The Hound of the Baskervilles (Penguin Classics)

by Arthur Conan Doyle

Other authorsChristopher Frayling (Editor)
Paperback, 2001



Local notes

PB Doy




Penguin Classics (2001), 256 pages


The Hound of the Baskervilles is a crime novel by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle starring the great detective of Baker Street, Sherlock Holmes. Wealthy landowner Sir Charles Baskerville is found dead in the parkland surrounding his manor. It seems he died of a heart attack, but the footprints of a huge dog are found near his body, and Holmes must unravel the mystery and ensure the safety of Baskerville's heir amid rumors of an other-worldly creature haunting the moor - an enormous hound with glowing eyes and jaw.


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

256 p.; 5.1 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member MissTeacher
A fairly enjoyable tale, but not at all what I expected. This was my first experience with Sherlock Holmes, and I must say I was just a bit put off by it. Holmes has a cocky, uber-intelligent manner of solving mysteries, which would be great if we got to share in the fun. Give me all the
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details...all the little things I should have noticed about a person's demeanor or dress, and then let me be blow away when Holmes points out all the clues I glazed over in the first. Don't go ahead and loudly boast about what you've found without giving the reader the thrill of the hunt as well! I want a chance to be stupefied by Holmes! I want to say, "Ah! I completely missed that!", not, "Oh, well, how would I have known anyway?" Is it the age or style that leaves out this thread of audience participation? I do admit, I'm very new to the mystery genre, so maybe I've just grown accustomed to the subtle sleights-of-hand in the more modern works. I will give Doyle and Holmes another shot at some just won't be anytime soon.
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LibraryThing member elliepotten
This novella is quite the classic - and one of the longest-standing books on my TBR list - so I'm glad I was finally, ever so gently pushed into reading it by my ABC challenge. Basic story: Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson get called in to investigate the suspicious circumstances surrounding the death
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of Sir Charles Baskerville, and to protect his heir, Sir Henry, from falling foul of the family curse - the dreaded Hound of the Baskervilles, a demonic monster on the moors. Twists unfold, characters become suspects before falling out of suspicion again... poor Dr Watson struggles to fulfil his detective duties in the bleak Devonshire countryside, and Sherlock Holmes sits quietly in the background, smoking his pipe, cultivating his ego, and like the Miss Marple of classic literature, forming spectacular conclusions from overlooked details. The joy of this novel is that the likeable Dr Watson narrates the tale, so his fear and curiosity becomes our own without clever Holmes spoiling the excitement by working everything out too quickly.

Even though I've seen the television adaptation (starring Richard Roxburgh and Ian Hart) a couple of times, I still couldn't remember all the details of the climactic unravelling of the mystery - and there is something fundamentally chilling about the bleak moors, the craggy limestone and treacherous marshes, and the blood-freezing howl of the unseen, fiendish hell-hound echoing across the empty landscape. A very, very good little book.
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LibraryThing member bookworm12
I’ve always been a huge fan of Sherlock Holmes stories. They never fail to make me think and usually laugh. I’ve read collections, individual mysteries and I’ve even seen a play version that combines a couple tales. I was pretty sure I read this one in junior high, but I wasn’t positive, so
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I knew it was time to remedy that.

The Hound of the Baskerville is everything you want in Sherlock tale; great problem, clever quips, brilliant detective, etc. A wealthy family has been haunted by tales a vicious, unearthly hound for years. Legend has it one of their ancestors was killed by the beast. When the current head of the family loses his life in a similar way, Sherlock is called in on the case. He sends Dr. Watson, his faithful friend, to the moors to gather clues.

Like any good mystery, we’re given our suspects and clues bit by bit. There’s even a good red herring, diverting our suspicions. There’s nothing earth shattering about the plot, but it’s just the right pace for this little book.

The real treat with Doyle’s work is character of Sherlock himself. He is completely unique. I love his condescension, even when he’s trying to compliment Watson, it comes across as an insult. His brain just works on a completely different level and he’s not always aware of the necessary social niceties. Or rather, he’s aware of them, but they are unimportant in the big scheme of things, so he chooses to ignore them.

“That cold, incisive, ironical voice could belong to but one man in all the world. ‘Holmes!’ I cried.” – Watson (and that’s coming from the man’s best friend!)

