Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I enjoyed this story and thought the "twist" was good.  But it was another story that ended too abruptly.  I think a little bit more about what actually happened afterwards, rather than the hope of what might happen afterwards, would have been better.  Probably another one that was written on a too-tight deadline.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Once again I agree completely with what has already been said.

 

What I would add is that I felt that this story was rather digging up old ground.  Holmes had used the clues surrounding tobacco ash and footprints many times before and although I know that this would happen there did not seem to be too many new ideas.  He has also used the idea of old grudges/past history before.  Also used the idea of characters being followed from other countries to this country in the past.

 

Still really enjoyed the story and am finding the stories as a whole very easy to read.  Liking Watson more and more - feel that although he is not the star of the show is a necessary element to the stories if only as a steadying influence on Holmes and his brilliance and flamboyance.  For all Holmes' brilliance and attention to detail he sometimes seems unaware of human emotions in the same way as Watson.  Am loving the development of the Watson character as much as that of Holmes.  Also enjoying the continuation and development of the friendship.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This story starts with Dr Watson at home with his wife.  I checked back to the previous story; he's unmarried. I have to remind myself that these stories are not meant to be connected or chronological, but wonder why not. (See "Thoughts" for more on the chronology conundrum)

 

The initial chat between Watson and his wife reveals their relationship briefly and skillfully. I find that Conan Doyle has an easy way with dialogue, managing to create the right tone whatever the situation. There is even an amusing riposte to Lestrade …

"I find it hard enough to tackle facts, Holmes, without flying away after theories and fancies."  "You are right", said Holmes demurely; "you do find it very hard to tackle the facts." … that goes right over Lestrade's head!

 

I wonder why Lestrade fails to learn detection skills by being around Holmes. As always he does the wrong things at the scene – accidentally destroying clues – and then pours scorn on Holmes's revelations. Maybe he gets better later on. But, they seem to have a good working relationship for all that.  I was uncomfortable with Lestrade's refusal to go looking for the perpetrator.  Talking of whom, the timing of his arrival was excellent. :clap:

 

The Australia story was a nice change from England, and a bit of banditry always goes down well! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wonder if the fact that Lestrade does not seem to improve his ability to deduce clues in the way that Holmes does is because although of a high position in the police he probably was not a man of great education.  It has to be remembered that the police force was probably not the sort of career that men of Homes' or even Watson's abilities would be drawn to.  Holmes just had a real interest in working out crimes but was often only looking for expenses and did not care too much if he did not gain by the experience.  I suspect that Lestrade was simply someone who rose up through the ranks because he was the brightest of a not very bright bunch.  The way that Holmes often refers to him would seem to uphold this thought.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I found this story interesting and didn't really pick up any clue as to the potential murderer.  I did wonder briefly about Mr. Turner senior but he was described by his daughter as being terribly ill so thought there's no way he would be capable of murder. The young Miss Turner pleaded with Holmes to help James McCarthy as she was convinced of his innocence and Holmes was quite willing as he was sure himself at this point that James McCarthy was innocent.  We also learn that Miss Turner is in love with the young James.  I was surprised to find out how Turner became rich, hadn't any inkling of him having a criminal past. I liked the way Holmes behaved at the crime scene (almost like CSI :)) as he analysed the various foot prints and clues.  I still wonder why he needs to bounce his ideas off of Watson as Watson is always so surprised at Holmes' clever thinking.  The description of Lestrade when they arrive at the station leaves you with the feeling that Doyle did not have a lot of respect for policemen and his portrayal of the Scotland Yard man was not terribly flattering.  Am rambling a bit here but just jotting the notes down as they come to mind.  

 

When Mr. Turner confesses to Holmes that what he did was to save his daughter from the clutches of the spawn of the evil McCarthy it is ironic that it would be to no avail as his action doesn't prevent that from happening.  The story doesn't say that Mr. Turner's written confession is what gets James his release but rather "on the strength of a number of objections which had been drawn out by Holmes and submitted to the defending counsel."  This seems rather strange, however, it wraps up the story briskly and without burdening Miss Turner with the knowledge of what her father did.

