A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle

A Study in Scarlet

'There's a scarlet thread of murder running through the colourless skein of life, and our duty is to unravel it, and isolate it, and expose every inch of it.'From the moment Dr. John Watson takes lodgings in Baker Street with the consulting detective Sherlock Holmes, he becomes intimately acquainted with the bloody violence and frightening ingenuity of the criminal mind.In...

Title:A Study in Scarlet
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Edition Language:English

A Study in Scarlet Reviews

  • Tatiana

    's first Sherlock Holmes novel is utterly unimpressive. In short, the book starts like this:

    and mid-way turns into this:

    And I am not even joking. The novel begins with Holmes and Watson meeting, moving into their Baker Street apartment and then investigating a murder of a man found in an abandoned house. At the half point, however, the story completely changes its course and becomes the most awkward introduction of the murderer's back story and motives involving Mo

    's first Sherlock Holmes novel is utterly unimpressive. In short, the book starts like this:

    and mid-way turns into this:

    And I am not even joking. The novel begins with Holmes and Watson meeting, moving into their Baker Street apartment and then investigating a murder of a man found in an abandoned house. At the half point, however, the story completely changes its course and becomes the most awkward introduction of the murderer's back story and motives involving Mormons, polygamy, violence, money, and Brigham Young. The structure of

    is utterly bizarre.

    But let's not linger on the bad. I want to use this review to shamelessly hype the new BBC version of Sherlock Holmes.

    This is an absolutely delightful modernized take on the old characters and it offers a much better version of

    's dreadful story. So, check it out.

  • Stephen

    The

    of a

    ....

    This is it...the

    in which

    ushered the world’s

    detective

    into our collective

    . Being the non-conformist

    that I am, I started off bassackwards by reading

    and then

    because those were the two stories with Moriarty in them. Shocking, I know, but that’s just how I roll. Btw, it still really chaffs my cheeks that Doyle wrote 56 short stories and 4 nove

    The

    of a

    ....

    This is it...the

    in which

    ushered the world’s

    detective

    into our collective

    . Being the non-conformist

    that I am, I started off bassackwards by reading

    and then

    because those were the two stories with Moriarty in them. Shocking, I know, but that’s just how I roll. Btw, it still really chaffs my cheeks that Doyle wrote 56 short stories and 4 novels about Holmes and the

    appears in exactly

    . I know less is sometimes more but, come on Doyle, that is on the scrimpy side of weak.

    Anyway, I have now circled back and returned to the genesis of the Sherlockian mythos and begun with the tale that started it all. Now, for those that have never read any of the Holmes mysteries, I have come to believe that your level of enjoyment of these stories will be directly proportional to your feelings toward Sherlock Holmes himself. Sir Arthur’s a fine writer and his prose is concise and polished with enough flair to make reading him very enjoyable. In addition, his plotting and pacing are excellent and I think mystery fans will appreciate both the content and structure of the central investigation and the procedural components of clue-gathering and interpretation.

    These things all point towards a pleasurable experience, However, in the end, the most important barometer in gauging your level of happy will be your reaction to Holmes himself. Thus, I thought I would focus most of my review’s attention on his character bio after briefly summing up the plot as follows:

    Holmes and Watson meet....murder is committed...Holmes investigates....clues are found...Holmes figures it out....a murderer is caught...long flashback to America where Doyle does a Krakauer-style expose on Mormons describing and their child-stealing, polygamous ways...jump forward to present.... all is made clear..... Watson slobbers all over Holmes.......

    Now, let’s take a look at Sherlock’s profile. Whether you are a hater or a homey when it comes to Holmes, I think most people would agree with the following attributes:

    The man is unlikeable...very unlikeable...extremely unlikeable.

    He is self-absorbed to the point of being sociopathic.

    His has zero empathy for the victims of the crimes he investigates.

    He is so egotistical that it actually makes his general unlikeability pale in comparison

    While never explicitly diagnosed, he is a severe manic-depressive

    He is inconsiderate, callous, cold and socially inept.

    From a personality standpoint, one of my buddies here on GR said it best...Holmes is “a dick.”

