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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The quintessential Holmes tale
The image of Sherlock Holmes in 'The Hound of the Baskervilles' is perhaps the most enduring image we have of him. You see, an Inverness cloak and deerstalker cap are inappropriate wardrobe for the town, and belong in the country. Sherlock Holmes is predominantly a city dweller and city investigator; it is relatively uncommon that he treks out on adventures, but the case...
Published on Feb. 22 2006 by FrKurt Messick

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3.0 out of 5 stars The Hound of the Baskervilles
_The Hound of the Baskervilles,_ by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is a classic Sherlock Holmes mystery that will keep the reader guessing from cover to cover. Set in Nineteenth Century England, the tale of murder and a family curse will hold the reader's attention until the end. When Sir Charles Baskerville mysteriously dies and the heir to his estate is threatened, the real...
Published on March 31 2004 by Senior High


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Curse on the moors, Jan. 10 2009
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 10 REVIEWER)   
"Hound of the Baskervilles" is a unique story in the Sherlock Holmes canon -- author Arthur Conan Doyle wrote it in the years between Holmes' death and his resurrection several years later.

But due to public pressure, Doyle brought Holmes and Watson back temporarily for a sort of "memoir" tale, a tale of supernatural curses, escaped convicts and ghastly glowing hounds. It suffers a little from a lack of Holmes, but is otherwise a tightly-written, solid little mystery.

Sir Charles Baskerville was found dead of a heart attack -- apparently killed by a family curse in the shape of a giant dog. So his pal Dr. Mortimer asks Sherlock Holmes to protect Charles' heir, Henry Baskerville, who has just arrived in England to claim his estate and inheritance.

But even without Holmes, Watson can tell that something is up -- secretive servants, peculiar neighbors, an escaped criminal, a giant quicksand marsh, and the sounds of a dog howling in the night. But Holmes knows that the curse is no supernatural hound -- and that Sir Henry is in danger from a more real kind of ancient enemy.

"Hound of the Baskervilles" stumbles in one area -- the relative lack of Holmes. He's out of the picture for most of the book, and Watson does plenty of solid detecting on his own. Everybody loves the faithful narrator, but Watson isn't the Great Detective, and the book feels vaguely incomplete without Holmes inspecting clues and giving little hints to Watson.

The mystery unfolds at a languid pace, dropping a few red herrings along the way. Doyle pays loving attention to the dangerous, almost surreal Grimpen Mire and the surrounding countryside. But when Holmes comes back onto the scene, the book tightens itself up. All the plot threads rapidly slip into place as the real "hound" is uncovered.

Holmes' steel-trap mind is untarnished here, especially when he reveals what he figured out at the end. He's especially likable in an endearing scene at the beginning, where he educates Watson on deduction. But this is Watson's turn to shine, since he spends a long time gathering clues and even solving a sub-mystery without any assistance.

"Hound of the Baskervilles" is a short, satisfying Holmesian mystery, which is only hampered by Holmes' absence for about half the book. Solid work, and a good introduction to the Holmes series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ghostly hound, Feb. 22 2007
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 10 REVIEWER)   
"Hound of the Baskervilles" is a unique story in the Sherlock Holmes canon -- author Arthur Conan Doyle wrote it in the years between Holmes' death and his resurrection several years later.

But due to public pressure, Doyle brought Holmes and Watson back temporarily for a sort of "memoir" tale, a tale of supernatural curses, escaped convicts and ghastly glowing hounds. It suffers a little from a lack of Holmes, but is otherwise a tightly-written, solid little mystery.

Sir Charles Baskerville was found dead of a heart attack -- apparently killed by a family curse in the shape of a giant dog. So his pal Dr. Mortimer asks Sherlock Holmes to protect Charles' heir, Henry Baskerville, who has just arrived in England to claim his estate and inheritance.

