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Best Sherlock Holmes Narrator

author
David Lawrence
• Tuesday, 12 January, 2021
• 13 min read

At the beginning of the stories, Sherlock Holmes is struggling financially and takes in a boarder, or roommate, to help pay his rent. Doctor Watson and Sherlock Holmes lived together on Baker Street in London Most of the Sherlock Holmes stories are framed within another story, meaning they usually begin at the Baker Street apartment in Watson's point of view, and he summarizes the case that Holmes had previously solved.

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Contents

Watson's impressions of the cases, the clients, and of Holmes himself color the stories with bias, making him a slightly unreliable narrator. Watson lacks the objective mind of Holmes, which focuses on cold, hard, facts, and sometimes inserts his own opinion into the narration of the story.

Holmes himself is sometimes critical of Watson's storytelling techniques, saying, '' Detection is, or ought to be, an exact science and should be treated in the same cold and unemotional manner. Watson is a faithful and loving friend, and readers can tell that he greatly admires Holmes's skills, is amazed and baffled by his abilities, amused by his eccentric behavior, and sometimes annoyed by his smoking habit.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote sixty stories that feature the duo of roommates Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. Dr. Watson's personality and bias add another layer of storytelling on top of the cases Holmes solves.

Great narration, but missing a couple Simon Pebble does an excellent job narrating this first collection of Sherlock Holmes stories. But the collection is marred by Cantor's decision to omit the two stories (Speckled Band and Red-Headed League) they'd already made available as “bonuses” on two of the novels.

In other words, if you want all the short stories, you have to buy the whole set of recordings, including the four novels. This unfortunate marketing ploy makes that less convenient.

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There is not a heartbeat of pause between the end of one story and the beginning of the next one. As a result, I usually thought at first that the new story was a continuation of the preceding one.

Great traveling book We loved listening to Sherlock Holmes, the only problem is picking up where we left off. It's been a struggle to find our stopping point, so have listened to a few stories several times.

Sir Doyle gave a beautiful read and a wonderful life to the book. This is my second Sherlock Holmes audiobook, as well as my second book narrated by Simon Pebble (the first being the Sign of Four).

I love the Sherlock Holmes tales, and enjoyed hearing them. The narrator handled all his different voices skillfully, which let me focus on the story instead of my annoyance with inconsistent character styles.

(The only other one that came close was Stephen King's reading of his own book, On Writing.) Mismatched Characters The only good thing about this story, the actors are English.

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The person speaking in Holmes role is not suited to the part at all, in fact, he makes the story dull and cringe worthy. Holmes is smart with razor sharp wit, well-educated and one would assume with a well-spoken and modulated voice.

What we have instead is a high falsetto, wringing, nasally voiced whip, who sounds more like a lip wrested fop than that of a shrewd detective. The other thing I found funny was, in one of the stories, Holmes is in Italy painting and sees what he describes as a woman, who is old (in those times) as 30 years of age being mugged for her purse.

I've ranked it extremely low because I can't stand the Holmes portrayed in this version. If it was my choice, it would be back to Basil Rathbone or Ian Richards.

Watson is Sherlock Holmes best friend, assistant and, in most of the cases redacted by him, flatmate, and the first-person narrator of all but four of these stories. He is astute and intelligent, although he fails to match his friend's deductive skills.

Whilst retaining his role as Holmes's friend and confidant, Watson has been adapted in various films, television series, video games, comics and radio programs. In Conan Doyle's early rough plot outlines, SherlockHolmes's associate was named “Ormond Sacker” before Conan Doyle finally settled on “John Watson”.

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William L. Deandre wrote that “Watson also serves the important function of catalyst for Holmes's mental processes... From the writer's point of view, Doyle knew the importance of having someone to whom the detective can make enigmatic remarks, a consciousness that's privy to facts in the case without being in on the conclusions drawn from them until the proper time. Dr. Watson shares some similarities with the narrator of Edgar Allan Poe's stories about fictional detective C. August Duping, created in 1841, though unlike Watson, Poe's narrator remains unnamed.

Part one of the first Sherlock Holmes story, A Study in Scarlet, is subtitled Being a reprint from the Reminiscences of John H. Watson, M.D., Late of the Army Medical Department. His wife appears to refer to him as “James” in The Man with the Twisted Lip “; Dorothy L. Sayers speculates that Mary may be using his middle name Amish (an Anglicization of Sherries, the vocative form of Seems, the Scottish Gaelic for James), though Doyle himself never addresses this beyond including the initial.

