Jan 22, 12
My first Bookmooch acquisition and a very pleasant surprise. I cannot easily locate my edition, a collection of short stories for a Book Club publisher, by the look of it.
What is there not to love in a man who says, "it is a hobby of mine to have an exact knowledge of London"? Although I have only seen the recent Sherlock Holmes movie, and I have not been following the modernized BBC series, I had an idea of this detective that doesn't correspond with what I find in the book. Clinically methodical in his investigations, keen observer of human nature, able to deduct hidden facts in people's appearances... that is all very well, but Sherlock Holmes to me seems actually sympathetic with the plights of some of his customers and some of the perpretators, and very amused or interested in human lives, for a solitary man. Although many of the stories are mostly retold in the comfort of the drawing room in Baker Street, occasionally Holmes gets into fancy dress to walk the streets, mixes up with people in Covent Garden Market, or hides in a room in a country house. He is capable of great exertion... and great languidness, as with the proverbial drug-taking.
The short stories are very well composed in themselves, perfect in structure and offering minimalism in style: there is nothing superfluous. I hope Sir Conan Doyle can forgive me, as for some reason I hadn't expected him to write quite so well. He is not a classic for nothing.