Bruce's Reviews > The Hound of the Baskervilles

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle
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's review
Jan 25, 2009

really liked it
Read in January, 2009

Having completed my nth reading of Arthur Conan Doyle’s, The Hound of the Baskervilles, not having read it for a decade or two, I was once again charmed, realizing yet again why the Sherlock Holmes stories have been so enduring for so many readers. This time around I was more aware of the occasional tiny and subtle clues that Doyle, in the person of Watson, provides about Holmes’s personality. Why has this curious figure so captivated readers for more than a century? He is cool, indeed rather cold, monomaniacal, arrogant, brilliant and precise, almost always highly successful, an amateur violinist, an occasional cocaine afficianado, culturally out of step with most of the values of his and our own times. Doyle has, of course, created a fuller persona if one combines the personalities of Holmes and Watson, and perhaps it is this teasing apart of the Apollonian and Dionysian (though to categorize Watson as Dionysian may be stretching a point) halves that makes the stories so convincing and intriguing. At any rate, what characters today approximate Holmes in literature? Spock, perhaps? I don’t recall having seen Jeremy Brett in the movie version, and I plan to view that in the next week or so.

How comfortable it has felt to return to 221B Baker Street again, to enjoy the presence of so many familiar scenes and objects, to listen to Watson’s voice and narrative, and to settle in to a long-favorite milieu.

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Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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message 1: by Gary (new)

Gary You know about House, right?

Bruce No, Gary, I didn't. But I just now googled it and am most excited to pursue the House character; thanks for the reference!

message 3: by Gary (new)

Gary I enjoyed watching the first series but find medical dramas stressful to watch. Of course Holmes, and House, are ultimately based on Joseph Bell.

Bruce Interesting about Bell; I hadn't known that, either. As a retired doc myself, I don't find medical dramas hard to watch (as long as they are accurate, which they often are not); as someone who prefers to read rather than watch TV, though, I rarely watch them anyway. But I've just arranged to get the first set of House dramas on my Netflix account and am eager to give them a try.

message 5: by Gary (new)

Gary House is very well written although I can't vouch for the medical aspect of the stories.

message 6: by Trevor (new)

Trevor I've been doing a bit of a return to Holmes lately too. This is on the list of re-reads, as like you I've read it a couple of times before and am particularly fond of it. I've only seen a couple of episodes, but don't think House works nearly as well as Holmes. The formula shows a little too much, with each episode seeming a repeat. My daughter is madly in love with Jeremy Brett - but I figure it is normal for fathers to worry about their daughters' taste in men.

Lovely review, thank you.

Bruce Since Jeremy Brett is deceased, Trevor, I think you need no longer worry about him specifically, but the type does indeed remain extant; good luck!

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