David W. Merrill, on the other hand, concludes that Mary is not referring to her husband at all but rather to (the surname of) their servant. In A Study in Scarlet, Watson, as the narrator, establishes having studied at St Bartholomew's Hospital in London, receiving his medical degree from the University of London in 1878, and subsequently being trained at Newly as an assistant surgeon in the British Army.

(In a non-canonical story, “The Field Bazaar”, Watson is described as having received his Bachelor of Medicine from Doyle's alma mater, Edinburgh University ; this would likely have been in 1874.) He joined British forces in India with the 5th Northumberland Fusiliers before being attached to the 66th (Berkshire) Regiment of Foot, saw service in the Second Anglo-Afghan War, was wounded at the Battle of Mai wand (July 1880) by a email bullet, suffered enteric fever and was sent back to England on the troopship HMS Routes following his recovery.

With his health ruined, he was then given a daily pension of 11 shillings and 6 pence for nine months. In 1881, Watson is introduced by his friend Stamford to Sherlock Holmes, who is looking for someone to share rent at a flat in 221B Baker Street.

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Watson witnesses Holmes's skills of deduction on their first case together, concerning a series of murders related to Mormon intrigue. When the case is solved, Watson is angered that Holmes is not given any credit for it by the press.

When Holmes refuses to record and publish his account of the adventure, Watson endeavors to do so himself. At the beginning of A Study in Scarlet, Watson states he had “neither kith nor kin in England”.

He was left with good prospects, but he threw away his chances, lived for some time in poverty with occasional short intervals of prosperity, and finally, taking to drink, he died”. At the end of the first published Holmes story, A Study in Scarlet, Watson is so incensed by Scotland Yard's claiming full credit for its solution that he exclaims: “Your merits should be publicly recognized.

In the first chapter of The Sign of Four, Holmes comments on Watson's first effort as a biographer: “I glanced over it. Detection is, or ought to be, an exact science and should be treated in the same cold and unemotional manner.

The only point in the case which deserved mention was the curious analytical reasoning from effects to causes, by which I succeeded in unraveling it”; whereupon Watson admits, “I was annoyed at this criticism of a work which had been specially designed to please him. I confess, too, that I was irritated by the egotism which seemed to demand that every line of my pamphlet should be devoted to his own special doings”.

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Sometimes Watson (and through him, Conan Doyle) seems determined to stop publishing stories about Holmes : in The Adventure of the Second Stain “, Watson declares that he had intended the previous story (“The Adventure of the Abbey Grange”) “to be the last of those exploits of my friend, Mr Sherlock Holmes, which I should ever communicate to the public”, but later decided that “this long series of episodes should culminate in the most important international case which he has ever been called upon to handle” (“The Second Stain” being that case). In the later stories, written after Holmes's retirement (c. 1903–04), Watson repeatedly refers to “notes of many hundreds of cases to which I have never alluded”, on grounds that after Holmes's retirement, the detective showed reluctance “to the continued publication of his experiences.

After Holmes's retirement, Watson often cites special permission from his friend for the publication of further stories; but received occasional unsolicited suggestions from Holmes of what stories to tell, as noted at the beginning of The Adventure of the Devil's Foot “. In The Adventure of the Blanched Soldier “, one of only two stories narrated by Holmes himself, the detective remarks about Watson: “I have often had occasion to point out to him how superficial are his accounts and to accuse him of pandering to popular taste instead of confining himself rigidly to facts and figures”; but the narrative style seldom differs, and Holmes confesses that Watson would have been the better choice to write the story, noting when he starts writing that he quickly realizes the importance of presenting the tale in a manner that would interest the reader.

In any case, Holmes regularly referred to Watson as my “faithful friend and biographer”, and once exclaims, “I am lost without my Boswell “. At the beginning of The Adventure of the Veiled Lodger “, Watson makes strong claims about “the discretion and high sense of professional honor” that govern his work as Holmes's biographer, but which do not keep Watson from expressing himself and quoting Holmes with candor of their antagonists and their clients.

