John's Reviews > Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Novels and Stories, Volume I

Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
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Mar 22, 2011

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bookshelves: mystery-detective-fiction, short-story-collections
Read from March 22 to December 20, 2011

While not exactly what I would call compelling reading, this is a nice collection of stories that are probably best enjoyed over breakfast, or perhaps on the subway ride to work. I know it's sacrilege, but I find Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories to be a bit underwhelming, though completely readable. They are expertly written, but very dry (after the British style of the day) and the setting up of each mystery usually takes about three times as long as the subsequent investigation and rendering of the solution. Doyle comes up with some really incredible characters here, but he generally just lets them gather dust somewhere off in the background. I mean, only one story featuring the infamous Professor Moriarty? And just a single story featuring Holmes' brilliant-but-lazy brother, Mycroft? Somehow that makes me feel cheated just a little bit. Give me the movie versions featuring Robert Downey Jr., Matt Frewer, or James D'Arcy any day of the week. Or the TV serials with Ronald Howard or Benedict Cumberbatch (sorry, not a big fan of the Basil Rathbone or Jeremy Brett series). As you can see by these preferences, I differ greatly in opinion from those who would likely refer to themselves as being "true" Sherlock Holmes fans. But overall I did enjoy this collection of mysteries, and it was nice to see Watson portrayed the way he was originally meant to be--and not as a buffoon constantly used for cheap comic relief, as, unfortunately, he was in so many of the TV series. Still, one or two of these stories a week is about all I can read without quickly growing tired of them.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Matt (new)

Matt Kristi and I saw the most recent installment of the Sherlock Holmes movies last night and I loved it- have you seen it yet? Action movies are always fun, but I think the dialogue and casting in this one were amazing.


John I haven't seen it yet... But I'm dying to! Glad to hear it rocks.


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