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Old 04-23-2013, 04:08 PM   #31
orlok
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My first impressions of the book were that it must have had two authors and stories. I was totally confused when the second part started and went nuts going back and forth on my readers trying to figure out what happened. I even started the audio book to see if that section was there and yes it was. Once I finally continued to listen and reached the continuing part to the first section, I understood what was going on with the back story being the reason for the murders.

Then I checked online to find out more about this story.

I did enjoy reading this first encounter of Watson and Holmes, but felt as if the two parts could have been separate books; a western romance and the Holmes mystery (that should have had parts of the murder's thinking sprinkled within to give us the murder's rationale).

This was not one of my favorite books to date, but I did enjoy reading it and will read more of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries.
everything you just said. Sums up my experience very well.
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Old 04-23-2013, 09:08 PM   #32
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As a young man, I read the two-volume Annotated Sherlock Holmes cover to cover, and like others here I wanted to be Sherlock Holmes. It's a funny thing, but I have to admit I'd completely forgotten the sudden switch to Utah. It has been 35-40 years since I'd read the story, but I still don't recall having the kind of shock I had as I was reading it in Harry's omnibus. Like others here, I thought for some time into the section that somehow another novel got somehow inserted into this one. I'm pretty sure none of the other Holmes stories do anything like that, but then again, I don't remember A Study in Scarlet doing it.

What I do remember, perhaps because other sources so frequently reference it, are such things as the list of Holmes strengths and weaknesses that Dr. Watson drew up shortly after their acquaintance, and things like Holmes insistence that he was ignorant of Copernican astronomy. But as for the latter, Maria Konnikova's Mastermind: How to think like Sherlock Holmes, the book I mentioned earlier, has this to say:

One of the most widely held notions about Sherlock Holmes has to do with his supposed ignorance of Copernican theory. “What the deuce is [the solar system] to me?” he exclaims to Watson in A Study in Scarlet. “You say that we go round the sun. If we went round the moon it would not make a pennyworth of difference to me or to my work.” And now that he knows that fact? “I shall do my best to forget it,” he promises.
.....It’s fun to home in on that incongruity between the superhuman-seeming detective and a failure to grasp a fact so rudimentary that even a child would know it. And ignorance of the solar system is quite an omission for someone who we might hold up as the model of the scientific method, is it not? Even the BBC series Sherlock can’t help but use it as a focal point of one of its episodes.
.....But two things about that perception bear further mention. First, it isn’t, strictly speaking, true. Witness Holmes’s repeated references to astronomy in future stories—in “The Musgrave Ritual,” he talks about “allowances for personal equation, as the astronomers would have it”; in “The Greek Interpreter,” about the “obliquity of the ecliptic”; in “The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans,” about “a planet leaving its orbit.” Indeed, eventually Holmes does use almost all of the knowledge that he denies having at the earliest stages of his friendship with Dr. Watson. (And in true-to-canon form, Sherlock the BBC series does end on a note of scientific triumph: Holmes does know astronomy after all, and that knowledge saves the day—and the life of a little boy.)
.....In fact, I would argue that he exaggerates his ignorance precisely to draw our attention to a second—and, I think, much more important—point. His supposed refusal to commit the solar system to memory serves to illustrate an analogy for the human mind that will prove to be central to Holmes’s thinking and to our ability to emulate his methodology. As Holmes tells Watson, moments after the Copernican incident, “I consider that a man’s brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose.”

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Old 04-24-2013, 01:09 AM   #33
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It reminds me of the story about Einstein having a discussion with another scientist which they could not finish at the time. They agreed to meet again and the other scientist asked Einstein for his phone number. Einstein picked up a phone book, looked himself up and gave the other man the number. Seeing his astonishment, Einstein said "Why should I clutter up my mind with information that I can easily look up if I need to do so?"
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Old 04-24-2013, 01:31 AM   #34
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As a young man, I read the two-volume Annotated Sherlock Holmes cover to cover, and like others here I wanted to be Sherlock Holmes.
I have that set myself. It's a good resource not only for the original illustrations which accompanied the stories but for information about things that were commonplace at the time but which we in the 21st century might not understand.
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Old 04-24-2013, 10:56 AM   #35
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I have the 1892 Harper and Brothers 1st American edition of Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. I first read it in late childhood and adored it. The innocence of forensic knowledge I had then probably had a lot in common with late nineteenth century readers. We also had some Golden age detective novels, so my reading more or less followed the trajectory of decades of the genre right through the pulps of the mid-20th century and into today's novels featuring sophisticated forensic technique. Sherlock Holmes, influenced by Poe's Dupin, influenced everything in the genre that came later, if not always directly.

