Friday, October 18, 2013

"The Return of Sherlock Holmes" by A. Conan Doyle

There are thirteen stories in this book, which begins with Sherlock Holmes rising from the dead, in a way.  In "The Adventure of the Empty House," Holmes returns (and nearly gives Watson a heart attack) and explains that he didn't die at Reichenbach Falls after all.  Whew.  

Reportedly, Doyle had killed off Holmes because he was tired of the character, and only revived him because he either needed money or he couldn't resist the public pressure... there are different theories, and you can Google for more info if you're so inclined.  Regardless of why he brought Holmes back, Doyle clearly didn't have the same level of joy for the stories anymore.  The plots are weaker, and some of them are kind of recycled from previous stories.  But some of them are quite good, and they're all still enjoyable.  My favorites in this collection are "The Adventure of the Abbey Grange" and "The Adventure of the Missing Three-Quarter," probably because they're more original than some of the others.  I also have a fondness for "The Adventure of the Dancing Men," though not for the ending.

Particularly Good Bits:

No. 131 was one of a row, all flat-chested, respectable, and most unromantic dwellings.  ("The Adventure of the Six Napoleons")

Outside the wind howled down Baker Street, while the rain beat fiercely against the windows.  It was strange there, in the very depths of the town, with ten miles of man's handiwork on every side of us, to feel the iron grip of Nature, and to be conscious that to the huge elemental forces all London was no more than the molehills that dot the fields.  ("The Adventure of the Golden Pince-Nez")

If this was a movie, I would rate it:  PG for dangerous situations, violence, and suspense.


  1. Love those quotes you included! Conan Doyle definitely has some wonderful descriptive language. Still, so sad to see when an author's heart just isn't in his work anymore.

    Your taste in books keeps reminding me of everything I've been intending to read for a very long time. One day very soon I need to just force myself to stop and read them. =)

    1. I've noticed that a lot of the quotes I post here are descriptions -- I wonder if that's because I struggle with writing descriptions myself, so I appreciate them a little extra in other people's works?

      And lol -- feel free to use my blog as a reading list :-) I'm actually working on creating a list of the books I've reviewed, alphabetized by title, like the list of movie reviews on my other blog.


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