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  #1  
Old 11-10-2012, 10:06 PM
Daddypants Daddypants is offline
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Where should I start with Sherlock Holmes?

I've haven't read any Sherlock, but I thoroughly enjoyed both Robert Downey, Jr. movies, love the new BBC series, and Elementary is appointment viewing. So, I figure it's time to dive into some of Sir Arthur's original stories. There seem to be a lot of anthologies out there. Any recommendations or is there a stand alone novel I should start with?
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  #2  
Old 11-10-2012, 10:10 PM
aceplace57 aceplace57 is offline
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Nearly all the Holmes material is short stories.

The Complete Sherlock Holmes: All 4 Novels and 56 Short Stories costs $10
http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Sherl...herlock+holmes

I prefer the Novels and have read them dozens of times since childhood. This illustrated collection has the four novels.
http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Illus...herlock+holmes

Or just drop by any Library and check out the 4 novels individually.
Study in Scarlet
The Sign of the Four
The Hound of the Baskervilles
The Valley of Fear

Last edited by aceplace57; 11-10-2012 at 10:14 PM..
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  #3  
Old 11-10-2012, 10:17 PM
aceplace57 aceplace57 is offline
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Oh my, just noticed the Kindle version of the four Holmes novels is 99 cents. Buying that right now for myself. I haven't read Holmes in at least 10 years.

Last edited by aceplace57; 11-10-2012 at 10:18 PM..
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  #4  
Old 11-10-2012, 10:31 PM
Simplicio Simplicio is offline
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You don't really need to read them in any order. The novel A Study in Scarlett sets up the characters, but your almost certainly familiar with the basic back story from pop-culture, so if you want to start with some of the short stories instead of one of the novels, I doubt you'll have any trouble following them.

Otherwise, the stories don't require you to be familiar with any earlier works, and Doyle was famously unconcerned with continuity in any case. But there isn't really any reason to read them out of the publishing order (unless, as I said, you want to start with some of the short stories before reading the longer novels). So I'd just do that.

Last edited by Simplicio; 11-10-2012 at 10:32 PM..
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  #5  
Old 11-10-2012, 10:35 PM
njtt njtt is offline
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It really does not matter very much where you start. Although Holmes gets older and has "retired" in a couple of later stories, and Watson originally lives with him, and later has got married and moved out, there is not otherwise much of an "arc" to the Holmes stories as a whole. All of them are more or less independent of one another, the only real exception being when Holmes dies (The Final Problem) and then comes back ("The Empty House).

An obvious place to start would be with the very first Holmes story, the novel A Study in Scarlet, where Holmes and Watson first meet. Just be warned, though, that it is not entirely typical, since about half the book is a flashback, set in America, that does not involve Holmes or Watson at all. (The Valley of Fear is like this too.) Really, though, it does not matter. Just plunge in wherever is convenient. It is all good. (Although that is not say every story is as good as every other: rather they vary between pretty good and brilliant.)

I hope you will not be disappointed, by the way, to find the real thing, and the character of the "real" Sherlock Holmes, are nothing like Sherlock. Sherlock is excellent both in its own right and as hommage, but it is, quite intentionally, very different in tone and content from Doyle's stories. (I haven't seen the Robert Downey jr. movies, but I suspect the same point applies.)

Last edited by njtt; 11-10-2012 at 10:36 PM..
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  #6  
Old 11-10-2012, 10:45 PM
aceplace57 aceplace57 is offline
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The Hound of the Baskervilles is my personal favorite. The mood that is struck up on the moors is so spooky. I love both the book and the old 1939 movie with Basil Rathbone. It's currently on youtube. It's so old that I think its in the public domain now.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1a0qENQKr8
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  #7  
Old 11-10-2012, 10:45 PM
The Second Stone The Second Stone is online now
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BBC did a series with Jeremy Brett back in the 70s and 80s that is the definitive screen Holmes.
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  #8  
Old 11-10-2012, 10:58 PM
Joey P Joey P is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by njtt View Post
An obvious place to start would be with the very first Holmes story, the novel A Study in Scarlet, where Holmes and Watson first meet. Just be warned, though, that it is not entirely typical, since about half the book is a flashback, set in America, that does not involve Holmes or Watson at all.
I started with that book. In fact, it was one of the first books I read when I got into reading about a year ago. The flashback threw me so much that I actually started a thread about it. I honestly though I was reading a different book. I truly thought I had downloaded two books bundled together. I asked here and did some Googling to make sure I was still in the same book (and found I wasn't the only person asking that question). I was basically told that it's so totally unrelated to the first half of the book you really don't have to read it if you don't want to.

