And don’t forget that it’s The month for reading your Sherlock-Something-Or-Other.
I’ve got Dust and Shadow on audio and a graphic novel, which ill tell you about when I’ve finished it.
“At first it seemed the Ripper affair had scarred my friend Sherlock Holmes as badly as it had the city if London itself. I would encounter him at the end of his nightlong vigils, lying upon the sofa with his violin at his feet and his hypodermic syringe fallen from long, listless fingers, neither anodyne having banished the specter of the man we had pursued for over two months.”
Dust and Shadow by Lyndsay Faye
a medicine used to relieve pain
syn: analgesic, painkiller, pain pill
capable of relieving pain • the anodyne properties of certain drugs
syn: analgesic, analgetic
ORIGIN: 1543, from Middle Latin anodynus “pain-removing,” from Latin anodynus “painless,” from Greek anodynos “free from pain,” from an- “without” + odyne “pain,” a word perhaps from a Proto-Indo-European root meaning “to eat.”
Bet you forgot about the Sherlock Something Or Other in April, didn’t you?
This is a very loose “book club” sort of idea. Several of the Darkcargo writers are Sherlock fans and so I thought I’d do a Suggested Reading for April: read something Sherlocky. The BBC Sherlock airs again May 6 so April seemed like a good Sherlocky sort of month. We did this last year and had a good time with it.
Dr. Amy H Sturgis declares Sherlock Holmes to be science fiction, and so mote it be, eh?
If you’re up for the whole cannon: great; if you read one of the short stories: perfect; if you watch a movie or catch a few episodes of the assorted TV serials: super! However you take your cuppa, I encourage you to spend a few hours in April on your flavor of Sherlock Something or other.
I’m diving into pastiches this year.
If you’re looking for ideas, here’s a few starter places:
Totally not a book, but there’s a whole series of Sherlock video games with pastiche storylines. “Sherlock Holmes vs Jack the Ripper” and “The Testament of Sherlock Holmes” are available for xboxers. I liked those enough to leave off Fable II for a while (that’s saying something).
Amy H. Sturgis’ list of Sherlock pastiches: http://eldritchhobbit.livejournal.com/437242.html
Titan Books has been producing a whole line of new pastiches, here’s the website for that list:
Paula has personally recommended The Seven Per-Cent Solution, by Nicholas Meyer. …hey! There’s a movie of this, too!
Chuck Parker recommended The Bee Keeper’s Apprentice by Laurie R. King.
If your library doesn’t have something you’re interested in, ask them to get it for you.
Here’s some notes from Kat’s viewing of A Scandal in Belgravia–she’s got some questions for you!
(A few minor SPOILER alerts, the post is below the cut.)
Hi All, and welcome back to the Sherlock Something or Other Read/Watch-A-Long. Did you read A Scandal in Bohemia before watching A Scandal in Belgravia? This post is a collection of thoughts about the text of Sherlock, and the next post is a collection of Kat’s thoughts about Episode 1 Season 2 of BBC’s Sherlock.
Next to read: The Hounds of Baskerville.
A Scandal in Bohemia, some notes and thoughts… and some pictures of different carriages…
As a child well-trained by the “Just Say No!” campaign, I am always shocked by Sherlock’s cocaine habit when I re-read the stories. Now, at the time of the stories, these things were neither illegal nor illicit, of course, but I always wonder about the modern inclination for publishers to publish the Sherlock Holmes collections as childrens’ fare. Also, in most recent BBC TV series, we have not yet seen any drug habits out of Holmes, and in fact, he’s so clean that he utilizes nicotine patches. In the ’80s/’90s series, Holmes is both a voracious smoker and cocaine habitue. Thoughts?
Have we yet seen Sherlock in disguise in the BBC Sherlock? In A Scandal in Bohemia he uses his acting and costuming skills twice, once as a drunken groom and then again as a minister.
One of the reasons I find Sherlock Holmes, the character, so fascinating is this duplicitous sort of social ineptitude. He is notoriously an arrogant ass, callous, cold, clinical. But at the same time, to be able to pull of these disguises, to understand human nature so well, to be able to manipulate witnesses– is he really more skilled with people than he lets others know?
With that same idea, the Sherlock that resides in my mind when I read is rather more caring than he reveals, but keeps a clinical distance from people’s affairs in order to be able to observe objectively. I see a hint of kindness in employing the Baker Street Irregulars, an awareness and vicious disgust at class distinctions with such underhanded comments as “the London slavery” (when referring to a servant girl), and finally, why would he be so passionate about finding these criminals if he simply didn’t care? A heartless Sherlock? That’s Moriarity, no?
“I hardened my heart and took the smoke rocket from under my ulster.”
” ‘Good night, Mister Sherlock Holmes.’
There were several people on the pavement at the time but the greeting appeared to come from a slim youth in an ulster who had hurried by.”
