Currently reading: The Sign of the Four


“There’s the scarlet thread of murder running through the colourless skein of life, and our duty is to unravel it, and isolate it, and expose every inch of it.”

After finishing A Study in Scarlet, which I really loved, I’m moving on to The Sign of the Four.  You would think having watched so many television shows and movies based on Holmes, I’d find reading the stories a bit boring…the plots spoiled…but I think it’s all the more interesting reading the works now….I can see how the shows changed the material and I feel that in a lot of ways I’m still wrapped up in the mystery…plus I completely admire Doyle’s writing style and structure. You can’t get that from the shows.

I’ve always had a habit of saying I dislike something, even strongly dislike, without really knowing it. (This probably applies to people as well.) A long time ago I formed this idea in my head that Holmes was nothing but some kind of posh, sitting by the fire with his deer hunter hat and pipe, kind of detective, solving cozy mysteries in his armchair with some input from his sidekick Watson. It was sort of mixed up with Agatha Christie movies I’d seen with my granny.  I yawned and poo pooed notions of Holmes.  But at some point I decided to give some of the shows like Murder Rooms a try…I enjoyed it.  Liked that there was a lot more to the forensic side than I realized…which perked me up.  I then tried more shows and movies.  Thought the Robert Downey jr. Holmes and Watson must be some kind of exaggeration but liked it well enough…but then came Benedict Cumberbatch as Holmes and I lost my mind!  I thought “If this is Holmes, I’m all in.”  And I heard how the creator/writer is really into the novels and stories so he’s really done it justice.  I couldn’t believe THIS was Holmes. Wow.  And so I started reading A Study in Scarlet and was impressed beyond words.  I’m becoming a very rabid fan of Holmes and Watson now….and I hate being a fan of stuff when it’s trendy …I have a little hipster in my brain when it comes to pop culture….but there it is…and as they say “It is what it is” (I hate that fucking saying).

So I’m on to the next.  I’m sure I’ll love it.  I plan to read them all.  However, I’m not sure if you remember but I said earlier in the year I plan to read five major “classics” of literature this year.  I thought it would take me only a month for Madame Bovary…took me four.  It was boring.  I’m gearing up for Ulysses in June.  I might not survive it.  So I feel like frantically reading Doyle all of May so I can fit it in before the big heavy hell that will be Ulysses.  Don’t ask why I’m doing this to myself.  It’s something to do with having a degree in English that makes one obligated to such things….there is an expectation….


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