Anyways, that's where I started.
Study In Scarlet
The Sign Of Four
Hound of the Baskervilles

Then I went on the Adventures but I had to put that down for a while. It's like trying to watch episodes of House one after another. They become a bit repetitive when they're that short. But as others said, you really don't need to read them in any particular order. You can read A Study In Scarlet if you want to learn about how him and Watson met and meet some of the local cops ahead of time, but you'll put it together fast enough if you don't.

Also @aceplace, I noticed you said they were 99¢. I know I got them for free from Amazon, you shouldn't have to pay for them since they're out of copyright. The ones that aren't free at Amazon ARE free at Gutenberg.org and they'll transfer right over to your Kindle (and show up on your Amazon.com account just as if you bought it there, they play nice together).
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  #9  
Old 11-10-2012, 11:02 PM
rowrrbazzle rowrrbazzle is offline
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Free PDF facsimiles of some of the original publications (with notes) can be found here:

http://sherlockholmes.stanford.edu/archive.html
http://sherlockholmes.stanford.edu/readings.html
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  #10  
Old 11-10-2012, 11:16 PM
Lynn Bodoni Lynn Bodoni is offline
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As others said, don't worry about the order too much. Doyle wrote stories out of sequence on occasion.

I found the complete works available for my nook for about three or four bucks (can't remember which) and that's less than many dead tree versions of a single novel. So if you have an ereader, you might want to buy the collection.

I tend to read a few short stories, read another author, go back to Holmes, read another author, etc. Otherwise, I tend to get tired of the setting.
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  #11  
Old 11-10-2012, 11:30 PM
Erdosain Erdosain is online now
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As someone who just recently read Sherlock Holmes for the first time, I'll tell you the truth. A Study in Scarlet and The Sign of Four suck. They suck hard and they suck long.

The Hound of the Baskervilles is great. The stories are hit and miss. Proceed as you see fit.
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  #12  
Old 11-10-2012, 11:36 PM
Dervorin Dervorin is offline
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Originally Posted by The Second Stone View Post
BBC did a series with Jeremy Brett back in the 70s and 80s that is the definitive screen Holmes.
Nitpick: It wasn't actually the BBC, it was Granada, and the series was broadcast on ITV. Definitely the definitive canonical Holmes as far as I'm concerned.
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  #13  
Old 11-11-2012, 09:23 AM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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Originally Posted by Erdosain View Post
As someone who just recently read Sherlock Holmes for the first time, I'll tell you the truth. A Study in Scarlet and The Sign of Four suck. They suck hard and they suck long.

The Hound of the Baskervilles is great. The stories are hit and miss. Proceed as you see fit.
This is truth.

The best place to start is with the Adventures, the first twelve short stories. About 95% of everything that is "Holmes" comes out of these stories. Then Hound, then you can fill in around them as you feel like.
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  #14  
Old 11-11-2012, 09:35 AM
Amateur Barbarian Amateur Barbarian is online now
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If you're serious enough to care, the various editions of the Annotated Holmes are worth using for your reading copy. Besides page annotations on the obscure points of the story and time, there are helpful notes that tie things together, and inter-story essays and references (which you can skip the first time through) that go into great, sometimes Britishly-silly, depth on fine points of the two men, their lives, and the milieu.
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  #15  
Old 11-11-2012, 11:03 AM
Jackmannii Jackmannii is offline
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Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase View Post
The best place to start is with the Adventures, the first twelve short stories. About 95% of everything that is "Holmes" comes out of these stories. Then Hound, then you can fill in around them as you feel like.
Good advice.

Though it's pretty much a given that if you don't like "The Hound of the Baskervilles" you won't like much else in the repertoire.

