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Shadows Over Baker Street
 
 

Shadows Over Baker Street [Kindle Edition]

Michael Reaves , John Pelan
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

Print List Price: CDN$ 21.00
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Sold by: Random House Canada, Incorp.
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Arthur Conan Doyle and H.P. Lovecraft were masters of mood and suggestion, qualities in short supply in this anthology collecting 18 all-original tales in which Sherlock Holmes and other Doylean characters confront various Lovecraftian horrors. A few contributions amount to cinematic action-adventure stories better suited to Indiana Jones, while perhaps the most atmospheric entry, Caitlin R. Kiernan's "The Drowned Geologist," with its sly Dracula allusions, relates more closely to her novel Threshold than to the book's theme. The more successful tales tend to adhere to traditional Holmesian scenarios, such as those by the two editors: Pelan's "The Mystery of the Worm" puts a neat Lovecraftian twist on one of Dr. Watson's untold cases, while Reaves's "The Adventure of the Arab's Manuscript" makes imaginative use of an unexpurgated copy of the Necronomicon found in an Afghan cave. Just as good are Richard A. Lupoff's "The Adventure of the Voorish Sign" and Poppy Z. Brite and David Ferguson's "The Curious Case of Miss Violet Stone." F. Gwynplaine MacIntyre's "The Adventure of Exham Priory" takes the humor prize for an egotistical quip from the master detective, who alludes to the cosmic conclave of human and alien minds in HPL's "The Shadow Out of Time": "I was offered a chance to commune with intellects nearly the equal of my own."
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Here's a real treat for fans of Sherlock Holmes, H. P. Lovecraft, and everyone in between: 20 original stories by writers of horror and fantasy. Neil Gaiman is here, along with Barbara Hambly, Richard Lupoff, Brian Stableford, Poppy Z. Brite, and many more. The premise is engaging: What if the world of Holmes, the world's most logical and rational detective, intersected with the world of Lovecraft, where logic and rationality have little meaning? These are stories about strange beasts, men cursed to death, and the walking un-dead. Most feature a powerful narrative voice. One stars Irene Adler and takes place nearly a decade before the events recounted in the classic Conan Doyle story, "A Scandal in Bohemia." Another is narrated by H. G. Wells. Mycroft Holmes, Sherlock's brother, appears in one tale; still another has Dr. Watson becoming Holmes' client. The stories, set between 1881 and 1915, are uniformly excellent, and the book, authorized by the Doyle estate, is a welcome addition to the Holmes canon. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 624 KB
  • Print Length: 464 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0345452739
  • Publisher: Del Rey; 1 edition (Sept. 30 2003)
  • Sold by: Random House Canada, Incorp.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000FBJCN0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #284,124 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Mixed Bag July 14 2004
Format:Hardcover
I have to agree with other reviews printed here. The book is something of a mixed bag. Few of the stories are well balanced quality pieces of professional writing. Their strengths and limitations differ.
Some of the stories show a paucity of knowledge about Lovecraft's work. In such stories, only a few of the most general references are made to the Lovecraftean canon. Otherwise the stories just suggest the pursuit of a "nightstalker" figure similar to a sort of Jack the Ripper. To justify the story's inclusion in this collection, the author tosses in a couple of Lovecraft's character names or place names such as "Cthulhu" or "Innsmouth" into the story. Nothing is ever done with these references, mind. That would require too much effort.
Some stories work pretty well because the writer has worked with the material before and knows it well. I think that Richard Lupoff's story "The Voorish Sign" is one of the book's best. But Lupoff has written and published other Sherlock Holmes pastiches over the years. He has a track record, so to speak.
Some of the most intriguing and most enjoyable stories set a Lovecraftian stage beautifully, drawing us in, getting us really eager to move on to the denouement. Unfortunately, it is as though the writer at this point does not know what to do with the situation he/she has established, and just . . . stops. Such is "The Mystery of the Worm" by John Pelan.
A series of biographic sketches appear at the end of the book, profiling the authors of the various stories. Here one sees quite a range of experience. Some of the writers have published a number of books and stories, and seem to have done their share of "weird tales.
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Format:Hardcover
I can half heartedly reccomend this with serious caveats.
Problem one. It is really a one-trick pony. OK. You get it. Holmes vs. various mythos creatures. This looks great on paper but does not sustain a book. If you are really interested, however, and since many of the stories are entertaining and a couple actually thought provoking, then buy it and read no more than one story a month, maybe every 6 weeks. This isn't only because of the limitations of the idea, but also because all but two authors chose (generally successfully) to mimic Doyle's/"Watson's" writing style.
Problem two. A disproportionate number of stories are based on The Shadow over Innsmouth. One that isn't, "The Curious Case of Miss Violet Stone," is, as has been pointed out by a previous review, based on The Shadow out of Time. This is one of the two best stories in the book. A few stories seem headed off down that sidetrack created by August Derleth where there was a chance in fighting back and winning with Help from Outside. In HPL doom was eventually inevitable and there was no Help available.
"Death Did Not Become Him" is very tenuously mythos being more related to the story of the Golem and Cabbalistic mysticism with a pretty lane excuse given for the connection.
Most of The Uspeakable Old Ones are named in various chants and so forth, but few put in an appearance. In the original HPL the power of suggestion hightened the suspense. Here it is merely disappointing. Shub-Niggurath has a cameo and I think (based on precious little evidence) that Nyarlathotep has some off-stage schtick. Most disappointing, Chthlhu Himself is totally AWOL, replaced by innumerable aquatic hybrids.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining but... Oct. 15 2003
Format:Hardcover
Its a nice idea, and should sell well - after all Cthulhu addicts and Holmes addicts will buy almost anything. Certainly something I had to own.

