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Carterofmars

Your Favorite of the Original Four Novels Poll

Your Favorite Holmes Novel  

41 members have voted

  1. 1. Which of the four original novels are your favorite?

    • A Study in Scarlet
      9
    • The Sign of the Four
      12
    • The Hound of the Baskervilles
      18
    • The Valley of Fear
      2


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Please pick your favorite of the four original novels by Arthur Conan Doyle. Feel free to say why your pick is your favorite.

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I cannot honestly vote yet, having read only one and two-halves of the four, but so far, The Sign of the Four (one of the halves) is well ahead of The Hound of the Baskervilles (in which I bogged down halfway) and A Study in Scarlet (which had a good beginning and ending -- and an interminably tedious middle!).

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I think I'm pretty average for the forum, Carter -- some have read a lot of the stories, some have read none, but I think most members, like me, have read some -- especially the stories that have already been used in Sherlock, or ones that are rumored to be upcoming in Series 3 (in other words, Moftiss are achieving their goal of getting us to read the ACD stories!).

 

Speaking of those rumors, I just created a thread for The Sign of the Four. See you over there?

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I've not read any yet!

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Not any of the novels, aely, or not any of the ACD stories at all?

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Has no one read the original Stories? :(

 

It is amazing that so many people - who love the Sherlock BBC TV show - miss so much of the Sherlockian references. It makes watching the new shows so much more fun. Just to watch and see how they work them in and come up with such clever modern twists is so amazing. Suggestion - read the old stories before watching an upcoming episode (if you know which one it is playing off of). Or read the stories that relate to the shows you have already seen and then re-watch them. You will be amused and amazed.

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Suggestion - read the old stories before watching an upcoming episode (if you know which one it is playing off of). Or read the stories that relate to the shows you have already seen and then re-watch them. You will be amused and amazed.

That is certainly true of "Study in Scarlet / Pink" in particular (e.g., the rache / Rachel twist). But there are a few problems with doing that:

 

1. The season 3 "code words" are cryptic at best -- not nice clear clues (like last time) that even a neophyte like me could understand. So -- other than "The Empty House" -- reading the original stories ahead of time is highly problematic.

 

2. Not every episode name is an obvious play on the original title. Apparently "The Blind Banker" was roughly based on "The Dancing Men," but who could have guessed that?

 

3. Some episodes are based on more than one story (e.g., "The Great Game," apparently).

 

4. The canon references don't confine themselves to the story that's nominally being adapted. If a quote or a bit of business appeals to Moftiss, they'll use it wherever it fits, regardless of where it actually came from.

 

Of course, these "problems" could also be construed as "challenges." ;)

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I voted Sign of Four, mainly because it was the 1st I ever read.

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That is certainly true of "Study in Scarlet / Pink" in particular (e.g., the rache / Rachel twist). But there are a few problems with doing that:

 

1. The season 3 "code words" are cryptic at best -- not nice clear clues (like last time) that even a neophyte like me could understand. So -- other than "The Empty House" -- reading the original stories ahead of time is highly problematic.

 

2. Not every episode name is an obvious play on the original title. Apparently "The Blind Banker" was roughly based on "The Dancing Men," but who could have guessed that?

 

3. Some episodes are based on more than one story (e.g., "The Great Game," apparently).

 

4. The canon references don't confine themselves to the story that's nominally being adapted. If a quote or a bit of business appeals to Moftiss, they'll use it wherever it fits, regardless of where it actually came from.

 

Of course, these "problems" could also be construed as "challenges." ;)

 

Great observations CTD. You are correct about the reading of a specific story in order to get ready for an episode may not always be practical or obvious. What I should have said is that having read all of the original stories may allow one to see so much more when they watch the new Sherlock and Elementary shows.

 

You obviously already have greater knowledge and insight than most viewers and it is amazing how you have seen so much that others missed.

 

Can anyone do a Poll? or Can someone suggest a Poll? If yes to either let me know.

 

Thanks

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I'm not actually all that perspicacious. Some of my "observations" are from Moftiss's comments on the DVDs, some are from other people's forum posts -- and some may be my own. (Not entirely sure which are which at this point.)

 

You're absolutely right, that being familiar with all of the original stories would enable one to have the fun of spotting references. I may eventually get there, and meanwhile, I can at least spot references that come from the stories that I have read. I will admit that I find ACD's novels (in particular) rather tedious (call me cynical, but I suspect he was paid by the word). However, reading a story aloud to my husband encourages me to actually finish. I tried reading Baskervilles on my own, and got bogged down halfway through, whereas we actually made it all the way through Study in Scarlet. He says I can read Baskervilles to him, so I may finish yet!

 

You can start a poll any time. All you have to do is go to the appropriate sub-forum's index page and click "Start New Topic," then click "Manage Topic Poll." I've never created a poll, but lots of members have, so it's apparently pretty self-explanatory.

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I wish I'd read this thread before I responded about A Case of Identity. Makes more sense now why nobody else has suggested it. I should have perhaps put it as a spoiler.

 

I *think* I've read all of the Sherlock Holmes stories and I've certainly read all the 4 novels. I'm currently working through a huuuge book of non-Sherlock ACD short stories. I completely forgot I'd read A Study in Scarlet when I watched A Study in Pink and I'm glad - re-reading it was just brilliant. They did a great job. All the little references, and the Rache/Rachel part were fab.

