Archive for February, 2013

‘A Study in Scarlet’ by Arthur Conan Doyle

February 14, 2013

A Sherlock Holmes novel. Nice. Not overwhelming, not for modern readers anyway, I guess: it is old-fashioned — because it’s old. But nice. (Sorry again for overusing ‘nice’, but it’s a nice word, isn’t it? Nah, maybe not really so much.) I read a lot of Sherlock Holmes novels (in German) when I was a boy; now I wanted to rediscover them, see how much they were still able to entertain me. And yes, they do; a Sherlock Holmes story once in a while is going to be appreciated, even though there is more titillating (now isn’t that a nice word?!) literature available. You can read this one because it’s a classic detective novel, or just because you are interested in the original Sherlock Holmes character (I do very much like the Guy Ritchie picturizations — actually I liked all Guy Ritchie movies I have seen; I never saw Swept Away).

I got Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Novels and Stories, vol. 1, as a gift; the edition is n— … good, though printed a bit close to the binding. There were two things I didn’t expect: (1) There is a long part which isn’t recounted by Dr. Watson, but rather told by an impersonal narrator, what is called (in German) the ‘auktorial’ or the ‘neutral’ narrative perspective — dim recollections from German classes, and help from Wikipedia. (2) I was also surprised by what I read about the Mormons, that they had (in the 19th century) an inquisition-like secret police — I hope they do not have that anymore, or else I may be in trouble now, just for mentioning it.