Author Topic: The Sherlock Holmes thread  (Read 3235 times)

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Offline vandermolen

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Re: The Sherlock Holmes thread
« Reply #20 on: July 15, 2018, 05:08:11 AM »
Recently finished The Sign of the Four.

What did you think of it?
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Jaakko Keskinen

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Re: The Sherlock Holmes thread
« Reply #21 on: July 15, 2018, 06:13:54 AM »
What did you think of it?

When it comes to the full-length Holmes novels I liked it better than Baskerville and The Valley of Fear, especially because in here there are no long gaps with Holmes out of the picture (usually I like the villains more than the heroes but Holmes is one of exceptions to the rule, because he is such an interesting personality, full of character flaws yet also having intellectual brilliance and wit which reminds me why I love House M.D. so much). Also Watson's marriage proposal was an important event. I liked the villain, surprisingly (relatively) pleasant for Doyle villain and the chase scene was full of tension. Although the ending was a bit abrupt, even though the bad guy was caught and had told his tale, the treasure was unrecovered (although its recovery would have put an end to Watson's marriage proposal to Mary Morstan) and it thus felt a bit of an anti-climax. But now, looking back at it, I think it worked rather better that way.

I also read the Adventure of the Speckled Band, which was a fun murder mystery. I can see why this was Doyle's favourite of his Holmes stories (although I still have read only few of them).
"Javert, though frightful, had nothing ignoble about him. Probity, sincerity, candor, conviction, the sense of duty, are things which may become hideous when wrongly directed; but which, even when hideous, remain grand."

- Victor Hugo

Offline zamyrabyrd

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Re: The Sherlock Holmes thread
« Reply #22 on: July 15, 2018, 07:23:06 AM »
About a month ago I reread the 1122 page Penguin Complete Sherlock Holmes. I hate when paperbacks get yellowed pages. Sometime I should replace this copy with a more elegantly bound one but it did supply many hours of enjoyment and fascination.

One of the things that struck me this time around was Conan Doyle's very good grasp of the American landscape, its speech patterns but also a deep knowledge of the history of the West and Mormonism.

I particularly liked the TV series in the 1980's with Jeremy Brett as Holmes.
https://www.arthur-conan-doyle.com/index.php/Sherlock_Holmes_(TV_series_1984-1994)



« Last Edit: July 15, 2018, 07:27:51 AM by zamyrabyrd »
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Offline vandermolen

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Re: The Sherlock Holmes thread
« Reply #23 on: July 15, 2018, 09:56:04 PM »
When it comes to the full-length Holmes novels I liked it better than Baskerville and The Valley of Fear, especially because in here there are no long gaps with Holmes out of the picture (usually I like the villains more than the heroes but Holmes is one of exceptions to the rule, because he is such an interesting personality, full of character flaws yet also having intellectual brilliance and wit which reminds me why I love House M.D. so much). Also Watson's marriage proposal was an important event. I liked the villain, surprisingly (relatively) pleasant for Doyle villain and the chase scene was full of tension. Although the ending was a bit abrupt, even though the bad guy was caught and had told his tale, the treasure was unrecovered (although its recovery would have put an end to Watson's marriage proposal to Mary Morstan) and it thus felt a bit of an anti-climax. But now, looking back at it, I think it worked rather better that way.

I also read the Adventure of the Speckled Band, which was a fun murder mystery. I can see why this was Doyle's favourite of his Holmes stories (although I still have read only few of them).
Interesting - thanks. I don't know this story and am only familiar with the Hound and the Valley of Fear. I do like the Valley of Fear even though Holmes is absent for a long time. The chief villain is really villainous and the English part is set very near to where I live so I'm familiar with the locations, especially Groombridge Place which was the setting of the early part of the book (I think it's called 'Birlstone' in the novel). The Pinkerton's agent is an interesting character as well.

http://www.ihearofsherlock.com/2018/01/the-real-house-that-inspired-birlstone.html#.W0xCNnB4WrU
« Last Edit: July 15, 2018, 09:59:34 PM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Jaakko Keskinen

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Re: The Sherlock Holmes thread
« Reply #24 on: July 16, 2018, 01:03:09 AM »
Interesting - thanks. I don't know this story and am only familiar with the Hound and the Valley of Fear. I do like the Valley of Fear even though Holmes is absent for a long time. The chief villain is really villainous and the English part is set very near to where I live so I'm familiar with the locations, especially Groombridge Place which was the setting of the early part of the book (I think it's called 'Birlstone' in the novel). The Pinkerton's agent is an interesting character as well.

http://www.ihearofsherlock.com/2018/01/the-real-house-that-inspired-birlstone.html#.W0xCNnB4WrU

Yes, I liked Valley of Fear too. Boss McGinty is really a terrifying character.
"Javert, though frightful, had nothing ignoble about him. Probity, sincerity, candor, conviction, the sense of duty, are things which may become hideous when wrongly directed; but which, even when hideous, remain grand."

- Victor Hugo

Offline vandermolen

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Re: The Sherlock Holmes thread
« Reply #25 on: July 16, 2018, 01:44:45 AM »
Yes, I liked Valley of Fear too. Boss McGinty is really a terrifying character.

Oh yes, that's the man!!

The surprising end of the novel is good too.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Jaakko Keskinen

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Re: The Sherlock Holmes thread
« Reply #26 on: July 16, 2018, 01:57:35 AM »
Apparently, after The Final Problem, Valley of the Fear is the only other Sherlock Holmes story in which Professor Moriarty plays role in the events even though he doesn't appear in person. I guess it makes sense that in TV series and movies they tend to make him a recurring archnemesis to Holmes even though he was originally basically just a device to kill Holmes off (although Doyle later changed his mind and revealed that Holmes survived the Reichenbach Falls fight).
"Javert, though frightful, had nothing ignoble about him. Probity, sincerity, candor, conviction, the sense of duty, are things which may become hideous when wrongly directed; but which, even when hideous, remain grand."

- Victor Hugo

Offline lisa needs braces

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Re: The Sherlock Holmes thread
« Reply #27 on: August 20, 2018, 10:25:11 PM »
Just how indebted was Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to Edgar Allan Poe?  ;D

Offline Jaakko Keskinen

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Re: The Sherlock Holmes thread
« Reply #28 on: September 02, 2018, 03:37:10 AM »
Having finished The Final Problem, I'm now moving on to The Adventure of the Empty House. Unfortunately, I already spoiled myself about the culprit.
"Javert, though frightful, had nothing ignoble about him. Probity, sincerity, candor, conviction, the sense of duty, are things which may become hideous when wrongly directed; but which, even when hideous, remain grand."

- Victor Hugo

Offline vandermolen

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Re: The Sherlock Holmes thread
« Reply #29 on: September 02, 2018, 03:55:43 AM »
Having finished The Final Problem, I'm now moving on to The Adventure of the Empty House. Unfortunately, I already spoiled myself about the culprit.

I met friends in a pub last week, just opposite Groombridge Place, the setting of the opening of 'The Valley of Fear'. Sadly the house is threatened with closure. I like the end of 'The Valley of Fear' (SPOILER ALERT) where despite the apparently 'happy ending' the main hero is subsequently lobbed over the side of a ship by Professor Moriarty.

Groombridge Place, East Sussex (complete with moat, which features in the story).
« Last Edit: September 02, 2018, 04:00:12 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Jaakko Keskinen

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Re: The Sherlock Holmes thread
« Reply #30 on: September 02, 2018, 04:11:17 AM »
Interesting, Jeffrey (it was Jeffrey, right?)! Thanks!
"Javert, though frightful, had nothing ignoble about him. Probity, sincerity, candor, conviction, the sense of duty, are things which may become hideous when wrongly directed; but which, even when hideous, remain grand."

- Victor Hugo

Offline vandermolen

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Re: The Sherlock Holmes thread
« Reply #31 on: September 02, 2018, 04:26:26 AM »
Interesting, Jeffrey (it was Jeffrey, right?)! Thanks!

My pleasure!
Yes, it's Jeffrey.
 :)

PS my friend went to visit Groombridge Place with her children send me an image of some Conan Doyle memorabilia in the place (he lived locally hence the local setting). Sadly she said that the place was rather run down now.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2018, 04:30:41 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline geralmar

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Re: The Sherlock Holmes thread
« Reply #32 on: September 03, 2018, 02:09:40 AM »
Purchased and read this at age twelve decades ago, before I had even heard of Sherlock Holmes.  I was drawn by the promise of the title, and the mystery of the cover illustration-- which cannily left the hound (and Holmes) to my imagination.



 



« Last Edit: September 03, 2018, 02:25:42 AM by geralmar »

Offline geralmar

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Re: The Sherlock Holmes thread
« Reply #33 on: September 03, 2018, 02:46:44 AM »
Addendum:  Fortunately my introduction to Holmes wasn't through this book cover which, I think, misses the point.

« Last Edit: September 03, 2018, 02:49:53 AM by geralmar »

Offline vandermolen

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Re: The Sherlock Holmes thread
« Reply #34 on: November 21, 2019, 10:38:59 AM »
Interesting addition to my SH book collection; 'The Case Notes of Sherlock Holmes' a book featuring the 'raw material' of the stories, letters, diaries, artefacts etc. Looks fun:

[/img]
« Last Edit: November 21, 2019, 10:41:54 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Online j winter

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Re: The Sherlock Holmes thread
« Reply #35 on: November 22, 2019, 11:28:00 AM »
Long-time Sherlock Holmes fan here... they've been among my very favorites since I was a child.

