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The Sign of the Four: A Sherlock Holmes Graphic Novel PDF, ePub eBook

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The Sign of the Four: A Sherlock Holmes Graphic Novel

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The Sign of the Four: A Sherlock Holmes Graphic Novel PDF, ePub eBook The great Sherlock Holmes returns in 'The Sign of the Four', the newest 'Illustrated Classics' adaptation of a Sir Arthur Conan Doyle work. The drama begins when a woman arrives on Holmes's doorstep asking for his help finding an anonymous person who has been sending her mysterious gifts and letters. Holmes agrees to investigate-but soon he and Dr. Watson find themselves en The great Sherlock Holmes returns in 'The Sign of the Four', the newest 'Illustrated Classics' adaptation of a Sir Arthur Conan Doyle work. The drama begins when a woman arrives on Holmes's doorstep asking for his help finding an anonymous person who has been sending her mysterious gifts and letters. Holmes agrees to investigate-but soon he and Dr. Watson find themselves entangled in a deadly treasure hunt.

30 review for The Sign of the Four: A Sherlock Holmes Graphic Novel

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sam Quixote

    The more I read these comics adaptations of Arthur Conan Doyle’s original novels, the more I feel affirmed in the view that the enduring popularity of these books comes from the richness of the characters rather than the dreary stories they appear in. In The Sign of the Four, we see Holmes’ drug habit addressed for the first time as he injects himself with cocaine for breakfast because he’s bored! His boxing past is also mentioned and Watson meets his future wife Mary. The actual story is some l The more I read these comics adaptations of Arthur Conan Doyle’s original novels, the more I feel affirmed in the view that the enduring popularity of these books comes from the richness of the characters rather than the dreary stories they appear in. In The Sign of the Four, we see Holmes’ drug habit addressed for the first time as he injects himself with cocaine for breakfast because he’s bored! His boxing past is also mentioned and Watson meets his future wife Mary. The actual story is some long-winded rubbish about buried treasure - honestly, I’ve already forgotten and I finished this yesterday! Doyle continues to play upon the Victorian fascination with exotic, far-flung places though - another reason why his books were bestsellers. Artist INJ Culbard highlights Holmes’ unhealthy habits by colouring him a ghostly white throughout with strung-out, tired eyes. It’s a long way from Culbard’s best work though and a lot of the characters look absurdly cartoonish which doesn’t add to the supposed seriousness of the case. Whether you call it The Sign of the Four or The Sign of Four, this is one of the least interesting Sherlock Holmes stories ever written. Besides the character moments, it’s an unmemorable bore not worth bothering with.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Licha

    Hahaha. I have to laugh after reviewing the actual novel. That one got 1.5 stars from me. I enjoyed this a lot more than the real thing. Reading the novel and graphic together, I can say that the graphic novel is a very good representation of the actual novel and sticks to the story chapter by chapter, including the dialogue.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Judy Booe

    Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson set out to solve a case brought to their attention by a young woman who has received a pearl each year on the same date. Now she has received a mysterious letter asking her to meet an “unknown friend”. She asks for Holmes and Watson to help her and the adventure begins. As the story evolves we come across mysterious notes with “the sign of the four”. Murder, treasure, and intrigue abound in The Sign of the Four. Holmes is his usual eccentric and insightful characte Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson set out to solve a case brought to their attention by a young woman who has received a pearl each year on the same date. Now she has received a mysterious letter asking her to meet an “unknown friend”. She asks for Holmes and Watson to help her and the adventure begins. As the story evolves we come across mysterious notes with “the sign of the four”. Murder, treasure, and intrigue abound in The Sign of the Four. Holmes is his usual eccentric and insightful character in this book and this part of him is not lost in the graphic novel version. If you are a Holmes fan, this is another great way to enjoy the story. However, it may not be to the taste of many of our young adult readers. Holmes is a theorist and a bit haughty in his declarations of his ability. This can be endearing but then again it could be obnoxious. It is fun to follow the British way of describing events. I believe the illustrations do compliment the classic story. You get a feel for Holme’s personality. One caution I would give is the scene at the beginning where Holmes is shooting up cocaine and basically says he can’t stand to be mentally unchallenged – in other words, bored, so he finds it necessary to use this 7 percent solution. Without this particular scene, the story itself would stand just fine and is certainly not needed for solving the mystery. It may be true to character but could be cause for landing the book in the challenged arena as a YA book in schools. If it started after Mary Morstan arrives with her mystery, there would be no need for challenge and the mystery itself is entertainin

