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The Canary Trainer: From the Memoirs of John H. Watson [Paperback]

N Meyer
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
RRP: 12.99
Price: 10.60 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

25 May 1995
While employed as a violinist by the Paris Opera in 1891, Sherlock Holmes discovers many surprises: the reappearance of his great love and a series of bizarre accidents allegedly arranged by the "Opera Ghost", an opponent more than equal to Holmes in cunning.

Frequently Bought Together

The Canary Trainer: From the Memoirs of John H. Watson + The West End Horror: A Posthumous Memoir of John H. Watson, M.D. + The Seven-Per-Cent Solution: Being a Reprint from the Reminiscences of John H. Watson, M.D. (Norton Paperback)
Price For All Three: 32.65

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Reissue edition (25 May 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393312410
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393312416
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 13.9 x 21.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 140,723 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Nicholas Meyer lives in Los Angeles.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
One of the first things that struck me after Reichenbach, Watson, was that no one dreamt I was alive. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A great premise, but a not-so-great story 25 Jan 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
As a big fan of both Sherlock Holmes and the Phantom of the opera, I eagerly looked forward to reading this book, but found it disappointing. The premise itself is great - the master detective investigating the strange occurrences at the Paris Opera house. However, Holmes makes many uncharacteristic blunders throughout his investigation, and his work is hampered by the fact that he must keep his true identity a secret, since he is believed to be dead at the time. The book also suffers because of the absence of Dr. Watson. The book also shows Christine Daae as an idiot, and the Phantom as an evil maniac with no redeeming qualities.
I really enjoyed Nicholas Meyer's previous two Holmes pastiches, "The Seven-Per-Cent Solution" and "The West-End Horror," but I don't feel that "The Canary Trainer" is as good as its two predecessors. It was a very interesting premise, but I just don't like the way Meyer handled it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
"The Canary Trainer" is another "rediscovered" Sherlock Holmes manuscript, written this time in the voice of Holmes himself.
It was very easy to imagine that Sherlock Holmes had actually written this "memoir".
The story (which takes it's place in the chronology right after Meyer's " The Seven Per Cent Solution") begins when Sherlock Holmes is hired as a violinist with the Opera company orchestra.
He learns of the strange events surrounding the "Ghost", and, allowing himself to be perceived as a Surete agent 'undercover', begins to investigate the 'accidents' which have been taking place in the Opera house.
Unexpectedly,his cover is blown by the indomitable Irene Adler, who is engaged to perform with the Paris Opera Company, and who blackmails him into protecting her young friend, the lovely Christine Daae.
Irene joins him in his investigation.
Anyone familiar with the orginal story of the Phantom of the Opera, (or who has seen Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical of the same name) will enjoy this book, with it's familiar characters, and what seems to be an insider's view of the mysterious events.
I have read this book more than three times, and am buying another copy to replace one that has gotten ragged from being read too many times.
For me, there can be no higher praise than saying that a book is not only worth reading, but reading again.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Maybe 14 Oct 1998
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I have to admit I wasn't very impressed with this book. I am a Holmes and Phantom fan and I feel that this book did not do justice to them both. Although having "the woman" appear was a nice touch, Meyer made Christine look like a dimwitted child and he failed to look for the Phantom's "good" side. Every scene he appeared was of him acting like a barbarian. I don't recommend this book to any Phantom fan.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Night at the Opera 6 Oct 2009
Format:Paperback
Having established the standard by which all modern "further" adventures of Sherlock Holmes must be judged with the wonderful "Seven-Percent Solution", Nicholas Meyer returns to Baker Street only to dislay every evidence of having forgotten what made the former book so successful.

It's not spoiling anything to reveal that "The Canary Trainer" sends Holmes to Paris and gets him mixed up with the Phantom of the Opera. Where the book falls down is in its failure to lift the material beyond pastiche and locate the heart of the story within its characters. Consequently all that can be offered is the usual "spot the reference" games and an eminently guessable plot resulting in far too much mechanical back-and-forthing that unfortunately reduces Holmes to anonymity.

