Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Books: Hound of the Baskerville

Hound of the Baskerville
By Arthur Conan Doyle
Written in 1901
130 pages
Read the entire work at this link.

This is one of the books we are reading in my Detectives in Film & Literature course at Hollins University.

Dr. Mortimer visits Sherlock Holmes because a supernatural hound has killed the owner of the Baskerville estate. The man's heir is on his way, and Dr. Mortimer wants only to know if he should take the man to the estate or send him back to Canada.

Holmes does not believe the owner died because of a supernatural hound. He sends his pal Dr. Watson with Dr. Mortimer and Henry Baskerville along to the Baskerville estate. Holmes stays in London to tend to other business.

Watson tells the story about odd happenings at the Baskerville estate. Eventually he is joined by Holmes and they solve the mystery.

I have never been a big fan of Sherlock Holmes, though I know others like him. There is little characterization in this story and I find that tedious reading. It's mostly plot.

Also, class bias is quite evident as the the tales of the supernatural hound are given over to the common folk, and they are quickly dismissed.

The story seems to make fun of other books, such as gothic tales, that require a little suspense of reality while there are supernatural things going on.

The author tosses in a red herring or two to throw the reader off, but I had pretty much figured out who the criminal was long before I realized his motive.

However, if you like a detective story and have never read this, check it out. Note that I did not give away the ending!

2 comments:

  1. I naven't read this story, but it's on my Nook. I'll have to read it soon.

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  2. I tried to read the book, but just couldn't persevere, and it is rare that I can't get thru a book. HOWEVER, I must say that the Sherlock Holmes movie that came out a few years ago was a lot of fun.

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