  4. 4 out of 5

    Margaret

    The illustrations were nice and sometimes quite cute (the badger in the cage sticking its paw out at Watson was a particular favorite) and the smoggy darkness of late 19th century London was well captured. My major issue with this is that it was not narrated by Watson, making some depictions of characters far fetched as well as obscuring how Dr. Watson's relationship with Mary develops. Still, not a bad period adaptation of a classic Holmes plot.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    Sherlock Holmes looks like Dick Van Dyke. note to librarians, Holmes' cocain addiction is graphic in this adaptation. as a reader that's postiive but community standards might not agree

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jimmy

    This is a graphic novel adaptation of Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes Classic, Sign of the Four. This is my third graphic novel on Sherlock Holmes that I read that was written and illustrated by this team and I found this specific work delightful. I enjoyed the Foreword of the book by Alan Barnes who gave background behind Sign of the Four. Here readers learns that this is the second Sherlock Holmes story that Arthur Conan Doyle authored and that this second story was only written when the managing This is a graphic novel adaptation of Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes Classic, Sign of the Four. This is my third graphic novel on Sherlock Holmes that I read that was written and illustrated by this team and I found this specific work delightful. I enjoyed the Foreword of the book by Alan Barnes who gave background behind Sign of the Four. Here readers learns that this is the second Sherlock Holmes story that Arthur Conan Doyle authored and that this second story was only written when the managing editor for Lippincot’s Magazine Thaddeus Sholto met with Doyle for dinner at the Langham Hotel to get him to secure a contract for Doyle to write a series for him. In that legendary meeting there is also another writer who later became important himself as a result of that night: Oscar Wilde. Moments like these in history is incredible! In this story a Miss Mary Morstan gets Sherlock Holmes and Watson to help her with a complicated case that involves her deceased father. Miss Morstan’s father was at one time a military officer with an Indian regiment. Apparently the father was involved with some sort of plot involving hidden treasures with others. The storyline was a real suspense and the mystery kept me going. The twists and turn was delightful. I also appreciated the story’s exotic flavor and while the investigation physically takes place in England nevertheless the backstory takes us to faraway land plus there are people from colonial lands in the story whether as servants or assistants. I thought that was rather interesting to see England not just as white in the late 1800s. Ian Edington should be commended for writing the dialogues and the artist I.N.J. Culbard be commended for the illustration in this work. I appreciated the drawing and the painting in this graphic novel, especially with the color that perfectly sets the mood for each respective panel; the overall dark colors surrounding candle-lighted scene definitely set the overall mood for this perfect mystery. I enjoyed this work as a mental break from heavy reading and from work and ministry.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    This is a graphic novel version of Conan Doyle's beloved "The Sign of the Four." I enjoyed it much more than I do many graphic novels. For one thing, the artwork was excellent, and somewhat more realistic than is often the case. I liked the depictions of the characters (except, perhaps that of Thaddeus Sholto), and actually found that they contributed to my enjoyment of the work. And the story itself is short enough that it lends itself well to this format.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Angie Rhodes

    This was a joy to read. being a huge fan of Sherlock Holmes, and having read all the stories so many times, to read a Graphic Novel was a little different. Ian Edgerton has taken nothing away from the original book, just added his own artwork, which is beautiful, it is a book that every Sherlock fan. would love to have on his /her bookshelf/

  9. 5 out of 5

    Enno

    Not all stories about Holmes are equally good. The artwork is fine, but the story doesn't hold up for me.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

    A very good graphic novel, this just shows how good and fast Sherlock can solve a case that everyone else just makes assumptions and puts the wrong person in jail.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lindsey

    I clearly don't understand graphic novels because while I appreciate the artwork, the format completely botches the story. It's like taking a story and stripping all the beautiful parts off of it and just offering the bones and basic plot points. I think a story created specifically for the graphic novel format then would be better than an adaptation like this because at least I wouldn't be longing for what I was missing.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Janis