“One of Sherlock’s defects – if, indeed, one may call it a defect – was that he was exceedingly loath to communicate his full plans to any other person until the instant of their fulfillment.”

If you’ve loved this series for years or want to try your first foray into the world of the Baker Street detective, this book is an absolute must.

“There is nothing more stimulating than a case where everything goes against you.” - Sherlock
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LibraryThing member tuckerresearch
Big scary predator hounds and Holmes? Can't beat it.

If you're a fan of the old Baring Gould annotated edition, or you've seen the new Norton annotated edited by Leslie Klinger, it is better to spend your cash on this set annotated by Klinger. The annotations are (semi-)proper footnotes. The slim
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paperbacks in the Sherlock Holmes Reference Library are easier to lug around, study, and read than the comparatively incomplete Klinger-Norton annotated edition. The annotations are extensive, covering a great range of Sherlockian speculation. They are endlessly diverting and thought provoking. The bibliography is extensive and complete.

The drawbacks. They are paperbacks, not hardcovers, so less durable. Published by a small outfit, there are a few typos, but maybe one every other chapter or so. The footnotes are great and brilliant, but as an historian I prefer a different style, though these are quite functional. The bibliography should be separated into book and article sections for ease of lookup. Also, I would prefer more discussion on the chronology of the tales, as Klinger only provides a table of chronologies for the stories at the end of the book.

The introduction was good, and at least this set is unburdened by Baring-Gould's shoddy, idiosyncratic timeline/chronology of events found in the Norton-Klinger annotated.

Offers a few of the theories of what is really going on with the Hound, like was Dr. Mortimer in on it with the Stapletons?
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LibraryThing member LisaMaria_C
This is the most famous Sherlock Holmes novel, and certainly one of the best, the spookiest and most atmospheric, set in 1889 in the eerie moors of Devonshire. Right from the beginning we're given a demonstration of Holmes' gifts when, from a walking stick left behind by a visitor, Holmes is able
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to deduce a wealth of details about the man, down to the breed of his dog. Add a centuries old manor inherited by the young Sir Henry Baskerville along with a centuries old family curse involving a demon hound that has seemingly killed the previous squire, a butler and housekeeper of the manor with secrets, an escaped murderer loose upon the moor, and several suspicious neighbors: Franklin, a litigious crank with an estranged daughter, the mysterious Stapletons--and you have quite a delicious brew served up.

One thing I noted, giving some of the bumbling depictions of Watson I've seen, is that Holmes himself commends Watson for his "zeal and intelligence" and Holmes tells Baskerville that "no man ... is better worth having at your side when you are in a tight place." If Watson seems dim, it's only because Holmes casts such a bright light.

Not very long, this was a very enjoyable and quick read.
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LibraryThing member jwhenderson
I find this to be not only an enjoyable detective novel, one of the best in the series by Conan Doyle; but even more than that, a supreme example of the best of classic Victorian literature. It is well-constructed with examples of the techniques found in more typical "literary" novels. Arthur Conan
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Doyle demonstrates both superior narrative creation of a mood and elegant development of characters. His use of techniques such as advancing the plot through cleverly-placed letters (a technique use by Dickens, Dostoevsky and others) puts this novel in a class of fiction well beyond the genre to which it is often consigned. It is more than just a delightful read!
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LibraryThing member narwhaltortellini
After being decently entertained but not overly impressed by the other couple Sherlock Holmes novels, I decided to give him one last try with this one since I'd heard it was the best. It doesn't really give any more of the main thing I was hoping for when starting these books—a more involved look
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into the personality and quirks of the potentially interesting Holmes—but it does somewhat get rid of one of the biggest problem I had with the other stories.

After the initial setup, most of the unfolding of the mystery is seen through the eyes of Watson without Holmes around. That means there's no more Holmes standing around talking about how he thinks he's got the whole thing solved but can't tell us the answer for some artificial reason that is surely just the author not wanting to give everything away too soon. Without that little irritation to constantly pull me out of the story to see the author standing above me pulling the strings, the mystery was a little easier to invest in, and the whole novel as a whole just felt more solid.

