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The Hound of the Baskervilles (1902)

by Arthur Conan Doyle

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Sherlock Holmes (5)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
13,164261357 (3.94)3 / 488
In this, one of the most famous of Doyle's mysteries, the tale of an ancient curse and a savage ghostly hound comes frighteningly to life. The gray towers of Baskerville Hall and the wild open country of Dartmoor will haunt the reader as Holmes and Watson seek to unravel the many secrets ofthe misty English bogs.… (more)
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English (233)  Spanish (10)  Portuguese (Portugal) (3)  Czech (2)  Dutch (2)  German (2)  Swedish (2)  Danish (2)  Italian (2)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Hebrew (1)  French (1)  All languages (261)
Showing 1-5 of 233 (next | show all)
Sir Charles Baskerville has just died on his Dartmoor estate, seemingly the victim of a generations-old curse on the Baskervilles and the giant hound that haunts the moor. His heir, Sir Henry Baskerville, is due to arrive to take possession of the estate, and the neighborhood doctor fears for his life. Sherlock Holmes sends Watson to accompany Sir Henry to Baskerville Hall and to keep watch over him while Holmes attends to urgent business in London. As if a ghostly beast wasn’t enough, an escaped convict is also loose somewhere on the moor. Watson does his best in Holmes’s absence, but it will take the great detective to put an end to the curse.

All of the story elements work together to create one of the most memorable mysteries ever written. Baskerville Hall and Dartmoor are described so vividly that I could imagine I was actually there. I would recognize the characters on the street from the thorough descriptions of their physical characteristics and mannerisms. The atmosphere is a perfect blend of horror, suspense, and intrigue, with just a dash of humor. I regret that I had only one chance to experience this book for the first time, and this wasn’t it. Re-readings can’t recapture the thrill of the first time around. ( )
  cbl_tn | Feb 3, 2022 |
Some books have such a grip on the popular imagination that it is easy to fall under the mistaken impression that you know them very well. One such novel is certainly Conan Doyle's “The Hound of the Baskervilles”, in which the great “consulting detective” Sherlock Holmes solves the mystery of a spectral hound haunting the scions of a wealthy family on the bleak Devon moors.

I vaguely recall reading “The Hound of the Baskervilles” in my early teens. Fresh from a week’s stay in Dartmoor, I returned to it, and was surprised to discover that my impressions of the novel were based less on my recollections than on misconceptions and second-hand retellings.

For one thing, at the very beginning of the book I noticed an element of what could only be “self-parody”. Consider the following extract from the opening chapter, which led me to double-check whether I was reading the original text or a spoof:

I stood upon the hearth-rug and picked up the stick which our visitor had left behind him the night before...
"Well, Watson, what do you make of it?"
Holmes was sitting with his back to me, and I had given him no sign of my occupation.
"How did you know what I was doing? I believe you have eyes in the back of your head."
"I have, at least, a well-polished, silver-plated coffee-pot in front of me," said he.


Although the setting of the story is before Holmes’s presumed death at the Reichenbach Falls in (what should have been) his “Final Problem”, the Hound of the Baskervilles was the work in which Holmes returned to print after an absence of eight years to appease the public clamour for a new adventure featuring the seemingly omniscient detective. Conan Doyle’s playful opening scene might be poking fun not only at his own characters but also at the public’s obsession with his creation.

I was also surprised at the fact that, for the greater part of the novel, Watson is the protagonist. Certainly, the “presence” of Holmes hovers over each chapter, but putting Watson in the foreground gives the book a particular flavour. As Anthony Lejeune puts it in his foreword to this Capuchin Classics edition, you can stereotype Holmes but not Watson. It also makes this more of an “adventure story” than a “puzzle-solving” crime novel.

The most striking fact about Doyle’s “little book” however is how much it owes to the Gothic genre. Whilst most Holmes stories have a gothic element, this is generally of the Dickensian “London” type, where evil is battled in foggy city streets. Here however we’re in the classic territory of solitary country mansions, nightly terrors, eerie moorland, mires which entrap unwary men and beasts, escaped convicts, femmes fatales, family curses and, to top it all, a giant ghostly hound with flaring nostrils. And although the final neat (yet complex) solution explains away the supernatural trappings (as is typical of that strand of “rationalistic” Gothic which runs from Ann Radcliffe to Scooby-Doo), the brooding sense of fear and dread is difficult to shake off and gives the novel its distinctive aftertaste.