    Despite that, I find myself very much in the “homey” camp and think he’s among the more fascinating creations in the annals of literature. Part of that appeal is precisely because he is such a prickish turd in the social skill department. However it his mental faculties, the trait he is best known for, that makes him so intriguing.

    Yes, he is

    . However, that is not the end of the story

    because it is a unique and very specialized kind of brilliance. Holmes knows the details, and I mean details, of every major crime to have been perpetrated in Europe (and possibly beyond) over the last 500 years. He can also distinguish between every variety of dirt or soil in London and and can tell you the precise brand of tobacco/pipe/cigar simply by its ash.

    However, as is divulged in this story, Holmes also has no idea that the Earth travels around the sun.

    How can a man of such singular ability be so woefully lacking in common knowledge. Holmes explains to Watson thusly:

    This just struck me as particularly awesome from a story perspective. Not only does such a philosophy provide a cloak of believability to Sherlock’s preternatural detecting skills, but his glaring knowledge deficiencies make him that much more fascinating as a character.

    I guess I just find Doyle’s profile of Holmes to be superb. He is like a “not quite human” storm of deduction. He’s dispassionate, callous and unimaginably effective. Additionally, he solves crimes not because of a perceived duty, but merely because it is the only thing that keeps the boredom of life away. That and the giant stroking his ego gets when he does “the big explain” which is always entertaining and makes each story worth reading all by itself.

    Finally, I also see Holmes as a tragic figure. He is a sad, lonely and devoid of any lasting sense of contentment or pleasure. While alive and invigorated when the game is afoot, most of his time is spent as a mere husk of a man with no feeling of day-to-day happiness.

    All of this makes Holmes an extraordinarily compelling figure to me and one I hope to spend a lot more time reading about. While I did not enjoy this as much as

    (my favorite so far), I was still glued to the page watching Holmes maneuver through his scenes and really enjoyed the flashback portion set in America.

    I look forward to many more of his adventures.

    4.0 stars. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!

  • Nilesh Kashyap

    I don’t read reviews of books, of which I am damn sure I will be reading it very soon. Now, I don’t know how this habit affects my reading.

    So, what happened was..

    I was not aware of the fact that “I had to be surprised when the second part of the book starts and wonder what happened to the story with Sherlock Holmes in it and how that mystery was solved! Moreover, I had to wonder whether the second part was from some other book, somehow got binded in my copy and curse the publis

    I don’t read reviews of books, of which I am damn sure I will be reading it very soon. Now, I don’t know how this habit affects my reading.

    So, what happened was..

    I was not aware of the fact that “I had to be surprised when the second part of the book starts and wonder what happened to the story with Sherlock Holmes in it and how that mystery was solved! Moreover, I had to wonder whether the second part was from some other book, somehow got binded in my copy and curse the publishers”. I was not surprised and neither did I curse the publishers.

    As I was ill-prepared for reading, this resulted in me being not disappointed like I was supposed to be.

    I was not aware of the fact that “I had to loathe the second part because it didn’t have Sherlock Holmes but instead Mormons and whatnots”. I couldn't loathe it because it was equally good.

    I was even not aware of the fact that “I had to drop my jaw when Sherlock Holmes says

    ”. But I did, so atleast I got some expression right.

    You see, I was not aware of such shortcomings and issues so I enjoyed it a bit more than I should have. It’s a promise that I will hate the second part and enjoy it less on my re-read.

    Okay, what the hell am I going to write for this review without writing spoilers, because everything turns out to be a spoiler.

    Damn! This is hard.

    I don’t know what to include and what not to include!

    Maybe, I should include this line, for this is best:

    No, I should not, since almost every reviewer has used this line. So I am not going to write it in my review too and lengthen it unnecessarily, I will skip this.

    This is going to be damn hard, I can't find a single thing to write about.

    And what should I write about Sherlock Holmes?

    Kemper wrote: “

    ” and got bunch of votes. I should also write something like that.

    Like,

    . Nah! that doesn’t sound nice and that is not correct either.

    I don’t want to write about the same issue of disjointed second part being a problem and this part being boring too, I didn’t felt so. But almost every review says same thing.

    I can’t think of anything to write. I should probably skip this one and write review of

    , I need to edit that ‘FUCKING MINDFUCK’ I have left over there.