Still, rather than plots or mysteries, it's characters I tend to want to invest in when reading, and that's not really what these books are about. Thus I think I'll be ending my little endeavor to try Sherlock Holmes books. They aren't a bad read, but they aren't something that overly appeals to my personal tastes.
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LibraryThing member YV21
This was a great book by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. A great powerful and intense story of bravey and intelligence. After Sir Hugo Baskerville and Charles Baskerville died only Sir Henry was left. Dr. Watson and Sherlock Holmes were on the case met by honesy and betrayal and probably most of all
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LibraryThing member StrTrkRob
Readers do a disservice to Arthur Conan Doyle in preparing to read "The Hound of the Baskervilles," if they expect a predictable story. Doyle wrote the book 100 years ago, at a time when "the butler did it" was far less cliché a plot device than it is now.

Though the book begins that way, with
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Holmes and Watson focusing their suspicions on Sir Henry Baskerville's servants, the story quickly turns the reader on his head. Doyle effects numerous twists and keeps his audience clueless 'til nearly the book’s end.

Doyle doesn't give his readers enough information to solve the mystery themselves, but he expertly draws together all the seemingly meaningless minutiae as the story progresses.

The writing style holds up remarkably well, despite its age. Doyle is quite the wordsmith:

"When the butler had left us Sir Henry turned to me. 'Well, Watson, what do you think of this new light?'

'It seems to leave the darkness rather blacker than before.'"

Delicious irony.

Only occasionally was do the 19th-century British colloquialisms fail to translate easily into present-day spoken English.

This was the first Sherlock Holmes story I'd ever read, so I’m not sure if "The Hound of the Baskervilles" is typical of Doyle's writing style. I tend to hope it is. I'm anxious to read others!

Trivial aside: Holmes only mutters the word "elementary" twice in this novel, both near the book's beginning. Much like Star Trek's standard bearer, "Beam me up, Scotty," Holmes never utters the phrase, "Elementary, my dear Watson," in the canonical Doyle stories.
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LibraryThing member miss_scarlet
The only full-length novel written by Sir Conan Doyle, this book is very chilling and suspenseful. A classic and a perfect mystery novel!
LibraryThing member nohablo
Bad doggie.

Sherlock Holmes is a d*ck, and a terrible protagonist. As a rule, his adventures seem to have an odd, sagging pace to them simply because Holmes is so good at what he does; Holmes solves a case within five minutes, and the rest of us and poor Watson puff along playing catch up for the
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rest of the story as Holmes crows about his innate superiority. Luckily, in The Hound of the Baskervilles, we ditch Holmes' autistic, socially-retarded ass and ride side-saddle with Watson, who is hugely more qualified as a narrator. As a result, The Hound of the Baskervilles moves along at a wonderful, grim clip. Watson captures the bleak atmosphere of Baskerville Hall in all its terror, ratcheting up the tension as he stumbles across red herrings, bumps in the night, and deadly suspects. Watson’s not half the detective, but he’s ten-times the story-teller. Holmes and his wall-eyed logic would have killed The Hound of the Baskervilles, which thrives on its grisly, gothic atmosphere; Watson is infinitely more aware of the howls, the fog, and the ghosts, and his descriptions have a beauty of their own. The Hound of the Baskervilles is the perfect detective story (bad dudes! bad blood! vile trickery!) clad in the best traditions of a true horror story (dire omens! demonic possession! a curfew which thou must not break!) Worth It even if you’ve been thoroughly spoiled by That Wishbone episode.
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LibraryThing member iwriteinbooks
One of Doyle’s better known Holmes stories, The Hound of the Baskervilles, is one that begins in benign city drudgery and ends in the sensational, sensual moors of the countryside. A family history, plagued by the evil tale of a spiritual being, imposes itself on the pragmatic and scientific
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modernity of Holmes and Watson’s practice, throwing them for a ghostly loop.

When I was in third grade, I “read” the Hound of the Baskervilles. I had been given a collection of Doyle’s Holmes stories by some well-intentioned relative and being the avid little reader that I was, dug in. I remember very few of the the other stories but because I was, even (or especially) at 9, an avid animal advocate, I remember the The Hound.

At least I thought I did. When I am distressed about the things my son (currently 19 months) is reading in seven and a half years, I’ll have to remind myself that The Hound stuck with me in little part regarding the plot. The tawdry implied love affairs and inherent violence had no effect on me at that age. I think I read it simply because of the dog.

