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KidTruth
10-01-2007, 04:01 PM
I've just finished the entire body of Sherlock Holmes stories (there are, what, 56 or so?) and I have a few general thoughts:

For the most part, I am disappointed in how Doyle decided to address Holmes as a character. In fact, I find Watson to be a much more interesting case study. Perhaps it was the audience that he was writing for, though I suspect it has more to do with Doyle's focus on nonfiction and the factual. Very rarely is Holmes treated like a character at all - more often he is a Deus Ex Machina who develops new abilities depending on what the problems he is facing.

Ash on the ground? No problem, Holmes wrote a paper on that and is an expert. Attacked? No problem, Holmes is an expert boxer - oh, and he learned jujitsu in Japan as well. Cryptographic message? He wrote a paper on that, too.

The fact that the stories are not written in chronological order doesn't help - it makes it very difficult to think of Holmes as a character who progresses. Indeed, Holmes never progresses and is pretty much always right.

The mysteries themselves are not really what the stories are about - at least, not to me. Of the Holmes novels, I have to say that The Sign of the Four is my favorite - indeed, probably my favorite of all of his writings. It is one of the few instances where Holmes is addressed as a character, and we can see the motive for his drug addiction and loneliness in a world that only stands as a puzzle to be solved to him. The end (after Doyle's insufferable habit to sneak long historical pieces in the end of his books disguised as explanations of crimes) in which Holmes is left with nothing but his drugs, while Watson finds love and the client is satisfied, was uncommonly poetic when compared to the rest of the work.

As for the mysteries themselves, they are interesting enough. It's hard for someone my age to compare, as I've grown up watching crime dramas that were inspired by Holmes by have indeed improved upon the formula.

Watson comes across as a very interesting character, but as Doyle treats both Holmes and Watson primarily as tools to tell the mystery, he isn't developed very well. He devotes most of his life to doing whatever Holmes wants, seeking affection from Holmes, attempting to market the beauty he sees in Holmes to the general public, but never really gets anything in return. It actually seems like Holmes regrets the attention he receives from Watson.

On a side note, if you want to see a modernized and much better-developed characterization of the Holmes character, watch the television sitcom "House M.D." Dr. House is modeled precisely after Sherlock Holmes, but as a more imperfect being. The focus on drug abuse and loneliness due to genius is much more developed in the television show.

And don't scoff at me for comparing television to Holmes - the vast majority of Holmes stories were published in magazine periodicals, which were the equivalent of the time.

KidTruth
10-01-2007, 04:03 PM
My favorite quote? I forgot what story it is from, but..

"Crime is common. Logic is rare." Sherlock Holmes.

brambleshire
01-08-2008, 08:18 PM
I think you're right, Holmes is a kind of Deus Ex Machina - but I actually see this as part of his appeal. If he was an everyday person with average qualities, he probably wouldn't be the most famous classic detective of all time. But I wouldn't go so far as to say this makes him a kind of super-hero, surprising us with this sudden powers. His monograph on cigar/tobacco ash is mentioned consistently throughout the Canon, and his boxing is mentioned first in the Study of Scarlet.
Although he's eccentric character, he's not unbelievable. His love of music, his occasional waves of emotion and his penchant for flattery , ensure that! As for Watson, I think he regrets the way n which he sensationalises the cases when he writes them up/ But he's got genuine affection for Watson, as shown in the Three Garridebs. I won't go on, but for me the character of Holmes far exceeds the mysteries which he solves. But I guess that's what's so good about literature, there's not just one interpretation!

vonjuntz
10-07-2008, 01:28 AM
That was a really long read to a commercial fu

mosimo
10-08-2008, 02:09 PM
What most people fail to realize when reading Sherlock stories is that Holmes is not the main character. Rather Watson is Holmes does serve more like a god who watches over the story to make everything come out all right. But if anyone wishes to write a character analysis on a Sherlock Holmes story the character with the most depth and dimensions is Watson.

