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The House of Silk: The New Sherlock Holmes…
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The House of Silk: The New Sherlock Holmes Novel (Sherlock Holmes Novel 1) (edition 2011)

by Anthony Horowitz

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1,140897,179 (3.84)1 / 83
Member:siberian_island
Title:The House of Silk: The New Sherlock Holmes Novel (Sherlock Holmes Novel 1)
Authors:Anthony Horowitz
Info:Orion (2011), Kindle Edition, 305 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

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The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz (Author)

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English (84)  Dutch (2)  German (1)  Spanish (1)  Piratical (1)  All languages (89)
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A fine art dealer comes begging for Sherlock’s help, as he has been menaced by a strange man; a wanted man that has followed him all the way from America. Art dealer named Edmund Carstairs then finds his home robbed, family threatened and then his client murdered. Unwillingly Holmes and Watson find themselves in a conspiracy connecting London to the Boston underground by an opium den known as the House of Silk.

For the first time in One hundred and twenty five years the Arthur Conan Doyle Estate have officially authorised a Sherlock Holmes novel. Anthony Horowitz’s novel tries to capture the style and feel of the original Sherlock novels but I never really felt that he got Arthur Conan Doyle’s style right. It felt stripped back and less complex than the Sherlock novels I’ve actually read and then there is a slight modernisation to the writing that can be very difficult to hide.

Watson is back as the unreliable narrator documenting their adventures, while the mystery and conspiracy in House of Silk are well plotted and play out rather well. I tend to think this is more of a Robert Downey Jnr’s style Sherlock Holmes rather than the Conan Doyle one. Diehard fans will probably enjoy another adventure but I can’t help but wonder if this book would be better played out with some original characters.

House of Silk came off rather dull in parts and while I haven’t read many Sherlock novels I can’t help but compare it with the ones I have read and Anthony Horowitz’s attempt was close but never felt the same. Tiny little things like the phrase “the game is afoot” being changed to “the game’s afoot” really helped show the differences.

While I did enjoy House of Silk as a novel, I don’t think there was anything spectacular about it. While this an officially authorised Sherlock novel (debatable, Caleb Carr’s The Italian Secretary and Lyndsay Faye’s Dust and Shadow are both approved by the estate) it is not the same. I think I would rather read a Benedict Cumberbatch style Sherlock novel rather than another attempt at trying to replicate Conan Doyle’s style and plots.

This review originally appeared on my blog; http://literary-exploration.com/2013/03/03/book-review-house-of-silk/ ( )
  knowledge_lost | Mar 16, 2015 |
I haven't read any of the classic Sherlock Holmes stories, but because this one was contemprorary I felt like it would interest me in the way I felt the classic stories wouldn't.

Horowitz draws you in from the start, and you get absorbed in the story fairly quickly. I haven't read any of the classic stories, and this really didn't impact on my enjoyment of the story overall. I did feel it was abit to drawn out in some places, and wasn't as fast paced as I expected but nonetheless, I found it thoroughly enjoyable.

The case was interesting and complex, and I wasn't disappointed at all in terms of the quality of the story I was expecting. All in all a very good book. ( )
  KittyBimble | Feb 12, 2015 |
This was a satisfying read, and stylistically spot-on. It didn't thrill me like the original stories have done but it was entertaining nonetheless. ( )
  cygnoir | Feb 3, 2015 |
I have never read any of the original Sherlock Holmes stories, but I am familiar enough with the characters thanks to recent television and movies based on Sherlock Holmes (and his various accomplices and enemies). Despite my unfamiliarity with the original works, I found The House of Silk to be a fast-paced, entertaining and thrilling read. The novel, narrated by Dr. Watson, follows his account of an insidious murder mystery which he assists in solving with Holmes. Like any good mystery, there are many twists and turns and I was left guessing right up to the end of the story. An overall great read for those who don't intend to scrutinize the novel against Doyle's inimitable legacy. ( )
  MelissaLynn | Jan 29, 2015 |
Never having read ACD, I had no expectations or disappointments. Enjoyable read, although text was not 'final' - twittered about 'Somersville' and Charlestown being placed south of Boston. Apparently corrected in final text. ( )
  KymmAC | Jan 22, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 84 (next | show all)
So, all of the elements are there: the data, the data, the data. Nothing of consequence overlooked. And yet can Horowitz, like Holmes, make from these drops of water the possibilities of an Atlantic or a Niagara? Can he astonish us? Can he thrill us? Are there "the rapid deductions, as swift as intuitions, and yet always founded on a logical basis" that we yearn for?

