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The Hound of the Baskervilles [Paperback]

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (103 customer reviews)
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Product Description

From Amazon

We owe 1902's The Hound of the Baskervilles to Arthur Conan Doyle's good friend Fletcher "Bobbles" Robinson, who took him to visit some scary English moors and prehistoric ruins, and told him marvelous local legends about escaped prisoners and a 17th-century aristocrat who fell afoul of the family dog. Doyle transmogrified the legend: generations ago, a hound of hell tore out the throat of devilish Hugo Baskerville on the moonlit moor. Poor, accursed Baskerville Hall now has another mysterious death: that of Sir Charles Baskerville. Could the culprit somehow be mixed up with secretive servant Barrymore, history-obsessed Dr. Frankland, butterfly-chasing Stapleton, or Selden, the Notting Hill murderer at large? Someone's been signaling with candles from the mansion's windows. Nor can supernatural forces be ruled out. Can Dr. Watson--left alone by Sherlock Holmes to sleuth in fear for much of the novel--save the next Baskerville, Sir Henry, from the hound's fangs?

Many Holmes fans prefer Doyle's complete short stories, but their clockwork logic doesn't match the author's boast about this novel: it's "a real Creeper!" What distinguishes this particular Hound is its fulfillment of Doyle's great debt to Edgar Allan Poe--it's full of ancient woe, low moans, a Grimpen Mire that sucks ponies to Dostoyevskian deaths, and locals digging up Neolithic skulls without next-of-kins' consent. "The longer one stays here the more does the spirit of the moor sink into one's soul," Watson realizes. "Rank reeds and lush, slimy water-plants sent an odour of decay ... while a false step plunged us more than once thigh-deep into the dark, quivering mire, which shook for yards in soft undulations around our feet ... it was as if some malignant hand was tugging us down into those obscene depths." Read on--but, reader, watch your step! --Tim Appelo --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up-In what is arguably both the best Sherlock Holmes story in the canon and one of the classic all-time mystery novels, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle parlays his interest in the occult with keen scientific detection in a story that prominently showcases Dr. Watson. Upon hearing Dr. James Mortimer's saga of the haunted Baskerville family and the recent death of family head Sir Charles Baskerville, apparently from the hound of the legend, Holmes and Watson begin their investigation. When the estate's heir, Sir Henry Baskerville, arrives in London from Canada strange things immediately occur and Holmes dispatches Watson to accompany Sir Henry to Baskerville Hall. Situated in Dartmoor in Devonshire, the estate borders a tremendous moor that includes Grimpen Mire, the deadly quicksand-like bog, and provides the Gothic atmosphere that so beautifully saturates the storyAthe oppressive manor and nightly sounds of a wailing woman, Neolithic ruins and monoliths throughout the moor, a mysterious butler and his agitated wife, an escaped killer at-large on the moor, and the spectral and murderous hound. This expurgated version is wonderfully conceived and executed in every aspect, but particularly in the dexterous delivery of veteran British actor, Tony Britton. His diverse and distinctive portrayal of over a dozen characters is singularly commanding. This literary masterwork that has found its simpatico audio incarnation should be an obligatory purchase for all audio collections.
Barry X. Miller, Austin Public Library, TX
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Reader Freddie Jones gives a riveting performance of Conan Doyle's most spellbinding novel. The story of the "hound from Hell" has haunted the Baskervilles through many generations. Now, Sir Henry Baskerville has more than the legendary hound to take on as Seldon, the infamous Notting Hill murderer, has escaped from prison and is known to be lurking around the moor. What a time for Sherlock Holmes to be detained in London! Thus, Watson is left to take on the case. This mystery is much more than elementary, however. The abridgment captures the dark, brooding nature of Dartmoor and the Grimpen Mire, providing the perfect backdrop for the story. Recommended for most libraries.?Theresa Connors, Arkansas Tech Univ., Russellville
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

Review

'Sherlock Holmes's best ... remains a classic.' The Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

For generations the curse had hung over the Baskerville family. Now another life had been claimed by the mysterious and terrifying beast. Was it a demon or an animal lurking on the descolate moor? Would the new master of the Baskerville home be its next victim?

