Friday, 16 December 2011

Something for the weekend..

Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

There's a lot of talk about everyones' favourite pipe smoking sleuth at the moment. What with the (excellent) BBC Series returning very soon, the sequel to the (hugely popular) film by Guy Ritchie about to hit the silver screen, and Anthony Horowitz's  new addition to the canon just released (House of Silk) it's a boom time for the clever dick.

Deservedly so in my opinion, Holmes' adventures are a cracking read, so in this 'Something for the weekend' I'm suggesting you go back to the original stories. For me it all began in 1982, I wanted to watch the Bbc's 'Hound of the Baskervilles' because this 'Holmes' person looked like Dr Who (see picture). In an attempt to find another vehicle for the incredibly popular Dr, the beeb put him in a deerstalker & sent him off to battle a large dog painted green. Well i liked it. I also enjoyed Jeremy Brett's terrific turn during the 80's & early 90's, it was comparatively recently though, that i actually read the source novels.      
If like me you are entering Conan Doyle's world quite late, be prepared - there's less than you think! There are only four novels (& they aren't very long - perfect for the weekend in fact!), the rest of his work is made up of short stories in various collections. Having said that i mostly prefered the short stories, they tend to work better structurally. Indeed the one odd thing that struck me about the novels (except 'Hound') is the curious way Doyle waits until he gets two thirds of the way through before one of the characters will sit Holmes down and explain the back story to him in intricate detail. But it's all part of the fun.  

And what fun it is! Holmes is a lovably pompous genius, Watson his loyal dependable sidekick and of course the narrator of 99% of the work. Together (well Watson is there) they solve devilishly clever crimes mostly set in foggy London with a motley collection of ne'er do wells, with a dash of cocaine, simple Policemen to make Holmes look clever and some soothing violins - what's not to like?

So this Christmas treat yourself, watch the TV version, go to the flicks if you like, but most importantly go back to where it all began.

(this was not an excuse to get a picture of Tom Baker on our blog. Honest)


No comments:

Post a Comment