The Hound of the Baskervilles

( 71 )

Overview

The Hound of the Baskervilles (1901-02) is Arthur Conan Doyle's most celebrated Sherlock Holmes adventure. At the end of the yew tree path of his ancestral home, Sir Charles Baskerville is found dead. Close by are the footprints of a gigantic hound. Called to investigate, Holmes seems to face a supernatural foe. In the tense narration of the detective's efforts to solve the crime, Conan Doyle meditates on late Victorian and early twentieth-century ideas of ancestry and atavism, the possible biological ...

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The Hound of the Baskervilles

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Overview

The Hound of the Baskervilles (1901-02) is Arthur Conan Doyle's most celebrated Sherlock Holmes adventure. At the end of the yew tree path of his ancestral home, Sir Charles Baskerville is found dead. Close by are the footprints of a gigantic hound. Called to investigate, Holmes seems to face a supernatural foe. In the tense narration of the detective's efforts to solve the crime, Conan Doyle meditates on late Victorian and early twentieth-century ideas of ancestry and atavism, the possible biological determination of criminals, the stability of the British landed classes, and the place of the supernatural.
Historical documents included with this fully-annotated Broadview edition help contextualize the novel's debates and reveal its cultural and literary significance as a supreme instance of early detective fiction. Also included is the Conan Doyle short story “The Adventure of the Speckled Band.”

When a second member of the Baskerville family dies, Sherlock Holmes investigates and finds murderous greed behind the supposed curse.

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Editorial Reviews

Juliet John University of Liverpool
"This superb edition outstrips all other editions of a popular classic. Francis O'Gorman's introduction is impressive, placing the text in the context of numerous literary and cultural debates: about aristocracy, primitivism, biology and criminology, the supernatural, Empire, and spiritualism. His textual annotations offer the most thorough aid to understanding available. The edition's supplementary materials are varied and offer numerous interpretative possibilities. The remarkable achievement of the edition, however, is the sheer enjoyment of the text it conveys, remembering always that the novel has the status of cultural myth because so many readers have found pleasure in it."
Benjamin Franklin Fisher University of Mississippi
"Two of the finest Sherlock Holmes chronicles, given in excellent text versions: this alone would invite 'first choices' labeling for this book. These two stories are no 'mere' thrillers, but fictions in which thrills are convincing because they draw close the natural and the (seeming) supernatural. O'Gorman's ample, sensible introduction should convince readers that the way from Poe to late-Victorian science, atavism, and the decline of the English landed gentry is no far distance. This edition is a credit to Broadview, and that credit will doubtless have testimony through a long shelf life for the book."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781551117225
  • Publisher: Broadview Press
  • Publication date: 1/10/2006
  • Series: Broadview Editions Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 300
  • Sales rank: 713,975
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Meet the Author

Francis O’Gorman is a Reader in Victorian Literature at the University of Leeds. His books include Late Ruskin: New Contexts (2001), The Victorians and the Eighteenth Century: Reassessing the Tradition (2004; co-edited with Katherine Turner), and A Concise Companion to Victorian Fiction (2005).

Biography

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was born in Edinburgh in 1859. After nine years in Jesuit schools, he went to Edinburgh University, receiving a degree in medicine in 1881. He then became an eye specialist in Southsea, with a distressing lack of success. Hoping to augment his income, he wrote his first story, A Study in Scarlet. His detective, Sherlock Holmes, was modeled in part after Dr. Joseph Bell of the Edinburgh Infirmary, a man with spectacular powers of observation, analysis, and inference. Conan Doyle may have been influenced also by his admiration for the neat plots of Gaboriau and for Poe's detective, M. Dupin. After several rejections, the story was sold to a British publisher for £25, and thus was born the world's best-known and most-loved fictional detective. Fifty-nine more Sherlock Holmes adventures followed.

Once, wearying of Holmes, his creator killed him off, but was forced by popular demand to resurrect him. Sir Arthur -- he had been knighted for this defense of the British cause in his The Great Boer War -- became an ardent Spiritualist after the death of his son Kingsley, who had been wounded at the Somme in World War I. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle died in Sussex in 1930.

Author biography courtesy of Penguin Group (USA).

