Although I haven’t spoken about it much on this blog, I have a long-standing and abiding love of all things Sherlock Holmes. I’ve read most of the Doyle stories a couple of times (plans for third readings are in the works). Benedict Cumberbatch is amazing as a modern-day version on the BBC Sherlock series. (Just a note. As an American I am constantly bewildered by British TV scheduling. For my part I don’t get near enough Cumberbatch Sherlock. Why we must wait months, even years, between episodes is beyond my comprehension. And when we finally do get some it is usually just a few at a time. There is a demand here that is not being met. Can someone explain this to me?)
I know some may disagree with me, but Johnny Lee Miller’s version of a transplanted Sherlock in New York is at the to of my watch list every week. It is my favorite show on TV at the moment. I especially love Elementary’s take on the partnership between Holmes and Watson. Watson as a woman, played superbly, by Lucy Liu is constantly entertaining and satisfying. This does not, in any way, diminish my love of Martin Freeman as a slightly more traditional, but modern, version of Watson in Sherlock. See…I’m all over the place here. I oh so love my Sherlock Holmes.
And no, I’ve not forgotten the recent movie versions of the great detective set in the proper time period starring the long-lost-love of my life Robert Downy Jr. and the handsome, but worthless, Jude Law. I will happily support any and all permutations of this series at the theater on opening weekend, barring any issues in finding a babysitter.
Some of you may have noticed that beyond the original Doyle series, all examples of further love of Sherlock Holmes have been screen based. The reason for this is that Doyle is the original, and it was done in print. All screen version are inspired by, but not copies of, the original. They cannot be directly compared. Directly comparing them would diminish any enjoyment of them. It is so much more fun to accept the homage to the original they present, and enjoy them for what they are in all their variety. This is also why I’ve never read anyone else’s print version of Holmes. It could, arguably, be directly compared. As with most things, no one can imitate an original author writing the character’s he created.
However, a few years ago I did decide to listen (notice, I didn’t read in the traditional sense) an audiobook version of a novel about Holmes. I enjoyed it, and have read many books in this series since. That is for another post though. The reason I mention it is because it opened a door. So when I saw Moriarty on a bargain shelf I scooped it up thinking, “What can it hurt?” It wasn’t really about Holmes anyway, it was a continuation of Moriarty’s story after the fateful fall at Reichenbach Falls.
I didn’t like it. For the first third of the book I forced myself to read it. It was not keeping my attention. Much of the dialogue and interaction at the start seemed trite, forced. The author seemed to be trying too hard. Finally some of the events got interesting and I knew there was a big twist coming up, so I kept reading. The twist didn’t save the book, in my opinion. Although, it did improve it. My prediction about the twist wasn’t spot on, but it was pretty close. I cannot talk too much about the book itself without giving it away, so I will say that if you aren’t a big Holmes fan, you might enjoy it. I didn’t know until about half-way through that this was actually the second book in a series. By most accounts, the first one was the better novel.
So, I am planning to read the original stories again to reset my palate and remind myself where my true love lies, with Doyle…Cumberbatch, Miller, and Downey. Sigh