Monday, May 12, 2008

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

Source: Project Gutenberg , courtesy of (zipped high-quality mp3s)
Length: 6 hr, 15 min
Reader: John Telfer

The book: I've reviewed A Study in Scarlet, the first Sherlock Holmes book, previously but I think this book, the first collection of Holmes short stories, is where Holmes emerges as one of the greatest characters of English literature. These stories are not the careful set pieces of an Agatha Christie mystery where all the clues are set out for the reader to decipher on his own. Instead, as the title implies, these are adventure stories in which the reader follows Holmes in solving the mystery, but is not expected to arrive there first.
This collection includes some of the best Sherlock Holmes stories. “A Scandal in Bohemia” offers a tantalizing glimpse into what “Holmes in Love” might look like. “The Red-Headed League” appears in many anthologies and is a great example of an archetypical Sherlock Holmes mystery. While the solution of “The Adventure of the Speckled Band” appears improbable, the suspenseful storytelling and spooky atmosphere make it easy to see why this was one of Doyle’s favorites. Whether your taste in books runs more toward classics or page-turners, this is a book that will satisfy anyone.
Rating: 10/10

The reader: As I mentioned previously, John Telfer is a wonderful reader of the Holmes stories. He is a master of accents, creating different voices for each character. Not only the voices, but also the personalities of Holmes and Watson become distinctly real in this audiobook. The mp3 files for this recording are available in two formats at Project Gutenberg. When you arrive at the catalog page, you'll see a list of 25 files at 11kHz, 16 kbit and 25 files at 22 kHz, 32 kbit. These two groups of files are the same recordings, but at different quality levels and file sizes. So if you want a high-quality recording download all 25 of the 32 kbit files and if memory space or download speed is more important, grab the lower-quality 16 kbit files, but you need not get both sets of files. Both are listenable, but I reccomend the 32 kbit files if you have a fast internet connection and room on your hard drive.

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