Of course, as a 26 year old, Watson’s recount of the countryside drama, packed with supernatural intrigue, holds much more weight. There are great writers still working today and they’ll certainly do in a pinch but there is nothing quite like the witty one liners and beautiful mysterious prose of Dolye’s stories. Through and through its tiny entirety, the Hound of the Baskerville is fantastic craftsmanship and an inevitable crowd favorite.
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LibraryThing member snat
I was not looking forward to reading The Hound of the Baskervilles, but it was this month's book club selection and, as a good little book clubber, I knew I had to persevere. The book had two strikes against it: 1) I really don't like mysteries and 2) I envisioned several pages about a couple of
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boring Brits (not to be confused with Monty Python Brits) who occasionally stumbled over a body. One of the great things about book club is that it often proves me wrong. I really enjoyed the book, although the answer to the mystery seemed a bit obvious (probably because so many shows/movies/books today seem to mimic Doyle's mysteries, so modern audiences expect them to unravel in a Sherlock Holmes way). Holmes reminded me a lot of television's House, and so my only complaint was that the arrogant braggart wasn't in it enough to entertain me with his often curt and direct manner. Overall, enjoyable and I plan to seek out the short stories soon.
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LibraryThing member varwenea
“The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes.” – Sherlock Holmes

After having watched the movies and TV shows, I finally read my first Sherlock Holmes book. From various reviews and from the Foreword, I thought I had chosen one of the best, if not the best,
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Holmes book. Unfortunately, it felt --- ‘passive’. I’ll explain.

The story surrounds a ghostly hound that haunts the Baskervilles family from several generations ago. After the untimely and unexplained death of Sir Charles Baskerville, the last Baskerville heir, Sir Henry, and his family friend, Dr. Mortimer, seek the help of the famous Sherlock Holmes to determine once and for all, the truth between the mystery hound and the legend that curses the Baskerville family members and estate. With a butler and wife at the estate, a number of inquisitive neighbors, an escaped convict, and the shadowy, foggy grounds of Grimpen Mire with moor and bog-hole that is the grassland version of quicksand, a delectable setting is laid for the whodunnit and how.

Perhaps movies and televisions have ruined my perspective; I had expected to journey with Holmes and Watson in their fact-finding. Since Holmes is tied-up with his current cases, Watson accompanies Sir Henry to his newly inherited estate ahead of Holmes. The facts are then revealed via Watson’s reports and excerpts from his diary; this approach and associated writing-style yields a past-tense feeling and the reader is not on the same journey with them. When Holmes ‘arrives’ (I’ll let you interpret the reason for the air-quote marks), the action begins, but the culprit is already identified. Even the ta-da moment is rather flat, and a last chapter is written as a retrospection. I didn’t even have a chance to get excited. Having guessed a couple of things didn’t help either. The book simply didn’t generate the excitement I had wanted. I feel like such a traitor to literature for saying such blasphemy against the great Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Well, if it’ll make you feel better, when I was little, I thought these stories were based on a real detective.

Anyway, it’s still a pretty good read, especially since its first release was 1901. I also valued the book having reinforced the Holmes’ and Watson’s behaviors and methods commonly depicted on the screen.

One quote:
On the love between siblings:
“…But first I had the unpleasant duty of breaking the news to Barrymore and his wife. To him it may have been an unmitigated relief, but she wept bitterly in her apron. To all the world he was the man of violence, half animal and half demon; but to her he always remained the little willful boy of her own girlhood, the child who had clung to her hand. Evil indeed is the man who has not one woman to mourn him.”
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LibraryThing member norabelle414
audiobook from the library - The narrator of this book was SO difficult to listen to, but I made it through. The only thing more painful than his 1930s British high society accent was his fake 1930s American/Canadian accent. The story itself was good, but of course I more or less knew the plot
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already (thank you, Wishbone)
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LibraryThing member lahochstetler
This was my first Sherlock Holmes, and it very much lived up to my expectations. In this novel Holmes is called from London to consider the death of Charles Baskerville, apparantly by a crazed and superhuman dog. Reports have come from the manor of a ghostly, dog-like creature that haunts the
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hills. When Charles's heir arrives to take up residence at Baskerville Hall, Holmes is convinced that the young Baskerville's life is in danger. Watson takes up residence at Baskerville Hall to watch out for Henry Baskerville's safety. When Watson notices strange things happening in the moors, the reader starts to wonder if, in fact, there is something supernatural haunting the moors.

The Hound of the Baskervilles is certainly an engaging read. I stayed up late to finish it, and I can imagine that reading it in serials would create great anticipation for the next installment.

