From the first word, the style, the tone, the characters, the language, the inter-twining of plots and sub-plots and the little puzzles and deductionsFrom the first word, the style, the tone, the characters, the language, the inter-twining of plots and sub-plots and the little puzzles and deductions in which Holmes has always excelled, are all faithfully and skilfully adhered to by Anthony Horowitz. The result is superb and delightful.
The author even takes great care to avoid the use of diminutives in exactly the same way as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. For example, he writes “has not” rather than “hasn’t.” This minute attention to replication of the original detail is a real winner for me.
The storyline is believable and strikes at many levels. Victorian London’s atmosphere and society are splendidly portrayed, even down to the sights and smells of that era.
What starts out as a simple case for Holmes is wonderfully narrated by his devoted companion, Dr Watson, as events lead them both into increasingly dark and sinister scenarios. The characters are developed to just the right levels, appropriate to their roles, and one feels a both sense of empathy with the victims and, simultaneously, revulsion and anger towards the perpetrators of such dastardly deeds.
At one stage, Holmes enters into such a perilous situation that one wonders how on Earth he can ever extricate himself safely. Of course, knowing Holmes of old, the reader is confident that he will escape the danger, but it is difficult not to be consumed by Watson’s sense of despair. It is so real!
I very much enjoyed the typically precise deductions and explanations of Holmes along the lines of telling people, including Watson, of recent events in their lives: where they had been and what they had been doing. Horowitz captured these in exactly the same way as Sir Arthur had managed in the original stories. Absolutely stunning!
The conclusion is exciting and fast-paced. Possibly, this is at odds with the original series, but it can be excused because it seemed to fit so well with all that had gone before, and it would be difficult to imagine a better way to end this particular story.
The notes that Horowitz provides at the end of the book are extremely interesting, but I would encourage any reader to leave them until after they have read the whole story. In a way, I hope that this is a one off, but if Horowitz were to change his mind and write another Sherlock Holmes book, I would be first in line to order my copy.
It has taken me almost three months to labour my way through A Discovery of Witches. I admit that I have not dedicated all of my reading time to thisIt has taken me almost three months to labour my way through A Discovery of Witches. I admit that I have not dedicated all of my reading time to this single volume. Far from it. I have found it necessary to divert my attention to more enjoyable books.
The concepts which underpin the storylines are absolutely brilliant. So much thought has gone into the connections between the witches, vampires, daemons and humans, and all of the timelines, which should have made this a gripping read.
From most of the reviews that I had read, I was expecting much more. Perhaps I set my expectations too high, and deafened myself to the negative reviews that told me it would be a drudge.
However, the introduction must have taken up around half of the book before the action finally got under way. It was all so long and drawn out. If the whole thing could have been condensed into less than three hundred pages, I believe that the result would have been stunning.
The parts that I enjoyed, were the brief spells (forgive the pun) of magic, the time travel, and the references to the vampires experiences and encounters throughout history.
One reference that really caught my attention, and I don't think that this is in any way a spoiler, was to Christopher Marlowe and Faustus.
This is not a book that I would especially recommend to my friends, even if they are heavily into magic, witches and vampires, although some may see some appeal....more
The standard of English language is terrible. The reproduction is awful. Yet I urge you to read this little book. It won't take you long.
The story isThe standard of English language is terrible. The reproduction is awful. Yet I urge you to read this little book. It won't take you long.
The story is compelling. It is interesting. It is written from the heart with all of the passion and emotion that parenthood brings.
The authors are the Mum and Dad of a boy called Adam, who has reached the age of eleven by the time the book is complete. They refuse to lay down and accept all that they are told by the so-called experts. They apply their science to the life of their son to improve his life, and it works. They use DMAIC, explained in the blurb, and DoE, Design of Experiments, which are both techniques used in Six Sigma.
The results are measurable and positive.
Most of all, they apply heaps of love, and they persevere.
Whether you have, or know, a child with autism or not, you will learn something from this book which you can apply to some human problem in your own life and family.
I really enjoyed this book from beginning to [almost] end. The reason for the "almost" will become apparent.
The story of time travel by various meansI really enjoyed this book from beginning to [almost] end. The reason for the "almost" will become apparent.
The story of time travel by various means was excellent. When reading this story, you should remember that it was written in the 1950s. Some of Heinlein's predictions are amazing, and some are way off the mark. It's amazing to follow his line of thinking though.
You can see an outline of the plot in the description. It is fairly predictable, but that didn't detract from my enjoyment of the story at all. It was fun, and it was refreshing to read such innocent prose.
Although some people might be offended, there was some narrative that would be considered non-PC these days, but was just part of life in the 'fifties. I actually found that quite refreshing too. I get so irritated by the over-sensitivity to political correctness these days. You can't even tell a good Irish joke, or drop your pants in a US bar to proudly show off your British tattoo, these days, without drawing comments from the puritans.
The story was great right up until the final chapter. This was a bit of a damp squib, Heinlein felt that his hero had to justify and explain his actions and how several instances of himself could coexist. I would have been far more satisfied with the explosive ending which could so easily have been there.
Having said that, I would strongly recommend this book to all lovers of time travel and sci-fi books....more