Teller Of Tales: The L...
Teller Of Tales: The Life Of Arthur Conan Doyle
This compelling biography examines the extraordinary life and strange contrasts of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the struggling provincial doctor who became the most popular storyteller of his age when he created Sherlock Holmes. From his youthful exploits aboard a whaling ship to his often stormy friendships with such figures as Harry Houdini and George Bernard Shaw, Conan Doyl...more
(first published 1999)
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Dec 23, 2011 Amy Sturgis rated it 4 of 5 stars · review of another edition
This was exactly what I was looking for, a comprehensive biography of Arthur Conan Doyle that put his writings in a larger personal context. Stashower's style is accessible and straightforward (though better documentation would've been preferable), and I appreciated the numerous quotes that allowed the individuals to speak for themselves. Stashower makes no apologies for Doyle, but he tries to remain balanced, even sympathetic, even in the most trying of circumstances (Doyle's crusade for Spirit...more
Oct 19, 2009 Michael rated it 3 of 5 stars · review of another edition
This is a very interesting book about a fascinating and enigmatic man. Enigmatic because it is difficult to understand how a mind that could create Sherlock Holmes, the ultra-clinical, ultra-sceptical detective, could also believe in fairies, table-tapping, "voices from beyond," and pretty much any other mystical twaddle that came his way. This book, however, goes some way to reconciling these two polar opposites, explaining how Scottish good sense prevented Doyle from using Holmes as a mouthpie...more
I found this a fascinating book of a fascinating man. I was amazed at the number and variety of things Doyle had a hand in- studied and practiced medicine, went on a whaling expedition, helped popularize skiing, championed justice for those the law falsely condemned, ran for politics (even sharing the floor with Winston Churchill at one meeting), was a war correspondent, tried to get enlisted in every war in his lifetime including WWI when he was 50 years old, started his own militia, was a play...more
I knew nothing of the life of Arthur Conan Doyle before reading this book. An amazing life. Conan Doyle's adventures kept me enthralled. Plus, the writing of Mr. Stashower was so natural, like I was sitting before a gifted story teller. Part of the time I listened to the audiobook. The narrator added another dimension. I had to read the last third, because the audiobook had to go back to the library. But even simply reading instead of hearing was a pleasure. Although the writing kept me going, t...more
I can't really claim to have "read" this entire book, but I did read about 2/3 of it and I skimmed the other 1/3. It's a good example of why I tend not to read biographies of authors I like, simply because so many of them turn out to be nuts/jerks/unlikeable/etc. Conan Doyle was definitely a remarkable man, and I love the Sherlock Holmes stories, but I'm not sure that I needed to see just how flat-out crazy/delusional he turned out to be. Still, it was an interesting "read."
A very shallow biography of Conan Doyle. Stylistically it was hard to stay with the flow of the narrative. Some good biographical information but I wouldn't recommend it. There must be a better biography out there somewhere.
Daniel Stashower is the author of The Boy Genius and The Mogul as well as the Edgar Award-winning Teller of Tales: The Life of Arthur Conan Doyle. He is also the author of five mystery novels, the most recent of which is The Houdini Specter. Stashower is a recipient of The Raymond Chandler Fulbright Fellowship in Detective and Crime Fiction Writing, and spent a year as a Visiting Fellow at Wadham...moreMore about Daniel Stashower...