    No, I must write something!

    Maybe, I should review others' reviews and in this process the book will also be reviewed. This sounds like good idea, but may be offensive. So I should mention in my review at last that:

  • Delee

    A STUDY IN SCARLET!!! First group-read for the intact official Non-Crunchy-Sans Pants- for no reason that I can figure out...but none-the-less...NON pants wearing GRs classic reading group.

    I read A STUDY IN SCARLET waaaaaaaay back in my younger days- and remembered very little of it. To be perfectly honest- I remembered the title...and reading it- but nothing else. Whether it is my memory...or the fact that it wasn't memorable can be argued- but I liked it. A LOT.

    Setti

    A STUDY IN SCARLET!!! First group-read for the intact official Non-Crunchy-Sans Pants- for no reason that I can figure out...but none-the-less...NON pants wearing GRs classic reading group.

    I read A STUDY IN SCARLET waaaaaaaay back in my younger days- and remembered very little of it. To be perfectly honest- I remembered the title...and reading it- but nothing else. Whether it is my memory...or the fact that it wasn't memorable can be argued- but I liked it. A LOT.

    Setting:

    221B Baker Street, London- 1881

    A mutual acquaintance introduces: John Watson -physician, and Sherlock Holmes- detective consultant, to each other- both men in need of a room-mate. Thus starting a friendship and working relationship that will most definitely be a formidable pairing.

    At first Sherlock's personality is somewhat off-putting (not unlike Dan 2.0's)...but as Watson settles in- he gets used to the detective's unusual ways.

    Plot:

    Scotland Yard detective Gregson asks Holmes to assist him in solving a recently committed crime...and in turn- Holmes asks Watson to accompany him. They travel to an empty house in a London- and there they observe a crime scene that includes: cab prints in the street...footprints in the yard...a dead man who has been poisoned, and the word RACHE- in blood on the wall.

    The game is afoot!!! Need I say more?

  • Henry Avila

    This nifty novel ( really a novella) the first Sherlock Holmes book written in 1887, is rather strange since it is set both in the culture, of brimming Victorian London, 1881, and the

    dry , very hot desolate deserts of the savage wastelands of Utah, 1847 , nothing here...before there was a state established there or giving that name. Or even part of the United States, since technically still Mexican territory , neglected by them and ruled by the Ute Indians... hence the appropriate appellation

    This nifty novel ( really a novella) the first Sherlock Holmes book written in 1887, is rather strange since it is set both in the culture, of brimming Victorian London, 1881, and the

    dry , very hot desolate deserts of the savage wastelands of Utah, 1847 , nothing here...before there was a state established there or giving that name. Or even part of the United States, since technically still Mexican territory , neglected by them and ruled by the Ute Indians... hence the appropriate appellation . The almost forgotten war between the U.S. and Mexico...1846-1848 caused the maps of the world, to alter significantly the long borders between these two giant but rather sparsely populated, combating nations...

    Changed the status , the news surprised the Mormons who had fled persecution , seeking freedom, for their weird belief in polygamy (which men loved) but caused momentous trouble , in the American midwest. Angry crowds killed many Mormons, including their founder , Joseph Smith, and escape was now impossible they thought...except this harsh, distant place from 19th century civilization, made them almost completely sovereign... The plot begins when the new Mormon prophet Brigham Young, soon to have 55 wives, leading the first 2,ooo Mormons to the promise land, an exodus of 1,300 miles ... his men, find two pathetic, starving people , a man and a girl child the only survivors of a lost wagon train, sleeping on a hill overlooking the wilderness ... an account about love , a forced marriage and revenge ... endlessly sought ... is revealed...Back to Mr. Holmes and Dr. Watson ( pardon the history lesson but it is quite important for understanding this great book ). The actual narrative starts with young Dr. John Watson returning from the horrendous second British- Afghan war ...sadly there will be many more...Wounded, nearly fatally, then let go from the army , trying to recover his health and spirits , save money too, he rents a room at 221 b Baker street ...this is where the famous duo become friends, the reserved Holmes fascinates the good doctor with his many eccentricities...what does he do to make a living. Obviously exceptionally brilliant but keeps to himself. NOT a medical man, yet knows much about medicine...interested in discussing grisly crime cases, the bloodier the better, an unusual obsession...why? Then Scotland Yard contacts Holmes , asking for help with a murder investigation...a mystery that only the violinist Sherlock can resolve, with an assist from the Baker street irregulars, nevertheless will not get credit for... The very different stories , unite masterfully at last , in faraway England...Americans in London start being killed for no apparent reason... not political or for profit either, and all came from Salt Lake City...This will give readers a nice taste ...and why Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 's Sherlock Holmes is still popular today.

