Saturday, October 30, 2010

"The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" edited by John Joseph Adams

"The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes"
edited by John Joseph Adams
Performed by Simon Vance and Anne Flosnik
produced by Brilliance Audio
Approx 21.5 hours

If you are a constant reader of my postings, you may be wondering what I'm doing listening to a Sherlock Holmes audio book. I know, it sounds weird and most of my readings are in the Sci-fi, Horror and Fantasy realms, but once in a while I dive into the classics, but this time I'm not straying away from my favorite genres. This collection of short stories takes the world's most famous "Consulting Detective" into some very interesting adventures.

The defining quote Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote for Holmes, “Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth," is what guides this collection. This collection explores the improbable and bends the limits on improbability. There are 28 stories in this collection written by authors whose specialties range throughout the sci-fi, horror and fantasy realms. Just a few of the authors are; Neil Gaiman, Tanith Lee, Laurie R. King, Anthony Burgess, Stephen Baxter.

Some of the stories in this collection are rewrites of original Holmes adventures, such as "A Study in Emerald" by Neil Gaiman. Gaiman takes the introductory story to Holmes' adventures , "A Study in Scarlet," and places Holmes and Watson in an alternate universe in which Lovecraftian creatures have invaded the Earth and rule the contintents. In the original story Scarlet referred to the color of the blood of the murder victim, in this story Emerald refers to the alien's greenish blood color. I found this story to be the most fun, in that having known the original story, how the aliens created a strange turn to the clues Holmes had to decipher.

In the other stories you have Holmes traveling through time, meeting with the authors, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and H.G. Wells, explaining his 3 years of missing time when Watson believed him to be dead at the hands of Professor Moriarty.

Whether you are a Sherlock Holmes fan or a fan of the strange genres of fiction you will have fun when listening to this collection. There is a bit of something for everyone here. Even some normal Holmes Adventures that just don't seem to be solvable by Holmes.

The readers, Simon Vance and Anne Flosnik swap the reading depending on whether the story is told from a woman's point of view or a man's. Anne Flosnik reads the stories using various accents and emotions perfectly. The gem in this audio book, in my opinion, is Simon Vance, throughout the book Vance captures the characters of Holmes and Watson flawlessly. No matter where the adventure takes them he is consistent with their vocal qualities and that keeps the listener tuned in to the adventure. I know there were several times I couldn't stop listening until Holmes solved the crime.

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