Sherlock Holmes and Watson set out to solve the most bewildering and bloodcurdling case of their careers in this world-famous classic of mystery and suspense. --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

“The whole Sherlock Holmes saga is a triumphant illustration of art’s supremacy over life.” —Christopher Morley


From the Trade Paperback edition. --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

About the Author

Arthur Conan Doyle was a prolific writer born in Scotland who started out as a medical doctor. While at the University of Edinburgh, he augmented his income by writing stories. His first Sherlock Holmes tale was published in 1887, introducing one of literature's best-loved detectives. Doyle has also written many works of history and science fiction, plus plays and poetry.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Over the great Grimpen Mire there hung a dense, white fog. It was drifting slowly in our direction and banked itself up like a wall on that side of us, low, but thick and well defined. The moon shone on it, and it looked like a great shimmering icefield, with the heads of the distant tors as rocks borne upon its surface. Holmes's face was turned towards it, and he muttered impatiently as he watched its sluggish drift.

"It's moving towards us, Watson."
"Is that serious?"
"Very serious, indeed - the one thing upon earth which could have disarranged my plans."

Every minute that white woolly plain which covered one half of the moor was drifting closer and closer to the house. Already the first thin wisps of it were curling across the golden square of the lighted window. The farther wall of the orchard was already invisible, and the trees were standing out of a swirl of white vapour. As we watched it the fog-wreaths came crawling round both corners of the house and rolled slowly into one dense bank, on which the upper floor and the roof floated like a strange ship upon a shadowy sea. Holmes struck his hand passionately upon the rock in front of us, and stamped his feet in his impatience.

I was at Holmes's elbow, and I glanced for an instant at his face. It was pale and exultant, his eyes shining brightly in the moonlight. But suddenly they started forward in a rigid, fixed stare, and his lips parted in amazement. At the same instant Lestrade gave a yell of terror and threw himself face downwards upon the ground. I sprang to my feet, my inert hand grasping my pistol, my mind paralysed by the dreadful shape which had sprung out upon us from the shadows of the fog. A hound it was, an enormous coal-black hound, but not such a hound as mortal eyes have ever seen. Fire burst from its open mouth, its eyes glowed with a smouldering glare, its muzzle and hackles and dewlap were outlined in flickering flame. Never in the delirious dream of a disordered brain could anything more savage, more appalling, more hellish be conceived than that dark form and savage face which broke upon us out of the wall of fog."

With long bounds the huge black creature was leaping down the track, following hard upon the footsteps of our friend. So paralysed were we by the apparition that we allowed him to pass before we had recovered our nerve. Then Holmes and I both fired together, and the creature gave a hideous howl, which showed that one at least had hit him. He did not pause, however, but bounded onwards. Far away on the path we saw Sir Henry looking back, his face white in the moonlight, his hands raised in horror, glaring helplessly at the frightful thing which was hunting him down.. . .

Never have I seen a man run as Holmes ran that night. I am reckoned fleet of foot, but he outpaced me . . . In front of us as we flew up the track we heard scream after scream from Sir Henry and the deep roar of the hound. I was in time to see the beast spring upon its victim, hurl him to the ground, and worry at his throat.

_______

THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Illustrations Copyright © 2006 Pam Smy. Published by Candlewick Press, Inc., Cambridge, MA. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From AudioFile

Attentive listeners may find themselves checking their ears as they listen to this classic Sherlock Holmes story. Is it a full-cast recording? Actually, no. All of these marvelously individualized voices are the work of David Timson, whose Sherlock Holmes speaks with arrogance and crackling intelligence and whose Scots country folk speak in pronounced accents. Aided by judiciously orchestrated music to set the mood and signal transitions, Timson brings this classic tale of suspense to vivid life. He understands Conan Doyle's pacing and even makes some of the author's blockier expository passages flow smoothly. G.T.B. © AudioFile 2005, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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