But even without Holmes, Watson can tell that something is up -- secretive servants, peculiar neighbors, an escaped criminal, a giant quicksand marsh, and the sounds of a dog howling in the night. But Holmes knows that the curse is no supernatural hound -- and that Sir Henry is in danger from a more real kind of ancient enemy.

"Hound of the Baskervilles" stumbles in one area -- the relative lack of Holmes. He's out of the picture for most of the book, and Watson does plenty of solid detecting on his own. Everybody loves the faithful narrator, but Watson isn't the Great Detective, and the book feels vaguely incomplete without Holmes inspecting clues and giving little hints to Watson.

The mystery unfolds at a languid pace, dropping a few red herrings along the way. Doyle pays loving attention to the dangerous, almost surreal Grimpen Mire and the surrounding countryside. But when Holmes comes back onto the scene, the book tightens itself up. All the plot threads rapidly slip into place as the real "hound" is uncovered.

Holmes' steel-trap mind is untarnished here, especially when he reveals what he figured out at the end. He's especially likable in an endearing scene at the beginning, where he educates Watson on deduction. But this is Watson's turn to shine, since he spends a long time gathering clues and even solving a sub-mystery without any assistance.

"Hound of the Baskervilles" is a short, satisfying Holmesian mystery, which is only hampered by Holmes' absence for about half the book. Solid work, and a good introduction to the Holmes series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The quintessential Holmes tale, Feb. 22 2006
By 
FrKurt Messick "FrKurt Messick" (Bloomington, IN USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
The image of Sherlock Holmes in 'The Hound of the Baskervilles' is perhaps the most enduring image we have of him. You see, an Inverness cloak and deerstalker cap are inappropriate wardrobe for the town, and belong in the country. Sherlock Holmes is predominantly a city dweller and city investigator; it is relatively uncommon that he treks out on adventures, but the case of the mysterious death of Sir Charles Baskerville and the attempted murder of Sir Henry Baskerville led him to the Dartmoor plain. Thus, country garb was in order. This is where we get much of our imagery.
Also helping with this is that every major actor to play Holmes has considered 'Hound of the Baskervilles' to be the ultimate Holmes story to act -- rather like the Hamlet of Conan Doyle's work. Holmes was a popular film icon, and in the early decades of the twentieth century several dozen films were made of Holmes, but the first after these many films to be set in Victorian times (and not be updated for the screen) was a version of Hound. Ellie Norwood, Basil Rathbone, Peter Cushing, Jeremy Brett -- many distinguished actors have considered this among their greatest roles.
Watson dates the case to 1889, but various reading authorities, knowing the good doctor's occasional attempts to distort details to protect the privacy of the innocent, have dated this to between 1886 and 1900.
In fact, the novel appeared in serialised form in the Strand magazine, the great first-publication site of most Holmesian tales, between August 1901 and April 1902, after Conan Doyle had attempted to kill off the great detective in the short story The Final Problem, which showcased Holmes' battle with Moriarity, the Napoleon of Crime. In fact, Conan Doyle came to dislike the character of Holmes because it was a distraction to his other pursuits.
So, bowing to public pressure, Conan Doyle penned Hound of the Baskervilles to placate the public demand for more stories, but took care to place it before the death of Holmes, in the hopes that he could leave the detective safely dead (if not buried). Such was not to be, and we find a few years later that in fact Conan Doyle 'resurrects' Holmes in a rather ingenious fashion.
But, on to the story at hand. Holmes and Watson, at home at 221b Baker Street, are approached by a Dr. James Mortimer regarding the death of Sir Charles Baskerville and a family curse which involved evil forces in the form of a satanic hound. Mortimer is concerned for the safety of the new proprietor of the family lands, freshly arriving from Canada, who had a new boot stolen, then an old boot stolen, in his hotel in London. Later Holmes would put together the significance of this seeming strange minor act (no, I won't tell you).
