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The Valley of Fear

The Valley of Fear

Written by Arthur Conan Doyle

Narrated by David Timson


The Valley of Fear

Written by Arthur Conan Doyle

Narrated by David Timson

ratings:
4/5 (49 ratings)
Length:
6 hours
Released:
Aug 1, 2006
ISBN:
9789629545215
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Description

The Sherlock Holmes series read in unabridged form, by David Timson for Naxos AudioBooks is widely regarded as one of the finest. Here, Timson brings his remarkable performance skills to one of Doyle’s full-length novels. Holmes and his faithful Dr Watson are summoned to a country house by a coded message. They arrive too late to save a life and then pursue the trail which leads to the unmasking of the murderer.
Released:
Aug 1, 2006
ISBN:
9789629545215
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook


About the author

Arthur Conan Doyle (1859–1930) practiced medicine in the resort town of Southsea, England, and wrote stories while waiting for his patients to arrive. In 1886, he created two of the greatest fictional characters of all time: the detective Sherlock Holmes and his partner, Dr. Watson. Over the course of four novels and fifty-six short stories, Conan Doyle set a standard for crime fiction that has yet to be surpassed.

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Reviews

What people think about The Valley of Fear

4.2
49 ratings / 24 Reviews
What did you think?
Rating: 0 out of 5 stars

Reader reviews

  • (2/5)
    Was just to -Let's go to America- for my taste, much like A Study In Scarlet . I suppose I just prefer my Holmes in the fog shrouded London streets heavily misted Moors or in a carriage down the lane
  • (4/5)
    The first part is the mystery Sherlock must solve. He points out how for a book code you need the same version of a book.The 2nd part is the back story of the main character of the 1st part when he was in America.
  • (1/5)
    Well, I didn't think much of this. It follows the same split format as does A Study in Scarlet and the second part boasts some sloppy writing. Disappointing
  • (4/5)
    Definitely the most compelling of the novels, though it's still weird that ACD insists on spending half the book in America, without Holmes or Watson.
  • (5/5)
    The Valley of Fear is a Sherlock Holmes novel which is divided into two parts. While the first part concentrates on Sherlock Holmes solving a murder case, the second part provides a background story to the case. The novel starts by Holmes decoding a cipher from an informant against his nemesis Moriarty about a 'Douglas' in 'Birlstone'. Holmes, however, is too late to prevent crime as a dead person has already been found at Birlstone. Of course he assists the police in working the case. A body with a strange branding on the forearm is found lying dead in Birlstone Manor. The head was blown off by a sawed-off American shotgun and the wedding ring is missing. Strangely, both wife and best friend of the supposedly dead Douglas are in rather good spirits which quickly leads to Holmes solving the case. This is when the second part of the novel begins. This part is set in the United States 20 years before the murder and relates the story of a criminal organization called the Scowrers. It helps the reader understand the reason why Douglas was hunted down to be murdered.The division into two parts is something I very much enjoyed about this novel as it combines the usual crime case that is solved by the famous detective from 221b Baker Street with a great background story. Actually, I have to admit that I liked the second part of the novel even better than the first one. The background story was very intriguing and well written so that I did not want to stop reading. As to the crime case itself, it is probably nothing all too different from other Sherlock Holmes stories. With the structure of the novel, though, The Valley of Fear is a reading experience that manages to keep the good elements of every Holmes story and at the same time to include something that sets it apart from all the other stories.On the whole, it was a pleasure to read The Valley of Fear. Highly recommendable, not just to Holmes lovers. 4.5 stars.
  • (4/5)
    This is a Sherlock Holmes story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, although the cover & blurbs would make you think it's anything but. Great story, of course. Actually, it's two stories; Sherlock solving a mystery in England, then a flashback written by the mystery man that Holmes was investigating, followed up with an epilogue by Dr. Watson.

    The first part is typical of a Sherlock Holmes novel. The second part reminded me more of an Edgar Rice Burroughs or Robert E. Howard western. Both were good, but it was a bit of an odd mix. I don't recall reading the story before, either.
  • (3/5)
    The first half was quite good, but the second half was kind of a prequel and was Holmes-free so it wasn't as good. I just didn't like the format, but overall the book was still good.
  • (3/5)
    I found this last Sherlock Holmes novel disappointing.
  • (5/5)
    I loved every bit of it. A masterful tale it is.
  • (4/5)
    Solid mystery. Surprising twist in the backstory of the victim. Kept me listening for hours!
  • (5/5)
    Excellent.

    Great Narration of a wonderful tale of intrigue, twists, and double twists.

    Just when you think you've got a handle on the case it turns then turns again.

    I've seen the movies of some of Sherlock's adventures going back to Sir Basil Rathbone and the current Robert Downey Jr. But there is a wonderful freeing of the mind when you listen to it. I encourage you to listen to this one and seek out others by the same Narrator.

    My first Holmes book treated this way and now I will endeavor to find the others.

