April 30, 2014

Book Review: The Complete Sherlock Holmes

I think it took me longer to read Sherlock Holmes than it did to read War & Peace. Reading a large book like this on your Kindle has the advantage of not weighing you down on your daily commute. It has the disadvantage of not letting you know how many pages are actually in the book until you decide one day, to Google it. 

1,796 pages. 

Damn that was a long read. I won't bother with a synopsis because let's face it, if you don't know who Sherlock Holmes is, I can't help you.

Sherlock Holmes is the most portrayed fictional character in history.
Sir Ian McKellan will soon be joining this list.
I will include this synopsis though:

From Good ReadsThis single volume contains all 4 novels & 56 short stories about Baker Street's most famous resident.

The 4 novels are:

A Study in Scarlet 
The Sign of the Four
The Hound of the Baskervilles 
The Valley of Fear 

and the 56 short-stories are collected in 5 books:

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes 
The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes 
The Return of Sherlock Holmes 
His Last Bow 
The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes

My Thoughts: It's hard not to like Sherlock Holmes. There is something about these stories that have captivated audiences for over 100 years. I loved reading the short stories. They were intriguing and had all of the wit and fascination that I expected from them. The novels on the other hand, I didn't enjoy, with the exception of The Hound of the Baskervilles (which I'm actually watching on Sherlock right now). The novels are interesting at first, but then they dive into long histories of the crime that go back as far as 20 years in some instance and, while they provide context to the crime, don't really help further the story in any capacity.

I've always loved Sherlock Holmes (I even dressed as him for Halloween one year!) but one thing I didn't love about these stories is that it is completely impossible to try and guess the outcome of the crime. While Holmes practices the 'science of deduction', he solves his crimes by paying attention to details...details which the reader isn't exposed to. It's impressive nonetheless, but there is no mystery to be solved for the reader.

While I would recommend Sherlock Holmes to everyone, I wouldn't recommend The Complete Sherlock Holmes. It took me almost two months to read! I'll share some of my favorite short stories so that if you ever have an itch to dive into the tales of the famous detectives, you can do so with these.

The Adventure of the Red-Headed League
The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle
The Adventure of the Speckled Band
The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet
The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter
The Adventure of the Naval Treaty
The Final Problem
The Adventure of the Solitary Cyclist
The Adventure of the Priory School

So, there you have it. 

What's the longest book you've ever read?
Have you read Sherlock Holmes?
What or who is your favorite portrayal of Sherlock Holmes? Hands down, mine is Robert Downey Jr. 

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