Book Log – The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Aurthur Conan Doyle

Of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries, I had only read The Hound of the Baskervilles by requirement in high school. I remember slogging through it with great effort, and thus had in ingrained aversion to trying any of the other tales. I believed Dirk Gently to be a more entertaining, and thus superior, Holmes incarnation for the new generation.

After reading this collection of short stories (published in 1891-1892) , I am surprised at how similar in characterisation Wodehouse’s Psmith (1909) and Adams’ Gently (1987) are to Holmes. Or, for that matter, David Tennant’s Doctor Who.

I enjoyed this enough that I plan to download the other Holmes collections and give them a go.

Maybe, just maybe, I’ll give Baskervilles a second chance.

If it behaves.

Book Log – The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders

The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders, Etc. Who Was Born In Newgate, and During a Life of Continu’d Variety For Threescore Years, Besides Her Childhood, Was Twelve Year a Whore, Five Times a Wife [Whereof Once To Her Own Brother], Twelve Year a Thief, Eight Year a Transported Felon In Virginia, At Last Grew Rich, Liv’d Honest, and Died a Penitent. Written from her own Memorandums. by Daniel Defoe

Well, the full title pretty much sums up the storyline of this one.

This was my first Daniel Defoe novel (downloaded from gutenberg.org). He has an engaging storytelling style, and I was pulled into the narrative pretty quickly.

It’s an odd story telling, though. In a way, I can’t quite put my finger on it, but it just seems like a bunch of stuff that happened rather than a novel. It really reads like a memoir of a real-life person rather than a fictional tale. That’s more of a compliment than a derision.

But in a way, it feels like cheating. It subconsciously tricks you into believing, on some level, that the stuff really happened, and so your expectation of the narrative is different than if you were thinking of the story as a fiction. I don’t know if that makes me cut it more slack, or what.

Good read.