Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Book #08


The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle


The terrible spectacle of the beast, the fog of the moor, the discovery of a body: this classic horror story pits detective against dog. When Sir Charles Baskerville is found dead on the wild Devon moorland with the footprints of a giant hound nearby, the blame is placed on a family curse. It is left to Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson to solve the mystery of the legend of the phantom hound before Sir Charles' heir comes to an equally gruesome end.


I'm not much of a mystery lover, but I do love Sherlock Holmes. His ability to piece together puzzles is amazing and makes every Sherlock story a truly engaging read.

The story differs from many other Sherlock tales, as Holmes is actually absent from the majority of the novel, leaving Dr. Watson as our main protagonist. I loved that Watson got to shine in his own little way here, and the novel showcased more of his personality than we had previously been privy to. His clear account of happenings and landscapes was perfect, and his observation of emotional nuances was quite delicious.

I was entirely compelled by the story itself, it was by all means a page turner and it kept my attention throughout. I particularly enjoyed the sense of foreboding that is projected from the outset of the novel. However, I did notice that there were next to no red herrings in this story, whereas it's quite common for mystery novels to have a few amongst their pages. Whoever was acting suspicious in this one ended up being a culpit of something or other.

I liked the novel's darkness, and I liked the eerie tones the moor and the Baskerville house gave to the scenes set in Dartmoor. I read elsewhere that a great deal of the story draws upon real features of the moors, and also upon many local legends, which intrigued me.

The finale was very satisfying, with all loose ends being tied up and nothing being left unanswered.

I found it quite difficult to believe quite how long ago this was released (1901!!). It truly is a timeless classic, and I believe it's one of which everyone should read before they die. I cannot express enough my respect and awe for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The man's a genius.


8 / 66 books. 12% done!

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