Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

I'm sort of on a major Sherlock Holmes kick right now.  I loved both of Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes movies.  Guy Ritchie has made some of my favorite movies (Snatch, Rocknrolla) and I loved how he modernized Sherlock Holmes while still keeping the story in the late 1800's England.  I decided that I wanted to read some of the stories so that I could know a little more about Holmes and Watson and how their characters were developed in the literary world. 

I started with The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, which is a collection of short Holmes stories.  If you enjoyed the movies, or the BBC show Sherlock, or the new TV series Elementary I really recommend that you read these short stories.  Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is amazingly good at the twist.  In every one of the short stories I was carefully reading so that I could find that one little nugget that he would dangle at you and then at the end of the story smash in your face as the critical evidence.  Alas, I was always wrong.  So, either I'm an idiot or Doyle's a genius.  I think it's probably that Doyle's a genius.

It's easy to see why the character of Sherlock Holmes has become so iconic.  Sherlock Holmes is almost a super hero.  His super ability is a keen sense of observation.  Which could be really boring, except he's such a whackadoo that it's extremely entertaining.  And he does drugs like a fiend.  It's crazy, they just talk about him doing cocaine like it's normal.  Maybe it was normal in the 1890's?  

As I said before, what draws me into the story is the twist.  I love a good mystery where the whole time you think you know who did it or where the missing items are or who is causing all the mischief and then in the last two paragraphs having all of that turned on its head.  Then I like to reread the story to find out what key detail I missed. 

Sherlock Holmes is a classic that has withstand the time test.  The stories still seem fresh and relevant.  I'd give this a 4/5 or 8/10 stars.   

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