The Hound of the Baskervilles

The Hound of the Baskervilles

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Overview

Introduction by Laurie R. King
 
The most famous of the Sherlock Holmes stories, The Hound of the Baskervilles features the phantom dog of Dartmoor, which, according to an ancient legend, has haunted the Baskervilles for generations. When Sir Charles Baskerville dies suddenly of a heart attack on the grounds of the family’s estate, the locals are convinced that the spectral hound is responsible, and Holmes is called in. “Conan Doyle triumphed and triumphed deservedly,” G. K. Chesterton wrote, “because he took his art seriously, because he lavished a hundred little touches of real knowledge and genuine picturesqueness on the police novelette.”

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780812966060
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/08/2002
Series: Modern Library Classics Series
Edition description: MODERN LIB
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 512,207
Product dimensions: 7.80(w) x 5.18(h) x 0.47(d)
Age Range: 12 Years

About the Author

Laurie R. King is the New York Times bestselling author of twelve Mary Russell mysteries (one of which, The Moor, was inspired in part by The Hound of the Baskervilles), five contemporary novels featuring Kate Martinelli, and the acclaimed novels A Darker Place, Folly, Keeping Watch, and Touchstone. She lives in Northern California.

Date of Birth:

May 22, 1859

Date of Death:

July 7, 1930

Place of Birth:

Edinburgh, Scotland

Place of Death:

Crowborough, Sussex, England

Education:

