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General > What do you imagine Sherlock reading?

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message 1: by Badgerlord (new)

Badgerlord | 12 comments I for one imagine Sherlock reading fanfics about himself, and just yelling something like 'No! You fools! I would have checked the shoes! You don't know me at all!'.


message 2: by Syed Zeeshan (new)

Syed Zeeshan Yunus (nahseez) | 1 comments I am not so sure about that, I dont think Sherlock would bat an eyelid to fanfic or any kind of fiction. He would only be reading if it is required; scientific journals would be his bedside companions I guess.


message 3: by Badgerlord (new)

Badgerlord | 12 comments You're probably right. I wonder what other kinds of stuff he'd need to know for solving crime. Biology, so he can guage time unattended by the state of household plants? Manufacture, to know how hard different brands of furniture are to break. He'd have fun testing that, I should think.


message 4: by Mike (new)

Mike  Davis (mldavis2) | 18 comments Some of the knowledge that ACD gave SH is of questionable scientific value - such as his ability to identify hundreds of types of tobacco brands by the ashes or his ability to determine the exact origin of a soil sample. (I worked over 20 years as a forensic chemist and crime scene investigator). On the other hand, ACD like Poe before him, imagined with great accuracy many of the techniques used today in crime fighting.

I don't recall (it has been a long time since I read the canon) any mention of his educational background. He did spend a lot of time with chemistry so one can assume he kept up on all manner of scientific journals, but he was also an astute observer of people, and most psychology was in its infancy so that had to be self-taught. His ability to observe details and relate them to a person's occupation suggests he spent a lot of time learning (but perhaps not reading) about occupations and their effects on the clothing, hands and body.

He no doubt had a large knowledge of foreign countries and languages so perhaps he studied those. But we must give ACD some "poetic license" because he places SH back in his room, pacing the floor or spending long hours ruminating with his black tobacco when there was no mischief afoot. Recreational reading? I don't think that fits ACD's image of his character. We don't know how much time lapsed between cases, either, so it's anyone's guess.

Interesting question. SH was a fictional character that broke a lot of ice in the investigative world of observation and logic, even if a few descriptions were a bit out of bounds with reality. In essence, he had to know a lot about nearly everything and since he was on the cutting edge of knowledge, much of what he used was not written in any books.


message 5: by Rohit (new)

Rohit (rohitraut) | 88 comments Mod
has anyone watched bradley cooper's movie 'limitless'?? in tht he takes a drug which makes him very clever, sharp and knowledgable ......and he makes a lot of money and then all hollywood stuff.......but that reminded me of sherlock holmes, i thought sherlock holmes could do that normally. means he was immensely talented and i even feel he was a Child prodigy. and abt reading? he must be reading all the newspaper daily, then some reading related to science....and british law.


message 6: by Badgerlord (new)

Badgerlord | 12 comments Mike wrote: "Some of the knowledge that ACD gave SH is of questionable scientific value - such as his ability to identify hundreds of types of tobacco brands by the ashes or his ability to determine the exact o..."

I thoroughly enjoyed reading that comment. Some very interesting points. Tell me, as someone who did work on investigations, how realistic do you think ACD was? I admit Sherlock himself was meant to seem above realistic, but I'd still be interested in what you thought.


message 7: by Badgerlord (new)

Badgerlord | 12 comments Rohit wrote: "has anyone watched bradley cooper's movie 'limitless'?? in tht he takes a drug which makes him very clever, sharp and knowledgable ......and he makes a lot of money and then all hollywood stuff......."

I haven't seen that one. Worth watching?


message 8: by Mike (new)

Mike  Davis (mldavis2) | 18 comments Badgerlord wrote: "Tell me, as someone who did work on investigations, how realistic do you think ACD was?"

There are a lot of things that some authors of mystery novels use as clues or suggestions. ACD gives Holmes a great deal of slack in being able to notice a shiny spot on a sleeve or a callus that defines a client's occupation, when in fact there could be alternate explanations. This doesn't detract from the story for me, when I take into account the chronology, and the fact that our fictional 'superheroes' hadn't been created yet.

I note that Ms. King doesn't push that envelope as hard as ACD did, perhaps because her audience is more contemporary and hence knowledgeable, or perhaps because that is the territory established by Poe and ACD.

Then there is the 'red herring' factor. If an author gives away too many details, there is little mystery, while too few and the solution doesn't work, although some authors present clues at the end that were known to the detective but not the reader.

Where ACD works for me is in the ground-breaking analytical skills attributed to SH. When you realize that ACD was the first writer to create and maintain a character that used logic and analysis of known clues to solve crimes, he becomes greater than the sum of his parts. Analytical skills are part and parcel of true science, and Doyle established a path trod by many authors of mystery today - it is almost second nature to us now.

So to answer your question more directly, I think ACD is very realistic in his methodology but less so in his examples. But remember that our knowledge today would perhaps prohibit Doyle from using some of the examples he did. Ms. King's Holmes and Russell has some of the flavor of ACD, but leans more heavily on locational detail and character development. Rather than trying to duplicate and expand ACD's work, she has created her own character which somewhat relieves Mary of the heavy responsibility to duplicate the study and analysis of SH himself. Well done and very effective.

I am, admittedly, a newbie Holmes fan and fan of Ms. King. I just finished Locked Rooms and headed for the next one. I intend to spend some reading time to catch up on ACD himself, his background and history.


message 9: by Rohit (new)

Rohit (rohitraut) | 88 comments Mod
Badgerlord wrote: "Mike wrote: "Some of the knowledge that ACD gave SH is of questionable scientific value - such as his ability to identify hundreds of types of tobacco brands by the ashes or his ability to determi..."

Yup its really worth watching, its a really good entertaining movie :)


message 10: by Badgerlord (new)

Badgerlord | 12 comments Cool. I'll have to watch it sometime.


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