Review: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
Title: Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Novels and Stories, Volume
Author: Arthur Conan Doyle
Genre: Mystery, classic
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Goodreads Summary:I'm a little disappointed by the detective who inspired millions of fans and countless adaptations.
Since his first appearance in Beeton’s Christmas Annual in 1887, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes has been one of the most beloved fictional characters ever created. Now, in two paperback volumes, Bantam presents all fifty-six short stories and four novels featuring Conan Doyle’s classic hero - a truly complete collection of Sherlock Holmes’s adventures in crime!
Volume I includes the early novel A Study in Scarlet, which introduced the eccentric genius of Sherlock Holmes to the world. This baffling murder mystery, with the cryptic word Rache written in blood, first brought Holmes together with Dr. John Watson. Next, The Sign of Four presents Holmes’s famous “seven percent solution” and the strange puzzle of Mary Morstan in the quintessential locked - room mystery.
Also included are Holmes’s feats of extraordinary detection in such famous cases as the chilling “ The Adventure of the Speckled Band,” the baffling riddle of “The Musgrave Ritual,” and the ingeniously plotted “The Five Orange Pips,” tales that bring to life a Victorian England of horse-drawn cabs, fogs, and the famous lodgings at 221B Baker Street, where Sherlock Holmes earned his undisputed reputation as the greatest fictional detective of all time.
Some of the mysteries were great, but a lot of them were really random. It seems like Sherlock Holmes can solve entire mysteries in a glimpse, but enjoys making other people look stupid while they try frantically to piece together what he has known all along. I love that Sherlock Holmes is clever, but hate how he toys with and baits everyone around him. What was even more annoying was how Watson just fawned over him without any self-respect.
I know these stories were written in a different time period, but the amount of racism and sexism in the stories really bothered me. I think another reason I didn't connect with the original Sherlock Holmes is that the stories were a lot of exposition and then explanation of what happened, and there was hardly any suspense or character development. Again, I feel like this is just a different style of writing due to the time period.
I can definitely respect Dir Doyle for coming up with such clever solutions to mysteries and for creating a character that won the hearts of the world. I think I'll stick to adaptations from now on, though.