This is an undisputed classic. ( )
  JosephCamilleri | Jan 1, 2022 |
Here's what I wrote after reading in 1984: "Good Sherlock Homes. Don't we wish, just a bit, that the hound would have some supernatural master rather than a cold-blooded, aspiring human one?" Here's a suitable summarizing comment on NYPL posting: "With its atmospheric setting on the ancient, wild moorland and its savage apparition, The Hound of the Baskervilles is one of the greatest crime novels ever written. Rationalism is pitted against the supernatural and good against evil as Sherlock Holmes sets out to defeat a foe almost his equal." ( )
  MGADMJK | Dec 10, 2021 |
Yeah its pretty good, there were times when it was 4 stars but dropped a bit in the latter stages.
I thought i'd like this better than the short Holmes stories as a lot of those tend to lack much characterization. It started off strong but when your 2/3's of the way through you realise not much has really happened. I mean until near the end the only proof of a crime is the fact that this is a detective story :P .
It doesn't help that the characters keep telling you that they're facing some sort of supercriminal. This isn't Moriarty or [b:Fantômas|657537|Fantômas (Fantômas, #1)|Marcel Allain|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1360736584s/657537.jpg|643625] or something. Also its hard not to guess a few of the details due to the cultural absorption of the tale.

Listened to an excellent reading by 'David Clarke' on LibriVox. ( )
  wreade1872 | Nov 28, 2021 |
This must be at least the third, and maybe as much as the fifth time I've read this novel. And damn if it simply doesn't just get better with each re-read.

I've enjoyed all of the Holmes cases up to this point—some, obviously more than others—but none as much as this one. The atmosphere of Grimpen Mire, of the home of the Baskervilles, the puzzle of the Stapletons...all of it. It all works, and it works so well.

With a bunch of books still left to read in the Doyle series of Holmes and Watson adventures, I don't believe any of them will match this one. ( )
  TobinElliott | Sep 3, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 233 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (220 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Doyle, Arthur Conanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Auld, WilliamTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bawden, EdwardIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
BrugueraEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Case, DavidNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cumberbatch, BenedictIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Davies, David IanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Erné, NinoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kankaanpää, JaakkoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Martinez, SergioIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mosley, FrancisIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nordberg, NilsTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nordberg, NilsIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Paget, SidneyIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pendleton, DonIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Penzler, OttoIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Perry, AnneAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prebble, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Robson, W. W.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sánchez Sanz, RamiroTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Timson, DavidNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tull, PatrickNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vast, Joséphinesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vestdijk, SimonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weilin, YrjöTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
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This story owes its inception to my friend, Mr Fletcher Robinson, who has helped me both in the general plot and in the local details
First words
Mr. Sherlock Holmes, who was usually very late in the mornings, save upon those not infrequent occasions when he was up all night, was seated at the breakfast table.
Quotations
A long, low moan, indescribably sad, swept over the moor. It filled the whole air, and yet it was impossible to say whence it came. From a dull murmur it swelled into a deep roar, and then sank back into a melancholy, throbbing murmur once again. Stapleton looked at me with a curious expression in his face.

"Queer place, the moor!" said he.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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This is the main work for The Hound of the Baskervilles. Please do not combine it with any abridgement, adaptation, omnibus containing additional works, etc.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

In this, one of the most famous of Doyle's mysteries, the tale of an ancient curse and a savage ghostly hound comes frighteningly to life. The gray towers of Baskerville Hall and the wild open country of Dartmoor will haunt the reader as Holmes and Watson seek to unravel the many secrets ofthe misty English bogs.

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Book description
In one of the greatest mystery thrillers ever written, Sherlock Homes unravels the case of the Hound of the Baskervilles. Holmes and his companion Dr. Watson travel to the wilds of Dartmoor, England, to discover the truth behind the death of Sir Charles Baskerville. Did he die of natural causes? Or could he have fallen victim to the family curse, a ghostly hound? This abridgment for younger readers captures the atmosphere of fear and unease that pervades the novel like the fog over the moor. It also conveys the fascinating character and the humorous eccentricities of Sherlock Holmes, the world's greatest detective. Fact-filled columns and pages explore the background to the story, the history of detection, the life of the author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and the lasting influence of his great creation, Sherlock Holmes.
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Penguin Australia

6 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0451528018, 014043786X, 0141034327, 0141195223, 0241952875, 0141199172

Candlewick Press

An edition of this book was published by Candlewick Press.

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Tantor Media

3 editions of this book were published by Tantor Media.

Editions: 1400102650, 1400108977, 1400115159

Urban Romantics

2 editions of this book were published by Urban Romantics.

Editions: 1909175021, 190917503X

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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