Holmes sends Baskerville and Watson together to the country estate while he tends things in London on another case. In reality, Holmes is setting Watson up as a diversion, while he investigates the moor and the surroundings of the Baskerville estate under cover. Life at the estate is a bit strained, given the murder, an attempted murder, a curse, and all. The neighbours seem nice enough, though. Or are they? Watson picks up on curious little details of their relationship, which he reports back in written notes to Holmes (which have been redirected to his moor outpost).
Eventually Holmes reveals himself to Watson, and then to Baskerville, and the chase is on in earnest, to discover the reality of the mysterious creature each have seen or heard. In good mystery fashion, we come across long lost relatives and an inheritance to be had; we find plots and subplots muddied by superstitious belief and fear, on a mysterious plain in southwestern England.
All the elements combined that are now considered standard bits for a well-done country English mystery. But the mystery does not stop merely with the story. In true mystery fashion, appearing in the Daily Express edition of March 16, 1959, there were doubts cast upon the authorship of Hound of the Baskervilles. The one who carried the dispute was named none other than Baskerville, Harry Baskerville. He credited the story to one Fletcher Robinson, who died (perhaps of the Egyptian mummy's curse) at age 35 shortly after the publication of Hound. With his death, only Baskerville remembered the issue of co-authorship. Baskerville claims it was Robinson who 'borrowed' the Baskerville name.
One of Conan Doyle's heirs, Adrian Conan Doyle, heatedly denied involvement of Robinson past possible 'conversations' that might have taken place between Arthur Conan Doyle and Robinson. But, he did not deny Conan Doyle's possible 'inspiration' from Robinson.
One Baker Street Irregular (an exclusive club of Holmesian experts) was doing a monograph on this issue as well, claiming that the reason why Holmes appears so infrequently is due to the fact that he had to be written in to an otherwise essentially completed story. This Irregular travelled to meet with Baskerville, and hinted at discoveries he had found. But alas, the Irregular died three weeks later in America, his monograph never published and his notes were never found. Perhaps a dog ate the homework? A mysterious hound, perhaps?
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5.0 out of 5 stars The quintessential Holmes tale..., Feb. 17 2006
By 
FrKurt Messick "FrKurt Messick" (Bloomington, IN USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
The image of Sherlock Holmes in 'The Hound of the Baskervilles' is perhaps the most enduring image we have of him. You see, an Inverness cloak and deerstalker cap are inappropriate wardrobe for the town, and belong in the country. Sherlock Holmes is predominantly a city dweller and city investigator; it is relatively uncommon that he treks out on adventures, but the case of the mysterious death of Sir Charles Baskerville and the attempted murder of Sir Henry Baskerville led him to the Dartmoor plain. Thus, country garb was in order. This is where we get much of our imagery.
Also helping with this is that every major actor to play Holmes has considered 'Hound of the Baskervilles' to be the ultimate Holmes story to act -- rather like the Hamlet of Conan Doyle's work. Holmes was a popular film icon, and in the early decades of the twentieth century several dozen films were made of Holmes, but the first after these many films to be set in Victorian times (and not be updated for the screen) was a version of Hound. Ellie Norwood, Basil Rathbone, Peter Cushing, Jeremy Brett -- many distinguished actors have considered this among their greatest roles.
Watson dates the case to 1889, but various reading authorities, knowing the good doctor's occasional attempts to distort details to protect the privacy of the innocent, have dated this to between 1886 and 1900.
In fact, the novel appeared in serialised form in the Strand magazine, the great first-publication site of most Holmesian tales, between August 1901 and April 1902, after Conan Doyle had attempted to kill off the great detective in the short story The Final Problem, which showcased Holmes' battle with Moriarity, the Napoleon of Crime. In fact, Conan Doyle came to dislike the character of Holmes because it was a distraction to his other pursuits.
So, bowing to public pressure, Conan Doyle penned Hound of the Baskervilles to placate the public demand for more stories, but took care to place it before the death of Holmes, in the hopes that he could leave the detective safely dead (if not buried). Such was not to be, and we find a few years later that in fact Conan Doyle 'resurrects' Holmes in a rather ingenious fashion.
