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Book Review: The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes: The Novels (Vol. 3) by Arthur Conan Doyle

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Sherlock Holmes 3Unless the printers scrambled the text — or used up all their black ink halfway through the press run—or pulled some other, truly weird boner, there’s no point in reviewing Sherlock Holmes for the 4,782,346,912,232nd time. (I counted all previous reviews. If you don’t believe me, count them yourself.)

In lieu of criticism, then, I will just note that this latest from W.W. Norton could have been the last word in the print career of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes. The only things the publisher hasn’t done with this edition are to annotate and footnote the annotations, gild all the page edges, and put the three volumes into full-color, hand-tooled, leather bindings, with slip-case illustrations drawn by Frank Frazetta. I suppose the folks at Norton felt they had to leave a few things undone. Their friends at The Folio Society also have kids to feed.

In any event, because I am 64 years old this is the LAST Sherlock Holmes book by Conan Doyle I will ever buy. After I see the new movie with Jude Law and little what’s-his-name, Jr., the money I laid out for these books is the LAST money I will ever spend on Sherlock Holmes.

Unless they make another movie.

Solomon sez: Buy this annotated set (3 volumes) if you like beautiful books or if you want to know all that’s worth knowing about Sherlock Holmes. Either way, you won’t get hurt. The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes (New York: W.W. Norton & Company; 3 vols., 2006. $39.95 ea.)

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