Here are four things that have stood out to me during my early readings of the complete Sherlock Holmes collection.
- There’s drama!
- I figured the Sherlock Holmes stories would focus almost exclusively on Holmes decoding challenging puzzles and deducing things from the merest slivers of evidence. There’s plenty of that, but there’s also a lot of character drama and twisting plot that I wasn’t prepared to find. It isn’t necessarily all that powerful, as far as proper stories go, but it’s there, it’s gripping enough, and it diversifies the reading experience.
- Dr. Watson is a real person.
- He isn’t just a wallflower or a wooden plank, playing the everyman to Holmes’ brilliance. I’m glad: even first-person narrators need to have character.
- Sherlock Holmes does cocaine.
- Ok, the stories were written in a different era and all that, but… really? The excuse is that Holmes has such an active mind that when he doesn’t have a mystery to solve, he needs chemical stimulation to keep his mind occupied. Blech.
- I haven’t seen the word “elementary” even once so far.
- I’m not sure whether I just have to keep reading, or whether the catchphrase comes more from TV and movie adaptations. I’ll let you know if and when I find out!