  • Anne

    Ok, the big deal about this one is that you get to see the Sherlock/Watson meet-cute. I mean, this is one of the most important meetings in the history of all literature! Come on, people! Get excited!

    It's only fair to mention that I've read and reread all of these stories a bjillion times, and these are by far my favorite

    characters.

    But I know I haven't read P&P as

    Ok, the big deal about this one is that you get to see the Sherlock/Watson meet-cute. I mean, this is one of the most important meetings in the history of all literature! Come on, people! Get excited!

    It's only fair to mention that I've read and reread all of these stories a bjillion times, and these are by far my favorite

    characters.

    But I know I haven't read P&P as many times as I have Sherlock's mysteries, which should tell you something right there.

    And, just to be clear, I loved him before he was all sexified.

    Ok, so Watson is back from the war (he basically just got trounced on and then came home), and

    is running low on funds. Luckily, he runs into an old pal from school, who just happens to know of this guy who's looking for a roommate. One thing leads to another, and the next thing you know, Felix & Oscar have found their forever home!

    Alright, as far as the

    goes, it's just Sherlock running around sniffing things, (implausibly) being able to identify cigar ash, and tracing the movement of criminals using day-old (tromped on) footprints.

    Given what we know about forensic evidence now, is any of this,

    , even remotely believable? Can Sherlock actually

    the answer to this mystery from horse tracks, a dead man's bad breath, and a plain wedding band?

    So...

    ?

    Now, I'm fully prepared to admit that I had forgotten about the Mormon Connection. I haven't read this one

    , mostly because I prefer the short stories.

    But, to uncover the reasons behind the killings, Doyle takes us on a journey to the wilds of America! Specifically, Utah.

    This was where the tale of one man's thirst for vengeance was born. And it's all Brigham Young's fault. He was eeeeeeevil!

    I'm assuming that Mormonism (like most religions) has its share of shady skeleton's in the closet. Now, I don't claim to be an expert on these guys. And I don't personally know very many Mormons, due to their predilection for Salt Lake City. All I know about that religion is what I've seen on tv or read in books, and it's not much.

    They wear special underwear. They can't watch R-rated movies. And they used to go door-to-door, until the Jehovah's Witness got to be too much competition.

    There's something else I'm forgetting though... What is it? It's right there on the tip of my tongue.

    No, there was something that looked like a big pink elephant...

    Yes. Well, from what I can tell, the only Mormons who practice polygamy now are fringe groups that are more or less shunned by their peers.

    And while I'm not on board with any religion, I doubt that this one is much weirder than most, at this point anyway. Plus, at least most Mormons seem to be pretty educated and well-off. It's not like Salt Lake City is one huge trailer park filled with toothless hillbillies. And (bonus!) they seem to have the sense to keep their crazy old people off the airwaves...

    Or so I thought! Now that I've read this, I'm going to have to rethink my plan to move west! Who knew these guys were so devious!?

    Was this really a five star book?

    Fuck, no. But it's my favorite character's first book, and I enjoyed the hell out of it.

  • Carmen

    This is the first Sherlock Holmes story, a novel which introduces the now legendary detecting team of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson.

    Watson is looking for a roommate and is introduced to Holmes with some

    This is the first Sherlock Holmes story, a novel which introduces the now legendary detecting team of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson.

    Watson is looking for a roommate and is introduced to Holmes with some warnings.

    But Watson and Holmes get along, and end up being one of the strongest pairings in all of literature.

    ...

    This isn't my first, second, or even third time reading this book. Parts of it are etched on my brain, never to be erased.

    Now, I don't agree with Sherlock on this. But the passage stays with me, and is often discussed amongst my friends and family. This is probably the most memorable passage in the book (for me, at least).