John Watson is intelligent, if lacking in Holmes's insight, and serves as a perfect foil for Holmes : the archetypal late Victorian / Edwardian gentleman against the brilliant, emotionally detached analytical machine. For instance, in The Adventure of the Dying Detective, ” Holmes creates a ruse that he is deathly ill to lure a suspect to his presence, which must fool Watson as well during its enactment.

To that effect in addition to elaborate makeup and starving himself for a few days for the necessary appearance, Holmes firmly claims to Watson that he is highly contagious to the touch, knowing full well that the doctor would immediately deduce his true medical condition upon examination. Holmes was a man of habits... and I had become one of them... a comrade... upon whose nerve he could place some reliance... a whetstone for his mind.

For example, in The Hound of the Baskerville, Watson efficiently clears up several of the many mysteries confronting the pair including Barrymore's strange candle movements turning out to be signals to his brother-in-law Sedan, and Holmes praises him for his zeal and intelligence. However, because he is not endowed with Holmes's almost-superhuman ability to focus on the essential details of the case and Holmes's extraordinary range of recondite, specialized knowledge, Watson meets with limited success in other cases.

Holmes summed up the problem that Watson confronted in one memorable rebuke from A Scandal in Bohemia “: “Quite so... you see, but you do not observe.” In The Adventure of the Solitary Cyclist, ” Watson's attempts to assist Holmes's investigation prove unsuccessful because of his unimaginative approach, for example, asking a London estate agent who lives in a particular country residence.

Watson never masters Holmes's deductive methods, but he can be astute enough to follow his friend's reasoning after the fact. In The Adventure of the Norwood Builder, ” Holmes notes that John Hector McFarlane is “a bachelor, a solicitor, a Freemason, and an asthmatic”.

Watson comments as narrator : “Familiar as I was with my friend's methods, it was not difficult for me to follow his deductions, and to observe the untidiness of attire, the sheaf of legal papers, the watch-charm, and the breathing which had prompted them.” In The Adventure of the Red Circle “, we find a rare instance in which Watson rather than Holmes correctly deduces a fact of value.

In The Hound of the Baskerville, Watson shows that he has picked up some of Holmes's skills at dealing with people from whom information is desired. At the beginning of The Adventure of the Veiled Lodger, ” Watson makes strong claims about “the discretion and high sense of professional honor” that govern his work as Holmes's biographer, but discretion and professional honor do not block Watson from expressing himself and quoting Holmes with remarkable candor on the characters of their antagonists and their clients.

Despite Watson's frequent expressions of admiration and friendship for Holmes, the many stresses and strains of living and working with the detective make themselves evident in Watson's occasional harshness of character. The events related in The Adventure of the Second Stain are supposedly very sensitive: “If in telling the story I seem to be somewhat vague in certain details, the public will readily understand that there is an excellent reason for my reticence.

It was, then, in a year, and even in a decade, that shall be nameless, that upon one Tuesday morning in autumn we found two visitors of European fame within the walls of our humble room in Baker Street.” Furthermore, in “The Adventure of the Veiled Lodger,” Watson notes that he has “made a slight change of name and place” when presenting that story.

Here he is direct about a method of preserving discretion and confidentiality that other scholars have inferred from the stories, with pseudonyms replacing the “real” names of clients, witnesses, and culprits alike, and altered place-names replacing the real locations. In the 1988 parody film Without a Clue, the roles of a witless Watson and an extremely intelligent Holmes are reversed.

In the Guy Ritchie -directed Sherlock Holmes movies, Watson is portrayed by Jude Law. Law portrays Watson as knowledgeable, brave, strong-willed, and thoroughly professional, as well as a competent detective in his own right.

Apart from being armed with his trademark sidearm, his film incarnation is also a capable swordsman. The film portrays Watson as having a gambling problem, which William S. Baring-Gould had inferred from a reference in The Adventure of the Dancing Men to Holmes keeping Watson's check book locked in a drawer in his desk.

Law also portrayed Watson in the 2011 sequel, Sherlock Holmes : A Game of Shadows. Watson appears on the 2010 direct-to-DVD Asylum film Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes, a science fiction reinvention in which he was portrayed by actor Gareth David-Lloyd.

At the beginning of the film, Watson is an elderly man portrayed by David Shackleton during the Blitz in 1940. In 1889, he is a home doctor and personal physician and biographer of Sherlock Holmes (Ben Ryder).

