Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Classics Everyone Should Read: Sherlock Holmes

Classics Everyone Should Read:
Sherlock Holmes

While I was at the library, I decided to pick up the first Sherlock Holmes book, A Study in Scarlet. I just saw the movie, and thought it would be fun to read the original inspiration for the character. I expected it to be good—it is possibly the most popular mystery series ever—but I didn’t think I’d love it as much as I did.

For those of you who don’t know, Sherlock Holmes is a detective who relies on observation to solve crimes. By simply glancing at a person, he can determine their profession—as is demonstrated several times in the book. His ability to see things for what they are is extremely helpful when solving crimes, and the police often come to him when they’re stumped. His friend Dr. Watson often helps him with the mysteries, however it is usually Holmes who solves the case.

As this is the first book, it really delves into the beginnings of the friendship between Holmes and Watson and how it developed into the partnership that we think of today. It’s interesting to see how two very different people come together, and the interactions between them are wonderful. The mystery itself was almost less interesting than these two characters and their quirks.

A Study in Scarlet is not a simple detective story. Reaching into the mind of a character like Sherlock Holmes is fascinating as well as enjoyable. It goes into the motivation of man eventually discovered to be guilty, as well, in a separate section of the book that branches off from the first. People who enjoy mysteries will love the reasoning behind this book, and people who don’t enjoy mysteries will love the interesting characters. Everyone should read this book.

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