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Sherlock Holmes FAQ: Everything Left to Know About the World's Greatest Private Detective [Anglais] [Broché]

Dave Thompson

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4.0 étoiles sur 5 One-Stop Shopping Guide to the Great Detective! 21 février 2014
Par Michael OConnor - Publié sur
Sherlock Holmes is, arguably, the most popular and beloved character in English literature. Since his debut in 1887, 'the Great Detective' has enchanted readers around the world. In time, the Holmes found in the four novels and 56 short stories was complimented by radio and cinematic versions including William Gillette, John Geilgud, Basil Rathbone, Douglas Wilmer, Jeremy Brett, Robert Downey and Benedict Cumberbatch. Many books have been published seeking to analyze, explain, explore and celebrate this most singular character. Dave Thompson's SHERLOCK HOLMES FAQ, a 2013 Theatre & Cinema Books release, is the latest such tome, modestly claiming it's EVERYTHING LEFT TO KNOW ABOUT THE WORLD'S GREATEST PRIVATE DETECTIVE.

Thompson's book is an informative, entertaining guide to the Holmes phenomenon. Leisurely paced, the book first explores Conan Doyle's early life and the events and influences that led him to put pen to paper. Thompson then takes the reader through the publication of the various short stories and novels. He interweaves summaries of each with biographical details on Conan Doyle. In time, various Holmes' plays were produced as were motion pictures and radio programs featuring Holmes and his faithful companion, Dr. Watson, Thompson covering all such productions with a critical yet affectionate eye. He is equally as candid about Conan Doyle's life and times including Doyle's love/hate relationship with his creation, Doyle's sojourn into Spiritualism, etc. Lastly, Thompson examines different Holmesian off-shoots such as Solar Pons, etc.

The book is illustrated with various b&w photographs, illustrations, cover art and posters showing Doyle, scenes from the canon, various actors/actresses, etc. Interestingly enough,the cover isn't a Paget illustration of the 'literary' Holmes but a pix of Basil Rathbone in costume.

As indicated above, Thompson casts a wide net. The result - SHERLOCK HOLMES FAQ - is an appealing study of creator and creation. Some new info, some new insights; a fun read. Recommended.

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4.0 étoiles sur 5 A Well-Packaged Holmes 30 juin 2014
Par L. M Young - Publié sur
Two things are very obvious after reading this book: Dave Thompson loves the series SHERLCOK and doesn't like the series ELEMENTARY. And he manages to check off a selected list about Sherlock pastiches and books with Sherlockian protagonists, including Alan Bradley's Flavia de Luce novels, and never once mentions Laurie King's now at-least-ten-book series featuring Sherlock Holmes and Mary Russell. I think I know what that means. :-)

Using the gimmick of naming the chapters as if they were the titles of Sherlock Holmes adventures (which does get tiresome after awhile) and writing as if the narrative is a Victorian mystery, Thompson tells the story of Arthur Conan Doyle, son of an alcoholic father and a mother who protected him from his rages, the story of the "Strand" magazine, and finally all about the canon story-by-story and interesting notes about each (a River Song warning: spoilers!), followed by commentary on Holmes media adaptations, going all the way back to the William Gillette play that gave the world a Holmes eternally in deerstalker cap and with meerschaum pipe.

In addition, the book is dotted with numerous illustrations of Holmes illustrations, photographs of actors who played Holmes and Watson, movie posters, cigarette cards, Sherlock Holmes games, and more. If you're a Holmes devotee, you may not find anything new here, but it's in a smart package that's altogether enjoyable if you, like me, can't get enough of the world's favorite consulting detective.
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