But, on to the story at hand. Holmes and Watson, at home at 221b Baker Street, are approached by a Dr. James Mortimer regarding the death of Sir Charles Baskerville and a family curse which involved evil forces in the form of a satanic hound. Mortimer is concerned for the safety of the new proprietor of the family lands, freshly arriving from Canada, who had a new boot stolen, then an old boot stolen, in his hotel in London. Later Holmes would put together the significance of this seeming strange minor act (no, I won't tell you).
Holmes sends Baskerville and Watson together to the country estate while he tends things in London on another case. In reality, Holmes is setting Watson up as a diversion, while he investigates the moor and the surroundings of the Baskerville estate under cover. Life at the estate is a bit strained, given the murder, an attempted murder, a curse, and all. The neighbours seem nice enough, though. Or are they? Watson picks up on curious little details of their relationship, which he reports back in written notes to Holmes (which have been redirected to his moor outpost).
Eventually Holmes reveals himself to Watson, and then to Baskerville, and the chase is on in earnest, to discover the reality of the mysterious creature each have seen or heard. In good mystery fashion, we come across long lost relatives and an inheritance to be had; we find plots and subplots muddied by superstitious belief and fear, on a mysterious plain in southwestern England.
All the elements combined that are now considered standard bits for a well-done country English mystery. But the mystery does not stop merely with the story. In true mystery fashion, appearing in the Daily Express edition of March 16, 1959, there were doubts cast upon the authorship of Hound of the Baskervilles. The one who carried the dispute was named none other than Baskerville, Harry Baskerville. He credited the story to one Fletcher Robinson, who died (perhaps of the Egyptian mummy's curse) at age 35 shortly after the publication of Hound. With his death, only Baskerville remembered the issue of co-authorship. Baskerville claims it was Robinson who 'borrowed' the Baskerville name.
One of Conan Doyle's heirs, Adrian Conan Doyle, heatedly denied involvement of Robinson past possible 'conversations' that might have taken place between Arthur Conan Doyle and Robinson. But, he did not deny Conan Doyle's possible 'inspiration' from Robinson.
One Baker Street Irregular (an exclusive club of Holmesian experts) was doing a monograph on this issue as well, claiming that the reason why Holmes appears so infrequently is due to the fact that he had to be written in to an otherwise essentially completed story. This Irregular travelled to meet with Baskerville, and hinted at discoveries he had found. But alas, the Irregular died three weeks later in America, his monograph never published and his notes were never found. Perhaps a dog ate the homework? A mysterious hound, perhaps?
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5.0 out of 5 stars Mystery on the Moor, May 30 2004
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has created perhaps the best detective in Sherlock Holmes. "The Hound of the Baskervilles" is narrated by the faithful Watson, a man of genius not quite on par with that of Holmes, the master mystery solver. Holmes is forever quizzing Watson to see things the way he does, to figure out the mysteries of small things, like a walking stick left behind by a visitor.
"The Hound of the Baskervilles" tells the story of Henry Baskerville, a man who has inherited his family's home and fortune (as the supposed final heir), but also their apparent curse. His uncle was recently found dead on the grounds of Baskerville Hall, with little explanation for his death. The locals are sure as to the cause; it is the mysterious hell-hound that haunts the moors that was the cause of his death. The local doctor brings the matter to Holmes and Watson and they are charged to protect the young Henry Baskerville from a similar fate, as well as to solve the mystery of the hound.
While trying to gather facts for his intrepid employer, the faithful Watson narrates the strange happenings among Sir Henry's neighbors, wanting to add his own theories, but leaving the mystery solving to his much-admired mentor. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle writes a well-paced narrative that builds to a climax that is still exciting even when we know the real mystery behind the hound. At the end, it is Holmes and not his faithful sidekick Watson, who reveals the tricks of his trade and how he solved the mystery that no one ever suspected. Doyle has created a wonderful pair of complementary characters in Holmes and Watson and it is a joy to read their adventures.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Hound of the Baskervilles, May 20 2004