Edinburgh University, B.M., 1881; M.D., 1885

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER I
Mr. Sherlock Holmes

Mr. Sherlock Holmes, who was usually very late in the mornings, save upon those not infrequent occasions when he stayed up all night, was seated at the breakfast table. I stood upon the hearth-rug and picked up the stick which our visitor had left behind him the night before. It was a fine, thick piece of wood, bulbous-headed, of the sort which is known as a “Penang lawyer.” Just under the head was a broad silver band, nearly an inch across. “To James Mortimer, M.R.C.S., from his friends of the C.C.H.,” was engraved upon it, with the date “1884.” It was just such a stick as the old-fashioned family practitioner used to carry—dignified, solid, and reassuring. “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. “But, tell me, Watson, what do you make of our visitor’s stick? Since we have been so unfortunate as to miss him and have no notion of his errand, this accidental souvenir becomes of importance. Let me hear you reconstruct the man by an examination of it.” “I think,” said I, following so far as I could the methods of my companion, “that Dr. Mortimer is a successful elderly medical man, well-esteemed, since those who know him give him this mark of their appreciation.” “Good!” said Holmes. “Excellent!” “I think also that the probability is in favour of his being a country practitioner who does a great deal of his visiting on foot.” “Why so?” “Because this stick, though originally a very handsome one, has been so knocked about that I can hardly imagine a town practitioner carrying it. The thick iron ferrule is worn down, so it is evident that he has done a great amount of walking with it.” “Perfectly sound!” said Holmes. “And then again, there is the ‘friends of the C.C.H.’ I should guess that to be the Something Hunt, the local hunt to whose members he has possibly given some surgical assistance, and which has made him a small presentation in return.” “Really, Watson, you excel yourself,” said Holmes, pushing back his chair and lighting a cigarette. “I am bound to say that in all the accounts which you have been so good as to give of my own small achievements you have habitually underrated your own abilities. It may be that you are not yourself luminous, but you are a conductor of light. Some people without possessing genius have a remarkable power of stimulating it. I confess, my dear fellow, that I am very much in your debt.” He had never said as much before, and I must admit that his words gave me keen pleasure, for I had often been piqued by his indifference to my admiration and to the attempts which I had made to give publicity to his methods. I was proud, too, to think that I had so far mastered his system as to apply it in a way which earned his approval. He now took the stick from my hands and examined it for a few minutes with his naked eyes. Then, with an expression of interest, he laid down his cigarette, and, carrying the cane to the window, he looked over it again with a convex lens. “Interesting, though elementary,” said he, as he returned to his favourite corner of the settee. “There are certainly one or two indications upon the stick. It gives us the basis for several deductions.” “Has anything escaped me?” I asked, with some self-importance. “I trust that there is nothing of consequence which I have overlooked?” “I am afraid, my dear Watson, that most of your conclusions were erroneous. When I said that you stimulated me I meant, to be frank, that in noting your fallacies I was occasionally guided towards the truth. Not that you are entirely wrong in this instance. The man is certainly a country practitioner. And he walks a good deal.” “Then I was right.” “To that extent.” “But that was all.” “No, no, my dear Watson, not all—by no means all. I would suggest, for example, that a presentation to a doctor is more likely to come from an hospital than from a hunt, and that when the initials ‘C.C.’ are placed before that hospital the words ‘Charing Cross’ very naturally suggest themselves.” “You may be right.” “The probability lies in that direction. And if we take this as a working hypothesis we have a fresh basis from which to start our construction of this unknown visitor.” “Well, then, supposing that ‘C.C.H.’ does stand for ‘Charing Cross Hospital,’ what further inferences may we draw?” “Do none suggest themselves? You know my methods. Apply them!” “I can only think of the obvious conclusion that the man has practised in town before going to the country.” “I think that we might venture a little farther than this. Look at it in this light. On what occasion would it be most probable that such a presentation would be made? When would his friends unite to give him a pledge of their good will? Obviously at the moment when Dr. Mortimer withdrew from the service of the hospital in order to start in practice for himself. We know there has been a presentation. We believe there has been a change from a town hospital to a country practice. Is it, then, stretching our inference too far to say that the presentation was on the occasion of the change?” “It certainly seems probable.” “Now, you will observe that he could not have been on the staff of the hospital, since only a man well-established in a London practice could hold such a position, and such a one would not drift into the country. What was he, then? If he was in the hospital and yet not on the staff, he could only have been a house-surgeon or a house-physician—little more than a senior student. And he left five years ago—the date is on the stick. So your grave, middle-aged family practitioner vanishes into thin air, my dear Watson, and there emerges a young fellow under thirty, amiable, unambitious, absent-minded, and the possessor of a favourite dog, which I should describe roughly as being larger than a terrier and smaller than a mastiff.” I laughed incredulously as Sherlock Holmes leaned back in his settee and blew little wavering rings of smoke up to the ceiling. “As to the latter part, I have no means of checking you,” said I, “but at least it is not difficult to find out a few particulars about the man’s age and professional career.” From my small medical shelf I took down the Medical Directory and turned up the name. There were several Mortimers, but only one who could be our visitor. I read his record aloud. “Mortimer, James, M.R.C.S., 1882, Grimpen, Dartmoor,Devon. House surgeon, from 1882 to 1884, at Charing Cross Hospital. Winner of the Jackson Prize for Comparative Pathology, with essay entitled ‘Is Disease a Reversion?’ Corresponding member of the Swedish Pathological Society. Author of ‘Some Freaks of Atavism’ (Lancet, 1882). ‘Do We Progress? (Journal of Psychology, March, 1883). Medical Officer for the parishes of Grimpen, Thorsley, and High Barrow.” “No mention of that local hunt, Watson,” said Holmes, with a mischievous smile, “but a country doctor, as you very astutely observed. I think that I am fairly justified in my inferences. As to the adjectives, I said, if I remember right, amiable, unambitious, and absent-minded. It is my experience that it is only an amiable man in this world who receives testimonials, only an unambitious one who abandons a London career for the country, and only an absent-minded one who leaves his stick and not his visiting-card after waiting an hour in your room.” “And the dog?” “Has been in the habit of carrying this stick behind his master. Being a heavy stick the dog has held it tightly by the middle, and the marks of his teeth are very plainly visible. The dog’s jaw, as shown in the space between these marks, is too broad in my opinion for a terrier and not broad enough for a mastiff. It may have been—yes, by Jove, it is a curly-haired spaniel.” He had risen and paced the room as he spoke. Now he halted in the recess of the window. There was such a ring of conviction in his voice that I glanced up in surprise. “My dear fellow, how can you possibly be so sure of that?”

Table of Contents

The great detective -- Legend of the hound -- A dangerous game -- Baskerville Hall -- Mystery on the moor -- The hound's next victim -- Holmes closes in -- Death on the moor.