– (both) from A Scandal in Bohemia by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
loose long overcoat of heavy fabric; usually belted
ORIGIN: Named from the Irish province of Ulster.
” ‘I then lounged down the street, and found, as I expected, that there was a mews in a lane which runs down by one wall of the garden.’ “
–from A Scandal in Bohemia, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
street lined with buildings that were originally private stables but have been remodeled as dwellings • she lives in a Chelsea mews
ORIGIN: “stables grouped around an open yard,” 1631, from Mewes, name of the royal stables at Charing Cross, built 1534 on the site of the former royal mews (attested from c.1394), where the king’s hawks were kept. Extended by 1805 to “street of former stables converted to human habitations.”
This past week, I watched the new BBC TV series Sherlock, episode The Blind Banker. Also, I read the two original A. C. Doyle Sherlock mysteries that inspired this episode: The Dancing Men and The Valley of Fear. You can download both free from The Gutenberg Project.
I have been a fan of Sherlock in TV and movies since I was way young. This new series is no exception. At first, I was a little leery because BBC was placing Sherlock in a modern London setting with iphones, subway systems, and deep-fried pickles. But it works. I love the snappy remarks back and forth between Watson and Holmes. I also love the sexual ambiguity that everyone places on Sherlock’s character, adding that extra layer of mystery and another coating of tension to his relationship with Watson.
I won’t give anything away here, but in short The Blind Banker concerns a cipher and a Chinese secret society. There are, of course, murders. This episode takes the idea of a cipher with strange characters from The Dancing Men and the idea of a deadly foreign secret society from The Valley of Fear. Other than that, they are not alike at all.
And I was perfectly OK with that. I never read the complete works of Sherlock Holmes, never fell in love with the original stories as many fans had. Yet I absolutely fawn over A. C. Doyle for creating a character that future authors and artists can recreate and fill in the numerous blanks. I think this new series has done a spectacular job of taking the essence of Holmes and Watson, yanking them into the 21st century, and giving us new mysteries in the original style to mull over.
Here’s a note from Katermelon:
It’s no secret that I love Sherlock Holmes. I’ve been reading the stories forever, and when the new PBS series Sherlock came out, my friend made us sit and watch them. It was awesome!! I kept shouting out references and noticing small character details and regaling my companions with a thousand Sherlocky facts. The best part? No one complained! They loved the show too, and my friend was so happy that I knew all this little stuff about it. Everything from Sherlock’s way of tenting his fingers to Watson’s journals (he blogs in the show) make me giddy! Someone in charge did their homework, not just reading the stories but loving them too.
I like how they made it modern, and made both Sherlock and Watson a little younger than the originals suggest. Their relationship is spot on. I think Benedict Cumberbatch does a wonderful job as Sherlock, making him aloof to emotions and perfect as the famous detective. He portrays his affection for his friend very well, just like the stories. Sherlock is beyond normal emotions, he can’t waste time on them. Watson teases him in one story, amazed that Sherlock doesn’t have any idea how many planets there are, or their names, or anything about everyday common knowledge. Sherlock explains it easily. There needs to be as much room in that brain as possible for sleuthing, as mentioned here:
“I consider that a man’s brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose. A fool takes in all the lumber of every sort that he comes across, so that the knowledge which might be useful to him gets crowded out, or at best is jumbled up with a lot of other things, so that he has a difficulty in laying his hands upon it. Now the skillful workman is very careful indeed as to what he takes into his brain-attic. He will have nothing but the tools which may help him in doing his work, but of these he has a large assortment, and all in the most perfect order. It is a mistake to think that that little room has elastic walls and can distend to any extent. Depend upon it there comes a time when for every addition of knowledge you forget something that you knew before. It is of the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out the useful ones.”― Arthur Conan Doyle, A Study in Scarlet
But it’s obvious that Sherlock and Watson are a good match because of this. Where Sherlock lacks in emotional responses and where he may miss certain details that he thinks are frivolous, Watson steps in to point them out, and more than often helps solve the case. He is a good man, with strong values and a sharp wit who is able to connect with people in a way Sherlock cannot.
I really hope that Irene Adler is portrayed correctly (canon) in the new episode. I hate it when she is reduced to a prostitute or considered a love interest – “the one that got away”. Sherlock has no time for emotions; remember this was the late 19th century, and women just weren’t considered as smart as men, certainly not as smart as the great Sherlock Holmes. But here is this “common” woman, smart enough not only to find a way to keep her love and avoid blackmail and scandal, but out smart the great Sherlock Holmes. That is why she is “the” woman, because not many people have outsmarted him, and only one woman. Irene Adler is one of my favorite female protagonists.
I can’t wait for Season 2! The new episodes are based on some of the best of Sherlock’s adventures. There are only about three actual novels, and a ton of short stories, so grab one and enjoy!
I really hope I can catch these on tv. Boys may have to go to bed early!! Mama needs her Sherlock!