The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (unabridged audiobook read by Ralph Cosham): I’ve read a fair number of Sherlock Holmes mysteries, but this was the first novel-length one I’ve picked up. Holmes is called in to get to the bottom of the death of a man connected to a family legend of a hellhound. Holmes and Watson of course do not believe in the supernatural, and their methodical tying up of all the loose threads is fascinating, particularly considering this was written in a time before fingerprinting and DNA evidence. I suppose there are those who do not enjoy having every single minute detail explained, but to me that’s what delights me most about Holmes stories: he loves to explain how he came to every single one of his seemingly random deductions. I especially like Holmes’s childlike enthusiasm when faced with a challenge: the more difficult it is, the more he enjoys himself. Perhaps the most memorable aspect of this story, however, is how much of it is solved by Watson on his own. Evidently his many years as Holmes’s companion have rubbed off on him. My husband has a huge tome o’ Holmes on our bookshelf; I may have to read more of it.

A note on the audio version: Cosham’s reading of The Time Machine was a major reason I got into Wells in the first place, and this is no exception. He doesn’t do distinct character voices, but he makes up for that with engaging narrative style.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

  1. Tome o’Holmes, awesome!

    The thing that you have to accept in Holmes stories is that you, the reader, will not be solving the mystery. The clues he uses in his deductions are often not mentioned until his explanation. I don’t have a problem with that, but it does make it a different sort of mystery story.

    I do enjoy those stories, though. Perhaps I just like someone who so obviously loves logical deduction. :-)

  2. Thanks for the review!

    Holmes is absolutely one of my favorite literary characters – brilliant, quirky, and intriguing all at the same time. That said, The Hound of the Baskervilles has been on my TBR list for a while now, and I just need to sit down and start reading. I’ve read most of the short mysteries by Doyle, but a whole novel devoted to one mystery? Now that’s cool! :)

    • I admit I wasn’t sure if Holmes – as both a character and a story style – would be suited to the longer format, but it works well. I’d definitely recommend Baskervilles even to a Holmes newbie.

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