Friday, May 29, 2015

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

Before Captain Obvious became a thing, it was customary for the impatient to criticize those who point out the self-evident with a good old fashioned "No shit, Sherlock!" But who is this Sherlock who has transcended the centuries while 99% of what gets written (including the contents of this blog) has an expiry date that would make the dairy industry blush?

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes contains a number of short stories where the hero somehow solves a case that eludes everybody else, including the reader (if you're me). Sherlock is a Phil Fisher kind of guy, in that he is the master of scuttlebutt. He listens to a bunch of facts, visits the crime scene, perhaps puts on a charade to arrive at some hard to reach information, and voila the case is solved. In many cases, the reader has all the information he needs to similarly solve the crime, not that it helped me at all.

The stories are light on narrative description but heavy on dialogue, which is how I like it. Despite the framework that was common to each story, I didn't find that the book dragged in any way. The stories are interesting enough and the dialogue fresh enough that you want to keep reading.


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