I've just finished reading just about every Sherlock Holmes story ever written by Arthur Conan Doyle, and I have to say that very rarely does the character himself develop any kind of interesting features. It seems to me that Holmes is a constant Deus Ex Machina who develops skills and powers based on whatever the problem is. Doyle constantly writes himself into corners and then has to come up with some new expertise of Holmes' in order to escape it. I understand that Doyle didn't want to write this book - it's true, these stories do come across as fluff for the most part. However, there are a few notable exceptions in which the stories do achieve greatness. "The Sign of the Four" really struck me as one of the few stories in which Doyle developed his protagonist at all. It deals heavily with Holmes' lonely life and drug addiction, and gives some rare insight into our hero. To me, a much more interesting study could be made on Watson - what kind of a man resigns himself to be a dopey, fairly useless sidekick for life? Who admires another man SO MUCH that he would sit around and write stories about him all day, and get rebuked by his own hero for it? If anyone out there is writing a literary analysis of these stories for school, I highly recommend thinking about this angle. What sort of homoerotic worship culture was Doyle pushing?
There was never meant to be 'A Return of Sherlock Holmes' Doyle was bored to death of the stories and tried to kill him off! Luckily there was such an uproar that he was forced to write more! *everyone cheers loudly!* Had I been around at the time, I would have personally kidnapped Doyle and forced him to create the new stories! As you can tell I'm a bit of a Sherlockian. I would just like to point out that upon Sherlock's return, Watson abruptly faints! Was I the only one nutty enough to see the absolute humor behind this? Probably! ;) I just put this thread here because noone else had commented on the Return and I thought it deserved to be apprieciated!
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