Saturday, June 30, 2007

The Sign of the Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Audio Book)

Title: The Sign of the Four
Author: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Narrator: Robin Cotter

Publisher: Librivox

First Published: 1890

Running time: 4 hrs 17 min 28 sec

Format: Audio Book

Rating: 6/10

The greatest detective of them all is back... 'Down the
Strand the lamps were but misty splotches of diffused light which threw a feeble circular glimmer upon the slimy pavement'. Whilst the seamy streets of London drown in a sea of smog, Sherlock Holmes sinks into a cocaine-induced melancholy, until Miss Mary Morstan presents him with a most intriguing case, leading Holmes into an epic pursuit of the truth...

Don't be fooled by the various screen versions of
Britain's most famous detective - right from the start of this book, Holmes is portrayed as a pompous, egotistical drug addict!

The one thing I don't like about Holmes' style is he seems to make wild leaps in his theories, saying everything is evident, and fair enough, afterwards everything fits together, but he's always so full of himself till he gets to spell everything out to Watson and any other characters who stick with his to the end.

The story is quite fun though, filled with treks across the length and breadth of London as well as having a large part of the narrative set in India (as the villain gives his lengthy version of events).

The actual case involving Holmes and Watson is very short, the larger part of the story being given over to the afore-mentioned “flashback”, which is slightly annoying as most of the story seems superfluous once Holmes has solved the crime, and it smacks of Conan Doyle desperately trying to pad out the story in order to make it to novel-length, rather than the short story it could have been.


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