    ...

    Holmes is rather self-sufficient and self-contained, but in no way is he a cold, callous, rude or even distant man. I dislike when he's portrayed as emotionless or cruel, because even in this first story he's obviously not an anti-social creature.

    When he meets Watson he is a bit anxious that his violin playing will disturb him. Later, to make up for all his meandering here and there on the violin, without shape or form - he plays beautiful and famous pieces for Watson in order to please him.

    And he thrives on Watson's wide-eyed awe of him and his innate trust in Sherlock's abilities.

    This adoration of Watson somewhat makes up for Holmes the bitterness and rancor he feels on not getting the credit he is due for solving the police's more difficult cases.

    ...

    The book is really divided up into two parts, and the first part is the more enjoyable part.

    In the first part, Watson and Holmes meet, slowly get acquainted and suss each other out. Then eventually Holmes's profession is revealed, and the fun starts when a man is found murdered in an empty house. The police are stumped and come to Holmes for help. And Holmes wants Watson along for the ride.

    The second part is more uncomfortable due to the extreme battering of Mormons and Mormon religion. Mormons are portrayed as evil rapists and slavers. If you are upset by this portrayal, this book might be very painful for you to read.

    Not to say that the first part is free and clear. For instance, when Watson sees the body of the murdered man, he remarks:

    This kind of idea - the person is ugly; Ugliness is a manifestation of evil in a person just as beauty is a manifestation of good. Judging a person - a person who was murdered, terrified and alone! - by their ugly facial features as "deserving of murder," makes me upset. However, this was a common literary trope back then and (unfortunately) still is today. Ugliness, disability, and deformities are often shown as "signs" and "proof" of a person's deviance and malevolence.

    ...

    This book focuses on a revenge plot, and there are some great quotes about vengeance in here.

    And

    ...

    Tl;dr - A classic, and for a good reason. Who wouldn't enjoy seeing the world's most famous detective solve his first case with Dr. Watson by his side? And unlike many classics, this is easy to read and fast paced. Besides a few slang terms no longer in effect, and one or two times I was reaching for my dictionary, this reading presented no problems at all. Doyle possesses a straightforward and exciting writing style - he doesn't spend hours describing the scenery or make his characters talk in an affected way. The story is gripping and will have you turning pages quickly. As Watson would say,

    You will also find sleep elusive as you chase murderers alongside the fierce Sherlock and the intrepid Watson! Happy trails!

    *It's spelled like this in my copy.

    Available in Spanish as Estudio en Escarlata.

  • Jeff

    This is an underwhelming debut for one of literature’s most famous characters.

    Doyle’s Sherlock is in the nascent stage here and isn’t the fully fleshed out character, readers came to know. The steady and reliable narrator, Dr. John Watson gets introduced to Holmes in Watson’s attempts to find a roommate.

    “Can two odd Victorian Era men share a flat without driving each other crazy?”

    Sure, why not.

    Watson takes measure of Holmes:

    Although the illustration below belies it, the producers of the TV sho

    This is an underwhelming debut for one of literature’s most famous characters.

    Doyle’s Sherlock is in the nascent stage here and isn’t the fully fleshed out character, readers came to know. The steady and reliable narrator, Dr. John Watson gets introduced to Holmes in Watson’s attempts to find a roommate.

    “Can two odd Victorian Era men share a flat without driving each other crazy?”

    Sure, why not.

    Watson takes measure of Holmes:

    Although the illustration below belies it, the producers of the TV show pretty much took the first time Holmes and Watson encounter a dead body and lovingly re-produced it almost to the letter.

    I think what most readers get put off by is the huge “evil” Morman digression that pops up around midway in this novella. It’s a jarring, uncomfortable fit. It gives credence to belief that Doyle’s Holmes should be read as short stories and not as longer narratives. For a little over a hundred pages, this took a lot longer to plow through than I would have initially thought

    .

    Recommended for those who have an interest in knowing where the legend began and for Sherlock completists.

    This was a buddy read with a bunch of non-crunchy folks who like to read whilst pants free.

  • Cait (Paper Fury)

    SO I DID IT. CONGRATULATE ME.

