The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle read by Derek Jacobi

SHBaskervilles.inddThe dog that DID bark in the night…

😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

AudioGo production – running time 6hrs 25 mins

While I love the Sherlock Holmes short stories, I have always felt the long stories were greatly superior. Conan Doyle took the opportunity afforded by greater space and time to devise plots that allowed him to show his masterly skill for telling thrilling adventure stories to their best advantage.

Derek Jacobi
Derek Jacobi
And for me, The Hound of the Baskervilles is the best of them all. It has everything: a dramatic setting, a family curse, an evil villain and best of all the terrifying and possibly supernatural hound itself. This is also the story that concentrates most on Watson, the human side of the partnership. We see his doggedness, his loyalty, his courage and, in this story more than the others, we also see his intelligence. It’s just possible that I prefer Watson to Holmes…

Derek Jacobi’s reading is superb on this AudioGo production. I can’t imagine anyone ever doing it better. His Watson is bluff and warm-hearted, his Holmes is incisive and each of the other characters is given a distinctive voice. Without spoiling the plot (because I so hope there are some lucky people out there who’re coming to this story for the first time), when the book reaches its terrifying climax, the sheer horror that Jacobi gets into his voice deserves any acting accolades available. Spine-shivering, hair-raising, marvellous stuff – very highly recommended.

Hound drawing

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10 thoughts on “The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle read by Derek Jacobi

  1. Oh, I couldn’t agree more. This is a truly fine story and I’m glad you heard it read by Jacobi. I’ve always really liked his delivery as an actor and narrator.

    • He’s really great at these. I’m gradually working my way through the whole collection, though I don’t have a regular commute any more, which used to be when I did most of my audiobook listening.

  2. One of the guilty secrets of my literary life is that I’ve never read Sherlock Holmes. I possess a copy of the complete works but I’m afraid it’s still stilling on my tbr pile. Perhpas I should go for the audio version instead.

    • I’m shocked!! Can’t I persuade you to try just one? Just a little, wee short one? The Adventure of the Dancing Men. If you’re not hooked after that, then I’ll be even more shocked… 😉

      Seriously though, the Derek Jacobi readings are wonderful if you enjoy audiobooks. There’s also a great set of radio dramatisations starring Carleton Hobbes (review to follow). Hobbes is an excellent Holmes and the guy who plays Watson (forgotten his name for the moment) is just as good – and has the most infectious chuckle. They’re old recordings, 1950/60s if I remember correctly, and a few of them aren’t top quality soundwise but most are fine.

  3. This book is fantastic! Although, since every single English teacher I had was obsessed with it and made us read this book over and over again, I grew aversion to it…

    I’ve never read anything else by Sir Arthur, which other book would you recommend? Just in case I get over my dislike to Sherlock (to watch the BBC show could be a great start… )

    • Oh you’re lucky! My English teachers all seemed to be obsessed by depressing war books. For long stories, try The Sign of Four but for a quick intro to see if you can get on with him, read one of the short stories – my favourite is The Adventure of the Dancing Men. You can get a really cheap Collected Works for Kindle from Delphi Classics that’s well formatted and has all the illustrations. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Complete-Works-Arthur-Illustrated-ebook/dp/B004XWPR22

      But if you really struggle to like Holmes, try Professor Challenger – The Lost World (in the same Delphi collection). There, that little lot should keep you going for a while… 😉

  4. Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle writes a magical mystery that Scotland Yard has a difficult time figuring out, time to set their best Detective, Sherlock Holmes, and his faithful assistant, Dr. Watson onto the case!

  5. I just read ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’ last month and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was my first Conan Doyle book, but I’d definitely be keen to read some of his other tales too.

    • Glad you enjoyed it – it’s one of my favourites, though I love pretty much all the Holmes stories. I like his early Professor Challenger books too, (The Lost World etc) if you enjoy adventures with a kind of sci-fi/fantasy element…

      Thanks for popping by and commenting. 🙂

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