People tend to think of Holmes as middle-aged, but he was 27 (born 1854 as stated in "The Last Bow") when he moved to 221B Baker Street in 1881 with Dr. Watson.

Two of my treasured print books are 'The London of Sherlock Holmes' by Michael Harrison (1972) and 'Rivals of Sherlock Holmes' (1981), 40 mystery stories contemporary to late Holmes stories published in The Strand. Both books have a multitude of pictures and original illustrations.
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Old 04-24-2013, 03:10 PM   #36
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Two of my treasured print books are 'The London of Sherlock Holmes' by Michael Harrison (1972) and 'Rivals of Sherlock Holmes' (1981), 40 mystery stories contemporary to late Holmes stories published in The Strand. Both books have a multitude of pictures and original illustrations.
If memory serves Rivals of Sherlock Holmes has a few tales also written by A.C. Doyle about other detectives among its pages.
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Old 04-24-2013, 04:07 PM   #37
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^ Yes, there are four.
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Old 04-24-2013, 08:25 PM   #38
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^ Yes, there are four.
Yep.
The story of the man with the watches
the story of the lost special
the story of the black doctor
the story of the jew's breast-plate

The first one "the story of the man with the watches" contains the following:
Quote:
There was a letter in the Daily Gazette over the signature of a well known criminal investigator,which gave rise to considerable discussion at the time. He had formed a hypothesis which had at least ingenuity to recommend it...
An off the cuff reference to Mr. Sherlock Holmes perhaps?
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Old 08-05-2013, 06:59 AM   #39
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Dang- I missed another one....that is what I get for not logging in for a long time!

I never cared for this novel (nor The Valley of Fear) as they deviate too much from England. The quintessential part of any Holmes story or novel is the long descriptive narrative of the problem given to Holmes. I like when it has to do with England (or its empire) and not this mess of life w/ the Mormons. I read it happily to get the background on how Watson meets Holmes, but not much else I enjoyed.
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Old 08-06-2013, 05:16 PM   #40
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It was very much like two books glued together in a somewhat messy manner.
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Old 08-06-2013, 08:13 PM   #41
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It was very much like two books glued together in a somewhat messy manner.
Yes very much. The first part is fantastic though. I truly enjoyed that part. But the second was too out there. I am biased and I feel that The Hound of the Baskervilles is by far the best mystey novel ever written.

Do you know that this book is banned in some public schools as it portrays the Mormons in a poor light?
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Old 08-08-2013, 05:02 PM   #42
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It was very much like two books glued together in a somewhat messy manner.
I don't think we should be too hard on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle for any perceived weaknesses in "A Study in Scarlet" as it was after all his 1st book about Mr. Holmes and was written at a time when he was no doubt struggling. I mean he was a young Dr. with a fairly new practice that wasn't doing well and was no doubt scrabbling to find the means to keep body and soul together. Add to that the fact that it may well have been his 1st venture into fictional writing and you can see how he might have still had a few rough spots in his craft.
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Old 08-08-2013, 06:41 PM   #43
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I don't think we should be too hard on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle for any perceived weaknesses in "A Study in Scarlet" as it was after all his 1st book about Mr. Holmes and was written at a time when he was no doubt struggling. I mean he was a young Dr. with a fairly new practice that wasn't doing well and was no doubt scrabbling to find the means to keep body and soul together. Add to that the fact that it may well have been his 1st venture into fictional writing and you can see how he might have still had a few rough spots in his craft.
I must object, strenuously. The work is the work. No extenuating circumstances. We may understand the cause of flaws, but the work itself is fair game.
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Old 08-08-2013, 07:39 PM   #44
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I must object, strenuously. The work is the work. No extenuating circumstances. We may understand the cause of flaws, but the work itself is fair game.
I'm not saying to ignore the flaws just that there are reasons why it may be so. And of course it wasn't printed in one volume right away either I don't think. It was probably serialized when it 1st came out (as many books were) so may seem choppy in some parts due to that fact. Also it appears he wrote it in less than 3 weeks time. Apparently he was on a tight deadline is all I can figure.
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