Project Gutenberg, courtesy of Audiobooksforfree.com (high-quality mp3s: parts 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15)
Length: 3 hours, 45 minutes
Reader: James Telfer
The book: This is my favorite Sherlock Holmes novel, and one of my favorite books of all time. Although I think that usually Holmes shines best in the short stories, this novel is the main exception, where Conan Doyle is able to extend the excitement of the short stories to a longer medium. In a bit of a departure from the usual Holmes stories, Conan Doyle combines a mystery with a seemingly supernatural horror story about the titular Hound, giving the tale an legendary feel.
Though it is the greatest of Holmes's mysteries, the detective is absent for much of the story, allowing Watson's character to take center stage. One of the many reasons I love the new BBC series Sherlock is that it revives Dr. James Watson as the intelligent and brave physician seen here, rather than the bumbling sidekick of many Holmes adaptations. In fact, Steven Moffat, the producer of that series, has hinted that "Adler, Hound, and Reichenbach" would feature in the upcoming season, so here's hoping to see the deadly beast come to screen.
Rating: 10 / 10
The reader: As a mentioned in my review of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and A Study In Scarlet, Telfer is a flawless narrator. His ability to imitate the different British accents, from Devonshire to Oxford, give the characters an added depth that doesn't appear on the printed page. I've linked the high-quality mp3 versions from Project Gutenberg above in parenthesis. I don't recommended the first 15 mp3's from the Gutenberg page nor the free version from Audiobooksforfree.com, since even though they're the same recording, both are encoded at a low bitrate, leading to poor quality sound.
(Entered in the Book Review Wednesday contest at Cym Lowell. Follow the link for reviews of other books by various bloggers)