What can you find here? Reviews of new and not quite so new Sherlock Holmes novels and collections. Interviews with authors, link to blogs worth following, links to where you can purchase my books and some reviews of my work garnered from Amazon sites. Plus a few scary pics of me and a link to various Lyme Regis videos on YouTube...see what we do here and how....and indeed why!!! Next to the Lyme Regis Video Bar is a Jeremy Brett as Holmes Video Bar and now a Ross K Video Bar. And stories and poems galore in the archives.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

I hear of Sherlock everywhere............

Mycroft was right. Correction: Mycroft is right. It is impossible not to read the name Sherlock Holmes in news print, in books, on TV or in the street come to that. Sherlock Holmes is indeed everywhere. What is the lasting appeal of this man? To what can we attribute this popularity which has gone on unabated for 125 years? The last three novels I have read were set in three different continents (shades of Watson's experience of the fair sex) but all mentioned Sherlock Holmes in one context or another. Is Holmes that likeable? Are there other forces at work here?
    He was arrogant, surly and treated Watson shabbily on numerous occasions. Jeremy Brett said Holmes was someone he would not cross the street to meet, yet he survives into the 21st century as the very embodiment of the Victorian hero. The Holmes/Watson friendship was very seriously undermined by Holmes's less than fair treatment of Watson. He was scathing about Watson's assistance, his intelligence and his efforts as a chronicler. Notwithstanding that, Holmes needed Watson as much as he needed anyone and although he may not have seen that himself, commentators on the Canon do and recognise the importance of one to the other. Emotionally they clung to each other. So is that the secret to the character's popularity and longevity? Or is it the atmosphere? The hansom cabs rattling through another thick, yellow London fog (quite rare in the Canon actually)?
   To me all these are components in making the canon the success it was and is, but more than that, it is the rhythm of Conan Doyle's writing thats tells most of us all. The Victorian era was awash with detective stories, densely and cleverly plotted with ingenius solutions, but read them and you quickly see what sets the Holmes stories.....that rhythm and pacing which belonged exclusively to Conan Doyle. The dialogue is pushed forward in a logical and naturalistic way whilst retaining that 'correctness' of speech. The most importanmt part of any Holmes piece I write is my desire to replicate this rhythm of story and rhythm of dialogue.....without it, you have no true pastiche. It compels me to add in a small way to the literature of Sherlock Holmes, being a delight and a pleasure to put words into the mouth of these two creations of Conan Doyle and my word for all his lackadaisical approch to the writing of Holmes stories, they worked like no others have done before or since. For instance, Agatha Christie was a great plotter, she gave us Hercule Poirot/Captain Hastings and Miss Marple. I have read everything in which these characters appear, but have I ever felt like writing Christie pastiches? No, never. The Poirot cases extend over a scarcely credible fifty years so if you had thoughts of writing a Poirot pastiche, where would you start? The 20's, 30's 40's etc etc? Othere than the character of  Poirot there is no consistent style to hang your writing hat on. Although the Holmes stories cover thirty-three years apart from the odd intrusion of the telephone or motor-car, they could all take place in 1895. To some of us...they do.
    Sherlock Holmes for the 21st century? Yes and for as long as people read. So be it.


Steve Seitz said...

I have often wondered if Watson saw Holmes as a long-term patient needing special care. He was a drug addict, after all, and his emotional mood swings sometimes unhealthy. Maybe part of Watson stayed on out of professional duty.

Swayam said...

Holmes-Watson duo are here to stay. There is no denying that. They will keep Victorian culture alive too.

buddy2blogger said...

For me, the hansom cabs and foggy streets of the Victorian England are as important a constituent of the canon's appeal as is the friendship between Holmes and Watson.

I read Horowitz's "The House of Silk" and loved it. I will check out your books as well!