Do not start out with the last of the short story collections, as most of them are inferior to the early ones (despite Holmes' efforts to pump them up by telling Watson stuff like "Strangest case I ever had!").

"The Sign of the Four" and "A Study In Scarlet" are enjoyable in my view, better than "The Valley of Fear" but not up to "The Hound of the Baskervilles".
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  #16  
Old 11-11-2012, 11:18 AM
BMalion BMalion is offline
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Originally Posted by Erdosain View Post
As someone who just recently read Sherlock Holmes for the first time, I'll tell you the truth. A Study in Scarlet and The Sign of Four suck. They suck hard and they suck long.

...

Persecute! Unbeliever! Persecute!









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  #17  
Old 11-11-2012, 11:56 AM
Thudlow Boink Thudlow Boink is online now
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Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase View Post
The best place to start is with the Adventures, the first twelve short stories. About 95% of everything that is "Holmes" comes out of these stories. Then Hound, then you can fill in around them as you feel like.
Yeah, my personal recommendation is to start by reading The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, because it's both the earliest and, arguably, the best of the several short story collections to be published. The short stories are more characteristic, but Hound of the Baskervilles is the best of the novels.

The short novel A Study In Scarlet is the first Holmes story to be written, and it does introduce Holmes to Watson and to us. But the second half of the novel is all backstory explaining the lead-up to the crime, and doesn't involve Holmes at all, which of course isn't what most readers expect/want from a Sherlock Holmes story. (See the thread Is this ever going to end (Middle of A Study In Scarlet)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aceplace57 View Post
Oh my, just noticed the Kindle version of the four Holmes novels is 99 cents. Buying that right now for myself. I haven't read Holmes in at least 10 years.
Almost all of Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories are old enough that they're in the public domain (in the U.S.) (and the later ones that aren't, aren't nearly as good). That means you should be able to find e-book editions for free or nearly free, depending on what edition you want. You can, for example, get everything Arthur Conan Doyle ever wrote that's currently in the public domain for $2.99—or just download the individual books for free from Project Gutenberg.
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  #18  
Old 11-11-2012, 12:23 PM
Bridget Burke Bridget Burke is offline
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Originally Posted by Dervorin View Post
Nitpick: It wasn't actually the BBC, it was Granada, and the series was broadcast on ITV. Definitely the definitive canonical Holmes as far as I'm concerned.
Most of us first saw Jeremy Brett as Holmes on PBS; at the time, we just assumed that everything British came from the BBC. I love those shows & they are currently streaming on Netflix....
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  #19  
Old 11-11-2012, 12:29 PM
Dendarii Dame Dendarii Dame is offline
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I'd read The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes first, and also the short story "The Adventure of Silver Blaze", which includes the famous line about "the curious incident of the dog in the night time." It's my favorite Holmes story.
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  #20  
Old 11-11-2012, 12:42 PM
Zabali_Clawbane Zabali_Clawbane is offline
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Originally Posted by The Second Stone View Post
BBC did a series with Jeremy Brett back in the 70s and 80s that is the definitive screen Holmes.
Camden House has the (complete) Complete Sherlock Holmes online. You will see by the original illustrations that Jeremy Brett looks like the canon Holmes.
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  #21  
Old 11-11-2012, 12:46 PM
Smeghead Smeghead is offline
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They're public domain now, so you can get electronic versions at Project Gutenberg for free.
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  #22  
Old 11-11-2012, 01:03 PM
Zabali_Clawbane Zabali_Clawbane is offline
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Camden House has the (complete) Complete Sherlock Holmes online. You will see by the original illustrations that Jeremy Brett looks like the canon Holmes.
Interesting, you cannot link to a specific section of the site, it takes you to the "porch" area. Here's the front yard, with an illustration from The Empty House. I like The Sign Of the Four, and A Study In Scarlet.
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  #23  
Old 11-11-2012, 01:13 PM
njtt njtt is offline
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The only Holmes story that truly sucks is His Last Bow (not the collection, the individual story). Holmes does not really do any detecting at all in it. He acts more as a spy or secret agent, and not a particularly interesting one.
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  #24  
Old 11-11-2012, 04:14 PM
BMalion BMalion is offline
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The only Holmes story that truly sucks is His Last Bow (not the collection, the individual story). Holmes does not really do any detecting at all in it. He acts more as a spy or secret agent, and not a particularly interesting one.
What!?