TazRai17
07-13-2010, 12:01 AM
My Fellow Sherlockians,

I have now officially read the full Sherlock Holmes collection and must say it saddens me that there is no more of his exciting adventures to read. I guess it will be a delight to read over the stories again but this time with a mission…

Spiderman can swoop through buildings with his web, Superman can fly and see through walls, but what dawned upon me was that if Sherlock Holmes was the first Western Super Hero, what was his power? Obviously his insane skill in deduction and observation. But I realized, can the average human being possess such a gift. Can we really improve our thought process to be able to reason within such logic like the great detective does.

I have taken it upon myself to research into the science of deduction and cover over the many stories/notes that explains Holmes thought process. From this extensive research, I plan to write a book for all the Holmes fans out there whom may be interested to perhaps acquire or enhance such a talent like his.

Please feel free to provide your thoughts, opinions on the idea and what you may like to have answered in my book. Your response will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you all.

Taz Rai

pennashri
09-28-2010, 06:07 PM
It is a pity that some members have been maligning the master of detective story writing. There can be no two opinions that Sherlock Holmes is the sort of character every aspiring detective would like to become. One who gets to being at least ten percent of Holmes' abilities would romp home a winner in his career. The critics are either jealous or too carried away by the present generation of crime thrillers.

It saddens me that people who are more into Grisham have not been able to grasp the way Holmes has been created.

Emil Miller
09-28-2010, 06:25 PM
It is a pity that some members have been maligning the master of detective story writing. There can be no two opinions that Sherlock Holmes is the sort of character every aspiring detective would like to become. One who gets to being at least ten percent of Holmes' abilities would romp home a winner in his career. The critics are either jealous or too carried away by the present generation of crime thrillers.

It saddens me that people who are more into Grisham have not been able to grasp the way Holmes has been created.


It is a pity that Sherlock Holmes is part of a sub-genre of fiction which has given rise to a great deal of rubbish. However, that is not to say that Conan Doyle's fictional creation isn't infinitely superior to the myriad clones that followed. The inventiveness of the plots, whether in the novels or short stories, are definitely more interesting than what passes for crime thrillers today.

mtpspur
09-29-2010, 01:06 AM
Sherlock Holmes is an icon much like Superman and Tarzan--known the world over in a general sense if not specifically. It has been years since I read any of his tales and I confess I have NOT finsihed them all--for some reason I can't get thru The Valley of Fear. Of the many imitators which sprung up I woud direct readers to August Derleths SolarPons stories (continued by Basil Cooper) as a worthy successor. I really have nothing substantial ot add to the glory of this character except that he is well worth the reading and many hours could be worse spent.

naluneabezshapk
12-24-2011, 04:48 PM
The only thing I have a qualm with is that Sir Arthur Canon Doyle did not write more episodes!

cafolini
12-24-2011, 08:08 PM
My Fellow Sherlockians,

I have now officially read the full Sherlock Holmes collection and must say it saddens me that there is no more of his exciting adventures to read. I guess it will be a delight to read over the stories again but this time with a mission…

Spiderman can swoop through buildings with his web, Superman can fly and see through walls, but what dawned upon me was that if Sherlock Holmes was the first Western Super Hero, what was his power? Obviously his insane skill in deduction and observation. But I realized, can the average human being possess such a gift. Can we really improve our thought process to be able to reason within such logic like the great detective does.

I have taken it upon myself to research into the science of deduction and cover over the many stories/notes that explains Holmes thought process. From this extensive research, I plan to write a book for all the Holmes fans out there whom may be interested to perhaps acquire or enhance such a talent like his.

Please feel free to provide your thoughts, opinions on the idea and what you may like to have answered in my book. Your response will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you all.

Taz Rai

Why did Sherlock get together with 007, inflated a giant King Kong like a Zepellin with a time bomb, made it fly over the river Cam and explode over the Lucasian chair at Cambridge, thus causing the Big Bang?

sherlockian
12-15-2013, 12:30 AM
That was a really long read to a commercial fu

Hello!

I think - just the others- the original canon is the best. And I must say: he was a hero without magical power, and magical object. He use his brain when he see a problem.

I find a good character analysis here: sherlockian-sherlock dot com site

Happy Sherlock Day!