Category Archives: Reviews

Sherlock Holmes: 4 Observations So Far

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!

“The Sword in the Stone” by TH White

I read The Sword in the Stone, by TH White, fairly quickly, and I found it pretty fun. It’s endearing and amusing, and I can definitely see why it appeals to children so much. It’s basically a collection of small adventures, involving time spent as a variety of animals, jousting, magic, meetings with Robin Hood (pardon me; I mean Robin Wood), and more.

Overall, though, there isn’t much central purpose to the book. The “plot” (from which the title is drawn) only really shows up for the last 10 or 20 pages, and it isn’t outlined in much detail. It all just happens basically as a summary, and then it’s over. I would have liked to spend another 50 pages reading about the details of the sword in the stone, and how it affects Arthur, and Merlyn’s departure, and so on.

But kids probably don’t care about that aspect of things all that much.

Overall, it’s a fun read, and not too long, so I’d recommend giving it a look.