Holmes fools Von Bork and busts up his spy-ring. Plants false information with the German High Command. That's gotta involve some detecting.
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  #25  
Old 11-11-2012, 04:17 PM
tellyworth tellyworth is offline
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He acts more as a spy or secret agent, and not a particularly interesting one.
It's sort of interesting to fans, being a proto-spy-story that demonstrates Conan Doyle hadn't figured out how to write a spy story yet. Holmes acts like a Bond villain by explaining his plans and thus undoing them. Amusing, but yes, it sucks.

And I'll just concur with most of the advice in this thread. Read the short stories, Adventures being the obvious starting point. Hound of the Baskervilles is the only novel that's as good as the short stories.
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  #26  
Old 11-11-2012, 04:33 PM
Zabali_Clawbane Zabali_Clawbane is offline
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What!?

Holmes fools Von Bork and busts up his spy-ring. Plants false information with the German High Command. That's gotta involve some detecting.
I think maybe they don't like that it is already done, and we don't get to see the process.
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  #27  
Old 11-11-2012, 07:23 PM
BMalion BMalion is offline
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I think maybe they don't like that it is already done, and we don't get to see the process.
Hey, Doyle was new at it. Waddaya want?
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  #28  
Old 11-11-2012, 07:33 PM
Kansas Beekeeper Kansas Beekeeper is offline
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Most of us first saw Jeremy Brett as Holmes on PBS; at the time, we just assumed that everything British came from the BBC. I love those shows & they are currently streaming on Netflix....
In 1989, I got to see Jeremy Brett in London live in a stage version of Holmes.

As to reading, just get the complete Holmes and start at the beginning. Some are better than others, and they eventually get a little repetitive, but all are fun.
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  #29  
Old 11-11-2012, 07:35 PM
ThelmaLou ThelmaLou is offline
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Originally Posted by Simplicio View Post
You don't really need to read them in any order.
I suggest you do what I did when I was 13. Get The Complete Sherlock Holmes and read the stories in order. About halfway through, you will find out why this was the thing to do.
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  #30  
Old 11-11-2012, 08:07 PM
Nonsuch Nonsuch is offline
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I suggest you do what I did when I was 13. Get The Complete Sherlock Holmes and read the stories in order.
This is what I did (after seeing Brett's Holmes on PBS). One thing I remembered from that reading is that the cops gradually get smarter (or at least less incompetent) as the stories progress.
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  #31  
Old 11-12-2012, 12:15 AM
Zabali_Clawbane Zabali_Clawbane is offline
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Hey, Doyle was new at it. Waddaya want?
Hi, I'm the choir!
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  #32  
Old 11-12-2012, 07:20 AM
C K Dexter Haven C K Dexter Haven is offline
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I agree to start with the first short stories, in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. The first novel (which was the first published), A Study in Scarlet, introduces the characters (whom you already know) but also has a long interval in the middle, describing the history of the suspects from many years before in the US. It's a good story, it's an interesting story, but it's not about Holmes. After you've read the short stories, you'll be into it, and can put up with the Utah diversion.
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  #33  
Old 11-12-2012, 07:50 AM
Erdosain Erdosain is online now
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The problem with both Study in Scarlet and Sign of Four is the same: an over-reliance on exoticism for the mysteries. (Also, the Utah section of Scarlet is deadly dull.) It falls flat especially today, when we read Holmes partly for the Victorian atmosphere, not these exotic locales that Conan Doyle didn't really understand in the first place. And the mystery simply isn't fun when it's like, "How was this man killed in a locked room?" "Oh, a special kind of Pygmy from Papua New Guinea who can walk on ceilings used a special New Guinean poison that you've never heard of. Case closed!"
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  #34  
Old 11-12-2012, 02:04 PM
Sauron Sauron is offline
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The main thing, the most important thing, you absolutely must do when attempting to read all of the Sherlock Holmes stories, is this:

Skip "The Adventure of the Mazarin Stone."

