Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The Difference Between Holmes & Gandhi

I don't typically offer negative reviews, but after ordering up a small fortune in archival Sherlock Holmes audio recordings earlier this month (as belated Christmas gifts to myself), I have to report that the Dove Audio readings by Ben Kingsley, circa 1992, are not recommendable. I've been listening to Hardwick, Timson and countless old radio performers along with Kingsley. Kingsley's readings surpass computer-generated audio, but not by much. "Monotonous" is the best I can say, after waiting out two of his stories. Kingsley undoubtedly deserved the Academy Award he won for his portrayal of Gandhi (a film I view periodically). But assigning him to read Holmes stories clearly was misguided; he sounds bored, even vindictive toward the producers. ("Why in the world are you forcing me to read these bloody narratives?" he seems to insinuate with each sentence.)

Find Robert Hardy's audio readings of Holmes from the 1980s, if you can—they're head and shoulders above the others, in my opinion. (Well, perhaps they're only a shoulder's nudge above the readings of Hardwick—who, on the small screen, I pronounce the finest "Watson" ever to act the role.) Hardy, Hardwick . . . seek out those, if you wish a truly fulfilling audio presentation of Holmes. As for Kingsley . . . check out the movie Gandhi. He excelled there.


Post a Comment

<< Home