Top positive review
The Absolute Best COMPLETE Sherlock Holmes Collection!
Reviewed in the United States on October 22, 2015
Remember to look closely at the cover of all these "complete" Sherlock Holmes books. With the wonders of capitalistically fueled competition, each edition of all 4 novels and 56 short stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is beginning to look more and more similar. Not all are created quite as equal as one would think, however. Read on to find out more.
In my quest to find the holy grail of Sherlock Holmes literature, aka; THE definitive collection of original, Conan Doyle penned stories, I actually ended up buying (and reading and rereading) 3 different versions. My assessment of all 3 is as follows:
1 - Sherlock Holmes: The Ultimate Collection - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DCD53C2/ref=x_gr_w_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwgoodco-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00DCD53C2&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2)
* This is a perfectly adequate collection. It DOES include all 4 novels and 56 short stories, but the book is all text, with no real illustrations to speak of. When I first purchased it as an ebook, it did NOT include all the stories, but before I was even finished reading it, a simple Kindle update added all the rest, making it certifiably "complete." So if you see a review of The Ultimate Collection that says it isn't complete, it's probably just an old review. At any rate, the "Film and Television Adaptations" and Beyond the Canon" synopsis sections at the end of the book are also included, but do not appear in the other Sherlock Holmes collections. Kindle formatting isn't so good in this one, however, unfortunately. Individual story/chapters aren't easily accessible from the drop down menu, as they are in other collected SH books. My five star rating is for the writing itself, which is of course, practically peerless.
2 - The Complete Sherlock Holmes: Volumes 1-4 (The Heirloom Collection) - http://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B007PT1PEY?redirect=true&ref_=cm_cr_ryp_prd_ttl_sol_0
* The Heirloom Collection isn't the absolute best compendium of SH stories, but it is extremely good. Most importantly, it does contain all 4 novels and 56 short stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, though not always in the exact same order as other editions -- making it a little confusing, when comparing different editions, to determine if all the stories are actually included (and they really are). Design wise, the graphic presentation (font choices, layout, etc) of this "heirloom edition" is superb -- making it clearly better in that regard than perhaps any of the "complete" Sherlock Holmes books currently available. The color illustrations aren't bad either, but there really aren't all that many for such a large book, filled with so many classic tales. Good Kindle formatting overall, but not as good as it could have been.
3 - The Complete Sherlock Holmes (Illustrated) (Top Five Classics Book 17) - http://www.amazon.com/gp/search/ref=x_gr_w_bb?keywords=9781938938160&index=books&linkCode=qs&tag=httpwwwgoodco-20
* This is the one actually being reviewed here. And it's the absolute best of the three, in my opinion. This Top Five Classics edition includes all 4 novels and 56 short stories by Arthur Conan Doyle. Kindle formatting is superb, and best of all, most (if not all) of the classic illustrations that accompanied the original, first run publication of each story are included. Some short stories even have up to three separate illustrations! Pretty much all of the plates are reproduced in pencil/pen & ink drawn black and white, but the quality of the artwork is vastly superior to what appears in most other SH collections.
So for my money, the Top Five Classics edition (#3) is hands down the very best one currently available. Wish I'd known that before I purchased all three, but none of these collections were much more than $3 to $6 each, and the Sherlock Holmes: The Ultimate Collection was only 99 cents! So if you don't care about illustrations, design quality, or good Kindle formatting, then you can certainly save a few bucks by choosing that particular version of the book (see #1 above). On a final note, The Adventure of the Cardboard Box IS included in the Top Five Classics book, but appears in The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes novel, as opposed to other editions that include it in the collected short story novel, His Last Bow. It's a little confusing at first, with so many "adventures" to keep track of, but rest assured, the Cardboard Box and all the rest really ARE there. So the game's afoot, no matter which edition you choose, but personally, if I had to do it all over again, I'd probably just buy the Top Five Classics edition.