If you happen to buy a collection that has this story in it, rip it out and burn it unread. If you dowload an electronic version or visit a Website that has this story as part of its offering, immediately throw away your tablet or e-reader or whatever and purchase another one.

Trust me on this.
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  #35  
Old 11-12-2012, 02:55 PM
teela brown teela brown is offline
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Originally Posted by Kansas Beekeeper View Post
In 1989, I got to see Jeremy Brett in London live in a stage version of Holmes.
Lucky! I've found an audio-only recording of the first part of the play on youtube, as well as a sketchy recording that a fan made of a dressing-room meeting among her, her husband, Brett and Edward Hardwicke. Brett was quite the raconteur, apparently.

A video of the play does not exist, sadly. I wish I had seen it.

Last edited by teela brown; 11-12-2012 at 02:55 PM..
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  #36  
Old 11-12-2012, 03:12 PM
Battle Pope Battle Pope is online now
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If you're into audio books, Edward Hardwicke has also done some of the short stories.

http://www.amazon.com/Adventures-She...ward+Hardwicke

Last edited by Battle Pope; 11-12-2012 at 03:12 PM..
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  #37  
Old 12-05-2012, 01:05 PM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is offline
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Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes tales are timelessly wonderful. My favorites: the novel The Hound of the Baskervilles, of course, and the short stories "The Red-Headed League," "The Norwood Builder," "The Musgrave Ritual," "Silver Blaze," "The Speckled Band," and "The Problem of Thor Bridge." June Thomson has written a series of Holmesian short stories that are every bit as good as Conan Doyle's best, IMHO; her first collection is The Secret Files of Sherlock Holmes.

I also recently learned, thanks to the Dope, about Neil Gaiman's fantastic, Hugo-winning Conan Doyle/Lovecraft mashup, "A Study in Emerald," which you can find here: http://www.neilgaiman.com/mediafiles...es/emerald.pdf
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  #38  
Old 12-05-2012, 02:35 PM
Mk VII Mk VII is offline
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The later short stories are somewhat formulaic, a reflection of the fact that C-D didn't place much value on them and was frankly sick of Holmes by that time. He thought his historical novels like The White Company and the Brigadier Gerard stories would cement his reputation. The Study In Scarlet is juvenilia, with the crime solved and the perpetrator in custody half-way through. C-D improved at it as he went on.
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  #39  
Old 12-05-2012, 03:57 PM
johnspartan johnspartan is offline
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If you've started with the ones you mentioned, you may want to try next Young Sherlock Holmes. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0090357/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1
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  #40  
Old 12-05-2012, 04:08 PM
Irishman Irishman is online now
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Years ago when I first thought to read Holmes, I picked up "The Aventures of Sherlock Holmes", "The Return of Sherlock Holmes", and "The Hound of the Baskervilles". (I also picked up "Sherlock Holmes and the Case of Sabina Hall", which I will discuss below.) I found them entertaining and a cover of most elements of the characters of Sherlock and Watson. However, it was lacking how they met, which did annoy me slightly, but I was able to enjoy the stories.

Earlier this year, for a variety of reasons, I decided to reread all the Holmes stuff, and realized that I had not, in fact, read all ACD's stuff yet. So I acquired "The Complete Sherlock Holmes" in the version edited by Kyle Freeman. This one is nice because it is annotated enough to explain some of his cultural referents like people names he drops, and some comments on contradictions with other stories, etc.

It did take me around 4 months to read it all, but I'm not that fast a reader. I generally agree with the assessments of others.

"A Study in Scarlett" is the first, which introduces the characters, and it often referred to in other literature. Consider reading the first couple chapters that introduce the characters, then jumping to "The Adventures" when the cops show up to invite him to the case. Alternately, you can likely read through the first half, then jump to the last chapter where the criminal explains things. The long second part is all back story on what happened, which is not uninteresting, but has nothing to do with Sherlock and seems out of place.

After a while, I did notice some patterns in ACD stories. He tended to reuse story elements or themes. Like the adventurer from Australia/America/South America who lied about some secret from his past and someone from that past has shown up to take advantage of it. Or the old manor house in the country with the miser and the dedicated servants.