Sad to say, Meyer's other Holmes novel, "The West End Horror", is an even more drastic decline in both inspiration and quality from the heights reached with "The Seven-Percent Solution".
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.3 out of 5 stars  16 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Meyer's best. 1 Aug 2000
By John S. Ryan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
But it's not as bad as all that. Nevertheless if you want to read Meyer's Holmes pastiches I'd recommend starting with the other two (_The Seven Per Cent Solution_ and _The West End Horror_). Meyer at his best is splendid.

If you do so, then be sure to ignore the misinformation in the Kirkus Reviews excerpt above. _The West End Horror_ has nothing to do with Jack the Ripper; it concerns a pair of grisly murders that take place in London's theater district. I assume the reviewer is thinking of Edward Hanna's _The Whitechapel Horrors_.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Satisfying Tale for the Holmes Fan. 12 Aug 2005
By Lorraine Talbot - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I really enjoyed this book, perhaps more so than other reviewers because I've never seen "The Phantom of the Opera" and if I read the book, it's decades ago, so I came to this with an open mind. And I'm reading it because it's a Sherlock Holmes story. I've read and re-read the originals and enjoy the pastiches if they capture the voice or essence of Doyle's work.

I read Meyer's first two Holmes books but missed this one somehow for over a decade. It's as good as the earlier ones, I think. Holmes is telling the story and it sounds like him and what we have of Watson is very Watson-like. Holmes as an orchestra violinist is believable. And what fun it is! What a villanous villain Nobody is. And what an attractive bunch of characters, the innocent Christine, helpful, friendly Ponelle. Holmes is not a man who cultivates friends. Even "that woman" turns up wearing her masculine disguise. And that labyrinth of basements beneath the Opera House. I haven't a clue if the really exist or if they figured in "Phantom", but they made a fine setting for this story.

I recommend that you read it for all these reasons.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A dissenting opinion 18 Sep 2003
By M. Harris - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I've read all three of Nicholas Meyer's Sherlockian pastiches, and oddly enough, this one's my favorite. Yes, it lacks Watson, yes, everyone already knows the story of the Phantom of the Opera, and yes, Meyer stupidly describes a real-life character as dead when he was actually very much alive - but the plot is fast-paced, and Holmes makes a good enough narrator that Watson's absence doesn't hurt as much as it might. Although it has Irene Adler in it, Meyer knows better than to turn the book into a romance. In fact, Holmes' reaction to Adler's presence is nicely ambiguous; while he's clearly attracted/fascinated by "the woman," he just as clearly wishes she'd go away and leave him alone! Get it from the library and see if it appeals to you before you buy it.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A great premise, but a not-so-great story 25 Jan 1999
By Jaclyn Mussehl - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
As a big fan of both Sherlock Holmes and the Phantom of the opera, I eagerly looked forward to reading this book, but found it disappointing. The premise itself is great - the master detective investigating the strange occurrences at the Paris Opera house. However, Holmes makes many uncharacteristic blunders throughout his investigation, and his work is hampered by the fact that he must keep his true identity a secret, since he is believed to be dead at the time. The book also suffers because of the absence of Dr. Watson. The book also shows Christine Daae as an idiot, and the Phantom as an evil maniac with no redeeming qualities.
I really enjoyed Nicholas Meyer's previous two Holmes pastiches, "The Seven-Per-Cent Solution" and "The West-End Horror," but I don't feel that "The Canary Trainer" is as good as its two predecessors. It was a very interesting premise, but I just don't like the way Meyer handled it.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Maestro Holmes, I presume? 25 Aug 1998
By "mambodog" - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The description of the Opera house is so well done that it almost becomes a character unto itself. The powers of the ghost are convincing - how could any human accomplish the deeds attributed to it? Has Holmes met a force beyond the reach of his genius and logic? Original tale and yet it keeps the charm of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle alive.
I was always facinated by Holmes' two creative crutches - cocaine and the violin. The use of one or the other always brought the needed solution into his mind and so I was very pleased that Meyer showed us more about Holmes' musical abilities. Bringing Irene Adler into the story was also a nice touch.
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