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A Double Barrelled Detective Story

3.16 of 5 stars 3.16  ·  rating details  ·  292 ratings  ·  42 reviews
Mark Twain is at his irreverent best with this hilarious parody of the 19th-century mystery - two seemingly unrelated narratives are spliced together, the author interjects himself as a character, and Twain even provides literary criticism of himself midway in the text. A Double-Barreled Detective Story is a delightful spoof of the mystery genre, then in its infancy, intro ...more
Paperback, 196 pages
Published December 1st 2002 by Fredonia Books (NL) (first published 1902)
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Uno de los pastiches sherlockianos más conocidos es el escrito por Mark Twain, ‘A Double-Barrelled Detective Story’ (1902). Sin embargo, es uno de los que menos gustan a los aficionados holmesianos, ya que el relato largo o novela corta de Twain es una sátira mordaz de y contra el Gran Detective. Aunque también puede ser visto como un homenaje a Arthur Conan Doyle, como bien nos relata el también escritor y mitógrafo creativo Alberto López Aroca en su estupenda introducción. Y es que ‘Sherlock H ...more
Richard Ward
Mark Twain makes fun of Arthur Conan Doyle by having Sherlock Holmes visit an Old West mining town. Without Conan Doyle carefully arranging the crime and clues in advance for him, Holmes is a bumbling fool. He gets himself lynched, too. But that's OK, since, as we're reminded, Holmes has died and lived to tell about it before. I don't know why Twain felt compelled to mock Doyle. Was it personal, a writer attacking a writer he thought a poor one? Or good-natured kidding by a fan? Your guess is as ...more
Oct 15, 2009 Eric rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sherlock Holmes fans that have a sense of humor
As someone that has read all of the Sherlock Holmes canon, I was doubtful that I would like a parody in which Holmes is described in the following manner: "Anybody that knows him the way I do knows he can't detect a crime except where he plans it all out beforehand and arranges the clues and hires some fellow to commit it according to instructions." But I freely admit, despite my love of the fictional detective, this subversion was equally enjoyable.
Mark Twain doing a Sherlock Holmes story. Not his best work, but respectable. This Holmes is not exactly Doyle's Holmes.

Worth a look as it's in the public domain.
Mark Twain does two things

1) writes meandering yarns.
2) disguises what he's writing as a meandering yarn.

Unfortunately this is the former and I have to really be in the mood for the former. Secondly it is a jolly-natured send-up of Sherlock Holmes stories, which would be great if anything Twain wrote even remotely approached the intelligence of a Sherlock Holmes story. As is, we have to settle for the literary equivalent of raspberry blowing.

The 'double-barrelled' element is that the story hing
Laura Verret
I have to admit that Mark Twain is brilliant in his criticisms of himself and others. However this story was quite unrealistic (Archy's tracking abilities) and although Twain was merely parodying Sherlock Holmes, I am highly offended that he could even suggest that Holmes ever stammered!
Rather confusing story, a little hard to follow at times. As to the plot, dark and not well put together (if I can say that of Mark Twain). His representation of Sherlock Holmes was disgrace to his name. Holmes would never have acted in the way he did -stuttering and unsure of himself "He opened his mouth to speak; the words did not come freely. "This--er--this is insanity--this--"", going completely off course in his guess of the villain, and quite frankly, I thought that any moment the author ...more
There have been countless Sherlock Holmes parodies, but Mark Twain was perhaps the first. That is, if you can call A DOUBLE BARRELLED DETECTIVE STORY a parody. Personally, I'm not so sure. Holmes appears only briefly in this novella, to bungle the murder investigation and accuse the wrong man of the crime. It's well-known that Twain disdained Doyle's SHERLOCK HOLMES stories, and this novella was apparently Twain's attempt to flip the Great Detective the bird. Regardless, it's still lame.
Andrew Garvey
One of Twain’s lesser works, this short novel (not even that really, more a novella) sees him gleefully poking fun at detective novels in general and in particular, at (in Twain’s telling at least) that stoic Englishman who really does think he’s the cat’s pyjama’s but absolutely isn’t – Sherlock ‘all assassins are left-handed’ Holmes.

Two inter-linked tales of revenge, it’s an amusing read (or listen – I got my version from the ever-fantastic Librivox archive) that starts off with some real unpl
Roger Mccoy
This book is clever but not brilliant. It jumps around and changes the nature of the story a few times. However, if the following description appeals to you, you won't want to miss this.

(Excuse my dramatic spacing, but these points really need to be absorbed separately.)

It is a Sherlock Holmes fanfic

(make that a fanfic/parody)

with a superpowered protagonist

and a character named "Ham Sandwich"

and it is written by MARK TWAIN.

If that doesn't appeal to you, give it a pass. If the sheer insanity of t
Dec 28, 2014 Jason rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Twain completists
Recommended to Jason by: Found it on Gutenberg project
2.5 stars rounded up to 3.

