The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

Complete in nine handsome volumes, each with an introduction by a Doyle scholar, a chronology, a selected bibliography, and explanatory notes, the Oxford Sherlock Holmes series offers a definitive collection of the famous detective's adventures. No home library is complete without it.Comprising the series of short stories that made the fortunes of the Strand, the magazine...

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Title:The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
Author:Arthur Conan Doyle
Rating:
ISBN:0192835084
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Paperback
Number of Pages:339 pages

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Reviews

  • russell barnes
    Aug 23, 2007

    It's the end of the world and Watson and Holmes, on the cusp of having their brilliant lives snuffed out by the impending doom decide their simmering sexual tension can go no further.

    As they remove their clothes, Watson turns around to see Holmes brandishing a tub of Lemon Curd.

    "Holmes!" Watson exclaims, "I know what we're about to do goes against God's nature, but what in the name of all that is Holy are you doing with that breakfast condiment?"

    To which Holmes replied, "Lemon entry my dear Wats

    It's the end of the world and Watson and Holmes, on the cusp of having their brilliant lives snuffed out by the impending doom decide their simmering sexual tension can go no further.

    As they remove their clothes, Watson turns around to see Holmes brandishing a tub of Lemon Curd.

    "Holmes!" Watson exclaims, "I know what we're about to do goes against God's nature, but what in the name of all that is Holy are you doing with that breakfast condiment?"

    To which Holmes replied, "Lemon entry my dear Watson, Lemon entry".

  • Trevor
    Dec 09, 2008

    I’ve been listening to Sherlock Holmes stories in the car and think I’m going to go through and listen to all of them now. I’ve started with The Adventures and have enjoyed it immensely.

    There must have been any number of psychological studies performed on Mr Holmes. There is, of course, that wonderful line by Borges in his lectures on Verse in which he says that he believes in the Character of Sherlock Holmes without actually believing in any of the stories in which that character appears. That

    I’ve been listening to Sherlock Holmes stories in the car and think I’m going to go through and listen to all of them now. I’ve started with The Adventures and have enjoyed it immensely.

    There must have been any number of psychological studies performed on Mr Holmes. There is, of course, that wonderful line by Borges in his lectures on Verse in which he says that he believes in the Character of Sherlock Holmes without actually believing in any of the stories in which that character appears. That is such a clever thing to say and I think it is also remarkably true. Although, as with most other true things, I never seem to have too much trouble ‘believing’ in the stories as they are being told.

    If I was doing a psychological analysis of Mr Holmes (something, obviously, I’m grossly underqualified to perform – but I feel quite safe, given he never actually existed and even if he did he would be well dead by now and so would be quite unlikely to be adversely affected by any nonsense I might come up with) it would probably have a lot to say about the beginnings of these stories. There is a bit of a pattern to how these stories start. Either a client or, all too often, Dr Watson is presented to Holmes and he makes some remarkable logical deduction about these invariably astonished characters from a seemingly insignificant detail he notices via an article of clothing or their hat.

    What I find so psychologically interesting about him doing this at the start of each story is that I can’t help but feel he does this to present himself as the intellectual superior to those around him. The relationship between Watson and Holmes really isn’t the same as that between Boswell and Johnson, despite the constant reference to the similarities. Watson may be the dutifully biographer, but his role is also that of the slightly foolish, but endlessly appreciative audience. It is as if it is only through his reactions that we learn when to gasp and when to applaud with awesome wonder. Watson is the laughing track of his day. But Holmes repeatedly asserting his intellectual superiority at the beginning of each story is fascinating as it also hints at insecurities in his character. He requires reassurance.

    He is a flawed character, our Holmes. Rational, empirical but also all too often only interested in ‘people’ for the complex ‘cases’ they present him with. There is also the problem of his drug addiction which he invariably turns to out of sheer boredom - and invariably that is intellectual boredom.

    I can’t begin to tell you how surprised I was to find that Doyle was a spiritualist. It is something I found myself remembering as Holmes performs his tricks. Because there is something terribly similar about the tricks Holmes performs and the ‘cold reading’ performed by a spiritualist. His ‘explaining’ often results in his audience saying something like – now it is explained I can see how easy it all is, which then has Holmes complaining he should keep his methods to himself. Except I think there is a deeper significance to him doing these performances – and that is to constantly have his audience wondering what else there is about them he can ‘see’ - what other secrets has he access to?

