Before enrolling in this class, I had never read any of the Sherlock Holmes stories or seen any of the film adaptations, but because of the notoriety of the name, I was already familiar with the character of Sherlock Holmes. I was less familiar with Dr. John Watson though. I only knew that he was Holmes’ sidekick.
I was very excited to begin reading the stories because I have always heard such great things about them, but I never got around to reading them. I was immediately impressed Doyle’s style of writing. It’s very easy to follow and fun to read. I was surprised to find that A Study In Scarlet is written from Dr. Watson’s perspective. I expected Holmes to be the narrator, but I am glad that we get to view Holmes from an outside perspective. I feel like the inner workings of his mind would be a dangerous and confusing place to be.
I didn’t enjoy the structure while I was reading it, but afterwards, I appreciated it. I just wanted to find out who the murderer was, but Doyle had other plans. I did really enjoy the backstory of Jefferson Hope, but once that ended and went back to Holmes and Watson, it took me a little while to get back into that story. Overall, I thought the book was amazing. I found myself awed by Holmes’ deductive reasoning. I now understand why he is the most popular literary detective of all time.
I loved what P.D. James had to say about Holmes in her book. She brought into question his use of money. Obviously, he is a well-known detective who makes a lot of money because of his dealings with the rich and famous. The peculiar thing is that he lives in a small apartment where he splits rent with Watson and always mentions that he is poor. James wondered where the money he makes goes.
I love the complexity of Holmes. It’s really impossible to figure him out and I love that about him. He’s got so many different character traits. One minute he’s running around frivolously trying to figure out a mystery and the next he’s lying on the couch for days on a cocaine binge. While it may be frustrating for Watson, it’s nothing but pure entertainment for readers. I do get frustrated with him at times though because of his arrogant behavior. It’s a little off putting in my opinion.