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    1. Also Known As:
      Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
    1. Date of Birth:
      May 22, 1859
    2. Place of Birth:
      Edinburgh, Scotland
    1. Date of Death:
      July 7, 1930
    2. Place of Death:
      Crowborough, Sussex, England

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER I
Mr. Sherlock Holmes

Mr. Sherlock Holmes, who was usually very late in the mornings, save upon those not infrequent occasions when he stayed up all night, was seated at the breakfast table. I stood upon the hearth-rug and picked up the stick which our visitor had left behind him the night before. It was a fine, thick piece of wood, bulbous-headed, of the sort which is known as a “Penang lawyer.” Just under the head was a broad silver band, nearly an inch across. “To James Mortimer, M.R.C.S., from his friends of the C.C.H.,” was engraved upon it, with the date “1884.” It was just such a stick as the old-fashioned family practitioner used to carry—dignified, solid, and reassuring. “Well, Watson, what do you make of it?” Holmes was sitting with his back to me, and I had given him no sign of my occupation. “How did you know what I was doing? I believe you have eyes in the back of your head.” “I have, at least, a well-polished, silver-plated coffee-pot in front of me,” said he. “But, tell me, Watson, what do you make of our visitor’s stick? Since we have been so unfortunate as to miss him and have no notion of his errand, this accidental souvenir becomes of importance. Let me hear you reconstruct the man by an examination of it.” “I think,” said I, following so far as I could the methods of my companion, “that Dr. Mortimer is a successful elderly medical man, well-esteemed, since those who know him give him this mark of their appreciation.” “Good!” said Holmes. “Excellent!” “I think also that the probability is in favour of his being a country practitioner who does a great deal of his visiting on foot.” “Why so?” “Because this stick, though originally a very handsome one, has been so knocked about that I can hardly imagine a town practitioner carrying it. The thick iron ferrule is worn down, so it is evident that he has done a great amount of walking with it.” “Perfectly sound!” said Holmes. “And then again, there is the ‘friends of the C.C.H.’ I should guess that to be the Something Hunt, the local hunt to whose members he has possibly given some surgical assistance, and which has made him a small presentation in return.” “Really, Watson, you excel yourself,” said Holmes, pushing back his chair and lighting a cigarette. “I am bound to say that in all the accounts which you have been so good as to give of my own small achievements you have habitually underrated your own abilities. It may be that you are not yourself luminous, but you are a conductor of light. Some people without possessing genius have a remarkable power of stimulating it. I confess, my dear fellow, that I am very much in your debt.” He had never said as much before, and I must admit that his words gave me keen pleasure, for I had often been piqued by his indifference to my admiration and to the attempts which I had made to give publicity to his methods. I was proud, too, to think that I had so far mastered his system as to apply it in a way which earned his approval. He now took the stick from my hands and examined it for a few minutes with his naked eyes. Then, with an expression of interest, he laid down his cigarette, and, carrying the cane to the window, he looked over it again with a convex lens. “Interesting, though elementary,” said he, as he returned to his favourite corner of the settee. “There are certainly one or two indications upon the stick. It gives us the basis for several deductions.” “Has anything escaped me?” I asked, with some self-importance. “I trust that there is nothing of consequence which I have overlooked?” “I am afraid, my dear Watson, that most of your conclusions were erroneous. When I said that you stimulated me I meant, to be frank, that in noting your fallacies I was occasionally guided towards the truth. Not that you are entirely wrong in this instance. The man is certainly a country practitioner. And he walks a good deal.” “Then I was right.” “To