Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Sherlock Holmes- the name we all associate with 221 Baker Street, blockbuster films and, more recently, the BBC series staring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. If we're honest I don't think any of us think of the books by Arthur Conyan Doyle first, if you do I give you a round of applause.

I am a great fan of all things Sherlocky, as most of my friends and family would probably tell you. Not so much that I am constantly talking about Sherlock Holmes, but enough that, when in London, I convinced my friends to walk up to 221 Baker Street. Let me tell you now, it is a very very long street. Something I probably should have realized from the address. Needless to say my friends were not very impressed, some even wanted to turn around when we got to 21 Baker Street and realized we had a couple hundred more houses to go. I was determined however and we eventually arrived at our destination, to find, much to my disappointment, that it really wasn't that impressive - I have no idea what I'd been expecting - I did get a photo though and pretended, mainly for the benefit of my friends, to be very excited.

There are nine books in the Sherlock Holmes series, they are as follows;

A study in Scarlet
The sign of four
The adventures of Sherlock Holmes
The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes
The Hound of Baskervilles
The Return of Sherlock Holmes
The Valley of Fear
His Last Bow
The Case Book of Sherlock Holmes

The first Sherlock Holmes adventure I read was The Speckled Band, and that is when my love for the Sherlock stories began. Of course I'd heard about Sherlock Holmes before but I had never really wanted to read it or had any particular interest in it. Then, after watching The Study in Pink on TV I decided to start reading 'The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes,' Even though it wasn't the first in the series I found that it didn't matter because the mysteries were almost completely stand alone and not in chronological order.

I can't say much about the book series as a whole as I have only read one book and only a half of it at that, but the one thing that caught me about Arthur Conan Doyle's style is how cleverly he manages to confuse the readers and disable us from making conclusions before Sherlock presents his, extremely logical and apparently 'obvious' observations. Most mysteries present the reader with clues unknown to the characters in the book, with Sherlock Holmes its different, he knows everything whilst the reader is still in the dark waiting his explanation. This role is shared by John Watson and it is his train of thought we follow and not Sherlock's. This technique might differ in other books but as I haven't yet read them I cannot say. 

As a closing note let me strongly encourage you to read the Sherlock Holmes series for yourself, don't rely on the magic of television to accurately portray the genius behind Arthur Conyan Doyle's famous characters. 

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