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Carol the Dabbler

from BBC Books: The Essential Conan Doyle Adventures

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There is actually a fine collection of all ACD stories except the Casebook, with very attractive pictures of the dynamic duo on the covers. Instead of falling for the con artist marketing ploy of this compendium, any Sherlock fans wanting to discover the ACD canon would do well to buy that collection. And they are supposed to be writing, not speaking! They are not addressing a fan forum, they are addressing serious readers, so deplorable grammar won't make their pronouncements any more palatable, now, will it?

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There is actually a fine collection of all ACD stories except the Casebook, with very attractive pictures of the dynamic duo on the covers.

Yes, I believe you're talking about the BBC reprints, which I have.  (Hopefully they'll soon come out with The Casebook and Valley of Fear, so I can complete my collection.)  They are indeed very good quality paperbacks, nicely suited to anyone who wants to read all the stories without paying a bundle.

 

However, there are a number of people who would like just a beginner's assortment, at least to start with, and this might serve very nicely in that capacity -- especially if they come out with a paperback edition.

 

They are not addressing a fan forum, they are addressing serious readers, so deplorable grammar won't make their pronouncements any more palatable, now, will it?

 

It's my impression that they are basically addressing Sherlock fans who would like to explore the original stories.  So their target audience is composed not of scholars, but rather of people who read for fun.  I seriously doubt that their casual writing style will bother many of those people.

 

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Doesn't bother me! :smile:

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Casual is one thing, superficiality and utter contempt for the potential reader are a bit much even for these "fan-boys"!

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Casual is one thing, superficiality and utter contempt for the potential reader are a bit much even for these "fan-boys"!

 

The cover blurb says "Selected and Introduced by Mark Gatiss & Steven Moffat."  I can't imagine that they let anyone else select the stories for them, so they've presumably discharged that responsibility.  Is there an introduction for the volume as a whole?  If so, I'd say they have also fulfilled the promise of "introduced by."  (I will admit to hoping that they had also written a meaty analysis of each story, but we weren't actually promised that.)

 

So I am at a loss to see the "superficiality and utter contempt" that you mention.

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Carol, dear Carol, the "introduction" runs as follows:

"About the book

The hit BBC series Sherlock has introduced a whole new generation of fans (really! Kudos to the creators) to ACD's legendary detective. In this unique collection, Sherlock co-creators Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffatt have selected their all-time favourite Sherlock Holmes adventures, providing readers with a curated masterclass in crime fiction (huge joke, given the perfunctory nature of their introductory paragraphs!)

Each of these nineteen tales from Sherlock's first appearance in A Study in Scarlet to the late (why, did it die of boredom as a piece of crime fiction?) 'The dying detective', is a potent mix of murder, suspense, cryptic clues, red herrings and revenge -a ground-breaking combination of forensic science and bold story-telling. Sherlock Holmes established new rules for what a fictional hero could be, and provided a template for detective stories we still follow today.

With introductions by Mark and Steven for each story (do fragments and lots of exclamation marks count as introductions, nowadays?), this beautifully designed collection is the perfect introduction to the world of Sherlock Holmes and the ultimate gift for fans of the show it inspired."

Bottom line, they couldn't be bothered to write a proper introduction to their own fan-boy choices: complete and utter contempt for the putative readers!

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:rofl: ! You fell for it, too! It seems that hard-core Sherlock Holmes fans are hard-wired for any trick in the book! I bought the eBook version and crowed about it, too; you should visit the forum more often to avoid such pitfalls of advertising!

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I would have been disappointed myself, if I had bought this book.  The introductions in the BBC Reprint series are far longer and much better (though even they provide mostly atmosphere).

 

Nevertheless, this book should (as advertised) be a good introduction to the original Holmes.  Too bad it merely fulfills its promises in a relatively literal sort of way, rather than living up to our hopes!

 

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Sounds perfect for someone like me, though, who just wants to read some of the stories to get a feel for what all the hoopla is about ... without having to slog through long, drawn-out analyses. Unfortunately for them, I've already done that part! :p

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bottom line is - any publication or compilation which attracts new or lapsed readers to the original stories can ONLY be a good thing :)

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Hey, softmachine -- welcome back!  :wave2:

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hee hee, thanks :) I doubted anyone would remember me! Been off the Baker St scene for a while, but re-addicted once more... my mind rebels at stagnation... :)

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Well, there are a whole bunch of new members who won't remember you.  ;)   And you almost fooled me with that new avatar picture!

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Sorry, bottom line is: read the blurb, look inside in the amazon version, and then decide to waste your hard-earned money on a repackaging of stories without rhyme or reason behind them except a few lines (couldn't be bothered to write more, the pair of them!) and a paltry introduction of no particular value or distinction! Anyone who falls for such marketing ploys, as to my eternal embarrassment, I did, cannot complain later of being taken for a fool.

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bottom line is - any publication or compilation which attracts new or lapsed readers to the original stories can ONLY be a good thing :)

 

Sorry, bottom line is: read the blurb, look inside in the amazon version, and then decide to waste your hard-earned money on a repackaging of stories without rhyme or reason behind them....

