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The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes…
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The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes (Collector's Library) (origineel 1927; editie 2004)

door Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Auteur)

Reeksen: Sherlock Holmes (9)

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In The Casebook, you can read the final twelve stories that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote about his brilliant detective. They are perhaps the most unusual and the darkest that he penned. Treachery, mutilation and the terrible consequences of infidelity are just some of the themes explored in these stories, along with atmospheric touches of the gothic, involving a bloodsucking vampire, crypts at midnight and strange bones in a furnace.… (meer)
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Titel:The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes (Collector's Library)
Auteurs:Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Auteur)
Info:Collector's Library (2004), 304 pages
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Trefwoorden:to-read

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The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes door Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Author) (1927)

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1-5 van 39 worden getoond (volgende | toon alle)
Well, I've now read the nine books in the Sherlock Holmes canon, and what a ride! After the initial two disappointing novels came three very good short story collections, a great novel, a better-than-average novel and a slightly-better-than-average short story collection. To finish off the series, "The Case-Book" is... well, not that great. On the one hand, Conan Doyle's prose skills have developed considerably from the early days of [b:A Study in Scarlet|102868|A Study in Scarlet (Sherlock Holmes, #1)|Arthur Conan Doyle|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1266472643s/102868.jpg|1997473] and his handling of both atmosphere and the Holmes/Watson relationship is rivalled perhaps only by that series peak, [b:The Hound of the Baskervilles|8921|The Hound of the Baskervilles|Arthur Conan Doyle|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1255670340s/8921.jpg|3311984]. However, there's not really a lot to recommend here. In truth, it's 2 stars for a non-Holmes fan, and 2-and-a-half if you know and love the guy already.

The bad:

One of the most frustrating elements of this book (admittedly a collection of individually-published short stories) are how often similar character tropes pop up. There are three - maybe four - fiery foreign ladies whose ethnicity is a key part of the solution.

The Adventure of the Creeping Man - the biggest letdown in the canon. This story features the single most arresting, chilling images that Holmes and Watson ever encounter, but is ruined by a gobsmackingly bad denouement.

The Adventure of the Mazarin Stone - adapted from a play, this story not only relies on previously unheard-of architectural features at Baker Street, but fails to capture the reader's interest or render the characters particularly realistically.

The Illustrious Client - can barely even remember it. Moving on.


The thoroughly average

Intriguingly, many of the stories herein are structured less as 'whodunnits' and more as 'howdunnits'. Very few of the stories (indeed, only really two) feature more than one suspect. Some stories never even attempt to hide the perpetrator, the question is instead "what is going on?". This is not unprecedented in the canon by any means, but is highly concentrated here.

Thor Bridge - while it has a clever denouement and some good characterisation, it is another story that doesn't stick in the mind.

The Three Gables - this story is noted most for the questionable racial stereotype character who opens the piece. Personally, I'd argue he has at least two dimensions, and he is a bad guy who happens to be black rather than any kind of argument being made, but it's still a bit edgy, I'll concede. The story itself is quite readable, but no great secret or particularly intriguing characters jump out at us. (Indeed, the story has mild echoes of other stories in the canon.)

The unsatisfying

The Lion's Mane - one of two stories in this volume to be narrated by Holmes (and not to feature Watson at all), the tone of voice is delightful, and the atmosphere electric. However - as with the much earlier story The Five Orange Pips - it is ultimately unsatisfying. This ISN'T Conan Doyle's fault for once; but as with that story, most modern readers will pick up the solution the minute the clues arrive, as it is no longer something mysterious...

The odd

Perhaps most interesting is to see how public sensibilities changed over the years. The early works could only hint at impropreity, while the crimes in this and the previous collection are far more wide-ranging. Bodies - when they appear, which is actually quite rare here - are often brutally destroyed; people having affairs are clearly now having sexual ones; alcohol is far more prevalent. A window into a world.

The Veiled Lodger is a strange, haunting little piece. It is one of the better stories in the collection, although a bizarre addition. It isn't really a mystery at all, but a retelling of a "cold case", with a dark and brooding central figure who has spent years following Holmes' career. Unsettling, but also un-Holmesian.

The Sussex Vampire - atmospheric and ripe for adaptation, yes. Silly? Even more so. Along with one of our many fiery Latin women, the solution hearkens back to the exotica and melodrama of the early Holmes novels. While the true villain of the piece is deftly handled, the vampirism is a tad overdone.

The ... satisfactory?

One shouldn't assume this book is a 'write-off', it's just that even the four most typical Holmes stories, as outlined below, are somewhat lacking.

