Kemper's Reviews > A Study in Scarlet

A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle
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May 28, 2010

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bookshelves: crime-mystery, detectives
Read in May, 2010

Sherlock Holmes is a dick. And I don’t mean that as a reference to the character being a private detective.

Sure, he may be brilliant, but he’s also arrogant, condescending, cold, rude, self-absorbed and generally an insufferable douche bag. If Watson wasn’t such a brown-noser, he’d have snapped and pimp slapped the shit out of Holmes about five minutes after meeting him.

It’d been a long time since I’d read any of the stories, and I thought I’d check some out after watching Robert Downey Jr. play Holmes. And while RDJ’s version was an action hero that made Holmes purists bleed from the eyes and ears, at least he was a likeable rogue. Where as reading original recipe Holmes makes you want to jump into the book and strangle him just for being such a prick.

But I guess that’s part of the mythos around the character as the cool analytical logic junkie. I may have liked him better if this was one of the stories where he was freebasing cocaine out of boredom because at least he would have come across as more human then.

Holmes may be a key character in crime fiction, and while I actually found the mystery and detailed background of the motives in this pretty interesting, I was cringing every time Sherlock opened his mouth.
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Comments (showing 1-15 of 15) (15 new)

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message 1: by Jamie (new)

Jamie Didn't Sir ACD kill off Holmes because he couldn't stand him anymore? I'm pretty sure I heard that somewhere.


Kemper Jamie wrote: "Didn't Sir ACD kill off Holmes because he couldn't stand him anymore? I'm pretty sure I heard that somewhere."

Yeah, he killed him off at one point but I don't think it was because he hated him, he was just bored with him. Public demand and lot o' money convinced ACD to bring him back later on.


message 3: by Max (new) - rated it 3 stars

Max Rudenko I concur, Kemper. I just re-read the book. SH is an arrogant ass and the plot is too bland. Cheers!


Carolyn In the BBC interpretation of Sherlock, Watson actually gets fed up with Holmes, and, literally, tells him he is a dick. You and Steven Moffat (or Mark Gatiss?) are on the same page. Sherlock is not a likable guy. Admirable in some ways, but not close-friend material. Certainly an interesting guy, which is probably why Watson sticks around.

In the BBC series the actor who plays Sherlock calls Holmes likely autistic. In the series Sherlock calls himself a sociopath, but eventually disproves that because there are a handful of people he has to, grudgingly, admit he cares about.


Carolyn Jamie, yes, Doyle tried to kill off Holmes. Sherlock fans rioted in the streets, as well as wore black armbands in mourning. Doyle felt compelled to bring back Holmes from the dead. (The BBC series is in the thick of this now. In the next season we'll find out how the BBC manages to bring Sherlock back from the dead.)


Pratiksha Das Personally, I feel Poirot is a bigger dick than Holmes. Although a sociopath (that's why I like him), Holmes obviously cares about Watson!


Kheyreddine Hadri Is a dick? xD


Jude I don't think being a dick automatically makes a character unlikable. I love the fact that Holmes is a dick and tells it like it is, kudos to him :o)


Kemper Jude wrote: "I don't think being a dick automatically makes a character unlikable. I love the fact that Holmes is a dick and tells it like it is, kudos to him :o)"

I agree not all dick characters are bad. Some are fun, but I just find the print version of Sherlock to be insufferable. But then again, I do like the newer TV versions of him mainly because even though Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller can be as rude and irritating as the print Sherlock there are also people willing to call them out on their crap behavior. Plus, their Watsons have purpose other than just being there to tell the world what a genius Holmes is.

A dickish character is way more interesting if there's someone there to push back rather than just gushing about his brilliance.


message 10: by Lela (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lela In the original British TV series, Jeremy Brett's Holmes was dickish but likeable, used both cocaine & heroin out of boredom, and used Watson as a sounding board, man with a gun & a connection to humanity. Holmes suffered when he was presumed dead because Watson suffered. There was no one else except for his weird attraction to Irene Adler, "the woman." I think it is his alone-ness and loneliness that makes him less unlikeable. It's a vulnerability he refuses to see. And yes. I know they are fictional characters.


Summer Black some of the main characters in my favourite book/manga series are dislikeable at least as human beings, your point?
referencing:Dance!Subaru, the ender's shadow series (talking about peter not bean), the adventures of tom sawyer, the white tiger


Kemper Summer wrote: "some of the main characters in my favourite book/manga series are dislikeable at least as human beings, your point?

I've answered this before. See comment #9.


Summer Black Kemper wrote: "Summer wrote: "some of the main characters in my favourite book/manga series are dislikeable at least as human beings, your point?

I've answered this before. See comment #9."
b

-so because you said it before i'm not allowed repeat the sentiment if I so feel the need? dude i was agreeing with you -_-


Kemper Summer wrote: "-so because you said it before i'm not allowed repeat the sentiment if I so feel the need? dude i was agreeing with you -_- ..."

You asked a question. ("some of the main characters in my favourite book/manga series are dislikeable at least as human beings, your point?") I assumed it was directed at me because you didn't reply to any other comment.

I'm not allowed to point people to previous answers that seem to apply to a question?


message 15: by Sean (new) - rated it 2 stars

Sean O I like Nero Wolfe's self-awareness. He knows he's mean and lazy and brilliant and fussy and can't stand people in large doses. And that's why he has Archie.


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