The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Feb 2020 Book Group discussion thread

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Feb 2020
8:22pm, 28 Feb 2020
16259 posts
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Serendippily
I thought it was genuinely spooky in places, in a good way
Feb 2020
8:55pm, 28 Feb 2020
33660 posts
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LindsD
I remember a very scary TV adaptation
Feb 2020
10:08pm, 28 Feb 2020
19355 posts
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Columba
Son has also been remembering a very scary TV adaptation; he thinks he was about 7 at the time, and was terrified of walking in any of the boggy areas with which mid-Wales abounds as he thought he was going to be sucked down.

I am now about mid book, and am suspecting what McG suspects.
Mar 2020
10:47pm, 2 Mar 2020
462 posts
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Peregrinator
About 30 years ago I stayed at Crowsley Park House - once the seat of Henry Baskerville, and known to Arthur Conan Doyle. Possibly the Baskerville's were also the source of the curse story, or possibly not; maidens pursued by giant hounds were apparently commonplace in olden times. By the time I stayed the fierce dogs were long gone (though the gates to the park had statues of hell hounds, spears through their mouths), and the family who occupied it each had a wing of the grade II listed of their own, living an interesting mixture of Brideshead and Gormenghast. Rather mundanely, the house is near Reading, and most of the grounds occupied by BBC listening antennae. But it has a ghost story: chilternsaonb.org
Mar 2020
10:56pm, 2 Mar 2020
33742 posts
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LindsD
I think I was taken there as a child and failed to understand the connection between fact and fiction.
Mar 2020
11:23pm, 2 Mar 2020
463 posts
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Peregrinator
The link between Conan Doyle and Crowsley is rather muddy, either a friend of Doyle's married Henry's daughter, or he was a tenant of a house nearby, or something. The origin of the curse story is even muddier.... But one of the things ACD does do well is to blur his fiction into real places
Mar 2020
6:58am, 3 Mar 2020
33748 posts
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LindsD
That's true.
Mar 2020
8:54am, 3 Mar 2020
19377 posts
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Columba
There's a place near Hay that (I've been told) is the original of Baskerville Hall.
Mar 2020
9:09am, 3 Mar 2020
6010 posts
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Northern Exile
Love the Brideshead and Gormenghast analogy :-)
Mar 2020
7:52pm, 5 Mar 2020
10158 posts
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Little Nemo
Right, I haven't actually finished the short story collection, I've put them on hold after the Five Pips. But I did read The Hound of the Baskervilles so I'll do a combined review.

I read a lot of SH when I was a teenager, they were one of my transition choices when I first started using the adult lending library. I enjoyed them at the time but I don't think they work as well now. I can think of a few reasons. Firstly they are quite dated in their treatment of women. Secondly SH himself is a bit of a twat, he'd far rather take his time solving the case rather than possibly saving lives. Thirdly you can tell that ACD prefers coming up with riddles than creating more rounded characters. Fourthly having seen loads of adaptations of SH on the TV the stories seem a bit thin.

I found the short stories particularly annoying because there was just so little substance to them. I either knew the stories already or could work out what the plot was so there was very little suspense. SH didn't really care about the people who came to see him and seemed pretty careless about what happened to them. The Five Pips was the worst, he just let his client leave while he took his time coming up with his "grand reveal". I know he's supposed to be a sociopath but shouldn't he feel a bit guilty about the poor bloke ending up in the Thames?!?

THOTB was a lot better. The story was more interesting, the characters had more about them and the best bit was that SH was absent for a good half of it! The different sections had good variation in tone. My problems with it are the attitudes that seem strange to a 21st century outlook. The idea that it was OK for a violent criminal to be allowed to get away as he was going to go to South America. The sister of the villain not being considered as a possible accomplice. How little work as a doctor Dr Watson seemed to have to do ;-)

I've got the sort stories on Kindle so I'll probably work my way through the rest of them eventually, they are a good length for a tube journey if I haven't got anything else to read.

I'd give the short stories 4 and THOTB 6 so I gave a 5 overall.

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