Also, Doyle doesn't always play completely fair with the audience for conventional mysteries, by withholding details. Sherlock often keeps Watson in the dark when he knows more than he's telling and wants to manufacture the big reveal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by njtt View Post
The only Holmes story that truly sucks is His Last Bow (not the collection, the individual story). Holmes does not really do any detecting at all in it. He acts more as a spy or secret agent, and not a particularly interesting one.
I agree that that one isn't that good, though several in that collection aren't very good, and frankly there are elements in a couple of them that suggest they aren't completely Doyle's work. Kyle Freeman points out places in three different stories that don't quite fit with Doyle writing the stories. One of them has Holmes snarking at the hired help - something a Victorian Gentleman just wouldn't do. And it wasn't to serve some greater purpose, just to be snide.

Another thing that never did feel right about those, somewhere along the way Sherlock retires to the English countryside to keep and study bees. He's supposed to be content with his scientific studies. Except it is established early on that is scientific studies are not enough to keep him engaged and fulfilled, and he lapses into use of cocaine when bored. He needs the criminal cases to keep his attention, the uniqueness of the puzzles. It seems uncharacteristic that later he is content without them.

But the worst one to me was "The Final Problem". Here's why I felt it sucked. Spoilered, because it gives way major flow of the story.

SPOILER:
This is the story that kills off Sherlock the first time. So, Doyle decided he needed a villain that was sufficient to stand up to Sherlock. So this is the first mention ever of Moriarty, and we're told he's a mastermind with a hand in all the nefarious doings and with a crew of bad guys, but we've never seen any indications of this. Watson even says he's never heard of him.

Second, we're told Moriarty is a criminal genius every bit as smart as Sherlock, but it's not really demonstrated. There are a couple of things he does, but really we have no real demonstrations how challenging Moriarty is to Holmes, so this just feels out of the blue and unconvincing.

Third, Sherlock is on the cusp of putting Moriarty and his gang out of business for good, and threatens to retire afterwards, yet decides for his safety to take up an extended vacation in Europe. Just odd for Sherlock to go running away, and keep running.

Fourth, Sherlock doesn't do any detecting. In fact, the big reveal at the ending has Watson supposedly using Sherlock's methods to decypher what occurred on the cliffs of Reichenbach above the falls. Fortunately, we don't actually see Sherlock go over the cliff, which allows a thin vaneer of plausibility for his eventual return. But the whole story is weak on detecting, weak on justification of the bad guy, and weak on the ending. Just overall disappointing even without considering it nominally killed off Holmes.


Later stories try to shoehorn Moriarty in, and prove he was working all along in the background. Not fully convincing to me. Watson makes a contradictory statement that he was aware of Moriarty for some time before "The Final Problem".

Doyle was never really that concerned with consistency. He doesn't even keep Watson's name straight (is it John or James H. Watson?)

Doyle does jump around a little in time with his stories, so they're not strictly sequential. And he does make occassional cross references - his stories often start out with an explanatory note from Watson about when it was, things that were happening, other cases that had just been resolved - some of which we never hear about.

There are also a couple of self-parodies that Doyle wrote. They hinge on the same basic joke about Sherlocks method of observation and its effectiveness.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Erdosain View Post
And the mystery simply isn't fun when it's like, "How was this man killed in a locked room?" "Oh, a special kind of Pygmy from Papua New Guinea who can walk on ceilings used a special New Guinean poison that you've never heard of. Case closed!"
Dude, you should totally spoiler that.

I mentioned I was going to comment on L.B. Greenwood's novel, "Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Sabina Hall". It is fairly well written and feels authentic in style, tone, and character. It does have a slight weakness in that it repeats a Doyle flaw of borrowing heavily on elements - an old manor house in the country, a miserly old man, some weird staff, bizarre occurrences, some exotic information. It isn't bad, though, certainly not as bad as the couple authentic stories mentioned above.
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  #41  
Old 12-05-2012, 05:17 PM
Shodan Shodan is offline
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The main thing, the most important thing, you absolutely must do when attempting to read all of the Sherlock Holmes stories, is this:

Skip "The Adventure of the Mazarin Stone."

If you happen to buy a collection that has this story in it, rip it out and burn it unread. If you dowload an electronic version or visit a Website that has this story as part of its offering, immediately throw away your tablet or e-reader or whatever and purchase another one.

