The Hound of the Baskervilles

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle

Penguin Classics: paperback published 2010: 214 pages

The howl of a great beast echoes across the moors…

Some blame the sudden death of Sire Charles Baskerville on the legend of a fearsome and ghostly hound that is said to have haunted his Devonshire family for generations.

So when the services of famed detective Sherlock Holmes are engaged to ensure the safety of Baskerville heir Sir Henry – recently arrived from America – Dr Watson is surprised to find his friend dismissive of the matter. In fact, Watson is dispatched alone to accompany Sir Henry to Baskerville Hall in Devon while Holmes deals with another case.

Yet Watson finds the wild moors are a far cry from the orderly streets of London, and in the cold night a savage and bestial howl may be heard…

 

My second Arthur Conan Doyle. It’s easy to see why this is considered the best of the series – it certainly starts very spookily. But, dare I say it, I’m not wholly enamoured with the Holmes series. Maybe Benedict Cumberbatch ruined it for me, maybe I’ve watched too many murder mysteries and horror films to find the series too taxing on the brain (some of the “twists” I guessed straight away). Don’t get me wrong, these are brilliant reads for crime fans and classics fans. But I think that Conan Doyle, very sadly, has been dated by the violence of the modern world – it’s not as shocking as perhaps it was. It’s definitely one for Watson fans – despite Holmes being the “hero”, I found myself much more impressed with Watson in this book. A quick read, and a good read, but not a favourite.

Rating: 5/10

Next book: Next on the list is American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis. I thought I’d give it a go because I’ve never read any Easton Ellis before and American Psycho seems a good place to start. I’ll let you know how I get on – I sometimes struggle with stream-of-consciousness writing, but I’m willing to give it a go.

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