that extent.” “But that was all.” “No, no, my dear Watson, not all—by no means all. I would suggest, for example, that a presentation to a doctor is more likely to come from an hospital than from a hunt, and that when the initials ‘C.C.’ are placed before that hospital the words ‘Charing Cross’ very naturally suggest themselves.” “You may be right.” “The probability lies in that direction. And if we take this as a working hypothesis we have a fresh basis from which to start our construction of this unknown visitor.” “Well, then, supposing that ‘C.C.H.’ does stand for ‘Charing Cross Hospital,’ what further inferences may we draw?” “Do none suggest themselves? You know my methods. Apply them!” “I can only think of the obvious conclusion that the man has practised in town before going to the country.” “I think that we might venture a little farther than this. Look at it in this light. On what occasion would it be most probable that such a presentation would be made? When would his friends unite to give him a pledge of their good will? Obviously at the moment when Dr. Mortimer withdrew from the service of the hospital in order to start in practice for himself. We know there has been a presentation. We believe there has been a change from a town hospital to a country practice. Is it, then, stretching our inference too far to say that the presentation was on the occasion of the change?” “It certainly seems probable.” “Now, you will observe that he could not have been on the staff of the hospital, since only a man well-established in a London practice could hold such a position, and such a one would not drift into the country. What was he, then? If he was in the hospital and yet not on the staff, he could only have been a house-surgeon or a house-physician—little more than a senior student. And he left five years ago—the date is on the stick. So your grave, middle-aged family practitioner vanishes into thin air, my dear Watson, and there emerges a young fellow under thirty, amiable, unambitious, absent-minded, and the possessor of a favourite dog, which I should describe roughly as being larger than a terrier and smaller than a mastiff.” I laughed incredulously as Sherlock Holmes leaned back in his settee and blew little wavering rings of smoke up to the ceiling. “As to the latter part, I have no means of checking you,” said I, “but at least it is not difficult to find out a few particulars about the man’s age and professional career.” From my small medical shelf I took down the Medical Directory and turned up the name. There were several Mortimers, but only one who could be our visitor. I read his record aloud. “Mortimer, James, M.R.C.S., 1882, Grimpen, Dartmoor,Devon. House surgeon, from 1882 to 1884, at Charing Cross Hospital. Winner of the Jackson Prize for Comparative Pathology, with essay entitled ‘Is Disease a Reversion?’ Corresponding member of the Swedish Pathological Society. Author of ‘Some Freaks of Atavism’ (Lancet, 1882). ‘Do We Progress? (Journal of Psychology, March, 1883). Medical Officer for the parishes of Grimpen, Thorsley, and High Barrow.” “No mention of that local hunt, Watson,” said Holmes, with a mischievous smile, “but a country doctor, as you very astutely observed. I think that I am fairly justified in my inferences. As to the adjectives, I said, if I remember right, amiable, unambitious, and absent-minded. It is my experience that it is only an amiable man in this world who receives testimonials, only an unambitious one who abandons a London career for the country, and only an absent-minded one who leaves his stick and not his visiting-card after waiting an hour in your room.” “And the dog?” “Has been in the habit of carrying this stick behind his master. Being a heavy stick the dog has held it tightly by the middle, and the marks of his teeth are very plainly visible. The dog’s jaw, as shown in the space between these marks, is too broad in my opinion for a terrier and not broad enough for a mastiff. It may have been—yes, by Jove, it is a curly-haired spaniel.” He had risen and paced the room as he spoke. Now he halted in the recess of the window. There was such a ring of conviction in his voice that I glanced up in surprise. “My dear fellow, how can you possibly be so sure of that?”