Shoscombe Old Place and The Blanched Soldier - have some intriguing set pieces, but aren't particularly memorable (aside from the latter being written by Mr. Sherlock Holmes himself).

The Retired Colourman - the most Holmesian story in the collection, but - as mentioned before - lacks suspects. However, it is also possibly the best story in the collection as it features some lovely secondary characters.

The Three Garridebs - well-plotted but, aside from lacking in suspects, is basically a shot-for-shot remake of an early (and very memorable) Holmes short story.

I apologise for the length, but this sums up both the story and the collection: Conan Doyle had tired of Holmes to an extent, and what we get here are stories that focus on the complexity of how the crime was done, rather than making the surrounding elements - suspects, primarily - a mystery. As a result, we generally get a puzzle followed by a chase. Not always unsatisfying, but never as captivating as the earlier works.

In closing, if you're new to the wonderful world of Holmes, there are many other better ideas. Read The Hound of the Baskervilles and any of the other, earlier short story collections - Adventures, Memoirs or The Return. If you like those, read The Valley of Fear, His Last Bow and (to know how it all began)A Study in Scarlet. If ALL of those suit you, then come crawling to this one. (Don't bother with The Sign of Four as no good can come from that.) ( )
  therebelprince | Oct 5, 2021 |
This last batch of Holmes and Watson adventures, while still fun, also show the wear and tear on their author. He's really reaching in some of these.

That being said, I appreciated the different points of view some of the stories took, including the ones narrated by Holmes himself. I'd completely forgotten Doyle did that.

Even with some of the dopey stories in this one, it still shows why Holmes and Watson have persisted in popularity to this day. ( )
  TobinElliott | Sep 3, 2021 |
Sherlock Holmes creator clearly wanted to stop writing on Sherlock Holmes and it is rather a nice ending to the whole series.
I enjoyed it all the same, especially when Sherlock Holmes himself described the cases. ( )
  Ibrahim_Obalola | Apr 15, 2021 |
With this book I have re-read the entire Sherlock Holmes canon. I loved every minute and will probably do it again several times with whatever amount of time I have left to me.

The complete canon would be a great desert island suggestion.

A tip--get these books with the original illustrations. Makes them even more fun. ( )
  ChrisMcCaffrey | Apr 6, 2021 |
A fine close to the Watson and Holmes mysteries. Well written, but not as original as many of the earlier cases: there was a number of repeated themes and clues and cases. Nonetheless, easy and enjoyable reading.

I was also quite fond of the two cases told from Sherlock Holmes' perspective, as his dry style was a fine diversion. ( )
  TCLinrow | Mar 17, 2021 |
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» Andere auteurs toevoegen (34 mogelijk)

AuteursnaamRolType auteurWerk?Status
Doyle, Sir Arthur ConanAuteurprimaire auteuralle editiesbevestigd
Robson, W. W.RedacteurSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd

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"It can't hurt now," was Mr Sherlock Holmes's comment when, for the tenth time in as many years, I asked his leave to reveal the following narrative.
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Then my friend's wiry arms were round me and he was leading me to a chair.
'You're not hurt, Watson? For God's sake, say that you are not hurt?'
It was worth a wound - it was worth many wounds - to know the depth of loyalty and love which lay behind that cold mask. The clear, hard eyes were dimmed for a moment, and the firm lips were shaking. For the one and only time I caught a glimpse of a great heart as well as of a great brain. All my years of humble but single-minded service culminated in that moment of revelation.
'It's nothing, Holmes. It's a mere scratch.'
He had ripped up my trousers with his pocket-knife.
'You are right,' he cried, with an immense sigh of relief. 'it is quite superficial.' His face set like flint as he glared at our prisoner, who was sitting up with a dazed face. 'By the Lord, it is as well for you. If you had killed Watson, you would not have got out of this room alive.'
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This work, the 1927 anthology by Doyle called The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes and the more recent volume of the same name from the Educator Classic Library are different; the latter contains A Study in Scarlet, Hound of the Baskervilles, The Adventure of the Speckled Band, A Scandal in Bohemia, and The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle
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In The Casebook, you can read the final twelve stories that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote about his brilliant detective. They are perhaps the most unusual and the darkest that he penned. Treachery, mutilation and the terrible consequences of infidelity are just some of the themes explored in these stories, along with atmospheric touches of the gothic, involving a bloodsucking vampire, crypts at midnight and strange bones in a furnace.

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Nagelaten Bibliotheek: Arthur Conan Doyle

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Een editie van dit boek werd gepubliceerd door Penguin Australia.

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