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Old 01-28-2011, 11:35 PM   #8030
ATDrake
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Quote:
Originally Posted by birdbrainbb View Post
I really hated The Veiled Detective, no lie. Much better is Dr Jekyll and Mr Holmes (obvious mashup is obvious) and Whitechapel Horror (again, obvious).
I'm looking forward to reading those, but they're not in the library yet. I'm pretty sure they'll be getting them, though, since these Holmes mashups are proving pretty popular (2+ copies of each title, and about a dozen people on hold for every one, though I suspect that they may all be the same people).

Finished David Stuart Davies' The Veiled Detective. It wasn't actually bad, as far as writing technique goes, but the story it purported to tell just didn't do anything new or interesting or retroactively insightful or even what-drugs-were-you-taking amusing to the canon.

Actually, it reminded me rather strongly of a particular fanfic I once read, which basically reiterated in summary form the events and major plot points of a TV miniseries, only altering this near-verbatim recitation to insert a torrid love affair between two of the leads (and not the two who were the official romance) which apparently took place during the commercial breaks and didn't even have any decent sex scenes to leaven the boredom.

Even though I had nothing against the basic idea and had gone specifically looking for stuff in that setting because I'd enjoyed the miniseries so much, I just couldn't see the point, the way it was executed. Much the same feeling with The Veiled Detective.

Frankly, if you happen to want to read an "everything you thought you knew was wrong" story about Holmes which involves
Spoiler:
Moriarty being the secret influence behind Holmes becoming Holmes and Watson and Mycroft teaming up in cahoots with him in order to lead Holmes astray and in the end breaking him free of the baneful influence at Reichenbach Falls
, Nicholas Meyer's The Seven Per-Cent Solution is by far better thought out and vastly more entertaining. There's supposed to be a decent movie based upon it, too.

I did go and re-read A Study in Scarlet from the very nice Barnes & Noble Classics annotated edition as a follow-up. Oddly topical, considering that right here in Canada there's currently a Mormon spinoff sect polygamy case which is controversial because they've been suing our government over importing underaged girls to marry their Elders or whatever.

And I also finished The Stalwart Companions, H. Paul Jeffers' much more entertaining Teddy Roosevelt/Holmes team-up, which sets a young pre-Watson Holmes with a young pre-politics Roosevelt to thwarting a plot against the President in New York City.

The story part was fairly straight-forward action-adventure without all that much detective-work and nothing all that special, but entertainingly written.

But what makes this worth the price of admission are the included historical and canonical allusions and extensive author's notes in the back justifying all the details (it's another one of those "no lie, swear to god we found an undiscovered manuscript carefully tucked away in a box/by the way, Sherlock Holmes was really real" pastiches) with plenty of references to Holmesiana (especially well-known Sherlock scholar Baring-Gould) weaving into what appears to be actual US political history (the Holmes/Roosevelt dual timeline was an especially nice touch).

Recommended if you like Holmes/historical figure team-ups, though not as highly as the Houdini one I read earlier.

Orbit continues their habit of bizarre what-drugs-were-you-on text errors for the e-book editions. While The Stalwart Companions is overall pretty good and has only a few missing quote marks and a couple of typos, The Veiled Detective suffers from an again ironic error where the first-person narration parts of "Watson"'s journal have the spaces after the first-person pronoun "I"s consistently and inexplicably removed for the first few paragraphs of each such section.

Ifelt like Ishould have been reading it on an Ipad.

Last edited by ATDrake; 01-28-2011 at 11:53 PM. Reason: Any complaint about text errors will itself contain a text error.
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