The House of Silk

A Sherlock Holmes Novel
Narrated by: Derek Jacobi
Series: Sherlock Holmes (Horowitz), Book 1
Length: 10 hrs and 24 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (3,443 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Sherlock Holmes is the greatest detective in literary history. For the first time since the death of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, a new Holmes story has been sanctioned by his estate, whetting the appetites of fans everywhere. Information about the book will be revealed as deliberately as Holmes himself would unravel a knotty case, but best-selling novelist and Holmes expert Anthony Horowitz is sure to bring a compelling, atmospheric story to life. With access to the estate's archives and careful study of the original stories, Horowitz is sure to weave a tale that satisfies new fans as well as the most dedicated Baker Street Irregular.

©2011 Anthony Horowitz (P)2011 Hachette

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    349
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

PLEASE tell me there are MORE !

Absolutely excellent from first to last. Too engrossing to listen at bedtime - it wil keep you up. I'm a big fan of Holmes in many iterations - Larry Millett and Laurie King among others, but Anthony Horowitz really captures it all - the essence of a good Holmes story - plus excellent description of place, action and character - brought leaping to life by Derek Jacobi - truly a brilliant and lush performance. Even if you are not a Holmes fan - this is a great book. I'm pretty fussy and rarely, if ever, have given such an unabashed 5 star review. This one is sooooooo worth it.

72 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent

Both the story and the narration are fantastic. This story goes to a place that I did not at all expect for a Sherlock Holmes novel. I listen to a lot of audiobooks and felt this was perhaps one of the best I've listened to so far on Audible.

48 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • GP
  • 05-05-12

A disapointment

First off, the narration by Derek Jacobi was very good. No complaints there.
My problem is with the portrayal of Holmes. It just wasn't Holmesian. I've read the originals, loved many of the adaptations on TV and film, but this story just didn't cut it. Holmes is much less than his marvelous self. Not terribly quick witted, or even very bright. When he does trot out his expertise it's done in the manner of a side show magic act. Certainly not the way Holmes would have done it.
Many of the actions Holmes takes in the book just aren't things Holmes would have done. For example, Holmes went into an opium den, as himself, to find facts. Never in a million years. Holmes would have disguised himself and infiltrated!
I tried to separate the Holmes that I know and just read the story as a mystery. I didn't have much success. Part of the love I've had for the Sherlock Holmes stories is his wit, near infallibility, and clever ways of uncovering facts. All of these are absent.
If you want more Holmes, as Holmes himself, try the Laurie King books.

88 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Wow, really does justice to the Holmes canon!

Better than I could have hoped. This listen was just great. There are a few things that die-hard Conan Doyle fans might point out as deviating from the master, but the excellence of the story and its telling can't be denied.

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Sir Arthur Conan Doyle would smile!

I have read Sherlock Holmes books written by authors other than Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Until I read this one I was of the firm believe that Laurie R. King was the only one I truly enjoyed. Mr. Horowitz did an excellent job. The story has expected and unexpected twists. Amazingly, even the expected outcomes had some unexpected twists! If you are a Sherlock fan, I highly recommend this one!

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Cheesy plot devices

What did you like best about The House of Silk? What did you like least?

The narration - Derek Jacobi is very good, though his portrayal of Holmes was his weakest characterization. Very whiny.

Would you recommend The House of Silk to your friends? Why or why not?

No - Not very Holmesian. The characters are there, the setting is there but the heart of what makes Holmes is missing.

Did The House of Silk inspire you to do anything?

Ran some sections of the narration at triple speed - just too cheesy to listen to.

Any additional comments?

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.

24 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Perhaps not strictly true to Holmes, still fun.

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Attempting to explore the beloved characters of other authors is tricky. I think maybe this story would have played better if it hadn't tried to take on Holmes, but had been a newly introduced detective. Having said that, it was entertaining.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

No.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

I liked his characters and he was very consistent - which I have to imagine is difficult. There were moments I had trouble understanding what he was saying, but that could have been me.

Was The House of Silk worth the listening time?

Yes, but buy it on sale.

17 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The Game's afoot!

Great writing, great reading, satisfying and complete resolution. Who could ask for anything more.

17 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Unworthy of the name and leaves a nasty aftertaste

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.

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

100% Enjoyable in every way

Where does The House of Silk rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This ranks as one of the best audiobooks I have ever listened to.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

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.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

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.

Any additional comments?

I hope Anthony Horowitz writes more of these and that Derek Jacobi will narrate them. This was an outstanding pairing.

3 people found this helpful