However these kinds of strories are notoriously easy to write badly, and this anthology has its fair share of stories which take the easy way out. For example. Holmes is already a Mythos scholar, Holmes is convinced of the 'supernatural' with astonishing ease, Holmes discovers some terrible secret and thats it. Bees get mentioned a lot.

There are some good stories here as well. Some even try to do something a little different. Many people even do a few reasonable lines in deduction, although we see more of Holmes the actiton hero, than Holmes the thinker.

On the whole if you like the idea of this book, you will probably not be that disappointed. I doubt you will feel either the sense of unearthly terror and unease expected of Lovecraft, or the delight in reason and observation expected of Doyle, but you will have fun.

Really if I gave Doyle and Lovecraft 5 stars (and if so what do you give the greats?), then I should give this 3, but in 'amazonian' 3 usually seems to mean that you think the item is hopeless, so it gets 4 stars - as its by no means that bad.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Invigorating anthology Sept. 30 2003
Format:Hardcover
Every time this reviewer concludes that there is no way to place Holmes who's been around in so many different clever settings in the past few decades a new approach occurs. SHADOWS OVER BAKER STREET takes Holmes out of Doyle's Victorian England and relocates him in H.P. Lovecraft's Victorian England. Seventeen tales are set in the last two decades of the nineteenth century while three occur in the twentieth.
The premise of changing the setting of the world's greatest detective works, providing the Baker Street crowd with a strong invigorating anthology. However, besides the obvious uniqueness of the background, the collection also takes a wider look at Holmes by including renowned authors from non-mystery genres along with the who-done-it writers. Thus, twenty tales from horror, science fiction, fantasy, and of course mystery (what! No romance or western) furbishes a strong unique anthology in which the worlds of Lovecraft and Doyle converge into a tremendous short story book with no weak entry.
Harriet Klausner
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Eldritch, my dear Watson
This anthology is fantastic. Every story delivers a new look on this long overdue combination of the Victorian and the cosmic. Read more
Published 16 months ago by ScS
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Chthulu fans!
The very idea of this book fascinated me. I was not disapointed. If you're a fan of HP Lovcraft, this is a good read. If you're a fan of Sherlock Holmes, it is equally good. Read more
Published on June 9 2009 by Tony Marlino
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing collection
Maybe my hopes were just too high for this one. It sounds like a great idea, but I have to agree with Cyberalchemist. Read more
Published on June 25 2004 by gothic cowgirl
4.0 out of 5 stars Extremely high coolness factor
Not every story is a gem, but most of them are very, very good. The less successful ones cleave too much to Holmesian or Lovecraftian conventions too closely, so they feel too much... Read more
Published on June 15 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Sherlock Holmes versus the Cthulhu!!
I stumbled upon this book by accident and being a huge Sherlock Holmes fan as well as a huge Lovecraft fan I decided to pick it up. I was NOT disappointed. This Book is TERRIFIC!! Read more
Published on May 22 2004 by Matt
5.0 out of 5 stars Sometimes you cannot eliminate the impossible
What a great mixture--the world's greatest detective and the world's most terrifying mystos together! I have been a fan of both Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and H. P. Read more
Published on Nov. 18 2003 by Raven
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