Sean Kottke's Reviews > The Sign of Four

The Sign of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle
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's review
Jul 24, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: 2011, adult-recreational
Read from July 24 to August 04, 2011

The second stop in my chronological path through the original Conan Doyle Sherlock Holmes canon. More action-packed, yet in the end not quite as satisfying as "A Study in Scarlet," it's a take-off on Chaucer's "Pardoner's Tale," with greed as the motivator for revenge this time. I'm enjoying Doyle's conversation scenes between Holmes and Watson, in which Holmes elucidates on how his mind works and the science of observation, as well as the moments when Holmes is on the scene of the crime and demonstrating said science. I'm not so much enjoying the back-loaded exposition, where the investigation comes to a standstill about 2/3 of the way through the novel whilst the suspect(s) narrate their schemes. I'm curious to see how the short stories balance the main narrative and the back stories that explain the mystery. Onward!

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