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Raffles the daring gentleman thief was a popular short story character in the early years of the 20th century and I was pleased that this audiobook includes all 8 stories from Hornung's first published collection of 1899: The Ides of March; A Costume Piece; Gentlemen and Players; Le Premier Pas; Wilful Murder; Nine Points of the Law; The Return Match; and The Gift of the Emperor.
David Rintoul has a fine voice and is a suitable narrator for these adventures of the upper class financially-challenged A J Raffles and his scared-but-willing associate Bunny Manders. The stories make for a diverting listen (though not in the class of Conan Doyle) with an attractive anti-hero, and vividly conjure up the elegant lost world of wealthy Late Victorian London. They are, though, very tame compared either to Holmes or to more modern fare. A dreadful fault on this recording is the lack of any pause whatsoever between the stories, which ruins the end of each story and destroys the concentration.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
a little like a Sherlock as thief idea. he has a cohort who helps much like Watson and who may have written their adventures down later in life. the episodes are fun and suspenseful and having done it shortly after To Catch a Thief found some similarities that make me think Dodge had read this, but both are very enjoyable nonetheless.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Ok, say these stories weren’t penned by Arthur Conan Doyle’s brother-in-law. Say there was no Arthur Conan Doyle, no Holmes-Watson stories—no model for the author of Raffles to stand on its head for his own purposes.
The Raffles-Bunny stories would still be delightful; well-crafted, well-written and, in this instance, superbly read. One critic has called them, "dark, morally uncertain, yet convincingly, reassuringly English." It’s that last part that makes them so palatable. Raffles and Bunny play fair; they eschew violence and, in spite of Bunny’s regular attacks of nerves, go about their larcenous activities lightheartedly, as if it were just another match on the playing fields of Eton.
I suppose one could explore the inner meaning of our delight; how we all yearn to be the bad guy, revel in the thrill of flouting authority, need to unchain the old Id once in a while. On second thought, better not. Just stand back and enjoy.
Watson often opines that if Holmes ever turned to crime he would be uncatchable. Sadly, in the last story of this volume an arrest is made. But fear not. Just as with Holmes’ “death” at the Reichenbach Falls, the story doesn’t end there.
Do I have to add that David Rintoul does a masterly job? He has a great script here and he simply makes the most of it. The only flaw in this otherwise perfect setup is a pronounced over-eagerness on the part of our editor so get to the next story. The moment—no, the nanosecond—one tale ends, the title of the next is shot at you and you’re off on the next adventure.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful