Imagine the twisted evil twins of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson and you have the dangerous duo of Professor James Moriarty - wily, snake-like, fiercely intelligent, terrifyingly unpredictable - and Colonel Sebastian Basher Moran - violent, politically incorrect, debauched. Together they run London crime, owning police and criminals alike. When a certain Irene Adler turns up on their doorstep with a proposition, neither man is able to resist.
An entertaining and wickedly humorous crime adventure from the best-selling author of Anno Dracula.
©2011 Kim Newman (P)2011 Audible Ltd
"It's witty, often hilarious stuff. The author portrays the scurrilous flipside of Holmes's civil ordered world, pokes fun at 'guest stars' from contemporary novels and ventures into more outre territory than Conan Doyle even dared." (Financial Times)
"Kim Newman has done something really audacious with Conan Doyle's criminal genius.... The notion of reinventing Moriarty and Moran as malign dopplegangers of Holmes and Watson may have been done before, but not with the firecracker exuberance that Newman brings to it." (Independent)
I grew up on Golden Age Radio, and while I love to read, I typically consume more books via audio thanks to a job that lets me listen while I work. As an aspiring writer, I try to read a great deal of non-fiction in addition to a variety of fictional genres. I especially love history, historical fiction, science fiction, fantasy, and old-style gothic horror.
Nobody spins Victorian literature on its ear quite like Kim Newman. I'm already a shameless fan of his Anno-Dracula series, and I have yet to read anything else of his that I thought was less than sub-par. This book fits right in with his proven track record.
This particular story is actually a handful of stories, all written from the memoirs of Moriarty's right-hand thug, Col. Sebastian Moran. What's inside? Depravity, cunning, top-notch characterization, and humor.
Not only do we get to see inside Moriarty's genius through the eyes of his loyal operative, we also get a look at the likes of Raffles, Lupin, Irene Adler (a rather obnoxious but humorous take on her), and of course, Holmes himself. And there are plenty others. The more you know about the pulp greats of that age, the better Newman's books are, but don't let that deter you. These books are gateways to discovery. The plots for this one are ingenius. My personal favorite from this one? Moriarty defiles the reputation of a former student by staging a martian invasion. The weapon of choice: vampire squid. It's priceless.
I can't recommend this audiobook highly enough.
Kim Newman tells Moriarty's criminal exploits in his associate Colonel Moran's voice. Colonel Moran makes the novel. He's a charismatic, unapologetic sociopath with an unquenchable relish for action. He loves to hunt and bags tigers, natives and Moriarty's enemies with equal verve.
Tom Hodgkins delivers a pitch-perfect performance, with a very convincing accent for a Victorian English colonel. What really makes the performance is the way he transmits Colonel Moran's unabashed relish in his dastardly deeds.
Colonel Moran loves action, even when the odds are stacked against him. This is an action-packed narrative of unscrupulous derring-do, and Hodgkins' rendering of Moran's voice makes it come alive.
Sherlock Holmes, eternally popular, practically invites spoofing, and this is one of the greatest spoofs ever, especially fun if you enjoy that very English game of Literary References. If you've read a few thousand English books, you'll catch the many references, including, of course, the title itself. The stories also bring to mind George MacDonald Fraser's Flashman series, but this is a lot more discreet about sex (and overall, Flashman was pretty discreet in his own jaunty way, too). The stories are intricate; the evil characters are evil, and Moriarty makes a perfect foil for the "thin man," and the book ends, as one might expect, at Reichenbach Falls. A ripping good read or listen. The reader, Tom Hodgkins, was excellent throughout.
I enjoyed Anno Dracula and was so disappointed in Bloody Red Baron that I didn't go to this one for a long time even though it was already in my library. Mistake. This is by far Newman's best. I would take stars away from Anno and give extras to this if i could. at times funny, bawdy, adventurous. nod's to not only sherlock of course, but victorian lit all over the place and even some others. a lot of fun. the irene adler episode, the red planet league, and the hound are my favorites, but the others are fun too. narrator is great, the voice is great and the stories are great. enjoyed it.
I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoys mystery and a healthy dose of British wit. Hodgkins does a great job as "Basher" Moran, the narrator. His sibilant rendition of Moriarty is also very enjoyable.
I'd have to say Moriarty. We so often see things from Holme's point of view. It was refreshing to taste the "dark" side, so to speak. Interestingly, as amoral as the narrator would have us believe Moriarty is, he still is not some raging psychopath that one would have a hard time sympathizing with.
It made me laugh in some spots...Moran is quite descriptive.
Hearing stories from the bad-guys also spotting characters from other books in the stories.
When Moran met all three Moriarty brothers, all named James or also the interactions with Irene Adler. I think my favorite story in this book is The Adventure of the Six Maledictions.
It's a toss-up between Moran or Moriarty. Irene Adler was well done though.
I wouldn't call this one a "moving" type book, funny yes.
It's a fun and quick listen. I can't decide how I feel about the ending and if I want a sequel written.
This work employs the plot devices and style of the Flashman stories in all respects but date of writing. A modern Doyle cover can be a lot of fun. There are several authors in your collection who out- Doyle Doyle. What is the point of out- MacDonald Fraser-ing MacDonald Fraser? This work is too close a shave. I am exhausted and and left pining for the real thing -- Flashman.
The idea behind the novel is actually kind of neat; you see a lot of similar-yet-different stories from Moriarty's and Moran's points of view. The execution is rather poor. I understand that the novel is set in the 1800s and certain opinions and prejudices were considered acceptable during that time... but the book was published within the past few years. CERTAINLY the author could have come up with a more creative way of telling these stories than relying upon racial, ethnic, and sexual slurs. The prologue discusses the fact that there is an abundance of profanity, but then to keep the profanity in the novel with letters blanked out, especially for words that are ridiculously unnecessary (C--T? really?), is absurd. I am a HUGE Sherlock Holmes fan and I was utterly disappointed by this novel. Not worth your credit unless you enjoy repeatedly hearing about how only white British men are intelligent and know how to keep proper hygiene.
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