The Complete Sherlock Holmes
Arthur Conan Doyle
I just spent the last three weeks reading the complete works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle relating to his famous character, Sherlock Holmes. Three. Weeks. It occurred to me that non-readers or not-very-fast readers may feel as I did when they read a regular novel… am I ever going to be finished with this book? But it was definitely worth the three weeks of my time to have read the 4 novels and 56 short stories contained within. In fact, it made me kind of sad to finish the last story… to know that there is no more of the original tales of Sherlock and Dr. Watson out there for me to read.
It was so refreshing to be back in my element of classic literature, not worrying about coming across f-bombs and other forms of vulgarity in the pages. The writing is witty and smart, the characters fascinating, and the stories engaging. They make you think. Toward the end of the 56 short stories, I must admit that the beginnings of the stories all seemed the same, but I suppose that must be forgiven, since some of them at least were originally released as part of a regular magazine publication, and were in need of supplying a slight background for the new reader. Overall, I would characterize the stories as creatively brilliant.
I must admit, I love all things Sherlock Holmes, and it’s surprising to me that I hadn’t read more of the original stories before now. I think I remember reading a short story or two in middle school, but other than that, I had read none of these original works. My husband and I enjoy watching deductive reasoning shows. We watched and enjoyed both recent Sherlock Holmes movies starring Robert Downey Jr. We loved the first two seasons of the BBC series “Sherlock” and are anxiously awaiting the third series. I must admit, as I was reading the book, the actors from this series were who I pictured most, even though we’ve also began watching the newest spin on the Sherlock stories, the CBS series “Elementary” (Also good – I love Watson as a woman).
As usual, however, the old standby of the book being better than the movie still applies. Nothing engages the mind quite like a book, and this one (or ones, as it’s a compilation) is definitely mind-engaging and well worth the read. 5 of 5 stars.