The Big Book of Sherlock Holmes Stories

The Big Book of Sherlock Holmes Stories

Book - 2015
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Arguably no other character in history has been so enduringly popular as Sherlock Holmes. From his first appearance, in Arthur Conan Doyle's 1887 novella A Study in Scarlet,readers have loved reading about himand writers have loved writing about him. Here, Otto Penzler collects 83 wonderful stories about Holmes and Dr. John Watson, the majority of which will be new to readers. Among these pages are tales by acclaimed Sherlockians Leslie S. Klinger, Laurie R. King, Lyndsay Faye and Daniel Stashower; pastiches by literary luminaries both classic (Kenneth Millar, P. G. Wodehouse, Dorothy B. Hughes) and current (Anne Perry, Stephen King, Neil Gaiman); and parodies by Conan Doyle's contemporaries James M. Barrie, O. Henry, and August Derleth.
Publisher: New York : Pantheon Books, 2015
ISBN: 9781101870891
1101870893
Branch Call Number: MYSTERY BIG
Characteristics: 816 pages ; 23 cm
Notes: "To provide a little guidance through this massive tome, I've divided the stories into several categories but admit, immediately, it is of questionable validity, as many of the stories fall into more than one subdivision (A.A. Milne and P.G. Wodehouse, for example, will be found in the "Literary Writers" section but, since they wrote parodies, they could be found there just as easily). It's not unlike making lists of foods that are delicious and foods that are fattening: there will be overlapping. The two most reasonable choices are to ignore the categorizations altogether or to suggest that you don't take them very much to heart and just enjoy the stories" -- Page

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gvenkatesh
Jul 05, 2016

An excellent collection of short stories to be savored like an assorted box of truffles, slowly over time not overdosed by binging. One doesn't need to be a Sherlock Holmes fan to enjoy these, although some of the parodies will be funnier if one has familiarity with the originals.

First, a digression about the book itself. This luxury edition is created for a personal collection. With almost 800 pages in small font, it takes more time to go through this than most libraries' max renewal times. The satin-y tactile feel of the coated paper in this edition is why many will never substitute books with a digital reader/tablet. On the other hand, the smaller than normal font used can be hard on poor or aging eyes and where the electronics version with zoom features help. It would have better (except for the bottom line of the publisher) if the book were published as a multi-volume set and set in larger font.

The vast collection of stories from a wide range of authors from both sides of the pond, including some well-known authors, show the reach and universal appeal of the Holmes character. While many follow the same formula of a detective receiving a visitor with a problem but with a fresh plot, the rest explore and extend the character beyond what A. C. Doyle himself could (or would) have been able to do. Such as bringing Doyle himself as one of the characters into the story, or parodies where Holmes stumbles, or draws wholly wrong conclusions and in one case is upended by Mrs. Hudson, the landlady.

It is quite amazing that only a few of the stories in this vast collection are below par, perhaps an accommodation or an obligation the editor had to work with.

Highly recommended for savoring slowly over time, not binged on.

jimstrahm Jan 20, 2016

The range of Sherlock stories is quite large. equally the bios of each author are very interesting. Reading about authors from the 1890's, 1920's, and right up to the present day opened a new window on other books.

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