Here, Watson is portrayed as easily confused by Holmes's abilities, but the story is set in 1881, the same year as A Study in Scarlet, which may account for this. Watson, portrayed by Colin Starkey, appears briefly in the 2015 film Mr. Holmes (although he has no dialogue and his face is not shown).

Reflecting on his career as a detective, Holmes (Ian McAllen) comments that Watson took considerable latitude in writing up the cases for publication, to the point that he views the finished products as little more than penny dreadful.” Holmes remarks that several key details of his literary counterpart, including his pipe, deerstalker hat, and 221B Baker Street address, were entirely fictitious.

The 2015 mashup anime film The Empire of Corpses features a younger, re-imagined Watson as the protagonist, in a steampunk world where the dead are reanimated and used as a labor force. He was voiced by Yeshivas Hosoda in Japanese, and Jason Brecht in the English dub.

In the TV series, Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century (1999–2001), Holmes acquires a 'new' Watson in the form of a robot. In the TV series Sanctuary, Dr. James Watson (Peter Wingfield) is a member of “The Five” and the actual detective in the Conan Doyle stories.

In the 2013 Russian adaptation Sherlock Holmes, Dr Watson is portrayed as older than Holmes. The character was played by Andrei Pain, in his last role, as he died shortly after the filming was finished.

Though initially at a loss as to how to deal with Holmes, he becomes close to his strange roommate. In the 2018 Japanese drama series Miss Sherlock both lead characters are re-imagined as female.

Dr. NATO Taliban (Shinobi Kanji ya) meets Sara Sherlock Altaba (Yukon Takashi) after becoming the witness of her mentor’s death. In the TV series Star Trek: The Next Generation, the character George La Forge takes on the role of Dr. Watson in helideck simulations with his shipmate and friend, Data.

In the first season of The Muppet Show there is a skit starring Rolf the Dog as Sherlock Holmes and Baskerville the Hound as Dr Watson that is titled “The Case of the Disappearing Clues.” Carleton Hobbs portrayed Holmes in a series of BBC radio broadcasts that ran from 1952 to 1969, with Norman Shelley playing Watson.

Of the many actors who have portrayed Holmes and Watson for the BBC, the Hobbs and Shelley duo is the longest running. In 1998, Imagination Theater received the rights from the estate of Dame Jean Conan Doyle to produce new radio stories of Holmes and Watson.

Lorrie and Albert also played Holmes and Watson respectively in The Classic Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, which adapted all of Arthur Conan Doyle's short stories and novels. Dr Watson appears in Die Rakuten Taiwan: Naruto Cynosure no Broken, where he is murdered during a visit to Japan.

^ Also known as a Jail, Javier, or Canal, a Email was a very large flintlock or matchlock musket, with a barrel up to 8 feet (2 m) long. Watson's wound was contradictory located in his leg and his shoulder, depending on the story.

This a daily pension roughly equivalent to an agricultural laborer's weekly wage at the time, according to British Labor Statistics: Historical Abstracts, 1886–1968, Department of Employment and Productivity, 1981, cited in Average Weekly Cash Wages paid to Ordinary Agricultural Laborers at Relative Value of Sums of Money. ^ Dorothy L. Sayers, “Dr Watson's Christian Name”, in Unpopular Opinions (London: Victor Holland, 1946), 148–151.

“The Annual RPI and Average Earnings for Britain, 1209 to Present (New Series)”. ^ A Study in Scarlet ^ The Adventure of Charles Augustus Silverton ^ Literary Qualities of The Hound of the Baskerville | Novel Summaries Analysis.

Adventure, Mystery, and Romance: Formula Stories as Art and Popular Culture (Reprinted ed.). The Sherlock Holmes Companion: An Elementary Guide (Updated ed.).

Sherlock Holmes on the Stage: A Chronological Encyclopedia of Plays Featuring the Great Detective. “Ken Ludwig's Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery Makes World Premiere Tonight”.

^ Williston, Paul (19 November 1988), “It's Elementary, Comedy's Afoot In 'Without A Clue “, The Morning Call, Leigh Valley ^ Baring-Gould, William S. (1967).

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Sources
1 www.imdb.com - https://www.imdb.com/list/ls061639408/
2 www.imdb.com - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0988045/parentalguide
3 en.wikipedia.org - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sherlock_Holmes