Hear a 64-Hour Playlist of Sherlock Holmes Stories, With Performances by Sir John Gielgud, Sir Ralph Richardson & Many More

sherlock playlist

Image via Wiki­me­dia Com­mons

When I first read all of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sher­lock Holmes sto­ries, hav­ing found them col­lect­ed in full (not, of course, includ­ing last year’s “lost” sto­ry) in two old vol­umes at an antique store, I under­stood imme­di­ate­ly why they’d so quick­ly become so pop­u­lar with their first read­er­ship in the late 19th and ear­ly 20th cen­turies. Or rather, I should say that I felt it–that per­fect align­ment of form and sub­stance that only comes along in pop­u­lar art every few decades.

Whether that hap­pened as a result of Doyle’s crafts­man­ship or his luck I don’t know, but it turns out that the adven­tures of his con­sult­ing detec­tive play as well on the speak­ers as they do on the page, though in quite a dif­fer­ent way. You can expe­ri­ence that dif­fer­ence for your­self, and expe­ri­ence it exten­sive­ly, with Spo­ti­fy’s 64-hour, 163-track playlist of Sher­lock Holmes sto­ries per­formed aloud. (If you don’t have Spo­ti­fy’s free soft­ware, down­load it here.)

The very first voice it presents is Doyle’s own, speak­ing briefly on Holmes and spir­i­tu­al­ism, which gives us time to set­tle in for a five-part ren­di­tion of the very first in the Holmes canon (and thanks to “more female inter­est than is usu­al,” one of Doyle’s per­son­al favorites), “A Scan­dal in Bohemia.” It comes per­formed by Sir John Giel­gud and Sir Ralph Richard­son, two of the most respect­ed actors in 20th-cen­tu­ry British the­ater. We’ve pre­vi­ous­ly fea­tured their por­tray­als, Giel­gud’s of Holmes and Richard­son’s of Wat­son (and we can hard­ly neglect to men­tion the one and only Orson Welles’, of Mori­ar­ty), on the New Adven­tures of Sher­lock Holmes radio dra­ma.

But this playlist pro­vides a wealth of oth­er voic­es from var­i­ous eras inter­pret­ing Doyle’s most beloved works as well, a vari­ety that cer­tain­ly suits its pro­tag­o­nist, the most-por­trayed lit­er­ary char­ac­ter of all time — which means that, unlike the col­lect­ed print canon of Sher­lock Holmes adven­tures (that “lost” sto­ry and its mys­te­ri­ous author­ship aside), the col­lect­ed audio adven­tures of Sher­lock Holmes will only grow longer and longer, so those who want to lis­ten to them all had best get on the case with­out delay.

You can find this playlist added to our col­lec­tion, 1,000 Free Audio Books: Down­load Great Books for Free.

Also find Sher­lock Holmes sto­ries in our oth­er col­lec­tion, 800 Free eBooks for iPad, Kin­dle & Oth­er Devices.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Hear the Vin­tage Sher­lock Holmes Radio Dra­ma, Star­ring John Giel­gud, Orson Welles & Ralph Richard­son

Watch the First Sher­lock Holmes Movie (1900), the Arrival of the Most Pop­u­lar Char­ac­ter in Cin­e­ma

Read the Lost Sher­lock Holmes Sto­ry That Was Just Dis­cov­ered in an Attic in Scot­land

Down­load the Com­plete Sher­lock Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle’s Mas­ter­piece

Arthur Conan Doyle Names His 19 Favorite Sher­lock Holmes Sto­ries

Arthur Conan Doyle Dis­cuss­es Sher­lock Holmes and Psy­chics in a Rare Filmed Inter­view (1927)

Based in Seoul, Col­in Mar­shall writes and broad­casts on cities, lan­guage, and style. He’s at work on a book about Los Ange­les, A Los Ange­les Primer, the video series The City in Cin­e­ma, the crowd­fund­ed jour­nal­ism project Where Is the City of the Future?, and the Los Ange­les Review of Books’ Korea Blog. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.


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