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The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Short Stories (2 Vol. Set) Hardcover – Nov 16 2004

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 650 pages
  • Publisher: WW Norton; Slipcased ed. edition (Nov. 16 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393059162
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393059168
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 10.9 x 27.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #9,069 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Sherlockians and more casual Holmes fans alike will delight in this comprehensive edition of the 56 original short adventures featuring the world's first private consulting detective. Modeling his efforts on William S. Baring-Gould's 1968 Annotated Sherlock Holmes, Klinger (The Sherlock Holmes Reference Library) packs as many extras into these two volumes as a special director's cut DVD: detailed essays on subjects as diverse as the Boer War and the history of rugby, illuminating citations to early drafts of Doyle's original manuscripts,and full discussions of the numerous theories developed over more than a century concerning ambiguities, contradictions and unresolved issues in the stories. Those new to such scholarship will be fascinated by the sophisticated multidisciplined approach, much of it based on close readings and historical research similar to Bible study. The synthesis of the commentaries will engage veteran Sherlockians, who will be able to compare hypotheses concerning, for example, the true identity of the king of Bohemia or Holmes's actual whereabouts during the Great Hiatus. First-time readers might want to skip Klinger's brief intros to each tale, as they presume familiarity with the plot and often hint strongly at the solutions. Many will prefer this to the Oxford University Press uniform edition of a decade ago.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"These beautifully produced volumes, as big as gold-tooled church bibles, packed with cross-references and indexes, suggest Homes and Watson are not only immortal but the subject of a fanatical and crazy religion." Roger Lewis, The Sunday Express, 30 Jan 2005

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I had never read a Sherlock Holmes story and given that English is not my mother tongue, I had not really contemplated the idea of reading any of them in English either. Then I saw this "complete" annodated and illustrated version in a bookstore and I thought: why not. I loved the look and feel and I thought it would be great to have footnotes that would put the stories in context for me. They were written more than 100 years ago after all! And I was right! For a new comer like me, it's great to have the context and also it's quite amusing to see that people have actually dissected the entire stories and context and have written thesis about it! So the concept is awsome, the drawings of the Strand magazine too, not to mention the plots of the adventures of our private detective...
BUT... I was really frustrated to see that the editors had purposedly left the four canon novels out of the package in order to issue an eventual third volume with those 4 novels. This decision seems to have been made for pure commercial reasons given that nothing would have prevented a third volume could to be included. As if when you pay 110$ for a series of books, you wouldn't be willing to put an extra 30 - 40 to have it all in one box.
Oh well, at least the books themselves a beautiful and are up to the stature of the legendary Baker Street Sleuth!
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Format: Hardcover
I have been a Sherlock Holmes fan for many years and have found these books to be the best Sherlock Holmes book I have ever read it was well worth the money.
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Format: Hardcover
Any fan would love this collection, well worth it buy even with the higher cost price the rest of the similar titles
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9a2ef90c) out of 5 stars 56 reviews
187 of 191 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b060d8c) out of 5 stars The Ideal Holmes Nov. 12 2004
By Wuddus - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I cannot exaggerate the excellence of this edition. In almost every way, it's an improvement on its predecessor (the Baring-Gould "Annotated Holmes" of 1968). Like the earlier one, this is a "Sherlockian" edition which discusses the stories as if they were histories of actual persons and events-but it avoids the clubby, cutesy excesses of many Sherlockian publications and provides many useful historical asides and photographs. The annotations entertain and often enlighten.

The production values are stunning: the typography is elegant and clear, and despite the abundance of notes on many pages, the layout is never cluttered. It is big and heavy, but surprisingly you can actually READ this edition, which one cannot say for the Baring-Gould. And the reproductions of hundreds of period illustrations are simply the best I've ever seen in a Holmes edition. Sidney Paget (for example) has often been ill-served by muddy, contrast-less reproductions, but here they are as clean and crisp as the original materials probably permit them to be. Kudos to the photo editor!

My regrets are few. The introduction, though long and well-written, seems a bit skimpy treating the movie and radio adaptations of Holmes: Basil Rathbone and Jeremy Brett are adequately represented, but the rest of the section (too brief) is a scattershot itemization of a few movies. (I mean, does "Without a Clue" really warrant any mention at all other than as a comic anomaly?) Holmes iconography in general could really have stood a few more pages, since it has been so central to Holmes's continuing popularity.

And one other small regret: weirdly, Frederick Dorr Steele's illustrations grace the box and dust jackets, but he isn't represented nearly enough inside: it's nice to see his fine sequence of pictures for "The Creeping Man," but it's sad that his flawless portrait of Holmes on the cliff (from "The Lion's Mane") isn't here.

But these are cavils. For anyone (not just Sherlock junkies) interested in the Holmes cycle, this is the edition to have: it'll keep you company for a long time to come. I look forward to the concluding volume (with the four novels) next year!
114 of 116 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a2bf948) out of 5 stars The perfect holiday gift- superb! Nov. 12 2004
By Larry - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
There have been many many collections published over the years of the Sherlock Holmes canon. I think it is safe to say that this one surpasses them all. Leslie Klinger is considered one of the foremost Holmes authorities in the world. He not only provides a lucid and thorough introduction to the work but his forward tells the reader what the Victorian world was like at the time the works were published.

