The Hound of the Baskervilles

May 15, 2014 - Literature / Reviews

No psychotropic drugs. No secret bases. No pretending to be Mycroft. And, for most of the book, no Sherlock Holmes. Basically the original Conan-Doyle version of the story-of-the-beast is nothing like its contemporary counterpart.

This is my first Holmes book that I have read – which is odd as I have enjoyed the contemporary series, the Downey Jr. series and I have a sister who is obsessed with the books.

The book is written in the historical first person from the perspective of Watson, but also contains entries from his diary and reports he has written to Holmes, which left me wondering who he was actually addressing the text to? Is the intention that Watson has written a book on his experience? If so, why does it say Arthur Conan-Doyle on the front? Confusing.

Then there’s the language – it’s not as hard to understand the Victorian vernacular as one may think but there are some phrases that I was thankful for the notes section this edition had in the back. For example the phrase “make love” apparently meant to “fall in love”, not copulation.

The notes section however was a double-edged sword. Containing useful cross-century translations and interesting tid-bits about other adaptations, it also contained surprise-spoilers. One section going along the lines of this: “in a particular illustrated version of the story the caption reads spoiler spoiler spoiler, which ruined the suspense”… thanks notes, you massive hypocrite.

All in all, a very interesting read, especially seeing how different adaptations cover the Holmes universe compared to the original. It wasn’t quite what I was expecting and I’m glad of it – I look forward to reading my next novel in the series.