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Abbreviations
Introduction
Arthur Conan Doyle: A Brief Chronology
A Note on the Text
The Hound of the Baskervilles: Another Adventure of Sherlock Holmes
"Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. VIII. The Adventure of the Speckled Band"
Appendix A: “Curiosities,” The Strand Magazine (April 1901)
Appendix B: From Francis Galton, “Composite Portraits” (1879)
Appendix C: From Francis Galton, Hereditary Genius (1892 ed.)
Appendix D: From Jack London, The People of the Abyss (1903)
Appendix E: Crime reporting from The Times (14 April 1901)
Appendix F: From Edgar Allan Poe, “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” (April 1841)
Appendix G: From Adam Badeau, “The Land,” Aristocracy in England (1886 ed.)
Appendix H: From Edward B. Tylor, “The Development of Culture,” Primitive Culture (1873 ed.)
Appendix I: From Arthur Conan Doyle, The New Revelation (1918)
Selected Further Reading and Filmography

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 71 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(37)

4 Star

(21)

3 Star

(9)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 70 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 16, 2012

    Surprisingly good Title.

    Upon reading the first few paragraphs of the novel, I did not think I would bear reading the entire thing. It features mildly complicated vocabulary and is spoken in an English which I am not too familiar with. Yet, putting this aside I found the story to be quite interesting and even had me wanting to read the next chapter right then at some points. The mystery and suspense of the story for most parts keeps it slow-paced. But, there are scenes of the novel which display fast-paced and even violent action. Again, to my surprise the novel drew me in and kept me all the way through!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2013

    My first sherlock holmes book

    I am 12 years old, sixth grade. I am reading this book in my literature circles. Although I am only about half way through the book, I can definately say it is a great book. We have to read 9 novels by the end of the year (we only get to choose from a certain pile of nine books) and i have to admit, this was one of my last picks, i was really hesitant to read it. I have now learned that i do not only like girl stories and romance novels among funny books, but now i have been exposed to a whole nother world of literature. For this, i very much thank my teacher. Now, reguarding the actual book, I am very much enjoying it. I do have to admit that some words i need to look up, but that is easy on nook! It really grabs your attention in some parts, but sometimes, more in the beginning, you can get a little bored. Many people say that kids cannot enjoy these books, they are wrong! ~alicia s.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2013

    The Hound Of The Baskervilles

    Amazing!!! Highly recommended!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 9, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    Great

    Highly recommended!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2011

    I didn't like it.

    The story dragged on and on using too many unnessecary words. It was poop.

    1 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 9, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    You Won't See It Coming!

    I can recommend this book to most who enjoy the dry wit of Sherlock Holmes novels. I advise you to start with "A Letter In Scarlet" if you have not yet read it because out of his four novels you should start at the beginning. I'm happy to say the deductive reasoning and plot twists that come with all Holmes' escapades transcends into this book no less diminished. I'm not out to ruin any plot twists but you won't see them coming. You may expect one thing, but from around a corner Holmes will correct you with his cold hard decisive perceptional skills. And thats what makes it an Arthur Conan Doyle novel a shrewd parched novel devoid of emotional thoughts and feelings. This will be a safe assumption for all of the Sherlock Holmes novels.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 17, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The Hound of the Baskervilles review

    This book was amazing and extremely entertaining and impossible to put down. This book was very interesting and a classic mystery type and a typical Sherlock Holmes edition. The mystery was dark and morbid while the characters involved all seemed to be quite harmless, that is to the unsuspecting eye but not to Sherlock Holmes of course. He is the top authority on all mysteries and he proves it in this book with his daring antics and his amazingly acurate deductions. The vocabulary was mildly difficult, the plot was great, the authors tone was incredible. A perfect fit into the mystery genre, the clues had me thinking in circles i couldn't figure out anything untill the clues started to piece together, the book was like a puzzle the more clues you got the more the picture became clearer. I loved this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 29, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Sherlock is my hero!

    I think it was Sherlock Holmes that taught me logical thinking and that has gotten me in trouble for quite a while!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2007

    Don't listen to 'one cool kid'

    this book wasn't a extremely good book at all. It was a horrible book with no sense whatsoever. The book was boring until the last chapter. If you even picked up the book then u could have just went to the laster chapter and read the ending of the book, and saved yourself 150 pages of your time. Henry Baskerville gets frightened by a 'Curse' ..but sherlock holmes eventually solves this lame mystery.... If there was one thing you could read...it definately wouldnt be this book

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 10, 2014

    One of my favorite Holmes' books!  Ah! The intrigue, such maste

    One of my favorite Holmes' books! 

    Ah! The intrigue, such mastery of a mystery plot. And the twists! Yes, one of my favorite plot twists in all of literature.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2014

    REALLY BORING

    I have to read this novel for school. & its really boring. It uses ALOT of extra words. It takes one chapter to talk about a stick.

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  • Posted April 9, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    In this particular adventure, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson dea

    In this particular adventure, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson deal with a legendary hound who kills Baskervilles family members, a curse that Holmes and Dr. Watson are not buying into it. After the death of Charles Baskerville from pure terror, the legend get strength and the heir of the state (Hugo Baskerville) asks for Holmes help to solve the mystery involving his uncle's death. Dr. Watson accompanies Hugo at Baskerville Hall in Devonshire, as Holmes have to stay in London so finish some other cases he is working on. While there, Watson hear on the moor the creepy sound of a hound... All the relationship with the neighbors and the employees of the house are well developed and the surprising appearance of Holmes just in time to prevent another crime is superb. 
    If you enjoy reading mystery stories, definitely you cannot miss this one, a classic among mystery stories. Very entertaining and with surprising twists on the plot, it took me around 4 hours to read the whole book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2013

    Major disaster in San Franscisco kills people on Golden Gate

    A 9.7earthquake struck San Franscisco this morning at10:00
    in the morning. It was the deadliest earthquake in the world, it split California in half. It also split the Golden Gate Bridge in half, causing a major tsunami towards Japans capital city
    Tokyo. There were no survivors in the collaps of the bridge
    there was an explosion while the bridge collapsed. We should all pray for the people that were killed in this natural disaster.