 

When I'm reading though I never picture BC and MF as Holmes and Watson. I always think of Jeremy Brett and Edward Hardwicke.

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Through the years I have probably read all of the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle "Sherlock Holmes" stories. My favorite is "A Study in Scarlet" because this is the first meeting between Holmes and Watson. Catching the references in the BBC series is fun. I especially lke the reference to "The Black Peter" at the beginning of the "Hounds of the Baskervilles" my favorite from the series next to the "Unaired Pilot".

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I wish I'd read this thread before I responded about A Case of Identity. Makes more sense now why nobody else has suggested it. I should have perhaps put it as a spoiler.

 

I *think* I've read all of the Sherlock Holmes stories and I've certainly read all the 4 novels. I'm currently working through a huuuge book of non-Sherlock ACD short stories. I completely forgot I'd read A Study in Scarlet when I watched A Study in Pink and I'm glad - re-reading it was just brilliant. They did a great job. All the little references, and the Rache/Rachel part were fab.

 

When I'm reading though I never picture BC and MF as Holmes and Watson. I always think of Jeremy Brett and Edward Hardwicke.

 

I always picture Holmes as Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce as Watson. Probably because I have watched the old movies so many times and listened to the Old TIme Radio Shows. I never picture them as the Characters in the Movies as played by Downey and Law. While the movies are ok - Watson would never act like that towards Holmes and Holmes would never Act like that - PERIOD. But the movies are clever but more fiction than the fiction they are portraying. ha. Brett definitely has been the greatest actor to play the part. The early shows were great. As he went along I found them less appealing.

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I to watch the Rathbone and Bruce series although I hate what Hollywood did to Watson making him so seemingly dimwitted in most of them. I watch Downey and Law movies but never particularly thought that Downey would do Sherlock justice. I love Jeremy Brett as Holmes. In the later series he so ill with asthma. Which is what finally killed him. Very sad.

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It was sad seeing Brett fading right before your eyes. I miss him. I agree that Watson, in the movies, was shown as a bumbler. In the OTR shows he is treated more fairly and as a friend and worthy associate. I really think that the world needed a laugh back when the WWII holmes movies came out. Watson's character was used to help the public relax and have fun while Holmes saved the world. I do like the way Watson is evolving in the Sherlock show. ACD might even approve - but I don't think even he would have thought up the dynamic way Sherlock and Watson are relating and working in the show. Pure genius.

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I voted for THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES, because, altough I found all four novels to be good, I found THE HOUND had the best pace and level of excitement.

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I'm not sure...I haven't even read all of them yet, but I'm working my way through them. I've only read A Sudy in Scarlet, The Sign of the Four, and I'm reading The Hound of the Baskervilles, which I have to say I'm not really reading any more...but so far my favourite is The Sign of the Four. So I'll vote for that.

 

I'm actually quite used to boring books, I mean I have read The Silmarillion. And I'm reading Unfinished Tales. That's a lot of boringness.

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I am about to start reading the Sherlock novels tonight :) I just bought A Study in Scarlet!

If I like it though, I'll probably buy a complete collection version on my kindle, but they all seem to have mixed reviews. Could anyone maybe suggest a good one?

Thank you!

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There are only four novels, listed in the poll at the top of this page.  I haven't read all of them, but my favorite so far is The Sign of Four, which is presumably the basis for the second Series 3 episode "The Sign of Three."

 

Then there are, I believe, 56 short stories.  (I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong!)

 

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If you like reading the research done by Sherlockian/Holmesian Scholars there are always the annotated sets. A bit pricy but worth the money if you are interested in such things. The newest set was printed in 2005 for the Sherlock Holmes' 150th Birthday. Edited with notes by: Leslie S. Klinger.

 

The novels and 56 short stories are in two different volumes, so you can read all the novels with annotated commentary.

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Fox, I've only seen the Klinger books advertised.  How would you compare them with the Baring-Gould ones?  I find some of B-G's annotations useful and/or interesting, but many of his notes seem kind of picky to me, and he often fails to explain the things that I don't understand.  Also, I seem to enjoy the actual stories a lot more when I read from a regular non-annotated book, possibly because the notes are distracting, possibly because the B-G volumes are so awkwardly large -- makes it hard to read in bed!

 

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I know, the annotated works make for heavy reading.....especially in bed. But I love the commentaries so it's not that much of a distraction for me, anyway. It adds a richness to the story. I think Klinger has done a fine job in his works. He has put the writings into a more chronological order as to how Watson wrote them, not as in how Sherlock became involved in them.

 

  While Baring-Gould did use notes from other scholars, many where his own thoughts and ideas. Of course, the Baring-Gould books were printed in the 60's. Holmesian scholarship was fairly young. Klinger has another fifty years to work with.

 

I agree. I think a first time reader could probably do without the annotated volumes just to experience Holmes and Watson and to get first impressions. Then, if they are truly swept up and want to go deeper, then try the notes.

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As I recall, one shortcoming of Baring-Gould's annotations is that he rarely explains what I take to be Victorian slang -- perhaps because he was born in 1913, and considered the expressions perfectly normal because he'd heard his parents use them.  Does Klinger tend to cover those?  Or is mere pop culture not considered worthy of mention among Holmesians?

 

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