Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
megustaleer

The Adventure of The Blue Carbuncle

Recommended Posts

This was a fun romp.  I liked that Holmes and Watson had to scamper about following the trail of clues, although it was pretty clear from the beginning what was involved.  The ending was a little odd.  I didn't mind Holmes's mercy, but I thought his justification was very odd.  

He has the stone and can return it and explain that Horner isn't involved.  But instead, he lets the bad guy (Ryder) go and tells Watson that Horner isn't in any danger because Ryder will no longer testify against him.  But that's a very different result from having Sherlock Holmes prove he is innocent!  He treated the Ryder better than he treated the poor man that Ryder had set up to take the fall.

 I don't know if this was another story that was cut short by a tight time deadline, but that seemed an odd resolution to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When dealing with Holmes' decision not to implicate the culprit as his being imprisoned and so ostracized by friends and family would lead to a life of crime I feel that it has to be remembered that the story was written in a time when rehabilitation was unheard.  Once an individual lost the respect and support of their class they had very little hope.  I also think that more educated individuals such as Holmes felt that decisions that would now be made by the establishment could be made by them if the outcome was favourable.

 

One of the more enjoyable stories if a little odd.  I did not really guess the outcome until the very end but then it was not really the most obvious of endings - feeding a rare and precious stone to a Christmas turkey is not really common behaviour.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I loved this one. Conan Doyle creates a lot of atmosphere around the various locations and characters.  The hat is an important provider of clues, and this story has a lot of opportunities  for Holmes to deduce things. And these are always good to read, because Holmes is so enthusiastic about his deduction skills.

It amazes me that they can write an advert out in the morning, to appear in no less than seven papers that same day - to be read before 6.30pm!

Although in this story a crime is committed, (Watson points out early on that "of the last six cases which I have added to my notes, three have been entirely free of any legal crime"), Holmes let's the culprit off! Well, it is the season of forgiveness ... and it's good of cherriepie to remind us that things were a lot different then.

 

When dealing with Holmes' decision not to implicate the culprit as his being imprisoned and so ostracized by friends and family would lead to a life of crime I feel that it has to be remembered that the story was written in a time when rehabilitation was unheard.  Once an individual lost the respect and support of their class they had very little hope.  I also think that more educated individuals such as Holmes felt that decisions that would now be made by the establishment could be made by them if the outcome was favourable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I loved this one. Conan Doyle creates a lot of atmosphere around the various locations and characters.  The hat is an important provider of clues, and this story has a lot of opportunities  for Holmes to deduce things. And these are always good to read, because Holmes is so enthusiastic about his deduction skills.

It amazes me that they can write an advert out in the morning, to appear in no less than seven papers that same day - to be read before 6.30pm!

Although in this story a crime is committed, (Watson points out early on that "of the last six cases which I have added to my notes, three have been entirely free of any legal crime"), Holmes let's the culprit off! Well, it is the season of forgiveness ... and it's good of cherriepie to remind us that things were a lot different then.

 

I agree that the clues surrounding the hat were interesting to read and that the fun part of reading the story was derived from the picture created of Homes' deductive skills.  I felt that this story was more comic than some of the others.  There really was no real sinister element to this particular story and Binker's description as a fun romp was pretty apt.  Having said that this is one story that I will probably remember above some of the others simply because it was so far fetched.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a bit of trouble getting past the 'carbuncle' part as I found it a disagreeable word, it's described as an abscess, and I was hoping that I wouldn't be reading about an infection of some sort.  Anyway, I was impressed by the amount of information Holmes deduced from the hat, really quite remarkable of Doyle to put together all these facts.  A very timely story to read in December about a special goose.  As usual Holmes chases down the clues and arrives at the correct answer.  It was quite charitable of him to decide not to do anything about Mr. Ryder and somewhat sarcastically remarks that he's 'not retained by the police to supply their deficiencies.  Watson, as usual, is in awe of Holmes' deductions.  At least Horner won't go to prison if Ryder isn't there to give evidence about Horner being the robber.  All's well that ends well in this case.  I would imagine that Holmes would see to it that the jewel would be returned to its rightful owner.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a bit of trouble getting past the 'carbuncle' part as I found it a disagreeable word, it's described as an abscess, and I was hoping that I wouldn't be reading about an infection of some sort.  Anyway, I was impressed by the amount of information Holmes deduced from the hat, really quite remarkable of Doyle to put together all these facts.  A very timely story to read in December about a special goose.  As usual Holmes chases down the clues and arrives at the correct answer.  It was quite charitable of him to decide not to do anything about Mr. Ryder and somewhat sarcastically remarks that he's 'not retained by the police to supply their deficiencies.  Watson, as usual, is in awe of Holmes' deductions.  At least Horner won't go to prison if Ryder isn't there to give evidence about Horner being the robber.  All's well that ends well in this case.  I would imagine that Holmes would see to it that the jewel would be returned to its rightful owner.