    A lesser character would have ‘mystical powers’ – Holmes achieves the same thing through the force of his intellect. The only wonder is, given our culture’s clear distrust (if not active loathing) of the intellect, how he ever came to be quite so loved in the first place. Perhaps his 'coldness' explains this - perhaps it is because he is the model of the detached scientist that it is alright to like him.

    Now, talking of love. My eldest daughter became particularly fond of Mr Holmes about five years ago. So much so that she read all of his stories after we watched many of the BBC TV shows of his works made in the 1980s. One day she had been reading one of the stories in this book and Watson mentions, in an off-hand way, that one can calculate how tall someone is from the length of their stride. And so Fi actually tried this, taking various measurements and doing a series of calculations. It is hard to exaggerate the utter joy children bring into one’s life. They come highly recommended – as do the wonderful stories in this collection.

    Oh, and there are a couple of stories where it is mentioned that someone is reading a book with a yellow cover – a mystery/detective story. In Italy detective stories are still referred to as ‘Yellows’. I wonder why these stories tended to be printed in books with yellow covers? I must wiki it at some stage.

  • Apatt
    Aug 29, 2011

    After “reading” lengthy audiobooks like

    I just wanted to read/listen-to something short. Then I saw the movie

    (highly recommended) and I thought “Of course! Sherlock!”

    I suspect reviewing an anthology by listing all the stories and commenting on each of them is probably inelegant and amateurish, but I never said I was a pro. So the game is afoot! Let the jollification begin:

    - Irene Adler is not Holmes girlfriend OK? stop shipping "Sherene" alr

    After “reading” lengthy audiobooks like

    I just wanted to read/listen-to something short. Then I saw the movie

    (highly recommended) and I thought “Of course! Sherlock!”

    I suspect reviewing an anthology by listing all the stories and commenting on each of them is probably inelegant and amateurish, but I never said I was a pro. So the game is afoot! Let the jollification begin:

    - Irene Adler is not Holmes girlfriend OK? stop shipping "Sherene" already! (sorry for this bout of Tumblrism). One of the best known SH stories ever, one with a great twist. Irene Adler is simply awesome. She is possibly the inspiration for Catwoman. Without spoiling anything I can tell you that she was never in any danger of being beheaded in the Middle East. Actually Holmes probably fancies her a bit, mostly for her brain.

    - Holmes vs The Deadly Gingers! This is “a three pipes problem” according to Holmes. This story is subtly funny in places, Holmes and Watson even have a good laugh at his dimwitted client's expense.

    - One of the more comfy cases which Holmes can solve from his armchair. Funny thing about this story is that while it is good, when I looked at the title of the story a couple days later in the Contents page I had no idea what it is about. It's just too elementary. Note to self: This one is about a missing fiancé who leaves his nice but dim bride at the altar, he is not what he seems...

    - Murder (al)most foul. Number of pipes not specified, probably not more than four as the case involves a bit of traveling. Holmes says something surprisingly religious here:

    - A bit of an epic fail for Sherlock, it's a great story and Holmes did solve the case but the conclusion of the case is not one of his shining moments. If you receive five orange pips in the post

    Holmes vs a master of disguise! Great story with a surprisingly sweet ending. Holmes solves this one by

    LOL! Mr. Holmes you are too many for me.

    In which Holmes wouldn't say boo to a goose. Underneath the cold exterior he can be quite kindly and forgiving to newbie criminals. It's a gem!

    - Holmes assists a Stoner in a most serpentine tale! This is the most thrilling and sinister story so far in the book. Definitely a favorite.

    - Another case where Holmes does not have to do a lot of work. The poor engineer and his ex-thumb though. The climax is quite thrilling,

    .

    The titular Noble Bachelor turns out to be an upper class twit. Doyle is doing a bit of a social satire with this story I think. A relatively inconsequential story but still a lot of fun. The wedding scene reminds me of the movie

    a little bit.

