Friday, August 27, 2010

A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle

3 stars  2 stars
R- 0

Wow.  My first Sherlock Holmes.... I wanted to love it, but.... blah.

First of all, holy notes, Batman!  I'm one of those people who HAS to read all the notes.  There were like 14 on the first page alone.  Highly distracting.  Plus some of them were really very superfluous.

Didn't love Watson as a narrator.  Didn't love the "solve the mystery, then tell you the clues" style.

The 5 chapters of "mormon history" were possibly the most ridiculous caricature ever penned.  Even some of the notes were ridiculous.

You know what.... it only gets 2 stars.

I will probably still end up reading more, but with lower expectations.

Counts for my book club and the Support Your Local Library Challenge.


  1. A Study in Scarlet was the first Holmes story written, and probably the worst. I'd encourage you to try another story or two before deciding it's not for you.

  2. Yeah, I'm thinking they've got to get better, right?


  3. I've read the entire Holmes Compendium. I must admit they amused me, but the writing style is, shall we say, unique by today's standards. And the caricatures don't really go away in future stories, Conan Doyle is a product of his times, after all, but there's sometimes more balance...sometimes.

    And hey, my inner 9-year-old has to supress a snort every time Watson 'ejaculates' excitedly; it's a nice lesson in semantic shifting.

  4. Definitely a product of his times. :) Sometimes I think I need to remember that some classics are more about what they did for literature than for what they really are....

    LOL on semantic shifting.

  5. I listened to this one sometime in the last couple of years. I completely agree with your assessment. I was very surprised by the "mormon history" section and wondered how many ridiculous misconceptions have been propagated over the years due to this book.

    Did you see last weeks Masterpiece Mystery presentation of "Sherlock"? It was really good and I'm excited for tonights episode.

  6. Funny story-- when my cousin's husband first met the missionaries (he's Russian, this was before coming to the states) this book was ALL HE KNEW about Mormons! Amazing that he didn't run from them screaming.

    I missed Sherlock! I heard about it a few days ago, but had missed the first part, so didn't want to watch the second part.... I need to see if I can find them... Hulu or something. :)