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"Simon Prebble gives an expert reading of both of these works.... Listeners will be spellbound by Conan Doyle's masterful plots and Prebble's captivating narration." —-AudioFile

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The Hound of the Baskervilles 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 164 reviews.
pod49 More than 1 year ago
Before there was CSI and the magic of solving a crime in less than 60 minutes we had Sherlock Holmes. This was always my favorite Sherlock Holmes story and the most scary Holmes book I ever read. Many movies were made from this book, but if you want the real deal, without the interpetations, you have to read the book. Plenty of atmosphere in a Holmes book, with a little imagination you can find yourself knocking on the door at 221B Baker street with a curious matter that needs Mr. Holmes attention. R Hemingway
dandubovoy More than 1 year ago
The book by Arthur Conan Doyle, The Hound of the Baskervilles would make a reader very entertained, scared, and relieved in the end. It starts off slow and later hooks the reader to the point that you don’t want to stop reading. When the plot unfolds the person reading will sit and read until the end, it is truly a great detective book. The use of the language can be hard at times, however if using a dictionary it wont be hard. The book starts at 221B Baker St where Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson live. Watson finds a walking stick with a bite mark in the middle from a dog. Later there is a man telling the two men that there is a curse on the Baskerville family, and a mysterious hound is killing the family members for decades. The plot gets more interesting when the reader finds out that recently the hound kills one of the members of the family. There is more to tell, but my job is to write what I think about the book. This book should be read by people of all ages, even adults. It is truly a great mystery fiction novel about friendship and knowledge. If you are looking for something that is not huge and something that can keep you interested look no further. Meanwhile I will go back to reading it again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing!!! Highly recommended!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am 12 years old, sixth grade. I am reading this book in my literature circles. Although I am only about half way through the book, I can definately say it is a great book. We have to read 9 novels by the end of the year (we only get to choose from a certain pile of nine books) and i have to admit, this was one of my last picks, i was really hesitant to read it. I have now learned that i do not only like girl stories and romance novels among funny books, but now i have been exposed to a whole nother world of literature. For this, i very much thank my teacher. Now, reguarding the actual book, I am very much enjoying it. I do have to admit that some words i need to look up, but that is easy on nook! It really grabs your attention in some parts, but sometimes, more in the beginning, you can get a little bored. Many people say that kids cannot enjoy these books, they are wrong! ~alicia s.
nick_martinez More than 1 year ago
Upon reading the first few paragraphs of the novel, I did not think I would bear reading the entire thing. It features mildly complicated vocabulary and is spoken in an English which I am not too familiar with. Yet, putting this aside I found the story to be quite interesting and even had me wanting to read the next chapter right then at some points. The mystery and suspense of the story for most parts keeps it slow-paced. But, there are scenes of the novel which display fast-paced and even violent action. Again, to my surprise the novel drew me in and kept me all the way through!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had never read any Sherlock Holmes books and that is why I chose this book to buy. It was a relatively short book compared to most. I enjoyed the descriptions and especially the dry British wit used throughout the book. My biggest "problem" with the book was the fact that it was written over 100 years ago and it took me awhile to get used to the way they talked and many of the sayings they used. I did not find it the kind of book that I can't set down until it is finished but I enjoyed it and am very glad I bought it. As a "classic" I would recommend it to those who like to try a variety of books.
heathcliffheathcliff More than 1 year ago
Highly recommended!
CCchamp93 More than 1 year ago
This book was amazing and extremely entertaining and impossible to put down. This book was very interesting and a classic mystery type and a typical Sherlock Holmes edition. The mystery was dark and morbid while the characters involved all seemed to be quite harmless, that is to the unsuspecting eye but not to Sherlock Holmes of course. He is the top authority on all mysteries and he proves it in this book with his daring antics and his amazingly acurate deductions. The vocabulary was mildly difficult, the plot was great, the authors tone was incredible. A perfect fit into the mystery genre, the clues had me thinking in circles i couldn't figure out anything untill the clues started to piece together, the book was like a puzzle the more clues you got the more the picture became clearer. I loved this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sir. Charles' mysterious death brings Dr.Mortimer to Holmes. It was during 1765 that there lived a man named Hugo Baskerville who is known in Devonshire or his wicked and evil mentality.It is said that the Baskerville clan is cursed because of Sir.Hugo Baskerville. The reason being his abduction of a peasant's daughter living in the village. A wild, savage hound ejecting fire from its mouth and body is said to have killed Hugo in the moor.The scene was so intimidating that one of revelers had died on seeing the hound.Sir Charles encloses this incident in a letter just three days before his demise so that the next heir of the Baskerville property is warned before