    A tale of thievery and familial trust issues. Holmes can be quite paternal and sentimental when he chooses to be, though here he does that stuff "off screen".

    It’s Holmes vs The Addams Family! Well, not quite but it’s not too far off. Marvelous story, featuring Violet Hunter, a resourceful and competent young lady, who is almost as awesome as Irene Adler. If Irene is Catwoman, Violet is surely Batgirl.

    * - Holmes battles his deadliest enemy, constipation! Dr. Watson to the rescue with a suppository.

    Every story in this book (except that last one about constipation) is a gem. Gems come in different sizes of course, but the entire collection is definitely a treasure. Holmes is probably my favorite fictional character of all time. His intellect is practically of superhero proportion, he is also wonderfully inscrutable yet caring and staunch defender of the less well to do. Watson is an extremely important support for Holmes, his courage and loyalty to Holmes saves the sleuth’s bacon on many occasions. He is also definitely not an idiot as portrayed in some dramatization. He can be quite quick witted and observant, and of course he is our trusty narrator.

    Of course it takes an actual genius to create such a vivid and convincing fictional genius. From the reader’s point of view it may seem easy to think up a crime and then retroactively create clues that will lead Holmes to solving them, but when you read these stories Holmes’ problem solving just seem so organic and natural. His reading of people’s background from observing the minutiae of their appearance is mind boggling even though we know the author create the observations to fit the characters’ appearance. The ingenious part is that Doyle makes it all so believable, and he writes with such wit, style and elegance.

    If you never read any Sherlock Holmes before shame on you! I recommend starting with this collection, then go on to the novels and other collections.

    _________________________________

    * OK, I totally made this one up!

    read – nay

    – by David Clarke. Awesome job Mr. Clarke!

  • Namratha
    Jan 27, 2012

    To have a slight measure of the pleasant chills that race up and down your spine when you delve into a meaty Holmes mystery, do read the introduction passage by

    (

    ). Amidst a host of admirable emotions, Gatiss’ one nostalgic paragraph captured my fancy.

    It goes thusly,

    To have a slight measure of the pleasant chills that race up and down your spine when you delve into a meaty Holmes mystery, do read the introduction passage by

    (

    ). Amidst a host of admirable emotions, Gatiss’ one nostalgic paragraph captured my fancy.

    It goes thusly,

    *I wish I were reading these stories for the first time*

    Never has a statement so effectively captured the sheer bliss of nose-diving into an old and much cherished spot of literature. What prompted me to revisit the series was BBC Entertainment’s hugely popular and marvellously brilliant show : *

    *. A fellow fan, sharp reviewer and possessor of the prodigious talent to pick the perfect book (

    ) and yours truly were jamming up our Tumblr dashboards with the magnificence of a certain

    . Said Cumberbatch has done a splendid job of yanking Mr.Holmes into modern day London and playing him with aplomb. It doesn’t hurt that he’s very easy on the eyes too.

    Ergo, when Cumberbatch (

    ) with his trusty bro-mate, Watson (

    ) graced the cover of yet another Sherlock edition, I had to lay my hands on it. All the foaming-at-the-mouth fans (

    ) can be forgiven for labouring under the misconception that this book here, is a TV Series adaptation. It’s not.

    Sadly...well, not really (because, *KNOCK KNOCK*, it’s Sherlock Holmes, the O.R.I.G.I.N.A.L.)...the book is a reprint of the twelve original mysteries as written by

    .

    So when Holmes is not marvelling over the cleverness of Irene Adler, he’s scratching his head over the sudden collapse of the Red-Haired League. Whether it’s the trivial case of the Blue Carbuncle or the horrifying finale of the Speckled Band, Holmes is striding about with a befuddled Watson in tow. Dignities are being restored....genteel ladies are being chivalrously rescued.....and pages are being fraught with drama, deceit and old-fashioned danger. In short, everything that you would expect from the most famous detective of all fictional times.

    What could I write in my review that would add anything new to the reams that have been dedicated to the snarkiest sleuth of them all? How do I delve into a character that’s a delightful blend of humility and egotism? How do I gush and fawn over a mind that could dissect an individual down to the tiniest speck of dust on the tip of his frock-coat?

