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A Study in Scarlet
A Study in Scarlet
A Study in Scarlet
Audiobook4 hours

A Study in Scarlet

Written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Narrated by David Timson

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars



About this audiobook

A Study in Scarlet was the very first Sherlock Holmes novel. Here, in the most remarkably precise manner, Doyle produced two of the most well-known characters in English fiction. Their individual traits and their relationships, their ambitions and foibles are introduced against the backdrop of an exciting story of revenge and persistance, which starts in Victorian England but moves to the American West, and the environment of the early Mormon communities. It is a full novel, and is here read, unabridged in richly characterised style by David Timson. This is the fifth Naxos AudioBooks recording of Sherlock Holmes.
Release dateDec 1, 2001
A Study in Scarlet

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859–1930) was a Scottish writer and physician, most famous for his stories about the detective Sherlock Holmes and long-suffering sidekick Dr Watson. Conan Doyle was a prolific writer whose other works include fantasy and science fiction stories, plays, romances, poetry, non-fiction and historical novels.

Reviews for A Study in Scarlet

Rating: 4.081818181818182 out of 5 stars

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  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    My first ever Holmes. Wonderfully there is much of the modern understanding of Sherlock Holmes clearly laid out on the page. He is perhaps even more self aware than TV and movie adaptations allow describing his mood swings and eccentricities to Dr. Watson even before they move in together.

    There is a remarkable section in the middle where the narrative goes all Fenimore Cooper and we are transported from London to the snowy peaks of Utah. Quite unexpected. This was more fun even than I had expected. Fortunately I have already purchased further volumes.
  • Rating: 1 out of 5 stars
    I would have liked it better if most of part 2 didn't feel so completely separate from the rest (and maybe were more accurate and less bigoted), but the detectiving part was alright. Holmes is a bit insufferable, but interesting too.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    A Study in Scarlet was the first Sherlock Holmes story published. Given its age (1886) it reads surprisingly well with crisp non-florid prose, almost like a novel written in 2017 by someone pretending to be from the 1800s. This is the first Sherlock Holmes I've read. It gives a sense that, while you may be confused, someone else understands the world and answers can be had. That is comforting, like a parent reassuring an anxious child. This is echoed in the name "Sure" as in assurance or confidence; "Lock" as in holding the key to the mystery; and "Holmes" which sounds like "Home", a reassuring feeling. The clues to the mystery are somewhat beside the point, contrived and making sense only after the explanation. Regardless, I really enjoyed it and look forward to dipping into more in a sequential fashion as they were published. Giving 5 stars as the origin story of Sherlock Holmes.For modern readers the Mormon sub-plot is weird and maybe a little offensive. However in the 1880s, they were indeed a novel, strange and exotic people who engaged in massacres and "harems". In the story they come to London, to the homes of the readers. It's a classic "invasion novel" popular at the time, similar to Dracula which saw Eastern Europeans as the invaders. The invasion of London by secretive sub-cultures is a common theme Holmes stories.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    This is an enjoyable introduction to both Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, and it will be interesting to see how their characters develop across the series. I particularly enjoyed the large section that took place on the American Plains (not something you expect in a Sherlock Holmes book!) and how the story unravelled that led up to events being investigated in London. This was particularly well done. I look forward to continuing with the series.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    This is the first book I have read by the famed creator of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. A Study in Scarlet is Doyle's first book featuring the infamous Sherlock Holmes. Holmes' character has been portrayed in the movies so much that I feel like I already knew the character. Reading the original text by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is, not surprisingly, better than any other theatrical take I have seen. A Study in Scarlet is an easy read that could easily be completed in one day. The edition that I own contains illustrations by the famous caricaturist, Gris Grimly. I am not a fan of graphic novels or even illustrations in books because it distract my own imagination of how things should appear. On the other hand, the illustrations are very impressive so if you are into that kind of thing, I would recommend this edition. Holmes' first adventure in detection in A Study in Scarlet reveals to the world the detectives impeccable deductive powers. Holmes meets his sidekick Dr. Watson in Doyle's freshman detective novel, where the two rent an apartment on Baker Street. It is a widely known fact that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle single handedly revolutionized the science of Forensics and crime scene investigation. There is an in-depth documentary about how Sherlock Holmes' methods were used in Doyle's fiction novels before they were ever used in real life. Knowing this fact makes reading these books much more interesting and entertaining to read. I plan on chronologically reading all the books written by Doyle that feature Sherlock Holmes.
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    I've long felt bad about never having read any of the nine books that make up the Sherlock Holmes canon, so finally I've rectified that... and what an odd little work it is.

    The first half of the book is what's important, historically, but it's the least interesting. Conan Doyle doesn't write natural dialogue, and a result the discussions between Watson and Holmes come across more like a treatise on how detective work - in the real world and in novels - is evolving and progressing. While this is all very very interesting, particularly to someone like myself who has read a lot of Christie and Poe etc, it feels like an essay that has been structured in story form, rather than the other way around.

    On top of this, I concede that I have a bias against this "one really smart quirky man always outdoes everyone" formula. Holmes started it, but it's returned in the last ten years or so to television, and personally I think it just weakens the narrative when every other character functions only as a sounding board for our god of a leading man. Sherlock is cunningly described by Watson as a seemingly paradoxical man who in fact has rational reasons for all of his education and activities, although even the great detective can't seem to fix his (bipolar?) moods. As their friendship is still embryonic at this stage, Watson can give us no insight into Holmes' life, and Holmes offers none, so he remains a cipher. But I'm treating this as a pilot episode, so that's okay. More immediately fascinating are the elements of contemporary life: street beggars working for Holmes, the necessary advantages and disadvantages that came from being a police officer in the era - thrilling stuff.

    The second half is a mixed bag also. Conan Doyle is an admirable prose writer, and his description of the events twenty years prior to the murders is captivating and gripping. On the other hand, it is filled with amazingly anti-Mormon sentiment. I'm no religious sympathiser myself, but I couldn't take it seriously when the narrator assured us that all Mormons kill or destroy anyone who attempts to leave their faith.

    An odd little novel, and I've already started the second one, since I'm very eager to see if Conan Doyle can somehow retain his marvelous leading character, whilst furthering his skills in the other required areas.

    (Two and a half stars)