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14-07-2013, 07:36

The Complete Casebook of Sherlock Holmes

Категория: Crime/ Mystery (English), Audiobooks (English)

The Complete Casebook of Sherlock Holmes

Author: Arthur Conan Doyle
Publisher: Naxos Audiobooks
Genre: mystery
Date: 2007
Duration: 10 hours
Reader: David Timson
Quality: 97 кбит/c (VBR ), 44100 Гц, объединенное стерео
Size: 304 mb
Format: mp3
Language: English

Description: To think of Sherlock Holmes, conjures up an image of a gas-lit room, filled with tobacco smoke from the sleuth’s pipe, and the gentle clip-clop of a Hansom Cab passing outside beneath the grimy fog-ridden window of No. 221b Baker Street. A time caught in aspic, a sepia tinted image from the end of the nineteenth century.

It seems amazing therefore that a new series of Sherlock Holmes stories should have appeared as late as the 1920s. But despite the 1920s being the age of jazz and the flapper, where such items as telephones, electric light, electric bells, motor cars, and gramophones were becoming commonplace, the Holmes phenomenon showed no signs of diminishing. The stories, despite being set for the most part in the early 1900s, were still as eagerly read as ever. Indeed, modern technology was encouraging Holmes’s popularity. ‘By 1921 the developing silent film industry already had 15 Sherlock Holmes adaptations on its shelves, including a full-length Hound of the Baskervilles. Between 1921 and 1927 Conan Doyle once again returned to his great creation for 12 more stories which were first published in The Strand, and then published collectively as The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes in 1927.

In these stories, Conan Doyle seems to be struggling to find a new narrative style. Nine are related by Watson as the reader would expect, but one is narrated in the third person, and two by Holmes himself. Watson is at pains in the opening narrative to Thor Bridge to explain the change: ‘In some [cases] I was myself concerned and can speak as an eye-witness, while in others I was either not present or played so small a part that they could only be told as by a third person.’

The experiment of allowing Holmes to write up his own cases was not met with unmitigated delight by the reading public. Watson had his own admirers. The Times reviewer wrote: ‘Why is Holmes the only prolonger of his own life, the only survivor of his own biographer, the only personage privileged to be his creator’s never-failing resource?’

Conan Doyle’s struggle to ring the changes on what had become for him a tired formula reflected his personal literary journey: he was reluctant to write fiction at all by the 1920s in view of his commitment to spiritualism. He poured money into the furtherance of the spiritualist cause, which may well account for the appearance of these last twelve Sherlock Holmes stories. By the 1920s he was being paid £800 per story for the British rights alone, a dozen pot-boilers hurriedly dashed off would result in considerably increased funds.

Indeed, some devoted followers have suggested that these stories are not by Conan Doyle at all, but mere pastiche by lesser hands, and certainly there is an inconsistency in the characterisation of Holmes, or had Conan Doyle reached the point with his creation of deliberately writing to shock his reading public? Perhaps he had realized that Holmes was immortal and however he chose to represent him the public would lap it up anyway.

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Автор(ы): Arthur Conan Doyle

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