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The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Short Stories

4.64  ·  Rating details ·  1,463 ratings  ·  55 reviews

Classic short stories of Sherlock Holmes now available in a separate, attractively priced individual volume.

The publication of Leslie S. Klinger's brilliant new annotations of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's classic Holmes short stories in 2004 created a Holmes sensation. Available again in an attractively-priced edition identical to the first, except this edition has no outer sl
Hardcover, 1878 pages
Published November 30th 2004 by W. W. Norton & Company
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Paul Bryant
Sep 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing

"So what did you make of it?"

"Well, it's a handsome volume, Holmes. I think a fitting tribute to the many cases you've solved over the years."

"No more than that, Watson? Come come, what of this man Klinger?"

"The annotator?"


"Well, he seems a trifle fussy, a bit like an over-eager terrier jumping up and barking all the time. But he's also very knowledgeable."

"Anything else? You know my methods."

"Now Holmes, I know you just wish to bamboozle me again –
Alex Robinson
Oct 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anal retentive nerds
Recommended to Alex Robinson by: Matt Servinskas
Shelves: fiction
If you've never read the Sherlock Holmes canon this is NOT the place to start. You're better off going with a more portable, straightforward edition without all the notes. But if you're a hardcore fan this is an awesome book. You'll be amazed at the attention to detail and the contortions the editors go to make some sort of continuity ouf of Conan Doyle's stories. ...more
Aug 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: short-stories, holmes
I broke down and bought all three volumes in this series after reading what other Goodreads reviewers had to say about them. It is going to be awhile before I finish the three, because each story contains some of the most interesting and useful footnotes ever appended to a piece of literature, along with illustrations not just from The Strand magazine, but from other sources as well. They also showcase various locations around London where the story takes place, along with drawings of other char ...more
Brandon Forsyth
Dec 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The short version: if you're a Holmes fan, you owe it to yourself to splurge for these editions.

The long version: This was my "project read" for 2016, and it very nearly didn't get done. My initial idea was that I'd read one short story every weekend, as there are 56 stories collected here, and I thought that at a leisurely pace of about one a weekend, I could get the whole thing done. Well, life intervened, and I ended up reading about one per day in the hectic last week of December, but I stil
Jan 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
When I need a Sherlock Holmes fix - often - I go straight to the stories, but this book and the companion book of the Holmes novels is a must for any real Holmes addict. The side notes are fascinating and give insight to elements of the period that might be lost on readers. Hefty price, but worth it.
Oct 22, 2007 rated it it was amazing
This edition of Sherlock Holmes stories and novels is marvellous, and absolutely worth the price (which works out to about $30 per volume). The book is physically gorgeous and lovely to touch, with lots of black and white illustrations and notations in red, and smooth glossy paper. I'm a sucker for that sort of thing. And the cover design is awesome.

What I've seen of the annotations has really impressed me, too. They are partially fannish theories sprouting around narrative discrepancies and plo
Feb 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is THE definative set for fans of Sherlock Holmes. There's loads of great footnotes here, detailing aspects of Victorian culture and discussing the links between the stories. It doesn't take itself overly seriously, though -- there's some amusing stuff about possible errors in the manuscript, discontinuities (for example, Watson's wandering war wound), and unlikely but interesting possible connections between the characters. The whole thing's also liberally illustrated, with Sidney Paget's ...more
Apr 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Sure there's the odd weak story here, but the gems more than balance them out. The whole of the canonical short stories. Good notes too. OK, there're cheaper PB editions but this is for the ACD geek. Get the annotated novels too. ...more
Sep 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
(Note: this review addresses editor Leslie S. Klinger's essays, annotations, and appendices rather than Doyle's works. For my reviews of the individual Holmes novels, please see my separate entry for each particular book.)

When I reviewed The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes: The Novels , I said I'd save the bulk of my comments for this review, but I now find that I mostly said it all already. These two volumes have the same strengths and weaknesses as their companion: background, context, arcane
Crystal Ellyson
Jun 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Love this book!!!!!!!!
Aug 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
I read pretty much all of the Sherlock Holmes short stories years ago when my children were little. I started out with the most famous, "The Hound of the Baskervilles" and could not get through it, found it difficult reading, dry, etc. At that point in my life, to keep my adult brain nourished; my goal was to pick a new author or genre of literature and read all that I could of that author or new genre during a year. Well, Holmes was what I had chosen to stretch myself and I was determined to fi ...more
Nov 04, 2008 rated it really liked it
How can you not say you like Sherlock Holmes? Annotated by a member of the Baker Street Irregulars, this tome was bound to be informative and strange at the same time. One of the things that came to the forefront to me repeatedly on this read-through was how strangely different life was just 100 years ago. It is easy to delude ourselves into believing that we can understand people of the Victorian age (it certainly is a popular time for people to talk about / emulate), but their attitudes on jus ...more
Jul 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sherlock, holmes
This is an item distinct from The Complete Sherlock Holmes already on my shelf. If you have not read all of Sherlock Holmes already, read the un-annotated version. That done, this is the place to turn if you want to know more about the great detective. It contains an amazing amount of added material, going far beyond the classic annotated edition from the mid-20th century. I really appreciate the detailed explanations of Victorian era terms with which I am unfamiliar (such as antimacassar), and ...more
Jul 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
i am giving 5 stars to the conan doyle stories-- not to this particular annotated collection. i read an annotated holmes once years ago that was much better than this. this version has an annoying conceit of pretending that "watson" actually wrote the stories and conan doyle was merely his literary agent. while many of the annotations supply some interesting information about items common to victorian england but obscure to the modern reader, the inanity of the notes' pretense of reality far out ...more
Dec 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned
Decided to take on the reading of the complete canon of Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes and Dr. James Watson. I'm very glad to have done so via the annotated versions (this is the first of three volumes). The annotated versions allow you to understand archaic Victorian terms and context of the stories - which is incredibly handy and makes thorough understanding of the stories possible. I can't wait to start on volume 2! ...more
Niklas Pivic
Mar 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Finally. Finished.

