Amira's Reviews > The Sign of Four

The Sign of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle
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's review
Apr 23, 11

bookshelves: classics, historical-fiction, required-reading, suspense, detective-spy
Read in April, 2011

Wow Sherlock shooting up cocaine on the first page . . . who would have thought! (So the recent movie, has Robert Downey Jr portraying him the most accurately, Jude Law as Watson was great - then again I'd pretty much watch Jude Law in anything) . . . But I digress this is a book, not a movie review. This book was on the required reading list for my Uni English required reading list, so naturally we students had a discussion and dissected the inner themes of this genre. I guess this is a good intro into the original detective story. It highlights the subconscious issues troubling Victorian England at the time, such as fear of foreign powers rising up against the imperialist Britain, seen through the representation of India. The fear of women's rights and gender equality is also present, in the love-interest subplot between Watson and Miss Morstan. The subplot of drug addiction as escapism, for Sherlock rationality is a problem and a solution. You can also see the inspiration for modern genius/socially awkward detectives present in the TV genre, directly stemming from Sherlock Holmes eccentric, arrogant yet obvious genius and unique 'powers of observation and deductive reasoning' (the explanation of this in the second chapter is actually the most impressive part of the book, in my opinion). The actual detective story-line is unsuspensful and uninteresting. Its more Sherlock's reasoning, observation of people's behaviour and recognition of important facts that is appealing in this novel.

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