Edited by momac

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love Holmes's decisiveness, he seems to know the truth well before anyone else, and usually just needs a few details confirmed before the confrontation/denouement takes place. I liked this a little more than the previous story as like Holmes we could be reasonably sure that James McCarthy wasn't guilty, just a bit too easy, and typical of the simple police methods of the time. The real culprit was a little more elusive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just checked the chronology, it certainly is all over the place! I wish the dates were included in the index.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Similar Content

    • By JamesGBoswell
      NEW RELEASE 
      "Sherlock Holmes and the Curse of Cthulhu" 
       
      Buy on Amazon by clicking on the banners at the top or bottom of the page
       

       
      In this tale of mystery and cosmic horror, Sherlock Holmes finds himself kidnapped by his archrival, the evil crime lord, Professor James Moriarty. Seduced by promises of limitless power whispered into his ear in the dead of night, Moriarty intends to sacrifice Holmes and awaken Cthulhu, a malevolent entity of immeasurable power. It’s up to Holmes’s friend, confidant, and biographer Dr. John H. Watson to track him down using powerful methods of deductive reasoning he learned from Holmes himself. Watson’s harrowing journey leads him into the darkest corners of the Amazon and the deepest recesses of his own mind, where he must confront terrors from his past in order to save the future. Will Watson succeed in rescuing Holmes from Moriarty’s clutches? Or will he fail, thus allowing a deadly prophecy of cataclysmic proportions to be fulfilled? 
       
      Meanwhile, Irene Adler, adventuress and treasure hunter extraordinaire, and one of the only people to have ever outfoxed Sherlock Holmes, explores an evil sorcerer’s lost tomb, filled with forbidden secrets and dangerous traps. Along with her husband and fellow adventurer, Godfrey Norton, she confronts a long-imprisoned force of evil on her quest to achieve fame and fortune. Will Adler and Norton emerge from the Tomb of Akuyaku alive and in possession of the Amulet of Omniscience and Omnipresence? Or will they become trapped, forever entombed inside a living hell deep within the bowels of the Earth? 
       
      Find out the answers to these questions and more in this riveting new novel by Amazon Best-Selling Author, James G. Boswell, now available on Amazon. 
    • By Flingo
      Rescued Thread When Bill has caught up with some things, please can we have the forum for this back, and then get it moved? Cheers!



      Flingo 8th June 2006 11:06 PM

      I thought in Bill's absense we could start a couple of threads about Holes here and have the discussion that so many people are keen to do before we forget what we want to say. It should be able to be moved once the new board is open, shouldn't it?

      So what are people's first impressions? I know some people have finished it - but please remember anyone could call in here, so spoiler if necessary!

      I really enjoyed Holes. My children's librarian mentor has been urging me to read this for ages but I had never got round to it, and am now really disappointed that I left it so long!

      It's really clever, although it takes a bit to understand where all the threads of the story are going.

      The writing is so easy to read, and you feel drawn in almost immediately. I could felt the heat of Camp Green Lake radiating out of the book - a huge acheivement!



      megustaleer 8th June 2006 11:34 PM

      I read it some years ago, and loved it. I really don't know why it has not been a bigger hit as a 'crossover' book. I thought that the way all those plot threads were neatly tied up was just so satisfying, and so clever!

      Have just checked my reading list, and it is six years since I read it, and I can still remember quite a lot of it; it really made an impression!



      katrina 9th June 2006 06:02 PM

      Hey, this is my second read of this book in a year, as I had to read it at the start of my PGCE course, its a really popular keystage 3 yext. I prefered it this time around, the first time I was annoyed by it, but I can't remember why now.

      Thought the writing was good, and the sense of the lake and the heat were well depicted.



      Momo 9th June 2006 06:20 PM

      I can well imagine that it's six years since Meg read it. My oldest son read it when he was a year younger than my youngest one is now and he is five years older. It had just come out otherwise he would have done it earlier as my younger one has.
      Anyway, even though both my boys had read it, I never did so myself. Somehow it always seemed like a book for little boys. So, I was pleasantly surprised when it wasn't that at all. (We even have the DVD and I never watched that either!)
      I will recommend this book to anyone. It's a quick read, yet very interesting and there is a lot in this. More than last month's read.



      katrina 10th June 2006 08:30 AM

      I was wondering if anybody had watched the film version of the book, if I have time this week I'm going to borrow it from school and take a peak at it, I've heard its quite a good adaptation



      Flingo 10th June 2006 10:45 AM

      I picked it up on Wednesday, and will be watching it tomorrow.

      I think we ought to have a thread about the film in this section, so that we can discuss comparisons and similarities? Whoever watches it first can start that!



      megustaleer 16th June 2006 08:56 AM

      belweb says on another thread that she thought the plot was full of holes! I beg to differ! The thing that I like about this book is that there are no 'holes', everything is all neatly sewn up at the end!