    From the moment a knock falls at the door of 221B Baker Street, you know that you are in for a treat. From the pithy to the sensational, no case escaped the interest of Holmes and his partner in crime-solving, Dr.Watson. Holmes would settle down before the roaring fireplace, light his pipe, give the despairing individual a clinical onceover, draw his (

    )conclusions and then just as quickly, proceed to unravel mysteries on the strength of observation, infallible logic and that essential spark of genius cloaked in eccentricities.

    In the times of darkly dreaming Dexter and stiletto wearing Detective Kate Beckett, Holmes may pale in comparison. And then again....maybe he won’t. In the cold of Victorian London, amidst the ladies who sniffed into their lacy kerchiefs and the gentleman who blustered around in their breeches, Holmes cut a dashing figure. With his dry wit and baffling disguises, he plundered the murky underbelly (

    ) of crime, and almost always got his man/woman/murderous cult.

    Yes, we love our modern day detective-dramas and high-octane police chases. We love the forensics lab with it’s meticulously laid out tools. We love the fact that a well-worded Google search might just catch that horrendous serial killer by the end of the one hour episode.

    , as

    (

    ) puts it:

  • Paul Bryant
    Nov 26, 2012

    Sherlock Holmes is one of the great characters of literature - who can resist the aloof arrogance and limitless self-satisfaction which stems from that intellectual superiority with which he squishes all the dodgy baronets and rum foreign coves that turn up in the mysteries presented to him by the clients who never fail, when recounting their tangled tales, to speak in perfect paragraphs full of precisely recollected speech in a style exactly like a Conan Doyle story? I love the love story betwe

    Sherlock Holmes is one of the great characters of literature - who can resist the aloof arrogance and limitless self-satisfaction which stems from that intellectual superiority with which he squishes all the dodgy baronets and rum foreign coves that turn up in the mysteries presented to him by the clients who never fail, when recounting their tangled tales, to speak in perfect paragraphs full of precisely recollected speech in a style exactly like a Conan Doyle story? I love the love story between Holmes and Watson - they may or may not be closet cases, but yes it is rather interesting how in "The Man with the Twisted Lip" when Watson stumbles over Holmes in disguise in an opium den from where Watson is retrieving the erring husband of his wife's friend late one night, without a second thought, Watson packs the stoned husband into a cabriolet and sends him home whilst he goes off with Sherlock to spend the night – never mind what a fretting wife will be thinking! Watson is of course the Boswell to Sherlock's equally-eccentric Dr Johnson and just as the great doctor got rather aggravated at Bozzy at times and swatted him like a fly, so we get this rather grim pronouncement from Sherlock - they are discussing the accounts Watson writes and publishes of Sherlock's cases, the very accounts we have been reading in this book, yes, rather postmodern of Conan Doyle:

    That's telling him.

    But Sherlock, these are beautifully written tales! For instance, I love the pause which allows some conversation before the moment when the next agitated client twangs the Baker Street bell with another very unlikely tale. A pause where Sherlock makes some random, unexpected observations about London life or makes of tobacco or the problems of succession in Schleswig-Holstein. And then, in comes the client shaking an umbrella - Sir, a foreign gentleman cut off my thumb last night. Mr Holmes, my wife disappeared thirty minutes after we were married. Mr Holmes, they believe I killed my father. Sir, a person sent my father five orange pips through the mail, and he died shortly thereafter. Now I have received five orange pips through the mail.

    The unlikeliness of the mysteries and their resolutions are delightful in many ways. Sometimes it turns out no crime has been committed. Sometimes Sherlock turns out to be the criminal! He has to break a law to obtain justice. And he dishes out summary punishments too. Sometimes the police never get involved, often they're flat-footed stooges or simply noises off. The stories become the vehicle to make many comments on England and the English – here's one I liked. Holmes and Watson are driving out into the Surrey countryside on a beautiful Spring day :

    Always fascinating, glinting with intelligence, ascerbity and occasional indirect humour, and human affection, all these stories surpassed my dim memories of them and made me very happy that there are another four volumes to go.