    *flings confetti over self* Okay, except that actually I listened to an audio and I'm 100% sure the audio is the only reason I survived it, because, gawsh...while it's

    The writing is potato. That's all I can say. Maybe I'm not "appreciating the arts"...but the whole thing is like a monologue!! Where are the scenes??! Where is the development?!?!? Gah.

    And

    SO I DID IT. CONGRATULATE ME.

    *flings confetti over self* Okay, except that actually I listened to an audio and I'm 100% sure the audio is the only reason I survived it, because, gawsh...while it's

    The writing is potato. That's all I can say. Maybe I'm not "appreciating the arts"...but the whole thing is like a monologue!! Where are the scenes??! Where is the development?!?!? Gah.

    And then halfway through, it just suddenly goes -- BOOM -- LET'S TALK ABOUT AMERICAN PIONEERS!! And I was just sitting there thinking, "Wut." I literally had to abandon the audio and find a website online to confirm that the audio wasn't screwy and yes, in fact, A Study in Scarlet

    just flip RANDOMLY to talking about American pioneers. (Which was an equally dry and boring story.) Um...just...how is this okay?! AGAIN. I'm obviously not a classic appreciator. But it was so random and abrupt.

    It made me squeak whenever I recognised a teeny tiny reference that one of the many shows/movies used. SO CLEVER. And I was actually surprised to find that

    Weird, right?! He's conceited, as Doctor Watson impassively informs us. (Seriously Doctor Watson = impassive melon 100% of the time.) But Sherlock had a lot of manners and if he said something to rude or abrupt, he'd take like 4 minutes and then apologise and explain his perspective. Dude. Yes.

    It was all

    No life or passion in the story at all. The I confess the conclusion was AWESOME. That weird pioneer-section REALLY gives you perspective later and it's all rather interesting and clever...

    I did kind of

    ...which is weird to say!? Maybe I've been spoiled by the modernised shows? But all the marvellous things Sherlock did at the crime scenes was basically just "modern" detective work. So stunning for the era, yes, but not for now.

    AWK. And Lestrade and Gregson have this EPIC rivarly!! I can't believe none of the TV shows/movies have made use of that!! It's wonderful. And when they all puff up into the room, strutting that they've solved a mystery, Sherlock is all, "Oh excellent

    , good man, I say, I say, you are a clever chap...AND TOTALLY WRONG HAHAHAH but good stuff for trying."

    Do I plan to read more?

    This was only 4 hours on audio and I whipped through it in a day. (It was a free audio off Libravox so, um, the narrator was an American woman. WATSON SPOKE LIKE AN AMERICAN WOMAN.

    the best narrator, but what can one do but take the free stuff?)

    (Also...just to inflame a war: Elementary is better than the BBC Sherlock and ROBERT DOWNEY JUNIOR WINS AGAINST THEM ALL. *whips away in a cloud of evil smoke*)

  • Mohammed Arabey

    -

    -

    -فشخصية دكتور هاوس مثلا صاحب المسلسل التليفزيوني الشهير يعتبر مقتبسا بشكل غير مباشر من شيرلوك، والمسلسل نفسه مليء بالتلميحات لروايات دويل-

    كما أنها من المرات النادرة التي يلتزم فيها ديزني بالواقعية في الحجم ، فباسيل "شيرلوك" هو فأر بالحجم الطبيعي وليس كباقي شخصيات ميكي احجامها غير واقعية

    مع ان -كما ذكرت بمراجعة رواية "ثم لم يبق أحد"،-ان والدتي كانت تدفعني لقراءتها قديما بجانب مجلة ميكي روايات اجاثا كريستي وارسين لوبين

    لكني لم اجد ترجمات وقتها لشيرلوك رغم حماسي لفكرة المخبر السري بسبب كوميكس لغز ميكي الشهير

    حسنا، هي مناسبة سعيدة اذن، وتركتني برغبة في قراءة المزيد عن شيرلوك والغازه والتي بالتأكيد سأبدأ بها هذا العام أن شاء الله

    مع الرواية الثانية قريبا، ومجموعة قصصية تلحقها لنقرأ الاعمال بالترتيب

    محمد العربي

    من 15 يناير 2017

    الي 17 يناير 2017


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