Melissa's Reviews > The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes

The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
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Feb 02, 11

bookshelves: 2011, audiobook, crime, short-stories, classics
Read from January 02 to February 03, 2011, read count: 1

I enjoyed The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes a little less than the first collection, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, but only to the extent that I'd give the latter 8/10 and the former 7/10. Memoirs contains some very fine stories - my favourite amongst them probably "The Adventure of the Yellow Face", which holds an interesting window to society at the time.

Interestingly, the two stories narrated primarily by Holmes, rather than Watson ("The Adventure of the Gloria Scott" and "The Adventure of the Musgrave Ritual"), I found to be among the dullest in the collection. The framing of Holmes relating his own past effectively did away with the sense of urgency that carries the other stories forward. I also wasn't particularly enamoured with "The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter", which introduces Holmes' brother Mycroft, but on the whole the cases are solid, and the locked-room mysteries ("The Adventure of the Crooked Man" and "The Adventure of the Naval Treaty") especially were good fun to mull over.

The final story, "The Final Problem", introduces Holmes' nemesis Professor Moriarty, and was intended by Conan Doyle to be his last Holmes adventure. All I can say is that I'm glad he reneged, because "The Final Problem" does not make a fitting ending in the least. There's no foreshadowing or build-up to Moriarty - one minute, we, and Watson, have never heard of him, the next he's the pinnacle of the criminal underworld that Holmes could retire happily for having defeated. Watson's reaction left a lump in my throat, certainly, but it would have been a dreadful end to the Holmes canon had it been allowed to rest there.

Still, a very good collection all in all. I listened to this as an audiobook, but I think I'd have preferred the print version. There's just too much going on to listen and process hastily, and I think the stories would have benefited from being read at leisure, setting my own pace. I'm a little Sherlock'd out for now, but I'll definitely be dipping into The Return of Sherlock Holmes in time.
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