By A Customer
The Hound of the Baskervilles is about one of the
adventures of the famous Sherlock Holmes.  He's done
some excellent sleuthing and interviewing in this 256
page mystery.  You might be a little uninterested at
the start because it begins a little slow and the
language is a little out of date, but if you stick
with it for a few pages you'll see how intriguing the
mystery is.  The tension raises and raises until you
find out if the case is of the supernatural or just
criminal.
    Sir Charles Baskerville has just died and the very
wealthy Baskerville estate in England is now in the
hands of young Sir Henry Baskerville.  Sir Charles
seems to die of the cursed family hound that Hugo
Baskerville brought upon the family 300 years ago.
Sir Henry is now in terrible fear of the moor which is
always the place that this hound of doom strikes.
Right from when Charles arrives in London strange
things start happening.  He also gets an interesting and mysterious warning.
     This book is truly great because sometimes you may
think you know the culprit but it turns out that you're wrong.
The person you think is the culprit is just doing something entirely un-expected and it adds more mysteries to the crime.  Sherlock Holmes has to risk it all and lie
even to his best friend and assistant, the narrator,
Watson.
The setting of the moor is the perfect place for the
legend to exist because of all the ancient structures
and the Grimpen Mire.  You'll have to read the book to
understand what I mean.  The book is an excellent
adventure for all ages and isn't too long of a read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An intriguing and suspenseful detective story., May 6 2004
By 
This review is from: The Hound of the Baskervilles (Mass Market Paperback)
First I must make a note of the fact that this is the first and only Sherlock Holmes story I've read thus far. Therefore I cannot offer any kind of comparison between "The Hound of the Baskervilles" and Doyle's other works. I will simply give you my thoughts about it as a story in and of itself.
The book is simply written and easy to understand, but the plot remains engaging throughout. It is not overly complicated, but neither is it too simplistic or predictable. The Baskerville family has passed down the legend of a giant black hound that plagues the residents of Baskerville Hall, bringing a swift end to any that dare venture alone onto the nearby moor at night. When Sir Charles Baskerville is found dead upon the moor with the pawprints of a large dog in the earth nearby, the case is presented to Sherlock Holmes in hopes of unraveling the mystery and ensuring the safety of Sir Charles's nephew and Baskerville Hall's new occupant, Sir Henry Baskerville.
Too busy to investigate the matter himself, Holmes sends his friend and assistant, Dr. Watson, out to Baskerville Hall in his stead. Watson is the narrator of the story, and we see threads of the mystery slowly unravel as he makes his reports back to Holmes. Other reviewers have complained about the fact that Holmes is not the central figure in this particular novel, but I actually liked the way the story was done. And as we find out toward the end of the book, Holmes actually plays a larger part than he initially appears to. I must admit, though, that it was a bit depressing to see Watson toil away at investigating and drawing conclusions only to have Holmes repeatedly inform him that his conclusions are wrong. Watson does most of the drudge-work but gets very little in return.
The style of the writing was very appealing to me. The story has a very dark, gothic feel, and is full of suspense. Doyle's descriptions make the eerie moor feel very real. For a book written a century ago, it is still very reader-friendly. The only part where I thought the book dropped off a little was in the last few chapters. For all the build-up and suspense, the climax of the story is much too short and quickly resolved, leaving a feeling of unreality. Also, Doyle concludes by having Holmes simply recite to Watson all the details of his sleuthing that were left out of the action of the book. I think the rule "Show, don't tell," is a good one when it comes to literature, and I would rather have actually seen Holmes come to his conclusions as the story progressed.