    The author of this book is Arthur Conan Doyle. The title of this book is the Sign of Four, it is a fiction or a historical nonfiction I can't decide. This book has action, adventure and mystery all combined into one. In some parts of the book the story gets hard to follow so you have to reread a couple of pages to finally get it. This book has 118 pages so it does not take that long to read. In the beginning of the story somebody rushes in and gives Holmes ( a main character) a mystery to solve The author of this book is Arthur Conan Doyle. The title of this book is the Sign of Four, it is a fiction or a historical nonfiction I can't decide. This book has action, adventure and mystery all combined into one. In some parts of the book the story gets hard to follow so you have to reread a couple of pages to finally get it. This book has 118 pages so it does not take that long to read. In the beginning of the story somebody rushes in and gives Holmes ( a main character) a mystery to solve and it turns out to be a lot more involved than everybody first thought.... I choose to read this book because I had heard how interesting these books were so I decided to try it out. Another reason is that it is a mystery book and I like mystery. The basic summary of this book is that ( like all Sherlock Holmes books) There's a person that has a mystery that nobody can solve. This particular mystery is that some unknown person is sending someone else valuable gifts. But then with clues the unknown seems to be a murderer. Then they find out that the so called murderer is a victim of someone else. Eventually it roles out into a big chase full of interesting stories. This book is purely for entertainment. This was an amazing book and I highly recommend it. What I liked about it is that you don't know the full story until you finish the book and then it all makes sense. I don't really have a favorite part of the book, I liked all of it. If you like murder mystery or action then this will be a good book for you. I rate this book a 10 out of 10 and recommend it for 11+ because of reading difficulty.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Andy Hickman

    Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, “The Sign of the Four” (Sherlock Holmes Graphic Novels Adaptation #2), (London: SelfMadeHero, 2010), Ian Edginton (Adapter), I.N.J. Culbard (Illustrator). The second Sherlock Holmes story is set in 1888 and follows a similar pattern to the first Holmes story, 'A Study in Scarlet'. As with the others in this series this graphic novel is engrossing and exciting. Great work! FOREWORD by Alan Barnes: “The story is every bit a intriguing, perplexing, and exciting as its three ma Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, “The Sign of the Four” (Sherlock Holmes Graphic Novels Adaptation #2), (London: SelfMadeHero, 2010), Ian Edginton (Adapter), I.N.J. Culbard (Illustrator). The second Sherlock Holmes story is set in 1888 and follows a similar pattern to the first Holmes story, 'A Study in Scarlet'. As with the others in this series this graphic novel is engrossing and exciting. Great work! FOREWORD by Alan Barnes: “The story is every bit a intriguing, perplexing, and exciting as its three main literary sources; Wilkie Collins' 'The Moonstone', Poe's 'The Murders in the Rue Morgue', and Stevenson's 'Treasure Island'.” Sherlock was a frequent 'self-medicating' cocaine user (p1,2,3,11,17,164). Watson on Holmes cocaine use: “But .. count the cost! Three times a day for as many months I have witnessed this performance! ...” (p3) Valetudinarian (p49) = a person who is unduly anxious about their health. “Ballarat … prospector ...” (p52) = Ballarat, Victoria, where gold was discovered in 1851 and attracted 20,000 migrants in a few months. Holmes: “Apply my precepts. How often have I said that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?” (p59)

  14. 5 out of 5

    Andy

    Many people here seem to be reviewing the story version rather than this comic version. I guess it aggregates everything. I read all the Sherlock Holmes novels and short stories many years ago with much relish and enjoyment and after reading a review of this comic version (or 'Graphic Novel' as it states on the cover) on Boing Boing I picked it up from Unity books in Wellington recently. I have a novel on the go at the moment and am putting off an essay I need to write so sometimes it's nice to p Many people here seem to be reviewing the story version rather than this comic version. I guess it aggregates everything. I read all the Sherlock Holmes novels and short stories many years ago with much relish and enjoyment and after reading a review of this comic version (or 'Graphic Novel' as it states on the cover) on Boing Boing I picked it up from Unity books in Wellington recently. I have a novel on the go at the moment and am putting off an essay I need to write so sometimes it's nice to pick something up and finish it in one go. It's a great adaptation, picking apart the bones of the story, nailing the characters, reducing the exposition and generally entertaining. The art though is what really makes it stand out. Culbard has done a great job of visualising Conan Doyle's period London with shady hews, moody backgrounds and a fantastically chinned Holmes. The colour saturation in particular creates a lot of atmosphere. If you're not a comic reader then this is a great way to start. As a Holmes fan it makes for a nice alternative adaptation (I'm personally quite a fan of the old BBC radio drama versions) and is worth picking up. I just need to see if I can find the others.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Anna Kim

