Wednesday, May 05, 2010


I gave up on "The Man Who Wrote Sherlock Holmes", even though I was close to 200 pages in. Mostly, I gave up on it because it must go back to the library early -- The Husband wants to return all library books before he graduates, even though they are not due for another 3 weeks. So, there goes my planned reading on women in science fiction.

So, I may have to check it out elsewhere. I might. It was SORT of getting interesting, but it still had some big problems. For example, the author insisted on telling us every damn time A.C. Doyle played cricket, including the names of the opposing teams and often the score. I DO NOT CARE! It's nothing against cricket, really. I'd feel the same no matter what organized sport was involved. Tell me that Doyle played X sport and that he played it on and off for X years, and I know all I need. Tell me about the one or two incidents where something Very Interesting happened in association with a particular game, and that's all good. I find it hard to work up interest in the details of amateur sporting events that took place over 100 years ago.

So, there's that.

Another annoyance were the tiny, fleeting references to the Holmes stories as being derived or related to particular incidents, locations, people, or ideas. When the author actually got into explaining how X became a part of the Holmes world, I was interested. However, saying "Doyle used this name in his Holmes stories" is, again, a rank of detail filed under BORING. Seriously, I already know that authors often pull place names, character names, and even small details from the world and the people around them. This is not a big secret (if it is to you, you should get out more). I do not need a comprehensive list of every person, place, or thing Doyle crossed in his life that eventually turned up in a book. This is NOT INTERESTING, not even on a Trivial Pursuit level.

In short, the book could have benefited from a much more ruthless editor -- one with a whip as well as a red pen, perhaps.

Don't know what book I will pick up next. I have the next Stieg Larrson book on my e-Reader. I also have the pile of books on the shelves waiting for me. Since my Serious Summer Reading list is no longer available, I might just indulge in major amounts of Not Serious Reading.

Or I could pull down that bio on Edward R. Murrow...

1 comment:

whall said...

I nominate a new title for this entry

"The Woman Who Read The Man Who Wrote Sherlock Holmes"

I quit halfway through tho because of all the details of the details you didn't like.

The Man Who Commented On The Woman Who Read The Man Who Wrote Sherlock Holmes