Monday, 26 July 2010

The Memoires or Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The Memoires or Sherlock Holmes is a collection of short tales about the feats of Sherlock Holmes written in the form of Memoires by his ever faithful sidekick Dr. Watson. They give what purports to be the most interesting of Holmes’ cases, including his finale with Professor Moriarty and how Holmes came to his death. Fortunately for us, the readers of the day kicked up such a fuss about killing Holmes off, that Doyle resurrected him in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

Having read both works recently, I can see why Doyle did what he did. First of all, there really is no other suitable death for Holmes because his character simply isn’t one that would grow old contentedly. Imagine a old, decrepit Holmes unable to go about his business chasing after criminals. He’s not particularly stable at the best of times, but inactivity would send him over the brink. Death by and with Moriarty was the best possible scenario in my opinion. However, Doyle was a bit premature with killing off his character and was forced to bring him back from the grave so to speak. Since Moriarty really was dead, that particular scenario couldn’t happen twice (that would have been cheesy anyway). I

I can also see why he was so eager to kill off Holmes. The more you read, the more similarities you start to see between the cases and they becoming increasingly easier to solve yourself, or at least to imagine where Doyle will take the reader. I think Doyle might have been afraid that he would become stale and tried to do what so many others before him should have done, i.e. quit while he was ahead.

I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy the book, because I did, it’s only that I can see Doyle’s reasoning. 5 out of 5 for this lot because how could you give Holmes any less!

2 comments:

Scrabblequeen said...

I just got this (free!) for my new Border's Reader. I haven't gotten far, but I have high hope for enjoying it.

Trish said...

Oh no--I was getting set to read this post when all I saw from my Google Reader screen was "eager to kill of Holmes." Yikes! Did I get spoiled? :)

I'm reading a book right now called The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher--a non-fiction about the first detectives in London back in the 1800s. It REALLY makes me want to read some 1860s sensationalist fiction and then maybe some Sherlock Holmes as well!