My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Have you ever wondered about the extended history of Sherlock Holmes? He is one of the most enduring and oddly endearing literary characters of all time. But how did he come to life? What was Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s inspiration? What magic endears him to centuries of young and old alike? These questions (and much, MUCH more) are all answered in this book. Read on and get to know Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson as you never have before!
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was a struggling doctor with a penchant for writing. One day he put pen to paper and – voila! – Sherlock Holmes was born. The many adventures of Sherlock Holmes would eventually become Conan Doyle’s primary source of income, spanning decades and bringing millions in royalties. Generations of men and women worldwide were captivated by this character and his unique ability to solve crimes through observation and deduction. Despite Conan Doyle’s repeated attempts to leave Holmes behind him and move on to more “serious” writing, Holmes endured, even after his creator’s death. The silhouette of Sherlock Holmes – that hat and pipe and pointed features – have been featured in every type of media and in countless advertisements in every country in the world. Conan Doyle’s legacy even helped his children live in luxury, despite their completely incompetent efforts to manage the estate. Actors and Holmes enthusiasts have helped to shape his character throughout the years, keeping him relevant and much beloved. Each generation has seen efforts to modernize Holmes and Watson, some with great success. And so it is that the title of this book (and obviously the content itself) takes the reader from Holmes, the stoic but brilliantly eccentric Victorian detective, to Sherlock, the modern “consultant” that helped launch Benedict Cumberbatch to international stardom.
This book is extremely well researched. By the end of the book, the reader cannot help but believe that the author has literally left no page unturned! From personal letters and early manuscripts to interviews, photos, and much more – the author was incredibly thorough. It must be said that this is likely now THE definitive history of Sherlock Holmes.
It is worth noting, and perhaps this is the only minor criticism I have, that the book is a translation. There are often times where transitions from page to page, or even paragraph to paragraph, seem to jump around awkwardly. It is clear that the writer is trying to employ literary devices to keep the reader engaged. But sometimes the transitions are jolting, awkward, or on a few occasions even seem confusingly juxtapositional. Otherwise, the diction, vocabulary, and grammar are an absolute pleasure to read!
This book is very long and certainly requires time and dedication to get through. However, if you are at all a fan of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, you will enjoy this journey through their historical presence. The intricacies of all the behind-the-scenes work that has gone into keeping this beloved partnership relevant is astounding and nothing short of miraculous. Do I recommend this book? “Elementary, my dear Watson!” Of course I do!