Emphatically, yes. The characters are, as Conan Doyle himself would have them, as close to cliché as good writing allows. Horowitz's Watson cleverly excuses himself right at the start from any complaints about style or content by reminding us of Holmes's oft-stated judgment of the stories: "He accused me more than once of vulgar romanticism, and thought me no better than any Grub Street scribbler." We must take them on their own terms, then: Mr Carstairs, the troubled dealer in fine art, who is being watched by a mysterious stranger in a flat cap with a "livid scar on his right cheek". Carstairs's wife, the mysterious foreign adventuress. Cornelius Stillman, the bumptious American millionaire. The dastardly Boston Irish gang, led by the ruthless O'Donaghue twins. The madwoman in the attic. The creepy reverend who runs a home for boys. The big set-pieces: the train robbery; the escape from prison; the freak show; the high-speed horse-drawn carriage chase.

Dorothy L Sayers understood the rules of the Holmesian game when she remarked that "it must be played as solemnly as a county cricket match at Lord's: the slightest touch of extravagance or burlesque ruins the atmosphere". Horowitz plays a perfectly straight bat. This is a no-shit Sherlock.
 

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Horowitz, AnthonyAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jacobi, Sir DerekNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wardle, DavidCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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12,13,14 ASH
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For my old friend, Jeffrey S. Joseph
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I have often reflected upon the strange series of circumstances that led me to my long association with one of the most singular and remarkable figures of my age. If I were of a philosophical frame of mind I might wonder to what extent any one of us is in control of our own destiny, or if indeed we can ever predict the far-reaching consequences of actions which, at the tie, may seem entirely trivial.
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Haiku summary
The Game is afoot
Baker Street Irregulars
Lead dangerous lives
(amweb)

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0316196991, Hardcover)

For the first time in its one-hundred-and-twenty-five-year history, the Arthur Conan Doyle Estate has authorized a new Sherlock Holmes novel.

Once again, THE GAME'S AFOOT...

London, 1890. 221B Baker St. A fine art dealer named Edmund Carstairs visits Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson to beg for their help. He is being menaced by a strange man in a flat cap - a wanted criminal who seems to have followed him all the way from America. In the days that follow, his home is robbed, his family is threatened. And then the first murder takes place.

Almost unwillingly, Holmes and Watson find themselves being drawn ever deeper into an international conspiracy connected to the teeming criminal underworld of Boston, the gaslit streets of London, opium dens and much, much more. And as they dig, they begin to hear the whispered phrase-the House of Silk-a mysterious entity that connects the highest levels of government to the deepest depths of criminality. Holmes begins to fear that he has uncovered a conspiracy that threatens to tear apart the very fabric of society.

The Arthur Conan Doyle Estate chose the celebrated, #1 New York Times bestselling author Anthony Horowitz to write The House of Silk because of his proven ability to tell a transfixing story and for his passion for all things Holmes. Destined to become an instant classic, The House of Silk brings Sherlock Holmes back with all the nuance, pacing, and almost superhuman powers of analysis and deduction that made him the world's greatest detective, in a case depicting events too shocking, too monstrous to ever appear in print...until now.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:38:50 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

With approval from the estate of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, a best-selling novelist and Sherlock Holmes expert brings the greatest detective in literary history back to life on Baker Street for the first time since 1930.

(summary from another edition)

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