 

I think the two of you are coming at this from different angles.  Anna, I think your main complaint is that you got nothing new for your money, and I can certainly sympathize.  But that's because you apparently already have a complete collection of Conan Doyle's Holmes stories.  The new readers that softmachine is talking about won't have that problem.  The entire canon is new to them, and Moftiss have chosen some worthwhile stories for them to start with (regardless of whether they are your favorites -- or my favorites -- or not).

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They are not addressing a fan forum, they are addressing serious readers, so deplorable grammar won't make their pronouncements any more palatable, now, will it?

 

It's my impression that they are basically addressing Sherlock fans who would like to explore the original stories.  So their target audience is composed not of scholars, but rather of people who read for fun.  I seriously doubt that their casual writing style will bother many of those people.

 

 

Personally, I enjoy a conversational writing style occasionally, just as I also enjoy more technical writing and more "correct" writing in the right context.  I think I'm a serious reader, but I also think that words are like oil paints -- you use them artistically to create the impression you want, and then you see if that's appealing to others who look at your work.

 

I don't have this collection but I might be tempted by it, even though I've already read the original books/stories and plan to buy more "serious" hard copy collections.  I like the idea that Moftiss have curated this collection, and getting to see their favorites gives a little background into their thought process in the series.  

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Dear Boton, as the playful villain would say, well, good luck with that! The Introduction was posted above, their comments are shallow and not at all insightful. Having bought it, I haven't opened it since I ascertained the quality of each story's introductory remarks. But if you want all of them, I shall be happy to post the rest.

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On 11/5/2015 at 10:34 AM, Carol the Dabbler said:

Here's the very thing for those of you who would like to read some of Conan Doyle's original stories, but aren't sure where to start.

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It's a collection of 19 favorites from Moffat and Gatiss, with introductions explaining why they consider each of these stories to be particularly important.  To be released on November 12th, now available for pre-order from Amazon (UK) in either hardcover or Kindle (though the latter doesn't seem to apply in the US).

 

On 11/5/2015 at 12:49 PM, Carol the Dabbler said:

it's sufficiently cheaper at Amazon UK that even with paying overseas shipping, you should come out ahead.  (Current exchange rate of 1.52 x 15 GBP price = $22.80, versus $35 at Amazon US.)

Alex found this book (the earlier discussion of which covers this entire forum page) at a used-book store yesterday for $7, and decided to buy it "as a souvenir," even though we already had each of those stories (in several different collections), and even though (as mentioned above) the much-vaunted Moftiss "introductions" amount to only a brief blurb per story.  But at least he paid only a small fraction of the original price, even though the book is in fine condition.  It's a good-quality hardback volume, and not too big to be held comfortably while reading, so it would indeed make a good introduction for anyone who doesn't already own these stories.

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I looked at this set when it first came out.  As an inveterate Collector, I had to at least look.  Apart from the engaging cover, there wasn't much to recommend this book to me as a purchase, especially since the commentary by Mofftiss was very sparse.  As a first purchase, it would be all right--if one was satisfied to have all one's Conan Doyle curated for them by Mofftiss and had no intention of going any further into the Canon.  As a fanboy/fangirl purchase of show-related merch, it taps all the buttons.  Nineteen stories are a fairly generous amount.  But all of this material is available for free on the Internet and/or in significantly cheaper editions, so the selling point is the amplifying material by the editors and they were a bit stinting with that.

But what a shame it would be to stop there.  If one is sufficiently interested in the source material that inspired Moffat and Gatiss for their passion project, how much better to press on and learn even more about the Great Detective in his natural habitat (Victorian London).   This is a decent launchpad but there are deeper and more satisfying waters than this to dive into in Sherlockian literature.   I can also recommend the essay collection About Sixty which is comprised of an essay each on all of Conan Doyle's works and why the author has selected it as 'the best'.    Some of the authors are very well-known, but they all are extremely active in the Great Game.  A very useful road map to what can feel like an overwhelming prospect--60 stories!

That said, if I could find a copy for $7, I'd buy this for the cover of 'our guys' alone.  :)

 

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On 11/4/2019 at 1:40 PM, Hikari said:

As a first purchase, it would be all right--if one was satisfied to have all one's Conan Doyle curated for them by Mofftiss and had no intention of going any further into the Canon. 

I personally prefer the BBC's "Sherlock" editions of the original Conan Doyle collections and novels (Study in Scarlet, Sign of the Four, The Adventures of SH, The Return of SH, The Memoirs of SH, and His Last Bow).  Good heavens, I see that I've omitted the other two novels, Hound of the Baskervilles and Valley of Fear -- has BBC Books not yet published them, or have I neglected to order them, or have I misplaced them (must check into that)?

Anyhow, BBC Books has published each of the first six I mentioned above in a very nice paperback edition at about seven pounds apiece.  They have photos of BC & MF on the covers (front and back), and proper multi-page introductions by the Moftisses.

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