    Happy listening.
  • (3/5)
    This was another standard fare Sherlock Holems book. However, Doyle seems to be gaining gravity and style even more so with his work as it spans on. A good book and not one to be missed for the Sherlock Holmes enhusiast.3 stars.
  • (3/5)
    What prevents this “reasonably good” novel from being something much better is that the main characters are only present for the first half of the story.I’m not a Holmes and Watson fanatic, but even so, I felt cheated in that I expected the duo to lead the way.When part two began as a flashback, featuring other characters, I thought any minute now it’ll return to Holmes and Watson. It never did.Based on its own merits, it’s not a bad tale, but it’s not what I expected.
  • (3/5)
    “Mr. Mac, the most practical thing that you ever did in your life would be to shut yourself up for three months and read twelve hours a day at the annals of crime.” Sherlock Holmes to the police inspector.Compared to the other novels and short stories this was a bit of a dissapointment. Holmes and Watson only figure in very few pages - the middle part is a long crime backstory (supposedly based on real events) - but I wanted to get back to Holmes and the cocky inspector who are somewhat clueless.Of course sacrilege to suggest one should skip a Sherlock Holmes novel - but if you contemplate the unthinkable - then this novel would be it.
  • (4/5)
    The prose is elegant and witty, the plot has holes you could drive a herd of unionizers through, and the characterization is terrific. Its a classic for a reason. I "read" the audio version with Derek Jacobi as the reader, but have not yet been able to find that edition to use for my review. There are a LOT of editions on here, and I got tired of scrolling. However, the Jacobi reading was great fun.
  • (4/5)
    Similar to his first book, this is really two novellas compressed into one, with a Holmes story first, then a short novel about one of the characters in the mystery. Perhaps the first bit is a little long for what it is, but I enjoyed the second part quite a bit. (I must admit, I was glad to find out the story was going in the direction I was hoping it would. Details about that would spoil too much of the fun of this story.)
  • (4/5)
    This is the least well known of the four of Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes novellae. It is very similar in structure and indeed in theme to A Study in Scarlet. The murder is solved half way through (with an interesting twist) and then the second half is the back story of the killer, showing why they have acted as they have, and again here showing an American past involving a shady cult or secret society, in this case a renegade branch of the Eminent Society of Freemen called the Scowrers who hold the Vermissa Valley mining communities in fear and terror. The similarities are too stark not to be noticed and this lacks the impact of its predecessor, though the choking atmosphere of fear and casual, brutal violence engendered by the Scowrers is vividly described. 4/5
  • (4/5)
    It's probably been 50 years since I first read this, and it was quite enjoyable to read again. At least half of the book is set in the USA and does not involve Holmes, but does a great job of showcasing Conan Doyle's talent.
  • (3/5)
    It's a decent story, but it doesn't feel very Sherlockian. It's definitely worse than Hound of the Baskervilles (the best of all the Holmes novels) but probably better than it's closest counterpart A Study in Scarlet. Both have the long stretches of American history making up the second half of the book, but The Valley of Fear doesn't drag quite as badly. Still, it's not one of Doyle's best.
  • (4/5)
    Actually enjoyed the second part (which didn't really feature Sherlock Holmes until the very end) more than the first part.Loved the twist at the end and the way it all linked back to the original case.Really liked the fact that Arthur Conan Doyle had created such a huge backstory for his characters (because I had already read A Study in Scarlet it didn't really surprise me as much as it did the first time).The descriptions of people and scenery were great.
  • (3/5)
    A.C. Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories have always held a special place in my heart. They're indicative of a great time in literature and one of the archetypal creations of the detective genre; however, The Valley of Fear is a shadow of his earlier tales. The initial investigation into the murder is undoubtedly interesting, but what killed it for me was that wholly the second half of the book was a flashback told from a totally different POV (3rd, vs. the original 1st) involving a setting thousands of miles away (the American West). The whole story seemed like an excuse to tell "a tale of moral corruption and secret societies in the Wild West" and package it under the Sherlock Holmes name. It wasn't a horrible read, and it was a blessedly short book, but when you're expecting something like Doyle's original Holmes tales, this one is sure to disappoint. He did it a lot better and with a lot fewer words when he first started writing Holmes. The only reason this story gets 2 1/2 stars from me is because it's by A.C. Doyle. If I wasn't such a book completionist, I probably wouldn't have read it.
  • (3/5)
    Essentially, this one is 'A Study in Scarlet' with Masons instead of Mormons. I would, indeed, go so far as to say that it's much worse than 'A Study in Scarlet'.My logic: I read Sherlock Holmes books to read about Sherlock Holmes solving cases. This book was written, however, to be an 'adventure in America.' It's got the kind of off-the-wall sensationalism that would have attracted the British reading audience at that time. The mystery isn't terrible, but most of the book isn't the mystery. Most of the book is either set in the America storyline or is not actually involved in Holmes' solution to the case.Because this is just a rehash of a plot which Doyle had already executed-- and executed better-- I would say that the only reason anyone should hunt down and read this particular story is for the glory of having read them all. It's not painful to read, nor is it truly disappointing, but it's not interesting.This story is, however, interesting for the similarities it has to that final propaganda story, 'His Last Bow.' Both the main character in the second half of 'The Valley of Fear' and Holmes in 'His Last Bow' perform eerily similar feats of deception. However, I would classify both of these stories as severely sub-par Conan Doyle.
  • (5/5)
    Another of the great Sherlock Holmes murder mystery novels with an American backdrop based around members of a crooked organisation trying to kill the Pinkerton's detective who broke up their gang.
  • (4/5)
    A British classic partially set in the United States...Sounds like a winner to me. Next the The Hound of the Baskervilles, this is my favorite Sherlock Holmes story.