I agree that it was charitable of Holmes to let Ryder go but I was a bit concerned that Horner, although released, would still have the threat hanging over him as he was not really proved innocent. It does worry me a little that Holmes does sometimes seem to almost take the law into his own hands and seems to be making decisions that are not really his to make. I have to remind myself of the time that the stories were written and remember the social behaviour and class system of the time. It is very easy to try to put the issues into a more modern day perspective. I guess that it bothers me because I really want to like Holmes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Doyle has Holmes ignoring the police as perhaps Doyle thinks that the police of that time weren't particularly smart - maybe getting into the police force was not difficult with the emphasis on brawn rather than brain, however, not having the information about policing at that time I really don't know.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Doyle has Holmes ignoring the police as perhaps Doyle thinks that the police of that time weren't particularly smart - maybe getting into the police force was not difficult with the emphasis on brawn rather than brain, however, not having the information about policing at that time I really don't know.

I do agree about the police force at the time of the stories as I am pretty sure that when the force first came into being those who served were likely to be from the more educated of the working class' rather than from the parts of society from which Holmes and Watson originated. I suspect that the detectives had worked themselves up within the force and were not of the education or ability of Holmes. However I have found Holmes' decisions to turn a blind eye so to speak to some of the culprits in the stories but his somewhat unkind attitude to others a little difficult to fathom.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Similar Content

    • 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?
    • By Adrian
      I'm about halfway through (he's spending Christmas with her family and has just found out her Mum's a manic depressive - and after reading this book, love, so am I), and unless I get I get some positive feedback here, I'm giving up.

      I posted my first impressions earlier, and I'm afraid it's getting worse.

      Firstly it didn't grab me from the start and I read other books inbetween - always a bad sign. Still, I vowed to stick with it, and once I got past the awkward narrative structure it improved. The enforced double-narrative seemed a little contrived, and I felt whenever the authour switched voices in mid-scene Niffenegger was really forcing the change of voice to make it obvious it was now the other person narrating. Seemed a bit like Kevin Samson writing in Outlaws, where each narrator gets his own unique voice.

      Secondly, the basic premise of the novel, time travel, is mishandled and cack-handedly written. Two versions of himself in the same time frame? (Believe me ladies, if we could do that to ourselves the human race would be extinct). Some evolutionary mishap in the human genome being allowed to rewrite the laws of physics? Those I could live with, but TTW is just an affront to basic common sense. I keep asking myself questions instead of losing myself in the book. Why just appear now? Why just disappear now? More important is the where? How does he go to a particular place as well a particular time?

      Also, the nastiness of the bloke: "I can't help myself so I can do whatever I like." Beat people up? Sure! Rob and steal? Why not! Buy stocks cheap? Who wouldn't! Run naked through the neighbourhood? Well, I tried this, and the police would just not believe my story!

      Most importantly, I don't care about the love story. So he loves her and they love each other, and so forth. I find both of them so insufferable that I don't care about their relationship(s).

      I'm half-heartedly interested in the secondary goings on. I like Kimy, and I like Clare's room-mate, but can't stand the room-mate's boyfriend.

      My current thinking is, "This is not a book to tossed away lightly. It is to hurled with great force."

      I'd like either an incentive to finish it (bearing in mind I have a long list of others waiting on my TBR pile) or, preferably, a precis of the ending. I'm guessing she dies of some disease he can't prevent, and he knows it (of course he knows it, he just can't get involved in any ethical situation that would ruin the house-of-cards plot), but doesn't tell her.

      God, I hate them both. Hey Audrey, try going back in time before Stephen Fry wrote Making History.
    • By Mad Dog & Glory
      Having finally finished The Time Traveler's Wife last night (yes, I know, I'm a bit behind), I was left feeling a little dissatisfied. I loved it for around 200 pages, but then I thought it tailed off badly and left a lot of unanswered questions. Not only the time travel - I had no problems with suspending disbelief, although the most unbelievable part was that they were allowed to lead a 'normal' life, rather than Henry being captured and studied by the US government.

      It's the so-called 'normal' life that concerns me. It seems incredible that I could read a 500+ page novel centring almost exclusively on two characters, and at the end not really have much of an idea of each other's personalities or how they went about their daily lives. At one point, Henry buys a lottery ticket knowing the result and wins several million dollars, so Clare can have a studio. No other mention is made of this. So are they millionaires? They seem to live in normal-sized house, in a normal street. So what do they do with themselves when Henry isn't time travelling? They're not watching TV, as Henry can't. They can't spend all of their time in bed.

      The other huge problem with the novel is lack of conflict, which is essential to all drama. Henry and Clare have this 'perfect' relationship, and are only unhappy with each other over the miscarriages. There were all sorts of potential themes and conflicts that Niffenegger shied away from. Why does Clare never question the fact that this man came into her life at the age of 5 and, as they say, ruined her for other men?
      Niffenegger seems so intent on making this the perfect love story that she misses a lot of tricks.

      My guess is that Audrey Niffenegger will be a one-hit wonder. She came up with a brilliant idea, and also came up with a good structure (although some disagree), and played out every permutation of time travelling possible. But in the end a great idea can get you only so far, and I don't feel she has the skills as a novelist to get as much out of the story as was potentially there.
×