he comes to the Baskerville hall.They find his dead body with his face down on the ground on the moor. The moor is very sparsely populated place. There is Stapleton, a naturalist living with his sister, Frankland an old man who abandoned his daughter and many small stone huts.The story gets really intriguing and probing after Sir.Henry, the only living heir after Sir. Charles arrives with Dr.Watson to the Baskerville hall.A series of very curious events happen at the hall and Dr.Watson shows his intellect in delving into the facts behind these incidents.Holmes realizes that there is human intervention in the killing of Sir.Charles when Sir.Henry is followed in London by a bearded man.He and Holmes take responsibility of his safety and save him from the curse. Arthur Conan Doyle appears to be at his best while writing this masterpiece.The suspense and the thrill of the novel starts from the very beginning itself.It is one of the best page turners I have ever read.
EnglishPeriod1 More than 1 year ago
I can recommend this book to most who enjoy the dry wit of Sherlock Holmes novels. I advise you to start with "A Letter In Scarlet" if you have not yet read it because out of his four novels you should start at the beginning. I'm happy to say the deductive reasoning and plot twists that come with all Holmes' escapades transcends into this book no less diminished. I'm not out to ruin any plot twists but you won't see them coming. You may expect one thing, but from around a corner Holmes will correct you with his cold hard decisive perceptional skills. And thats what makes it an Arthur Conan Doyle novel a shrewd parched novel devoid of emotional thoughts and feelings. This will be a safe assumption for all of the Sherlock Holmes novels.
GraceC More than 1 year ago
The Hounds of the Baskervilles is an outstanding novel. Its so well writen the story flies by with many suprises and questons here and there. In most mystorys tht I read i can guess/expect some of what is to come latter in the story, but in this story most of my guesses were wrong. What im trying to say is it is filled with some unexpected twists. Read this story anyone will like it!
sarafenix More than 1 year ago
I think it was Sherlock Holmes that taught me logical thinking and that has gotten me in trouble for quite a while!
hhornblower on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It's been a very long time since I read any of the Sherlock Holmes stories, I think I was still in grade school, and now I'm going to have to go back and read them all, just such enjoyable reading. I was surprised at how it can still bring you to the edge of your seat.
michaeldwebb on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If you look at the rest of my library you'll notice a distinct lack of classics. I read more of these when I was younger, but haven't recently. Why now? Because I read it as an eBook on my iPhone - Classics application - a few pence for a bundle of books. And it really was readable. Best thing was I could read in the dark (ie at night) with no problem.Anyway, on to the book. I've not read any Sherlock Holmes before, and, luckily, had somehow avoided catching it on TV etc, so didn't know the ending. Lets face it, some classics can feel a little, you know, worthy (?) now, but this was just thoroughly enjoyable, perfectly readable, could have been written an time. OK, the characters aren't deep, but they are deep enough for a mystery story, the setting is great, and the twists and turns still work well today. Kept me gripped to the end.
LauraS. on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"The Hound of the Baskervilles" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is quite the adventure for any mystery fans out there. The horrible howling of the hound is heard across the Moore, and all the while the family of Baskervilles falls off one by one, becoming victims of the superstitions of the the tale of the hound. The witty pair, Watson and Holmes, take the reader on a very investigative journey that leads them down many paths, all of which fall to great horrors and surprises. This book will astound you as you try to uncover the mystery of the hound of the Baskervilles.
debnance on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a book I never expected to like. I have to admit that I sometimes get lost in books with complicated plot lines. My perception of this book was that it might be overly dramatic. I sometimes find books regarded as classics as intimidating. I was very worried that I might get lost in the plot or that the story might be overly dramatic or that I might find the text to be intimidating.I¿m happy to report that none of these things happened. I found this book to be one of the best books I¿ve read. The plot is clever and unexpected, but easy to follow. The characters are dramatic but also witty and funny. And the text was surprisingly easy to read. Add another tally mark for me for Classics I¿ve Read and Loved.
amerynth on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's "The Hound of the Baskervilles" far more as a story than as a mystery. Holmes investigates a family legend about a murderous hound in this case.I found the mystery fairly easy to figure out.... most of the plot twists and turns were not a surprise (perhaps I've just read too many Sherlock Holmes cases to be surprised any more.) That said, having a good idea of what was happening with the plot didn't really lessen my enjoyment of the book because the story is so engrossing. The plot moves along at a good clip making the book hard to put down. Not my favorite Holmes book, but a fun read nonetheless.
mthelibrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read this book aloud to my 12-year-old son. We both found the language difficult. Still worthwhile.