The annotations are worth the price as a whole, totally. Despite the original writings being filled with racistic, nationalistic, anti-feministic and insane values, The Canon is still enjoyable, if one is able to see past these things. It's a brilliant collection, and I firmly recommend it. "The Case-book of Sherlock Holmes" is a bit dodgy as it's written at the very end of The Canon, when Conan Doyle basically wanted to stop writing about Holmes, which is very evident.
Ann O'Connell
Jun 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I found this treasure at the library. While, I will finish before its due date, I will purchase because of its value as a reference. The annotation format is 360 degree enrichment. Lots of great illustrations and social history gems that will make you a Baker Street aficionado. (I was lukewarm about the author until I discovered this volume)

I would love to find an annotation edition for all of the classics.
Jun 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
I last read the Holmes books as a child. So after reading the first couple of novels on my DS I decided to purchase the Annotated versions. It took several months to get through as these two contain all 56 original short stories along with an untold number of annotations. The annotations definitely added to my knowledge of Holmes arcana as well as that of Victorian England. While not for everyone, anyone who has read and enjoyed the Holmes books will enjoy these.
Feb 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Probably deserves four stars, but Sherlock Holmes has a special place in my heart. The footnotes are mostly good, and the accompanying essays run the gamut from odd and somewhat interesting to pretty boring. The Baker Street Irregulars are a weird bunch (and happily so, I imagine). As much as I love Holmes and Watson, the stories are uneven and often absurd (and a bit dated). That said, the care and effort put into this version is astounding and worthy of five stars.
Apr 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Awesome!! As a dedicated Sherlockian I cannot recomend this set high enough.The research alone that went into these 3 volumes must have taken years. Not to mention the stories themselves. There are very few books ever written that people still read for pleasure that are this old. I give this twelve stars out of five.
Apr 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Are you a complete nerd? Do you read detective stories and come away confused by the details, wondering just what all of Holmes' offhand comments meant in the vernacular, and where they originated? Do you care that Conan Doyle made hundreds, nay, thousands of little, tiny, meaningless mistakes in his novels? This is the annotated collection for you, chum! ...more
Aug 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery, literature
If you like the Sherlock stories then this is a very good book to read them from, it is filled with a biography of Arthur C Doyle, tidbits and explanations of things that were once common knowledge and time lines and time line errors. It is also filled with many illustrations from the various publications.
Oct 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I don't actually own thes books, so I check them out of the library EVERY time I am home. They're pretty much the definitive Sherlock Holmes texts. Not only do they have notes on the historical details, but readers are also exposed to the wide variety of Sherlockian theories, ranging from analysis of the story-telling, contradicting details, and speculation regarding untold tales. ...more
Nov 12, 2012 added it
Fantastic presentation of favourite stories. I was perhaps looking for a bit more depth to the annotations as there's too much explanation of things which are obvious to UK inhabitants. I was hoping for a bit of cross-referencing of stories, theories etc.

Still, I'll read this edition again and again. Now to save up for volume 3 - the novels.
Liam Guilar
Dec 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The rating is for the edition not the stories. There's something gloriously nuts about it. Take a fictional character, pretend he's real, and then argue over ways of sorting out the discrepancies. The stories stand alone, but the annotations are worth the price of entry. And the amount of odd information that gets thrown up would keep the average trivia fanatic happy for months. ...more
Nov 03, 2007 rated it it was amazing
yes, i did read all of these. all of them. from an earlier publication though that my grandfather had given me. I loved them then, and I'm sure i'd feel the same way now if i ever find the time to read them again. ...more
Nov 27, 2007 rated it really liked it
I haven't read every story in these volumes, but I have read the majority. Of the ones I've read, the majority are extremely clever and engaging. A minority lean toward tedious or boring, but they can be easily overlooked. ...more
Scott Clark
Jan 02, 2008 rated it really liked it
The stories and illustrations are great. The annotations, from the universe of "Holmes was real, Watson really wrote the stories, and Conan Doyle..." well, I can't remember what Conan Doyle's supposed role in all this was, but the annotations are twisted. ...more
Apr 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I learned so much about Sir Arthur Conan Dowle and Sherlock Holmes in a 1 credit course I took during my freshman year at Drexel. The professor really made the stories come alive for us and the class discussions were awesome.
Jan 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing
wonderful. and don't let the size and depth put you off. this, as well as the longer stories volume, are fun and exciting and interesting reads from front to back. I also keep these books by the side of my desk as i pick them up all the time. ...more
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Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was born the third of ten siblings on 22 May 1859 in Edinburgh, Scotland. His father, Charles Altamont Doyle, a talented illustrator, was born in England of Irish descent, and his mother, born Mary Foley, was Irish. They were married in 1855.

Although he is now referred to as "Conan Doyle", the origin of this compound surname (if that is how he meant it to be understood) is u

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