  • Robin Hobb
    Feb 24, 2013

    Nothing compares to the original. If you really want to know Holmes and Watson, this is what you read. The characterization and pacing is, for me, delightful. The insights into a London of trains and mail more than once a day, the manners of the time, the dialogue . . . this is a feast.

    Very honestly speaking, none of the movie or television adaptations have ever given me the sensation of 'being there' at Baker Street, with Holmes and Watson, that I get from the original stories.

    Read them. You ow

    Nothing compares to the original. If you really want to know Holmes and Watson, this is what you read. The characterization and pacing is, for me, delightful. The insights into a London of trains and mail more than once a day, the manners of the time, the dialogue . . . this is a feast.

    Very honestly speaking, none of the movie or television adaptations have ever given me the sensation of 'being there' at Baker Street, with Holmes and Watson, that I get from the original stories.

    Read them. You owe it to yourself!

  • Huda Aweys
    Jan 30, 2014

    Sherlock Holmes ...

    What a day :)

    *****

    حزينة جدا على أفول نجم (شيرلوك) في أواخر ايام السير آرثر كونان دويل .. ماكانش يعرف ان دي البداية

    :)

  • Councillor
    Aug 12, 2015

    Who doesn't know Sherlock Holmes these days? Even if not everyone might be familiar with the original version invented by Arthur Conan Doyle, Mr. Holmes has become such a legend in his own right, a development fed and supported by numerous stage, screen and radio adaptions, that it is ne

    Who doesn't know Sherlock Holmes these days? Even if not everyone might be familiar with the original version invented by Arthur Conan Doyle, Mr. Holmes has become such a legend in his own right, a development fed and supported by numerous stage, screen and radio adaptions, that it is nearly impossible to hear the word 'detective' without immediately associating Sherlock Holmes.

    'The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes' is a collection of altogether twelve short stories, published as the third part of the Sherlock Holmes series following Doyle's novels "A Study in Scarlet" and "The Sign of Four". Not without reason do many readers consider this collection to be Doyle's masterpiece, myself included. It simply was no masterpiece which absolutely thrilled or stunned me. Blame it on me or my inability to read all the stories from this collection in less than four months, but a lot of the fun about Holmes' and Watson's adventures was deprived from the novel by repeating exactly the same concept in each and every one of those stories.

    Let's take a look at the short stories itself, which may very well represent the very essence of Doyle's works in the Sherlock Holmes canon. Beginning with

    and concluding with

    , Doyle invented two famous female characters frequently associated with the stories about Holmes: Irene Adler and Violet Hunter. Both may be considered ahead of their times, surprisingly independent and brave. The other characters Doyle brought into play during the other ten stories were not quite as memorable, however.

    turned out to be a sweet little short story which isn't very outstanding in the Sherlock Holmes series because of its predictability, but still includes some interesting quotes and follows a suspense-packed plot with a conclusion which will keep you turning the pages ... just as

    , an interesting mystery story about a man being suspected of having murdered his father, consisting of fast-paced dialogues and an exciting turning point. Everyone seems to have guessed the ending correctly before reading it - everyone except for me -, which may be the reason for why I liked it so much.

    was far off being nearly as intriguing - I have written a full review for this story

    - while

    emerged as a really good short story with an interesting twist I would never have figured out on my own. In addition, Arthur Conan Doyle included some interesting material surrounding Sherlock's drug addiction here, and once again, he masterfully explored the friendship between Sherlock and Watson. Afterwards, a story about the influence of the Ku Klux Klan,

    , eloquently narrated by Watson as usual, once again followed the pattern of a classic Holmes tale with an interesting plot and new layers of depth to the character of Sherlock Holmes. Sadly enough, it wasn't as unique as Doyle wanted the story to appear.

