Learning to love audio with Sherlock Holmes

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I never used to be able to listen to audiobooks. I’d find myself drifting off and having no idea what was happening in a story. Out of necessity, I started listening to a few, while I was doing the dishes or other chores around the house. Not only was I able to get through my chores faster, I actually started looking forward to doing the dishes and managed to fit another book into my schedule.

Part of my job as a librarian is to manage InterLibrary Loan requests. One of our patrons wanted the BBC audio version of the Complete Works of Sherlock Holmes. Fortunately for me, it was easier for the library to just purchase the set. The patron raved about it and since I have wanted to read more Arthur Conan Doyle (the abridged classics version of The Hound of the Baskervilles being my only experience with him up until then) I decided to give it a try. They are a dramatization of the novels and stories, so I don’t know how faithful they are, but the casting is excellent. At first, I thought that Clive Merrison as Sherlock Holmes was a little abrasive. He tended to cackle like a crow on occasion, but after listening to a few of the “adventures” he seemed perfect. He captured in his tone the entire essence of his character. Okay, maybe that’s a little dramatic, but it’s hard to imagine anyone else in the role. Michael Williams does a great Dr. Watson as well. For some reason, I always think of Watson as being slightly older and a bit less adventurous. Glad to be disabused of that notion! I listened to the Novels (Study in Scarlet, Hound of the Baskervilles, The Sign of the Four and The Valley of Fear) and the Adventures. I loved being able to listen to the stories, because I could usually finish them in a session or two of dish washing.  Kudos to Conan Doyle for being so great at his craft. The research, the psychology, and the plotting for each piece is so well done. Plus, he develops such a wonderful relationship between two male characters. I can’t think of that many cases of such genuine  male friendship. Okay, so it’s a little unconventional but deep-rooted nonetheless. I just love Watson’s report card of Holmes.

So, now I am hooked on audiobooks. The downside, is that other than, Dan Zanes and Buckwheat Zydeco I don’t listen to music anymore.


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