Thursday, 12 June 2014

Sherlock Holmes


Yeah, I know, I know. I do try to taste all kinds of flavours in this challenge, but, whaddayaknow, Arthur Conan Doyle – excuse me, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – wrote some pretty decent stuff.

So, a summary of the short stories this copy contained:

-Silver Blaze
-The Yellow Face
-The Stockbroker’s Clerk
-The ‘Gloria Scott’
-The Musgrave Ritual
-The Reigate Squires
-The Crooked Man
-The Resident Patient
-The Greek Interpreter
-The Naval Treaty
-The Final Problem

I don’t know if it’s because it’s a different edition than the previous one, but this time there were stories with pictures. No illustrations like in a children’s book, but sketches of clues, like a hand-drawn map of an office space, or a secret note that had two different kinds of hand-writing. (Rubbish clue, that one. Possibly had to do that I couldn’t even read the note, let alone decipher the calligraphy.) But then again, this Penguin edition was 8 euros more expensive than the other one, which I bought for like 2 euros in a shop in Rome. (I buy books when I travel. Sue me.)

What I noticed throughout this book was that they are mostly about Sherlock’s solitary memories of his earlier work, reminisces by the fireplace so Watson could add them to his collection. Though of course still good literature, I thought it was slightly more dull than the previous series of short stories. Of course, this could have been because I was now more familiar with his writing style – the surprise factor had worn off.
And yet that opinion is completely thrown out of the window (or off the roof of a hospital, hurr hurr) in the last short story, in which Watson has to do his own deducing.
It’s not a happy ending.

I still have fond feelings of my deerstalker-hatted detective, and I will definitely read more of Doyle (Sir Doyle, sorry) now I’ve recently bought a complete edition. But I will try to keep that book closed until after the challenge. I might read The Lost World though. Because dinosaurs.

Until next time,