Monday, June 10, 2013

Reflections: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

Adam C. Zern shares his thoughts on Arthur Conan Doyle's The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes:

"I really dislike crime procedural shows like CSI, Law and Order, etc.  I don't dispute that some of them possibly have decent writing, adequate acting, and provides a certain level of entertainment for many people, but I don't even like the concept of the shows.  The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes is that exact premise in book form and obviously the first of its kind.  Therefore, I struggled to get through The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes while others, my wife included, enjoyed it quite a bit, but she likes crime procedural shows and this book was a perfect fit for her.

I really, really enjoyed The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle.  I fully expected to enjoy The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes just as much, but they are very different books and very different experiences.  The stories in the Sherlock Holmes books were too disjointed for me to ever care all that much about the characters.  The point of the stories are most assuredly the mystery and eventual resolution of it and not character developments, aside from some passing idiosyncrasies displayed by Sherlock.  Dr. Watson is an empty pair of eyes whose only purpose is to record Sherlock's methods and episodes.  If one could go back in time and Doyle was to re-write the stories without Watson it essentially would not have changed the stories in any substantial or important ways. 

Perhaps the only value I received from reading The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes was that it informed the various television and film versions of the character.  I haven't exactly been a devoted fan to the new films or to the television shows, but I think I gained a greater appreciation for them.  That's a small benefit, however, considering how little I care about the films and television shows.

I didn't care for The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.  I found it to be uninteresting and boring.  But it's a form of entertainment I know a lot of other people really enjoy; I'll leave the crime procedural television shows and short stories for them."

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