I read this while at work. (Much of my summer is spent scanning documents, and sometimes the scanner will run for 2 or 3 minutes leaving me with nothing to do but stand around with my thumb up my ass... should I choose to put it there, that is, which I don't... OK, this is making no sense. Point is that I sometimes have up to 2 or 3 minutes of downtime between periods of productivity, and I read books or stories I find on to pass the otherwise torpid t
Alok Pepakayala
Scooby Dooby Doo!
It’s a very short book and I finished it very quickly and dint feel bad about picking it. Apart from that it won’t make a deeper impression or anything, but this one being the first book I have read on the new kindle I might remember this one, but the writing style definitely reflects the personality that I affiliated to the author when I read Tom sawyer, its still having those thick and easy to thread paragraphs that I enjoy when reading, its like rowing downstream.
Awesome fanfic

I love sherlock Holmes and when I found out that Mark twain wrote a pastiche about him I knew I had to read it. I love how he over Exaggerated sherlock's detective skills and how the real perpetrator was found through supernatural means. It also helped that it was free.
Dugan Maynard
A fun read, more short story than detective story though. The first half reminded me a lot of Rant, what with the main character having a powerful sense of smell, and the revenge against one's father angle. The second half was a fun parody of a Sherlock Holmes novel-- and even though I'm a fan of Doyle's I did enjoy his portrait of the detective as a bit of a bumbling charlatan.
Jennifer Griffith
I don't know what the "dual language reader" part of this title is. I just read the story. It was a hoot. It's a revenge story and mystery rolled into one and set in a mining camp in the old west. A young man is endowed with the powers of a bloodhound and sets out to avenge a wrong done to his mother.

The funniest part of this is realizing that Twain possibly wrote it to discredit Sherlock Holmes, who shows up in the story and is debunked as a fraud. I'm still a fan of Sherlock Holmes, but it's
A fun, quirky novella. Replete with Twain's folksy dialogue and conversational narration. Story takes some interesting twists from what's expected - the inclusion of an ineffective Sherlock Holmes being one. This happens deep into the story, after the tale has switched to a second plotline, though Holmes is a catalyst that returns us to the initial plot, long enough for resolution.

Mark Twain is a pleasure to read. You can get a free ebook copy of this, and likely others of his, plus tons more te
it started very well but at the end things looked a bit messy ......
Shannon Hill
Some fun moments. I like the idea of the child endowed with blood hound abilities and I loved the description of Sherlock Holmes. There are a few very good, Twain-like when the miners talk about how Holmes would have solved the mystery of the missing girl. I thought the murder was clever, which is important in a mystery. :) But overall the execution of the story is disappointing and didn't live up to my expectations of Twain. No wonder I had never heard of it. Not exactly going to h ...more
Mark Twain does Sherlock Holmes (kind of).

I was interested in the character that opened the story and for a while I wondered if the kid was going to turn out to be Sherlock Holmes. (view spoiler).

The Holmes part of the premise certainly isn't original now and I doubt was original when Twain wrote it but it was still worth reading.
Rima Novazianti
so sorry but honestly, i really dislike the story.
as a Sherlockian who have read all the sherlock holmes's novel by Conan Doyle, i think the story by Mark Twain disappointing, because Sherlock Holmes isn't like that. the character of Sherlock was written by Mark Twain is very different from the original. as if he wants to 'burn' the figure of Sherlock.
A short story by one of America's greatest writers and featuring a brief apprearance by Sherlock Holmes, the Double Barreled Detective was a wonderfully spun yarn. Putting two tales together in the end we learn the conclusion of both stories. Twain does justice to the Holmes and has a little fun with him too. A fun read over all.

I put this book down, and I don't think I'll finish it. I felt depressed the entire time I was listening to it.

Update...I listened to the book today. It has a lot of twists and turns that made the the tale difficult to understand and enjoy. I stuck on to the end simply to say that I finished it.

Miguel Á.
Un divertido pastiche/parodia de Holmes de la mano de Mark Twain, basado en la primera de las novelas de Conan Doyle sobre el inmortal detective. Sin ser la mejor de sus obras, no deja de resultar curiosa, y la edición de Alberto López Aroca es, sin duda, merecedora de estar en nuestras estanterías.
Aaron Kuehn
A nice little Western story. Mingled with the humorous inclusion of the character of Sherlock Holmes. I could easily imagine Twain, perhaps slightly jealous of Doyle's success with the detective, taking his battle to words.

Not a great tale, but clever, somewhat amusing and serviceable.
Nicole G.
This is really two stories rolled into one -a boy seeking revenge on his father, and Sherlock Holmes finding himself in a small mining town in the West. The stories eventually do come together. It's interesting to see Twain parody Holmes and his deductions.
Jennifer Ware
I received this book for free from This was great fun! By the end of the book I was recognizing words and wishing I knew how to pronounce them properly. My son took this book to his high school French teacher and they had great fun with it.
I found this book quite confusing or may be I don't have the right kind of sense of humor to appreciate it. Also, being an ardent fan of Sherlock Holmes, I couldn't appreciate him being described as a fraud. A quick read nevertheless.
This thing is just a mess with lopsided structure and an unsatisfying "oh by the way turns out the executioner was your secret fairy godmother" ending.

I laughed at one Sherlock Holmes joke.
Jeanette Johnson
Have you ever had a dream that encompasses snatches of a nightmare and then morphs into a pseudo-reality that leaves you confused, even after waking? That's what reading this book is like.
Read "The Double-Barreled Detective Story" and thought it was an interesting addition to Twain's satirical style. Mocking Doyle was hilarious. The story was funny, overall, too.
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Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American author and humorist. He is noted for his novels Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), called "the Great American Novel", and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876).

Twain grew up in Hannibal, Missouri, which would later provide the setting for Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. He apprenticed with a printer. He also work
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