      Admittedly a lot of the connections are contrived, but I thought that was part of the humour of the book. My reactions were along the lines of 'Well I Never!! and 'Who'd've Thought It!' , and I thought it was all very cleverly brought to a satisfying (if not necessarily satisfactory) conclusion.

      I wouldn't have accepted the neat conclusion in a serious adult novel, but 'Horses for Courses', eh? And there's plenty of food for thought in there, too.

      The book probably suffered from being read in the middle of reading for an Eng. Lit. degree. I'm sure it wouldn't stand comparison to the other books occupying belwebb's thoughts.



      Momo 16th June 2006 01:45 PM

      I don't know either what kind of holes belwebb saw in this novel. As Meg already mentions, and we all should consider this, this is a children's book. We cannot expect deep meanings that you will only understand after studying English Lit.



      belwebb 16th June 2006 05:28 PM
       
       
       
      Yes, you've made some valid points. However, when you say 'contrived' I think that's the word I should have used - it was incredibly contrived, but then, like you say, I was in the middle of an English lit course!



      elfstar 16th June 2006 06:38 PM

      I enjoyed this book, it had a nice 'roundness' to it,there was no unhappy or unresolvesd ending for the protagonist, the characters were not as deep as they could have been but it is a childrens book and a such it was very acceptable



      donnae 19th June 2006 11:17 PM

      I really enjoyed this book. I loved how the story of the past was neatly interlinked with Stanley's story. Contrived maybe, but very enjoyable still. At least it ties up a lot more ends than last month's read!
       


      As this was a children's story, I liked the manner in which the anti-racialism was dealt with, not too heavy-handed. There were some obvious morals going on in the book, but they didn't overshadow the story.

      There is a sequel to Holes called Small Steps. This follows the lives of Armpit and Xray.

      Holes is a book I will be encouraging my children to read - I think they will all enjoy it. One of my daughters has watched the film and enjoyed it. Flingo, have you watched it yet?



      Adrian 20th June 2006 01:50 AM

      I was thinking the same thing, donnae. It's pretty obvious when you read it.



      megustaleer 20th June 2006 09:34 PM

      Because it is a children's book, and apparantly a straightforward account of Stanley's misadventures, perhaps there is a tendency to whiz through it without picking up the clues?

      Once you know how it all fits together, of course, a lot of it was clearly hinted at in advance.

      Hindsight's a wonderful thing!



      Adrian 20th June 2006 09:52 PM

      I certainly did that, not giving the book its due respect and racing through it. I'll have to re-read it, or maybe listen to the audio version.



      Flingo 23rd June 2006 08:47 PM
       
      I did watch it - though it was really nicely done. Louis Sachar actually wrote the screenplay, which I think helped keeping it true to the book.

      Recommend watching it if you enjoyed the book.
       
    • By canongatebooks
      Hello! The next book up for grabs is The Complete Brigadier Gerard, a rousing tale of heroism and gallantry (tongue firmly in cheek) from the author of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries, Arthur Conan Doyle:



      Mon Dieu! The extraordinary, sabre-rattling adventures of Gerard, a young French cavalry officer in the time of the Napoleonic wars, introduce a hero who will be adored by fans of Flashman and Sherlock Holmes alike. Gathered here in one edition are both volumes of Conan Doyle's much loved tales, which will delight modern readers with their absurdist humour, infectious warmth and swash-buckling energy.

      We've got ten copies to give away to BGO subscribers who are based in UK/Europe. Please claim your copy by (1) posting a reply in this thread and (2) sending me a PM. The giveaway closes 27 June 2010!
    • By Adrian
      This is for people who have read just the first few chapters. If you haven't yet, reading the following will be a spoiler.





      I watched the R&J review and have bought the book. So far I'm maybe a dozen pages into it.

      I'm not loving the double first-person narrative. It reminds me of Kevin Sampson's Outlaws, where the same story is told from multiple viewpoints. I find it just detracts from the story, and makes the book feel a bit gimmicky. Maybe it'll grow on me as I read more, and it certainly won't stop me reading it.

      Secondly, I'm not yet buying into this "Chrono-Displacement Disorder" plot device. It's too Sci-Fi for my liking, and just too "handy" for the author: "I need to have the guy time travel, so here's how I've made it happen." I'm hoping it's resolved later on. If it's a premise I have to swallow just so the book could be written I'll be disappointed.

      As you might have guessed, I'm not wholly convinced just yet.

      What's your first impressions of the book?
×
×
  • Create New...