    0 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2012

    Do NOT read the free ebook.  The OCR is terrible.  Get the real

    Do NOT read the free ebook.  The OCR is terrible.  Get the real book.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 22, 2008

    I love sir arthur conan doyle's books!

    Sir arthur conan doyle writes the greatest books in my opinion. The way he writes and describes things just paints more than a picture, im there inside the book. Its scary for me just reading it! Like all of these books, sherlock holmes and watson are off trying to solve a mystery. I love the way he uses these descriptice words. He doesnt even tell he just shows!<BR/><BR/>From the start, he sets the mood. They hear the origin of this curse and even that was wonderful. He adds all of these little mysteries as well like the missing boot and the taxi driver who was stalking them but they all add up to something very important in the end such as the boot was used as a scent for the hound to find and hunt sir henry. Next, how he gives subliminal clues gets the reader thinking and puts them even more into the book. He names people or irrelevence too just to make you think if they are the ones who are guilty. <BR/><BR/>His books are just amazing and this one is no exception. The most innocent person became one of the most important people in the plot. Mr. stapleton's wife was one of the most important people and ended up double crossing her husband. He even deceives the readers when he says Holmes is at home when he is actually living in the mire. The ghostly figure Doyle describes on the mire during the chase of the hound is actually Holmes observing. The way he twists the plot is just incredible and i dont know how else do describe my feelings toward this book. It just gave me the creeps when I was reading it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2008

    Good book, though confusing plots.

    Umm........ This book was good. It was a pain to read it for the summer, but that's why I give it four stars and not five. I usually don't like mysteries or any books at all(none in particular), but this was one book that seemed to get some of my attention. Though Stapleton could've let the lady breathe. For Gods sake man! She's a woman! Not a voodoo doll!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2008

    a good one

    i have always been fascinated by sherlock holmes and after this book i have an even higher opinion of his character. this book is gripping from the start to the end, but it includes a feeling of gloominess and darkness. if you imagined the illustrations in ur mind, u will always see a dark picture. but overall i found it good.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2007

    Everyones favorite detective does it again!!

    This book is a great great book. Anyone who can read well should read this book. I loved it. I mean, who could not love the brilliant,wonderful Holmes?! He and Watson are such lovable characters. This book had a lot of unexpected twists and turns. So, read it. I mean, I'm a kid and i though it was GREAT!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2007

    Lots of twists and turns!

    This was an awesome book! You will be amazed with the clever twists and turns that Sherlock Holmes takes to solve the mystery. After Charles Baskerville's death due to a mysterious hound, Sherlock Holmes and Watson go on a quest to protect the new heir, Henry Baskerville, from this hound. Find out if this hound is just a normal old mutt in the moor or a magical unknown beast. Who is behind these killings? I bet you would have never guessed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2007

    A reviewer

    As I continue my journey through my collection of Sherlock Holmes stories, we finally reach The Hound of the Baskervilles, which I believe is the first Sherlock Holmes story written intentionally as a novel, rather than as a serial or as short stories for publication in newspapers or magazines. This provides more focus to the actual plot and the background of the supporting characters. This is what really separates this story from the shorter Sherlock Holmes stories the detail given to the non-primary characters. The story involves a young man who recently came into a very large fortune when his uncle died under mysterious circumstances. The young man brings Holmes and Watson into the situation, and Holmes sends Watson into the countryside to watch over their client and take stock of the situation. Interestingly enough, a good quarter of the story is handled through letters that Watson sends to Holmes and Watson's diary entries, rather than straight-up descriptions of events 'as they happen.' I am not convinced that this was the appropriate way to handle things, but it worked out all right in the end and gave a unique feel to the story. As is usual with a Sherlock Holmes story, I couldn't figure out all that was happening until the very end. I figured the 'hound' out rather early, but not the rest of it. All told, a satisfying and entertaining mystery novel, if a little short for modern standards.

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