi's performance is absolutely top notch. He voices the characters in a completely natural and believable fashion. His narration is never rushed but perfectly paced. He moves between a proper British accent to an American accent to an Irish lilt without missing a beat.
I hope Anthony Horowitz writes more of these and that Derek Jacobi will narrate them. This was an outstanding pairing.
Most post-Conan Doyle Holmes books are deplorably absent of style. They focus on the twists of missed observations and not on the literary bend surronding and supporting Holmes' observations. This book is an exception. Though is is difficult to distinguish between the written words of Anthony Horowitz and the wonderful style of narrator Derek Jacobi, it "feels" like the Watson and, by extension, Holmes of the originator's work. I applaude everyone associated with the production.
Beautifully written and phenomenally well performed. The story, the writing, and the narration have to be among Audible's best. It is so exciting that Audible has been able to retain the likes of Derek Jacobi to read the text. It makes the prose doubly entertaining.