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The Sign of Four: A Sherlock Holmes Novel by…
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The Sign of Four: A Sherlock Holmes Novel (original 1890; edition 2009)

by Arthur Conan Doyle Sir, Simon Prebble (Narrator)

Series: Sherlock Holmes (2)

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4,2361402,120 (3.78)261
A beautiful young woman seeks the help of Holmes and Watson when the mysterious benefactor who has been sending her a pearl each year since her father disappeared wants to meet her. Involved are a priceless hoard of Indian treasure and a murderer whose trademark is "the sign of four."
Member:lescollins42
Title:The Sign of Four: A Sherlock Holmes Novel
Authors:Arthur Conan Doyle Sir
Other authors:Simon Prebble (Narrator)
Info:Tantor Media (2009), Edition: Unabridged, Audio CD
Collections:Your library
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The Sign of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle (1890)

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Showing 1-5 of 125 (next | show all)
After being disappointed with "A Study in Scarlet", I decided to tackle a second Holmes novel in the hopes that things would improve. Sadly, they didn't. I'm not beaten yet - I'll be attempting "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" as my next train-to-work novel - but so far, this doesn't do anything for me.

There are some good elements here: Holmes of course is an enjoyable response to the crime fiction that existed at the time. His methods of deduction, while sometimes ponderous, are always clever. Unfortunately, there's very little else to be said for this book.

Watson continues to be an uninteresting narrator; the supporting characters are mostly forgettable, with the exception (oddly) of the police characters, who so far I have found pleasant; and Holmes himself, as many other reviewers seem to note, is at his least likeable here. Obviously, we're supposed to be somewhat confounded by his aloof personality, but his treatment of other members of the human race is extremely off-putting. Like the 2000s versions - Dr. House, etc. - it's supposedly tempered by his desire to help the innocent and fearful, but really the fact that he only seems to have a heart for small children just leads me to assume he is a sociopath.

And then there is the mystery itself: here, Conan Doyle reveals himself as mostly a pulp writer, it seems. Like "A Study in Scarlet", this mystery is decidedly outlandish: cannibalistic midgets, wooden legs, etc, etc. Yes it's escapism and I accept that, but the problem is these mysteries are almost tailor-made for Sherlock Holmes. No human being could possibly be expected to guess from a simple murder that it involved so many elaborate contrivances and foreign devils. It seems strange to say it, but if Holmes could instead investigate a (complex) drawing-room mystery or the like, I might be drawn into the work more, as this would require him to piece together clues within my human scope of comprehension. I'm not asking for an easy mystery, just one that has more of a human element.

Anyway, I'll be interested to continue reading the Holmes books (although I may slow down, as I do have the rest of my life), and perhaps find out why he has become such a mythical figure! ( )
  therebelprince | Oct 5, 2021 |
Despite the overall plot carrying over the main thread of [b:A Study in Scarlet|102868|A Study in Scarlet (Sherlock Holmes, #1)|Arthur Conan Doyle|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1348362236s/102868.jpg|1997473] (longstanding revenge), this story deepens the characters of both Holmes and Watson, and provides a decent story along the way.

Seriously, has there ever been a cooler guy than Sherlock? ( )
  TobinElliott | Sep 3, 2021 |
Crawling around on roofs, Sherlock? Really? You're going to fall off and break your neck. ( )
  Conni_W | Jul 7, 2021 |
Another excellent Holmes and Watson adventure. As with the Study in Scarlet it's something I've read over and over through the years, and always quite enjoy. ( )
  TCLinrow | Mar 17, 2021 |
Another excellent Holmes and Watson adventure. As with the Study in Scarlet it's something I've read over and over through the years, and always quite enjoy. ( )
  TCLinrow | Mar 17, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 125 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (83 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Doyle, Arthur Conanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ackroyd, PeterIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Clarke, DavidNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Del Buono , OresteContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Freeman, MartinIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fry, StephenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gallone, MariaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Glinert, EdEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grinham, G.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gutschmidt, RichardIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jacobi, DerekNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kerr, Charles H.M.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Korhonen, JussiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Penzler, OttoIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Roden, ChristopherEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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First words
Sherlock Holmes took his bottle from the corner of the mantelpiece, and his hypodermic syringe from its neat morocco case.
Sherlock Holmes took his bottle from the corner of the mantel-piece and his hypodermic syringe from its neat moracco case.
Quotations
"What is it today," I asked, "morphine or cocaine?"
"No, no: I never guess. It is a shocking habit - destructive to the logical faculty."
"While the individual man is an insoluble puzzle, in the aggregate he becomes a mathematical certainty. You can, for example, never foretell what any one man will do, but you can say with precision what an average number will be up to. Individuals vary, but percentages remain constant."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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This is the main work for The Sign of Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It should not be combined with any adaptation, abridgement, larger work, etc.
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Wikipedia in English (3)

A beautiful young woman seeks the help of Holmes and Watson when the mysterious benefactor who has been sending her a pearl each year since her father disappeared wants to meet her. Involved are a priceless hoard of Indian treasure and a murderer whose trademark is "the sign of four."

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary
"A locked-room murder,
priceless treasure? Business as
usual, Watson!"
(passion4reading)

Legacy Library: Arthur Conan Doyle

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Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140439072, 0141034378, 0241952964

Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

» Publisher information page

Urban Romantics

2 editions of this book were published by Urban Romantics.

Editions: 1909175277, 1909175285

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

» Publisher information page

 

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