We're very near the end of the year and on one of our last book club reads, can you believe it?! This month my friend Sky from Circus Caravan of My Thoughts on Things will be leading the discussion and she has selected The Hound of the Baskervilles, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle for us to read. I always like the books she picks. She likes to go on adventures and so I'm looking forward to reading this title.
(I may have read it before. In fact, I'm pretty sure that I have. But I can't remember the end of the story so it will be freshly enjoyable! Ha!)
Here are Sky's thoughts on the book to kick us off and get us started:
They replace your current situation, the smells, space and surroundings with something completely alien to your existence and yet you feel perfectly at home.
For me, Sherlock's world does that. He is one of those characters that I would recognize strolling down the street in my world. Like Gandalf, Samwise Gamgee, or Mr Tumnus, I would grab him by the arm, hit the nearest coffee shop and ply them with hot brew, scones and questions!
I first read the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes the winter of '96. And since I was in the cold mountains of the North I always associate Sherlock with a biting cold outside and a warm tea inside.
Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle, the author of Sherlock's stories, had problems getting his stories published at first and many of his early works were in serial magazines. Soon people realized how precious his writings were and would pay atrocious sums for the next Sherlock, resulting in him being one of the highest paid authors of his time.
Yet he despised his hero and in November 1891 he wrote to his mother: "I think of slaying Holmes... and winding him up for good and all. He takes my mind from better things."
In December 1893 he did kill Sherlock, without any intention of bringing him back, but the public outcry was so disruptive and intrusive on his life that he had to bring his hero back, much to his own chagrin!
Eight years later The Hound of the Baskervilles was released to the public and when I read it, I can imagine the relief of the world as they held yet another story in their hands, as if their hero had come back to life. (It was set into the time before his written demise so he didn't truly come back to life until The Adventure of the Empty House that Doyle wrote a year later.)
Since then, Sherlock has seen not the grave nor gathered dust on an unread bookshelf. He has surpassed time, technology and space.
Unlike many Sherlock purists, I absolutely love the way he has been brought into this decade. In fact I think that the newer movies and shows are a better representation of Sherlock than the Basil Rathbone films, which I love as well. But we must remember that Sherlock was always doing strange and adventurous things to pursue his odd hobby of death and crime. He was a boxer, swordsman, pistol duelist, martial artist and forensic scientist.
As we enter into this past world of Victorian England and meet the strange people of Dartmoor, dabble our toes in the supernatural, and shiver and sip tea, I hope that you feel a small transport in time.
Enjoy the ride!
Let us know in the comment section if you'll be reading along with us this month!