The Complete Sherlock Holmes, Volume 2 (Annotated)
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Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Bentley Loft Illustrator. Volume I not included in this ebook includes the early novel A Study in Scarlet, which introduced the eccentric genius of Sherlock Holmes to the world.
This baffling murder mystery, with the cryptic word Rache written in blood, first brought Holmes together with Dr. John Watson.
The Valley of Fear matches Holmes against his archenemy, the master of imaginative crime, Professor Moriarty. In addition, the loyal Dr. Get A Copy. Kindle Edition , pages. More Details Other Editions 4.
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The Complete Sherlock Holmes, Volume 2 (Annotated)
The influence is very clearly seen on recent television. Modern mystery shows ranging from the excellent to the abhorrent like Psych, House, the Mentalist and CSI all draw on the Holmes' formula to varying degrees. This is all to say, that whether you have an interest in the genre before picking up this volume or not, I think there is a good chance you will be as enthralled as I was.
Most of the stories follow a fairly standard formula. Holmes' partner and friend, Dr. Watson, recalls a case in which Holmes displayed his particular acuity at reasoning to solve some crime. A desperate and befuddled victim describe some bizarre scenario, and Watson and Holmes look into it.
To everyone's astonishment, Holmes' solves the case, recounting in the end how he managed to pick up clues missed by his compatriots and reason to the actual events. There are deviations in many of the stories, but the general framework quickly becomes rather comfortable for the reader. Watson is an affable and enjoyable narrator.
Holmes can be cold at times, and Watson's humor is a nice counterpoint. He's also an able contributor to the stories themselves, even if he is not quite up to Holmes' superhuman abilities. It's Holmes, rather obviously, who is the most interesting character. In some of the stories, he seems to act simply as a reasoning machine.
When Watson finds him, he is hard at work on some scientific pursuit, and once the case is on, he relentlessly pursues it to its conclusion. Yet, many of the other stories show a more complicated and interesting character. While justice is on his mind, he also pursues these cases because he is so fundamentally bored. It's not simply boredom with the events of the day, but that he finds life itself a dreary chore when not intellectually stimulated. On one hand, this seems somewhat odd. It has always seemed to me that the deeper one's appreciation for the complexities of the world, the more fascinating and less boring the world becomes.
Is it that Holmes' is simply not interested in scientific pursuits, or that he is so intelligent that he has passed even this point? I think not. The first is clearly false, given his interest in chemistry, and we are often introduced to the limits of Holmes' abilities. So what is the cause of Holmes' ennui? It hardly seems to be a crisis in faith, or an existential crisis about the absurdity of the world as it is.
I rather enjoyed wrestling with this characteristic, particularly since it seems so foreign to Watson, the narrator. Watson is consistently impressed, engaged and interested in the events he reports upon. It makes him unable to really bring himself to bear on Holmes' own personality, which creates ample opportunities for the reader to dive in. As one would expect with any volume of short stories, the quality can be a bit uneven. For example, "The Stock Broker's Clerk" is quite similar to another, earlier story, and the "Five Orange Pips" has a setup that does payoff in terms of details about the secret organization or a plausible explanation of their behavior.
Also of interest is the rather progressive ending to "The Yellow Face," which deals with interracial marriage. Nevertheless, the level of quality is generally quite high across the entire volume. Doyle is an able stylist, the mysteries are generally interesting, and the tales are frequently exciting reads. This edition is also worth saying a few words about.
It is designed for "Sherlockian" scholars. These fans of the novels operate under the fiction that the novels are literally true, and that Holmes was a real person whose exploits were recorded by the quite real Watson. The annotations in the volume are in this vein, and typically provide substantive background information which can be used by these fans to examine the plausibility of some of the stories and of Holmes' inferences. As someone who is not interested in this approach to the texts, I found the notes to be a bit hit or miss.
Some gave considerable background information about the era in which the stories take place, which generally contribute to the text. Others, however, concern the truth of obscure details of the story such as train schedules which were of no interest to me. It is quite obvious that Holmes' inferences are often abduction run amok there are other plausible explanations of the data , but I simply leave that aside as part of a suspension of disbelief. For those reading the stories like me, rather than like the Sherlockian Scholars the volume is aimed at, these notes can be safely skipped over.
The volume also contains a large number of excellent illustrations collected from various sources. A few superflous to this audience footnotes aside, this is a wonderful edition of these excellent stories. I'm three pages into the first story and there have been something like 12 footnotes already! Silver Blaze by Arthur Conan Doyle indirect.