The stories themselves are treated with the utmost respect. No Bible thin paper quality here. The pages are thick and the type large and easily read. The text is written in column form with copious notes written for the general reader by Leslie Klinger appearing along side the text vs. footnotes at the bottom of the page. These notes provide in depth explanations of references in the text that may not be familiar to the modern reader. To make this volume an extra special treat are the numerous illustrations that are interspersed directly into the text at the location the illustration refers to. These are the original illustrations by Sidney Paget that appeared in the Strand Magazine or Frederick Dorr Steele in Collier's among many others. Vintage photographs appear throughout lending the tales an added level of realism. Mr. Klinger has also written articles to educate the reader such as the Boer War, the guns of Sherlock Holmes, swamp adders and various other topics pertaining to the stories.

These two volumes represent all the short stories featuring Sherlock Holmes. In one year, the novels will appear in a separate volume. THE ANNOTATED SHERLOCK HOLMES is a superb work and should be the cornerstone of any home mystery library. It is truly a joy to read and marvelous to look at.
43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x997ff810) out of 5 stars THE Sherlockian "must-have" of this generation Nov. 29 2004
By Wally Conger - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There's no question that William S. Baring-Gould's "Annotated Sherlock Holmes," now 37 years old, has long been the definitive guide to the Great Detective. I still recommend it to baby Sherlcokians. Now, however, Leslie Klinger has produced a NEW Annotated for THIS generation, and it's really quite wonderful. These are the first two volumes (the complete Doyle short stories) of what will be a three-volume masterwork (the third volume will hold the four novels). They come beautifully slipcased. The reproductions of the old illustrations are crisper and sharper than I've ever seen them. The terrific annotations to all 56 stories are not only very well done but are presented in color, making reading very easy. This set belongs on the shelf of every serious Sherlockian.
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x997fbf78) out of 5 stars The Definitive Edition of Sherlock Holmes Dec 5 2004
By C. Hutton - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This two volume box edition would be a wonderful gift for the reader who loves the stories of Sherlock Holmes. There are many solid collections of these 56 tales by Arthur Conan Doyle, but if the reader is looking for explanations of the background and history of the Victorian age in which the stories are set, this is the edition for you.

This large oversize set is similiar in size to last year's "Far Side" collection of all of Gary Larsen's drawings. With nearly 1,900 pages, the annotations are placed alongside the text for quick reference along with some of the original illustations which accompanied those stories. And frankly, the Amazon price is a steal for an edition of this quality (think of the Library of America publications).

The reader should be aware that the four Sherlock Holmes novels (like "The Hound of the Basketvilles", "A Study In Scarlet", et al) are NOT in this edition --they will be published in a third volume next year. This new edition is more comprehensive than the two volume set of William Baring-Gould (1968) and far less bulky than the nine volume edition from Oxford University Press. The writing is clear and concise by the editor (Leslie Klinger) who has performed considerable research on the world of Sherlock Holmes. This is an edition that the reader will return to again and again on a cold winter's night.
76 of 88 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a326e7c) out of 5 stars Work of love, but very bad for a first time reader Dec 28 2008
By oldtaku - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you've already read all the stories, this is a great set of books, and perhaps you might learn something new. If you're a new reader who is actually trying to read the stories as stories, this is a soul-crushing dissection that will suck all the joy out.

First the good - you can feel the love in these books. Large format, heavy, decent enough paper, the definitive Sidney Paget illustrations, extensive annotations, timelines, 'biographies' of Watson and Holmes, a clear obsession with the subject.

The downside is that same obsession. Each page is divided in half, with the inner half being the actual story, the outer half being the annotations. HALF. There is nearly as much annotation as story. Now imagine you're reading along and you see a little superscript '10' next to a word. My natural inclination is to glance at the annotation - the problem is you don't know whether it's crucial or worse than useless. It could tell you useful information such as every mention of the game of whist in the official Holmes Canon or the definition of a word that might not be in much use today, like 'whist'. It could be idle fan speculation such as 'Mister Blah speculates in his Holmesian analysis 'Maids in Deerskin Peril' that this maid was actually the long lost fifth cousin of Prof. Moriarity because she shares the same last name as his fourth cousin!' It could be bafflement that there was apparently no hotel in the town of Foochester where Holmes said there was in the story 'The Bunnies of the Foovilles'. Worst of all it could be pointing out actual factual errors by Holmes, like a barometer reading that Holmes seems to think would indicate fair weather but a meteorologist says means it should be raining already (and of course these are all written off as Watson's errors, which gets very tedious after a while). Or noting that 'Watson refers here to a story that by the chronology could not have taken place already because of x, y, and z'.

The reality is perhaps too easy: Arthur Conan Doyle cared only slightly for Holmesian consistency and didn't spend much time worrying about it. When you get obsessed fans trying to explain or retcon some inconsistency it's bound to be a horrible sight, and these are brought out equally with the genuinely useful annotations. When you glance over you have no way of telling which it will be in advance.

I read the stories as a child and loved them, and am trying to re-read them again, but this obsessive, nitpicking nerdgassing is destroying all my love. Imagine you're reading Wizard of Oz while little text bubbles are popping up describing everything wrong with the story.

Against all my training, I am teaching myself to completely ignore all the annotations (and thus half the page) and perhaps will go back later and re-read the comments.

So again, if you've already read all the books, these are excellent. If not, read a collection that consists of only the stories themselves first.