Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Great Detective: The Amazing Rise and Immortal Life of Sherlock Holmes


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Today's post is on The Great Detective: The Amazing Rise and Immortal Life of Sherlock Holmes by Zach Dundas. It is 320 pages long and is published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. The cover is red is with the title in black and white. The intended reader is someone who likes Sherlock Holmes and literary history. There is some mild language, talk of sex, and no violence in this book. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the dust jacket- A wickedly smart and rollicking journey through the birth, life, and afterlives of popular culture's most beloved sleuth.
Today he is the inspiration for fiction adaptations, blockbuster movies, hit television shows, raucous Twitter banter, and thriving subcultures. More than a century after Sherlock Holmes first capered into our world, what is it about Arthur Conan Doyle’s peculiar creation that continues to fascinate us? Journalist and lifelong Sherlock fan Zach Dundas set out to find the answer.
The result is The Great Detective: a history of an idea, a biography of someone who never lived, a tour of the borderland between reality and fiction, and a joyful romp through the world Conan Doyle bequeathed us.
Through sparkling new readings of the original stories, Dundas unearths the inspirations behind Holmes and his indispensable companion, Dr. John Watson, and reveals how Conan Doyle's tales laid the groundwork for an infinitely remixable myth, kept alive over the decades by writers, actors, and readers. This investigation leads Dundas on travels into the heart of the Holmesian universe. The Great Detective transports us from New York City's Fifth Avenue and the boozy annual gathering of one of the world's oldest and most exclusive Sherlock Holmes fan societies; to a freezing Devon heath out of The Hound of the Baskervilles; to sunny Pasadena, where Dundas chats with the creators of the smash BBC series Sherlock and even finagles a cameo appearance by Benedict Cumberbatch himself. Along the way, Dundas discovers and celebrates the ingredients that have made Holmes go viral — then, now, and as long as the game’s afoot.


Review- At times this book is an interesting romp through the history of a very famous character and his creator. Then gets a little slow. Dundas does a good job tracking Holmes through Conan Doyle's life but he does not write about some things I think should be in there. Like why Conan Doyle killed Holmes. He killed Holmes because he wanted to write respectable histories like a serious writer. Conan Doyle would hate that most people do not even know that he wrote anything else other than Sherlock Holmes. Dundas does not do a bad job, he just did not write about things that I thought needed to be in there and he makes a very bad call about Steven Moffat. Dundas claims that Moffat is one who give new life into Doctor Who but that is just not the case. That was Russell T. Davies. I admit I gave this book Four stars because of that. Not bad but it could have been better.

I give this book a Four out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I borrowed this book from my local library.