Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Sherlock Holmes Theatre (Audiobook)

Title: The Sherlock Homes Theatre
Author: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Read by: Full Cast Production of the Hollywood Theater of the Ear star Audie Award winning readers
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Length: 4 hours, 37 minutes

Award:  R.L.L. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award 2005
Source: Wisconsin Public Library Consortium from the Kewaunee Public Library Website (Digital Download in Overdrive Media Console

The Sherlock Holmes Theatre is a perfect audio experience.  A full production of actors takes on and interprets the only two plays Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote about Sherlock Holmes, The Napoleon of Crime and The Speckled Band.  Also included as a bonus is a new one-act comedy play, Ghastly Double Murder in Famed Detective’s Flat. 

The Napoleon of Crime and The Speckled Band are typical entertaining Sherlock Holmes mysteries.  In The Napoleon of Crime, Holmes and Watson find themselves immersed in an international conspiracy against Holmes arch-rival Professor Moriarty.  A young woman has letters that could implicate the British heir in a major scandal right before his marriage.  In order to take these letters from her and earn a tidy profit, a couple kidnaps her and holds her captive.  Sherlock Holmes is soon on the scene to help her out and uncovers the mystery while also discovering admiration for the lady. Complicating matters, Professor Moriarty arrives in the picture and is bent on the final destruction of Holmes.
In The Speckled Band, Watson steps in to help a family that he knew back in his days serving in India.  Two daughters returned with their mother and step-father to England.  After their mother’s death, the eldest daughter dies under mysterious circumstances after uttering a mysterious phrase about a “speckled band.”  Two years later, the younger daughter has just gotten engaged and is starting to hear the same strange music that her sister had heard and her stepfather has moved her to the same bedroom.  Fearing for her life, she asks for assistance from family friend Dr. Watson and his good friend Sherlock Holmes.  Will Holmes be able to solve the mystery and save a life?

The play version of The Speckled Band was based on an earlier short story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.  Facing financial difficulties, Doyle adapted his favorite Holmes story into a play changing names and some situations.  The play was a smashing success in both London and in America solving the financial problems.  It sounds like the villain (the step-father Dr. Grimesby Rylott played by Lyn Harding) was quite the character and something to behold.  I would have loved to have seen the production.
The new one-act comedy play by Yuri Rasovsky, Ghastly Double Murder in Famed Detective’s Flat, made me laugh out loud several times.  Obviously not a Conan Doyle original, in this parody, Holmes and Watson tell each other what they really think of each other.  I really enjoyed the humor in this piece.

I enjoyed listening to all of these Holmes stories.  I really love listening to audiobooks with a full cast of voice actors for all of the parts.  It really enhances the experience for me.  I thought this audiobook was brilliant.
I’m noticing a definite drug trend in the Victorian literature I’ve been reviewing this year for the Victorian Challenge.  Sherlock Holmes gets a talking too from Watson about the dangers of cocaine, but Holmes doesn’t seem bothered by the potential bad side effects.  It’s strange to think of the famous detective known for his keen intellect as also a drug addict.

Overall, if you are looking for a great mystery and a comedy, The Sherlock Holmes Theatre is an excellent audiobook.

1 comment:

  1. Great review-I'm not really a fan of audiobooks but I think listening to a full cast of talented actors really makes me excited!