The one shortfall I found was in my ability to visualize the scenery. I'm not entirely familiar with Dartmoor, and it was difficult sometimes to understand the placement of Baskerville Hall and the surrounding terrain. That's not entirely Doyle's fault, and I certainly did get the sense that the countryside was hilly and desolate.
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LibraryThing member KathrynCSN
This book is the last story of the series of Holmes. The story is about a person inerited a heritage at a very remote old manor. The ex-owner was dead not clearly in a corner of his house, and it seems that he was really scared before he dead. So people here all believed that there was a ghoset
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that becamed of a woman which dead because of the family of that ex-owner. So, the person who got the heritage asked Holmes to solve this thing. Final,Holmes found it's just a dog. Because one relative wanted to get the manor, so he creat all these things to try to kill the owner of this manor.

It's hard for me to read this book because I always scared about these horror stories. That's why I have to finish this story one time. For me, The first part of this story is good and really attracted me, but as the story developed, it became a liitle farfetched,I mean, all of these is just came from a dog? Anyway, Holmes was a really good detective!
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LibraryThing member Kaethe
Hound is pure Gothic goodness, with the moors, and mysterious lights, and noises, and danger everywhere. When people talk about life having passed at a slower pace in the past, they could have been talking about this book. A doctor comes to see Holmes about his concern, and over a few days of
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meetings over meals and slow chases, we get the set-up. Then Watson sets off for an extended stay with the new baronet. The two of them potter about in the country going on lots of long walks and being creeped out half the time. Eventually all is resolved, but apparently Watson doesn't get the final story from Holmes until much later. Leisurely. Plenty of time for Baskerville to fall in love in a non-ridiculous sort of way.

A fun read, with lots of red herrings strewn about.
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LibraryThing member countrylife
I wanted to join in some of the challenge reads for October, but the horror genre is not for me. However, this old classic was just spooky enough – the atmospheric moor, with its swamp, and chill, and fog; the hound and its legend; the sinister designs on the house of Baskerville – all combined
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to make a great murder mystery.
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LibraryThing member Amsa1959
I can´t help it - this is my favorite Sherlock Holmes mystery. Maybe because it was the first I read but I do love the moor, the mist, the howling and the legend of the dreadful monstrous dog. It´s a perfect read for a stormy winter´s evening in your favorite chair with a cup of tea beside you.
LibraryThing member michaeldwebb
If you look at the rest of my library you'll notice a distinct lack of classics. I read more of these when I was younger, but haven't recently. Why now? Because I read it as an eBook on my iPhone - Classics application - a few pence for a bundle of books. And it really was readable. Best thing was
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I could read in the dark (ie at night) with no problem.

Anyway, on to the book. I've not read any Sherlock Holmes before, and, luckily, had somehow avoided catching it on TV etc, so didn't know the ending. Lets face it, some classics can feel a little, you know, worthy (?) now, but this was just thoroughly enjoyable, perfectly readable, could have been written an time. OK, the characters aren't deep, but they are deep enough for a mystery story, the setting is great, and the twists and turns still work well today. Kept me gripped to the end.
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LibraryThing member tuckerresearch
Big scary predator hounds and Holmes? Can't beat it.
LibraryThing member Cecilturtle
Sherlock Holmes is a fun read, but the stories really are too far-fetched...
LibraryThing member gbill
A classic.

"The Hound" does not have the most intricate plot, but it's tight and mostly believable. The imagery is striking and for me really takes the book up to a higher rating: I enjoyed the descriptions of the dark and foggy moors, the phantom hound baying, and the butler's creepy doings in the
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night - all of which created a very distinctive tone. Along with these types of elements, Holmes and his sidekick Watson have spawned so much of what we see today in books, TV, and film.

Favorite quote:
"My body has remained in this armchair, and has, I regret to observe, consumed in my absence two large pots of coffee and an incredible amouont of tobacco."

The short story "The Adventure of the Speckled Band" was also included in this edition, and I was very surprised to read that Doyle considered it his best Holmes story. The setup is intriguing but the conclusion is far too contrived.
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LibraryThing member donghoonpx2014
Really good books with a lot of suspense, mystery. But as you read this book, you "might" don't like Holmes because he is very arrogant to Watson. I think everybody should read this mystery book




½ (3441 ratings; 3.9)
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