Friday, 26 November 2010

The Hound of the Baskervilles

I'm getting back into reading regularly and, aided by my recent holiday, have recently finished 2 books.

The Hound of the Baskervilles is probably one of Conan Doyle's best know Sherlock Holmes stories. Due to a lack of telly as I was growing up, it has passed me by. Indeed, the only Holmes I had previously seen was the recent BBC adaptation, Sherlock.

Holmes and Watson receive a visit from a country doctor with a disturbing report of the death of the local aristocrat, Sir Charles Baskerville. Next to his body is the footprint of the legendary hound, the curse of his forebears.

It sounds like superstitious nonsense, but Holmes is intrigued. Unfortunately, he can't spare the time to travel to Dartmoor, so sends Dr Watson to accompany Dr Mortimer and Sir Henry Baskerville to the latter's ancestral home.

The book then consists of Dr Watson's missives and diaries until Holmes joins him in time to uncover the truth behind the ghastly hound and unmask the villain of the peace.

Conan Doyle tells a ripping yarn and as you'd expect the devil is in the detail. Holmes has meticulous powers of deduction, Watson is keen to please but lacks the intellectual rigour and in the end there's a perfect, if rather contrived, explanation.



Raybeard said...

I've read most, possibly all, of the Sherlock Holmes stories, but none at all for several decades. Your blog prods me that it's high time for a re-read.
I've always been fond of the old Basil Rathbone b/w films, which still hold up for their period quaintness, the era depicted in the films being rather later than that of the original stories, when they were based on them. - I love it when we hear the regular "Come on, Watson. We haven't a moment to lose." Great stuff.

Stephen Chapman said...

A ripping yarn!!!