Today is a scheduled Entertainment blog day. Instead of just droning on about how I love this show or that, I’m going to change pace a bit.
Over the past year or so, I have been reading physical books as well as listening to audio books while in my car. This allows me to get through my vast “to read” library, as well as using the otherwise idle time in my car to full advantage. I’ve read quite a few books this way over the past year:
- God Emperor of Dune
- Heretics of Dune
- Chapterhouse Dune
- Hunters of Dune
- Sandworms of Dune
- The Butlerian Jihad
- The Machine Crusade
- The Battle of Corrin
- Ender’s Game
- Speaker for the Dead
- Children of the Mind
- Ender’s Shadow
- Shadow of the Hegemon
- Shadow Puppets
- Shadow of the Giant
As you can plainly see, I have been using my time wisely while driving. Though most sessions are a few minutes here, a few minutes there, I am able to get through a few books in short order. This is a freedom I would never be allowed if I were to have to sit and read a physical book.
One thing that I love most about audio books is when an audio book is properly executed by a great actor. Throughout the 4 novels and 56 short stories, the same reader did an admirable job at all the voices and characters that were involved. The characters of Holmes & Watson are completely believable in their mannerisms, and it is apparent that the reader did in fact do his homework and practiced a good bit to bring such a polished narrative to my ears.
The four novels and fifty-six short stories that I heard are considered the “canon” of the Holmes adventures, written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle himself.
This massive set of adventures is truly some of the most remarkable writing I have had the pleasure to know. I am completely astounded that these works fell under my radar for so long, and only wished that I had encountered them earlier in life.
A description of Sherlock Holmes is surely not needed to anyone on the planet who enjoys novels, or even the radio and television adaptations of said novels. It is readily apparent to me that there have been so many derivative characters made from this one person, that it seems the crime novel genre has been seeded by these early works.
The only thing wrong with reading these is that I now have an even higher standard when looking for a good detective novel for listening on a long trip. There is so much drivel out there, and I’ve come across far too many audio books that I’ve listened to the first CD of, and completely abandoned it after hearing the poor writing style of the author.
I know I’ve become a snob about such things, but writing is hard. In writing my own novels, I know that it takes a lot of work, research, and dedication to produce something that is not entirely meaningless. I’m sure it’s hard to not pander to the lower intellects out there, but true writers have been doing it for years, and I see no reason to stoop to the level of the “average” American.
All diatribes aside, if you have a chance to read or listen to the vast collection of the Sherlock Holmes saga, I think you should take that chance, and you surely will not regret it. Possibly the best fiction that I have had the pleasure to know in my entire life.
Next, I will be turning my attentions to yet another set of classics:
Though I have read these in the past, it has been a very long time. I think I will enjoy these as much as anything else I have read in recent times. Expect reviews of each in the future.