    I'm a really big fan of Ian Edginton's graphic adaptations of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes novels and stories. The Sign of the Four is no exception. I really like that the original text is pretty much left intact, with just a little necessary abridging. When I used to tutor middle school students, I did a short mystery unit and I used one of the graphic adaptations to teach the story since they had difficulty with the original text. Without exception, all of them said that Edginton's I'm a really big fan of Ian Edginton's graphic adaptations of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes novels and stories. The Sign of the Four is no exception. I really like that the original text is pretty much left intact, with just a little necessary abridging. When I used to tutor middle school students, I did a short mystery unit and I used one of the graphic adaptations to teach the story since they had difficulty with the original text. Without exception, all of them said that Edginton's version was easy to understand, even though the language was exactly the same!

  16. 4 out of 5

    P.

    Pros: - I like the assured lines of the art. - And the jewel-like, some times even pastelly color scheme, that also managed to be dark. - I can see how this could make a non-Holmes reader put off by its relative age be sucked into reading more Holmes mysteries - The paper smelled really nice. Cons: - I wish the sequencing would have been more playful. Many talking heads. - Watson fell in love because it was in the original story. There was no other reason that I could discern. - I was still kind of conf Pros: - I like the assured lines of the art. - And the jewel-like, some times even pastelly color scheme, that also managed to be dark. - I can see how this could make a non-Holmes reader put off by its relative age be sucked into reading more Holmes mysteries - The paper smelled really nice. Cons: - I wish the sequencing would have been more playful. Many talking heads. - Watson fell in love because it was in the original story. There was no other reason that I could discern. - I was still kind of confused by the original heist that precipitated the whole mystery.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Shawn Bramanti

    This was a quick read. I think I have actually read this like three times. I like Sherlock Holmes and this was a very entertaining graphic novel adaptation of his adventure with the Sign of the Four. Nice simple artwork moves the story along without overdoing it. A slightly cartoony style to the artwork but not a distraction, instead it enriches the story. Reading this I think of it adding to the Sherlock Holmes mythos, not disturbing the history with a jarringly different version of the story.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Tracey

    The artwork in this is FANTASTIC, but the story is not all that interesting for a graphic narrative. The panels end up being mostly of dialogue between Holmes and Watson and others, which makes for a less than interesting read. An odd choice to adapt to graphic format --- Hound of the Baskervilles was awesome. This text - not so much.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Camille Dent

    It's been a while since I've read the original work by Conan Doyle, so I can't compare it to that. I thought this adaption was pretty solid, though. It was a bit unclear at times, but not enough to make me completely lost. I wasn't crazy about the art style. However, the dialogue is the most important aspect of Sherlock Holmes works, so I wasn't too worried about how attractive I found the art.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lina

    Great story, I would recs this for a SH newbie. Not sure about the artwork, it didn't caught my attention as much as the plot. Maybe I am a graphic novel newbie, and I don't have much of an opinion. Sherlock and Dr. Watson looks like exactly the actors from the 1980s TV series though. It was perfect.

  21. 4 out of 5

    anna

    *3.5/5* I really liked the story line, but I didn't particularly enjoy the art style. The only reason I picked this graphic novel up was to see how it would compare to the actual novel, and I am slightly disappointed. However, if I do get the chance to read more of these Sherlock Holmes graphic novels, I definitely will!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    Good way to introduce students to 'classics'! I definitely miss reading descriptions and visualizing them in my head, but I think the idea of taking older stories and making them into graphic novels is a great way to introduce teenagers to stories that they might not normally read.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Hillingdon Libraries

    Find this book at Hillingdon Libraries

  24. 4 out of 5

    BCPL Youth Services Librarian

    Click to see book in BCPL's online catalog

  25. 4 out of 5

    Carl

    very interesting, I have come to Holmes late and look forward to reading his other adventures.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Bonnie

    Read my review on No Flying, No Tights.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    Although this developed more of a storyline for Watson, I didn't think it was as good as the first one. (Another classic down!)

  28. 4 out of 5

    Chris Jamison

    Thank you Gwinnett Co. (GA) Public Library for stocking this title.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Smith

    I really don't like graphic novels but I got this as a "blind date" from the library and read it in an hour. It seems that mr Sherlock lends him self to a comic and I quite enjoyed it.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Margot

    Oh, colonialism. You've given us such delightful mystery stories. Thanks for that.

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