Trust me on this.
Add "The Creeping Man" to that, which is even worse.

After "The Adventure of the Empty House", ACD could still make it happen, but it got rarer and rarer as he went on, and finally he was just phoning it in.

I would start with The Adventures, do A Study in Scarlet (and skip the Utah part) and The Hound of the Baskervilles. Save the rest for after you are addicted.

Regards,
Shodan
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  #42  
Old 12-05-2012, 05:25 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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Holmes' idiosyncrasies, eccentricities, and borderline crazy plotlines were being spoofed as early as 1896. Some of the early ones are funny but hard to find.

Fortunately, the best Holmes parodies - the best parodies in the crime genre - are cheap and easily available. Schlock Homes: The Complete Bagel Street Saga by Robert L. Fish contains the two original volumes, all masterpieces even though a few shine above the rest. "The Adventure of the Adam Bomb" is glorious punnery and the spoof of "The Final Problem" is sublime. Homes' deductions are always ludicrous yet always lead to an ending, if not necessary a solution, that slices Doyle's hackery into shreds.

I assume that everybody who's reading here loves a great pun - and if not, go to a different internet and leave us alone. Everybody else should grab this book and treasure it.
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  #43  
Old 12-06-2012, 10:36 AM
Sauron Sauron is offline
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So I acquired "The Complete Sherlock Holmes" in the version edited by Kyle Freeman. This one is nice because it is annotated enough to explain some of his cultural referents like people names he drops, and some comments on contradictions with other stories, etc.
There's one footnote by Freeman that has always bugged the heck out of me. In "The Adventure of the Copper Beeches," Holmes is talking with a servant woman who had allowed a man to visit with the governess in a house, against the master's wishes.

Holmes says something like "Through persuasive arguments, metallic or otherwise, he convinced you to let him in ..." and the servant says something like "He is a very free-handed gentleman."

Freeman's footnote for the "metallic or otherwise" quote says "A gun or a knife can be a very persuasive argument." Please! It's obvious Holmes is implying the man bribed his way in with coins, and the woman is essentially agreeing with him.

Overall I love the footnotes and additional information Freeman brought to the table, but the obvious swing-and-a-miss on this one is particularly frustrating.
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  #44  
Old 12-06-2012, 10:45 AM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is offline
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Originally Posted by Sauron View Post
...Holmes says something like "Through persuasive arguments, metallic or otherwise, he convinced you to let him in ..." and the servant says something like "He is a very free-handed gentleman."

Freeman's footnote for the "metallic or otherwise" quote says "A gun or a knife can be a very persuasive argument." Please! It's obvious Holmes is implying the man bribed his way in with coins, and the woman is essentially agreeing with him....
Yes, "free-handed" certainly suggests a big spender.
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Old 12-06-2012, 01:13 PM
Irishman Irishman is online now
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Originally Posted by Sauron View Post
Freeman's footnote for the "metallic or otherwise" quote says "A gun or a knife can be a very persuasive argument." Please! It's obvious Holmes is implying the man bribed his way in with coins, and the woman is essentially agreeing with him.

Overall I love the footnotes and additional information Freeman brought to the table, but the obvious swing-and-a-miss on this one is particularly frustrating.
Thanks for that. I found the gun or knife explanation weak, and the monetary explanation makes much more sense.
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Old 12-06-2012, 02:27 PM
Sauron Sauron is offline
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Thanks for that. I found the gun or knife explanation weak, and the monetary explanation makes much more sense.
It honestly flabbergasted me when I first read that footnote. How can Freeman not know money is what's being referenced? Particularly with pounds and guineas being more frequently mentioned as coins rather than notes in the stories.

Shodan: I tend to give ACD a pass on stories that reference scientific principles (such as "The Creeping Man" or "Speckled Band"), because I assume his understanding was based on the prevailing knowledge of the day. For my money, the worst story of the bunch is "Mazarin Stone," and I'm pretty well convinced ACD didn't actually write it.
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  #47  
Old 12-07-2012, 10:18 AM
Terraplane Terraplane is offline
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If you scroll down to the end of the first post, here, you can download all the stories at once for free.
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