I wasn’t sure what to expect with Mr. Nick Reekie’s new edition of “The Hound of the Baskervilles”. I have annotated versions of “The Hound”, and comic versions, and several very different editions that have actual physical clues tucked into the books, but this is something new and wonderful – a book that reinvigorates the original text by providing new images, and faces to go with names. What makes it even more fun is how these images are tied to past “Hound” films, particularly the 1959 version starring Peter Cushing – but it’s so much more.
There are photos of locations and objects and historical figures and clues – and that’s just the first two-thirds of the book. What follows is a plethora of other fun: Puzzles and essays. A Holmes pastiche in script form. A Gazetteer of Holmes actors, and also an illustrative guide of Canonical characters who look much like Golden Age Hollywood stars – Birdie Edwards, for instance, very much resembles John Wayne, and Jephro Rucastle has much the same visage as Charles Laughton. This book has the feel of one of those souvenir volumes that were made back in the day to accompany a film, and it gives “The Hound” a fresh new feel.
I have an edition of “The Hound” on my shelves that contains the occasional artistic black-and-white photo that’s supposed to represent . . . something. Dartmoor? Horror? Fog? But it’s dull and dead. This is a fun book, made by Mr. Reekie as a labor of love. (And with great modesty, Mr. Reekie didn’t put his own name on the cover – not even the back cover. He should have given himself more credit for such a fine work.
I don’t care what other editions of “The Hound” that you have – and like most Sherlockians, you probably have more than a few. Your library isn’t complete without this volume too.
The Hound of the Baskervilles – A Sherlock Holmes Reader is available from this site with a share going to our #bookstobooks program funding books for Happy Life Mission in Kenya - but also from all good bookstores (links on the book pages).