Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Mike can't get enough of Sherlock Holmes

In my quest to read genres new to me, I've tried tackling mysteries. They're an untapped vein of literature that has sadly remained outside of my purview for some time--and for those of you who are die-hard mystery fans (like half of all of our patrons) you're probably shaking your head, wondering if you should even bother reading further. Do not despair however, because I am a convert, and have been baptized by one of the best--Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

There are a ton of great ways to get into the adventures of Sherlock Holmes and his sidekick/chronicler, Dr. James Watson. For instance, if you're taking a long drive or making a daily commute, you can't go wrong by listening to the BBC Radio dramatizations. Produced with a full cast, the performance has a wonderful radio nostalgia feel about it; they performed every work in the series but you might try cutting your teeth on the first volume of the Sherlock Holmes Essentials, recently released.

If you want to listen to the work as it was originally written, however, you can't go wrong with a reading by Simon Prebble. Check out The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, which features some of the notable moments in Sherlock Holmes' career, such as an instance when he was incorrect about his deductions (and that's not his tax deductions).

Or would you rather watch something on the telly? Look no further than the recently produced Sherlock series on BBC. This modern re-envisioning of the world's greatest detective is as dark as it is witty and was an absolute hit; the series won a BAFTA for "best drama series" and Martin Freeman, who portrayed Dr. Watson for the series, garnered another one for his supporting role.

And if you're a novitiate in the Church of Holmes, you'll of course need to peruse the originals. Reading a copy of the two-volume Annotated Sherlock Holmes will make you better informed than almost any Holmes expert and will look handsome on the bookshelf, which you can admire while thoughtfully smoking a pipe or playing your violin.

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