elliepotten on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This novella is quite the classic - and one of the longest-standing books on my TBR list - so I'm glad I was finally, ever so gently pushed into reading it by my ABC challenge. Basic story: Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson get called in to investigate the suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of Sir Charles Baskerville, and to protect his heir, Sir Henry, from falling foul of the family curse - the dreaded Hound of the Baskervilles, a demonic monster on the moors. Twists unfold, characters become suspects before falling out of suspicion again... poor Dr Watson struggles to fulfil his detective duties in the bleak Devonshire countryside, and Sherlock Holmes sits quietly in the background, smoking his pipe, cultivating his ego, and like the Miss Marple of classic literature, forming spectacular conclusions from overlooked details. The joy of this novel is that the likeable Dr Watson narrates the tale, so his fear and curiosity becomes our own without clever Holmes spoiling the excitement by working everything out too quickly.Even though I've seen the television adaptation (starring Richard Roxburgh and Ian Hart) a couple of times, I still couldn't remember all the details of the climactic unravelling of the mystery - and there is something fundamentally chilling about the bleak moors, the craggy limestone and treacherous marshes, and the blood-freezing howl of the unseen, fiendish hell-hound echoing across the empty landscape. A very, very good little book.
KathrynCSN on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is the last story of the series of Holmes. The story is about a person inerited a heritage at a very remote old manor. The ex-owner was dead not clearly in a corner of his house, and it seems that he was really scared before he dead. So people here all believed that there was a ghoset that becamed of a woman which dead because of the family of that ex-owner. So, the person who got the heritage asked Holmes to solve this thing. Final,Holmes found it's just a dog. Because one relative wanted to get the manor, so he creat all these things to try to kill the owner of this manor.It's hard for me to read this book because I always scared about these horror stories. That's why I have to finish this story one time. For me, The first part of this story is good and really attracted me, but as the story developed, it became a liitle farfetched,I mean, all of these is just came from a dog? Anyway, Holmes was a really good detective!
thc_luver6 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A great classic! I had to read it over a few times to understand the old English but otherwise it was excellent!
Cecilturtle on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Sherlock Holmes is a fun read, but the stories really are too far-fetched...
4sarad on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was my first Sherlock Holmes book and I wasn't too impressed. I thought Holmes was just really mean, and Watson was too meek. Holmes barely appeared at all in this book and it consisted mostly of Watson's letters to him. The story was interesting enough, but I never at any point was confused as to who the villain of the story was. I was hoping this story would include a mystery that was nearly impossible to solve, but that wasn't the case at all. A real disappointment.
arielfl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Sherlock Holmes is HOT right now. Between the Robert Downey Jr. interpretation, the Masterpiece Classic episodes, the books for kids, the House of Silk, A Study in Sherlock, just to name a few examples, we are showered in Sherlock. Despite all of this exposure I had never read an actual Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Sherlock Holmes novel. A few months ago I read the House of Silk, a Sherlock Homes novel, although not written by Conan Doyle but authorized by his estate. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Then while reading the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, another lovely book by the way, the main character references the Hound of the Baskervilles. I read quite a few Agatha Christie novels and I was interested to see how Conan Doyles master detective would stand up to the Queen of Crime so with that in mind I embarked on my first ever Conan Doyle Sherlock Holmes novel.The story takes place on the Moors of England at the Baskerville estate. The old heir has just died by somewhat mysterious circumstances and the new heir is set to take over. There is a curse on the family having to do with an ancestor who kidnapped a yeoman's daughter. She escaped and was pursued by the not so nice ancestor. When both were found, the girl and the ancestor were dead with a large hound standing over them. Since that day the Hound of the Baskervilles is said to plaque the generations of the Baskerville family. It looks like the new heir is in danger and if that's not bad enough there is a serial killer on the loose. Holmes and Watson are called in to take a look at the case of course solve it in due course.The resolution of the mystery was not a very complicated one. I find the Agatha Christie novels to be far more clever in their solutions. That said, it was still a very enjoyable novel. I loved the description of the creepy moor. It was a character unto itself. My favorite part of the book was when Watson was asked to present a certain theory to Holmes. Watson goes into great detail and he feels pleased with his deductions when Holmes seems to agree with his conclusions. Holmes soon bursts his bubble when he informs Watson that he just wanted to see what a lay person would think. Holmes then proceeds to lay out what really happened which is nothing like Watson thought. Very funny stuff.This a classic story that I think everyone should read at least once since it is referred to quite often. I am not sure when I will visit Holmes again as I have quite a few Christies on my TBR pile. However I am certain Holmes and I will meet again.
BookWallah on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Surprisingly fresh sleuthing romp through the eerie moors of Devon. Hounds of the Baskervilles may hail from a vastly different era but it reads true to the form we have all come to love. Thank you Conan Doyle for starting our addiction to mysteries.