08 November 2011

A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle


Though I have seen several adaptations and interpretations of the Sherlock Holmes character - foremost among them Data’s portrayal in Star Trek: The Next Generation, Robert Downey Jr’s in the recent motion picture, and Benedict Cumberbatch’s in BBC’s Sherlock, reading A Study in Scarlet was in fact my first venture into the Holmes literary canon.
It was very strange, seeing how the case would meet my expectations and how it would defy them.  The very first episode of the BBC Sherlock was loosely based on this story, but it was different enough that it was quite fresh.  As Doyle’s introduction to the character, Study also felt very fresh and uncertain with itself at times, but this in fact worked to its advantage: since it was told from the perspective of Dr. John Watson, this then felt like we were finding out footing along with him.
Perhaps most surprising to me, all in all, was the use of Mormonism as the crux of the plot.  I had scarcely expected a 19th Century English writer to involve them; it seemed to me that only Americans ever wrote about Mormons.  Obviously this is not the case, but I have so rarely encountered references to them outside of American literature that it was almost jarring.  Either way, though, it was a delightful twist.
I thoroughly enjoyed A Study in Scarlet and have already started in on The Sign of the Four.

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Books: Been on vacation and reading magazines since they are easier to transport.

Bottles: A few new things.  Will write about them soon.

Writing: Didn't take my computer with me to Mexico but looking forward to getting back to Into the Shining Sun.

Guitar: No way I could take my guitar with me.