    Another rather interesting little story, but not outstanding or mind-blowing was

    , enjoyable, but nothing more. Therein, Holmes has to deal with a stolen carbuncle appearing in the throat of a Christmas goose, entering on the search for the real culprit.

    is one of the most well-known stories in this collection, and the hype this short story received is understandable due to its complex mystery and the stunning conclusion. I liked the story myself. However, never before has Doyle confronted us with so many plot holes, which ultimately disappointed me. A story full of potential which was stripped from its credibility for the sake of cutting it short - the story certainly provided home for more potential than some of Doyle's full-length novels.

    deals with an engineer whose thumb is chopped off, stinging Sherlock to work out the background of this new case.

    focuses on the disappearance of a Lord's bride immediately after the wedding ceremony. Quite an entertaining story with snarky Sherlock Holmes at his best, and a stunning conclusion which once again made the reader feel as dumbfounded as John Watson about Sherlock's investigative talents. The second-last story,

    , deals with the damage mysteriously inflicted to the coronet of a British earl, and, finally, during the conclusion of the collection Doyle rises to fresh heights of his writing with

    , breathing life into a suspenseful story surrounding a woman who assumes work at the mansion of a strange couple with dark secrets.

    While most of these stories are independently enjoyable and memorable on their own, added up on each other they amount to a collection of great mysteries Doyle could have been proud of. However, for me, the problem in getting through the anthology proved to be the similar execution of each and every story. All of them started with Sherlock and Watson sitting or conversing in Sherlock's home, right before the case's new victim appeared - in most cases on the story's second page. After elaborately recounting their experiences in a way so explicitly formulated that they might have been the starting-point of a story without Sherlock or Watson being present, the second part of all the stories mainly consisted in Sherlock and Watson calling upon the location of the occurence, right before the third part was used to allow Sherlock to narrate the real events leading up to the upcoming of the mystery based on his investigations. Now and then, the second step was even skipped if Sherlock started the investigation without Watson (who was the first-person narrator, which resulted in us only being allowed to look at Sherlock's approach if Watson was present as well), and it just bothered me to read the same concept over and over again, only embedded in different plotlines. And, just as a footnote, someone should have told Sherlock not to consider every single one of his cases as the greatest challenge of his career. It became repetitive after a certain point.

    However, "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" remains a great work and can be seen as a tribute to the wonderful and world-wide famous characters of Holmes and Watson. My only disappointment results in my shattered hopes that Mycroft - Holmes' brother - or Moriarty - Holmes' archenemy - might be introduced during one of these stories, but my anticipation of meeting them obviously needs to wait slightly longer. Up next on my Sherlock Holmes quest:

    .

  • Sophia
    Jul 22, 2016

    Once again, Holmes's ingenuity and observance have amazed me.

  • Teresa
    Feb 02, 2017

    It’s been fun zipping through one of these stories each night for the past twelve nights. I’ve even felt rather clever after guessing correctly on a few of the outcomes—even without counting “The Speckled Band”, a story I remember very well from grammar school. I’m not sure why I remember it after such a long time, except for it being one of several short stories we read that year that opened up a new world for me, thanks to a favorite English teacher. (Other stories I remember from then were by

    It’s been fun zipping through one of these stories each night for the past twelve nights. I’ve even felt rather clever after guessing correctly on a few of the outcomes—even without counting “The Speckled Band”, a story I remember very well from grammar school. I’m not sure why I remember it after such a long time, except for it being one of several short stories we read that year that opened up a new world for me, thanks to a favorite English teacher. (Other stories I remember from then were by

    and, of course,

    , as well as the very sad “The Scarlet Ibis”, which I didn’t remember was written by one

    .)

    However superficially clever I might’ve felt, my guessing the outcome is not the attraction for me with these stories: it’s more of seeing the original elements that have since become the stock-in-trade of works about two very different buddies, working together as their personalities clash.

    I also enjoy Doyle’s disparaging remarks on his own (Watson’s) stories through the mouthpiece of Sherlock. The last story of this set (“The Copper Beeches”) starts off with Watson feeling ‘cold’ toward Sherlock after the latter has noted that Watson has ‘embellished’ his published statements of Sherlock’s deductions instead of sticking to a ‘record’ of ‘severe reasoning from cause to effect’, going on to admonish Watson that he has ‘degraded what should have been a course of lectures into a series of tales’. Doyle then goes on to pen his most sensationalistic tale yet. (Sort of meta, isn’t it?)