One option I haven't seen mentioned in this thread... the BBC Radio productions with Clive Merrison as Holmes and Michael Williams as Watson are superb.  They did the whole canon (the only Holmes & Watson pairing to ever do so), plus quite a few additional stories.  These are very stylish adaptations... they were all on CD at one point, but I believe they are available to download -- I know Audible has them, for example.

Merrison may actually be my favorite Holmes -- he captures the humor of the character in a way that few others do, without going over the top.  And his relationship with Watson is pitch perfect.  If you're a Sherlockian, I can't recommend these enough...

The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils.
The motions of his spirit are dull as night,
And his affections dark as Erebus.
Let no such man be trusted.

-- William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

Offline vandermolen

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Re: The Sherlock Holmes thread
« Reply #36 on: November 23, 2019, 04:36:11 AM »
Long-time Sherlock Holmes fan here... they've been among my very favorites since I was a child.

One option I haven't seen mentioned in this thread... the BBC Radio productions with Clive Merrison as Holmes and Michael Williams as Watson are superb.  They did the whole canon (the only Holmes & Watson pairing to ever do so), plus quite a few additional stories.  These are very stylish adaptations... they were all on CD at one point, but I believe they are available to download -- I know Audible has them, for example.

Merrison may actually be my favorite Holmes -- he captures the humor of the character in a way that few others do, without going over the top.  And his relationship with Watson is pitch perfect.  If you're a Sherlockian, I can't recommend these enough...


I really enjoy those too. I have them mainly on audio-tape and they seem tricky to track down on CD. I'm a great fan of the readings by Douglas Wilmer, also difficult to track down and of course he played SH on TV. Just last week I listened to a CD of Ian Mckellen reading 'The Valley of Fear' in my car which I really enjoyed.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2019, 06:08:30 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline AlberichUndHagen

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Re: The Sherlock Holmes thread
« Reply #37 on: November 28, 2019, 10:34:46 AM »
After a relatively long pause from reading Holmes stories, I returned to reading The Red-Headed League. I think I might already suspect where Doyle's going with this one.

Maybe I didn't mention this (unless it was in the what are you reading thread) but before my rather long pause from Holmes I also read Naval Treaty, The Greek Interpreter and The Golden Pince-nez. Liked them all. Does Doyle ever create wholly unsympathetic female characters, the one in Golden Pince-nez was rather a tragic figure, unlike that smug bastard Professor Coram.

Offline Biffo

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Re: The Sherlock Holmes thread
« Reply #38 on: December 02, 2019, 03:10:06 AM »
I have been gradually working my way through The Complete Sherlock Holmes on Kindle; so far I have got to Adventure VIII. The Resident Patient in The Memoirs of Shelock Holmes.

Also I have watched quite a few TV series, courtesy of Netflix, YouTube etc. I rewatched all of the recent Benedict Cumberbatch series with the same result - Series 1-3 good, series 4 pretentious tweddle. I also saw the 1954 TV series with Ronald Howard - laughably bad but at least it had a decent Watson in H Marion Crawford.

Re-watching the Basil Rathbone films sent them down even further in my estimation - The Hound of the Baskervilles apart. What sinks them, however good BR, is the updating to the 1930s, the feeble scripts and the imbecilic Dr Watson from Nigel Bruce.

Overall,for me, the Jeremy Brett series is the best.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: The Sherlock Holmes thread
« Reply #39 on: December 02, 2019, 10:34:34 AM »
I have been gradually working my way through The Complete Sherlock Holmes on Kindle; so far I have got to Adventure VIII. The Resident Patient in The Memoirs of Shelock Holmes.

Also I have watched quite a few TV series, courtesy of Netflix, YouTube etc. I rewatched all of the recent Benedict Cumberbatch series with the same result - Series 1-3 good, series 4 pretentious tweddle. I also saw the 1954 TV series with Ronald Howard - laughably bad but at least it had a decent Watson in H Marion Crawford.

Re-watching the Basil Rathbone films sent them down even further in my estimation - The Hound of the Baskervilles apart. What sinks them, however good BR, is the updating to the 1930s, the feeble scripts and the imbecilic Dr Watson from Nigel Bruce.

Overall,for me, the Jeremy Brett series is the best.
I like 'The Resident Patient' very much. The Rathbone HOTB is excellent but it was a terrible mistake to set the other films during the era of World War Two. Such a shame. 'Charles Augustus Milverton' and 'The Valley of Fear' are other favourites.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).