Overall, though, I did enjoy the book, and look forward to reading more of Doyle's work. My one last word of advice regards this particular edition of the book (the 1993 Signet Classics printing with Afterword by Frederick Busch). There are numerous typos that really should have been caught and corrected before publishing (most, curiously, are instances where the letter "t" is inexplicably replaced with the letter "b"). I would recommend looking for a different version that is more competently edited.
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3.0 out of 5 stars The Hound of the Baskervilles, March 31 2004
By 
Senior High (Billings ,MT USA) - See all my reviews
_The Hound of the Baskervilles,_ by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is a classic Sherlock Holmes mystery that will keep the reader guessing from cover to cover. Set in Nineteenth Century England, the tale of murder and a family curse will hold the reader's attention until the end. When Sir Charles Baskerville mysteriously dies and the heir to his estate is threatened, the real mystery begins. Doyle's masterful writing style is easy to follow and flows so well the book will be over before the reader realizes it.
I enjoyed this Sherlock Holmes mystery because it is easy to read and it flows well. For me, a person that does not usually like classics- or mysteries for that matter, I really enjoyed this book. The story kept my interest and it kept me guessing throughout the entire book. This story is not a thriller, but it is still a good mystery. For someone who prefers John Grisham suspense or a CSI type story line, this book is probably not for them. However, for someone who enjoys simple mysteries and likes to play the role of detective as they read, I would recommend this book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A 7th Grade Review, March 26 2004
By A Customer
A 7th Grade review on
"Sherlock Holmes and the Hound of the Baskervilles"
I enjoyed this book. The only problem I found was that the beginning doesn't do a good job of reeling you in. However, the farther into the book you get, the more exciting the plot becomes. Sometimes, the only reason I kept on reading the book was because I knew what was coming next. The story does make up for what it lacks in the beginning in the end.
The case starts out when Dr. James Mortimer brings a case to Sherlock Holmes. The detective dubs it; "Very suspicious indeed." It concerns the mysterious death of a very rich and respected man, Sir Charles Baskerville. He apparently went out for his nightly walk the day before he left for London, afraid of the family curse. Later that night, Sir Charles was found dead with no harm at all to his body. Now the new heir, Sir Henry Baskerville, has been warned to leave Baskerville Hall - or else.
With Sherlock in London, and Watson left alone to deal with the case, there doesn't appear to be much hope to stop the villan. However, the great detective may be up against more than just human forces. The curse of the Baskervilles, started by the evil Sir Hugo in the early 17th century, has been haunting the Baskervilles ever since. Sir Hugo fell in love with a yeoman's daughter and swore he would marry her. He kidnapped her and held her prisoner in Baskerville hall. Shortly after, she escaped. Hugo chased her down the moor on horseback until she died of exhaustion. When Sir Hugo's companions finally caught up with him, he was dead. Standing over his body was an enormous black hound plucking at his throat. Now the hound has returned, can Sherlock and Watson defeat their greatest enemy yet?
I give
"Sherlock Holmes and the Hound of the Baskervilles":4 stars.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must for any Holmes fan..., March 15 2004
By 
This is a great mystery novel - probably Sherlock Holmes' best - and a good thriller in its own right. Arthur Conan Doyle creates a genuinely creepy atmosphere by his setting on the English moors and the legend of the demonic hound. Of course, being a Holmes story, most things end up with a rational explanation, but there is good, honest, Victorian terror along the way. Reading it, I was struck by how much it must have influenced the movie, An American Werewolf in London.
Conan Doyle has a wonderful, economic prose style and his Holmes stories always move at a quick pace. The only maddening thing is how much time Sherlock himself spends off-stage. I guess Conan Doyle treats the character the way most authors treat villains - only allowing the reader glimpses of him. I guess that is because Sherlock's mind is so atypical, he is ultimately unknowable to us. In this story, Holmes has to stay behind in London for a while, so he sends the very competent Dr. Watson to Baskerville hall to investigate the strange goings-on.
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