The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Arthur Conan Doyle created such an intriguing vehicle for his mystery stories in the figure of Sherlock Holmes, a man almost inhuman, nearly robotic in his exacting speech and actions, so much so that the reader longs for and grasps on to the minute human aspects (a hint of carnal desire, for example) on the fleeting instances they appear.
In story after tightly-wound story intelligence and rational thought wins the day. But before it gets all too academic, Conan Doyle throws in a bit of action, some good old fashioned horror or a grotesque morsel for the reader to chew on, for he realized man can not be sustained on thought alone.
Taken on their own, each short story in this collection would receive 3 or 4 stars, but put them together and you've got a 5 star body of work. A lone stick breaks easily, but bundled together the sticks form a strong bond. Case after solved case impresses with its almost overwhelming accumulation of ingenuity. The character of Holmes eventually develops with nuggets of personal detail and, on rare occasion, even a display of pathos.
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