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A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle
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A Study in Scarlet (1887)

by Arthur Conan Doyle

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
4,9082031,368 (3.87)3 / 403
  1. 60
    The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (haraldo)
  2. 30
    The Sign of the Four by Arthur Conan Doyle (haraldo)
  3. 20
    The Valley of Fear by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (haraldo)
  4. 20
    Riders of the Purple Sage by Zane Grey (TineOliver)
    TineOliver: Both books deal with views on Mormonism by outsiders at the beginning of the 20th Century. This recommendation is only for those who are interested in this aspect as the novels cover different genres.
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English (182)  Spanish (7)  French (3)  Swedish (2)  German (2)  Hebrew (1)  Dutch (1)  Italian (1)  Greek (1)  All languages (200)
Showing 1-5 of 182 (next | show all)
I've long felt bad about never having read any of the nine books that make up the Sherlock Holmes canon, so finally I've rectified that... and what an odd little work it is.

The first half of the book is what's important, historically, but it's the least interesting. Conan Doyle doesn't write natural dialogue, and a result the discussions between Watson and Holmes come across more like a treatise on how detective work - in the real world and in novels - is evolving and progressing. While this is all very very interesting, particularly to someone like myself who has read a lot of Christie and Poe etc, it feels like an essay that has been structured in story form, rather than the other way around.

On top of this, I concede that I have a bias against this "one really smart quirky man always outdoes everyone" formula. Holmes started it, but it's returned in the last ten years or so to television, and personally I think it just weakens the narrative when every other character functions only as a sounding board for our god of a leading man. Sherlock is cunningly described by Watson as a seemingly paradoxical man who in fact has rational reasons for all of his education and activities, although even the great detective can't seem to fix his (bipolar?) moods. As their friendship is still embryonic at this stage, Watson can give us no insight into Holmes' life, and Holmes offers none, so he remains a cipher. But I'm treating this as a pilot episode, so that's okay. More immediately fascinating are the elements of contemporary life: street beggars working for Holmes, the necessary advantages and disadvantages that came from being a police officer in the era - thrilling stuff.

The second half is a mixed bag also. Conan Doyle is an admirable prose writer, and his description of the events twenty years prior to the murders is captivating and gripping. On the other hand, it is filled with amazingly anti-Mormon sentiment. I'm no religious sympathiser myself, but I couldn't take it seriously when the narrator assured us that all Mormons kill or destroy anyone who attempts to leave their faith.

An odd little novel, and I've already started the second one, since I'm very eager to see if Conan Doyle can somehow retain his marvelous leading character, whilst furthering his skills in the other required areas.

(Two and a half stars) ( )
  therebelprince | Oct 30, 2018 |
I'm not a fan of Sherlock Holmes. Not enough characterization, too much ego. This was a pleasant surprise compared to the other I read because, being the first of the series, it had much more characterization (albeit not enough for me) and was a bit of fun because Holmes seemed less cardboard character and more real, though ego-driven. Still, it was too short and left the reader wanting an explanation - never to be fulfilled. ( )
  whymaggiemay | Oct 19, 2018 |
The first Sherlock Holmes book (and first I've read) - not bad but for my money, Agatha Christie is better. (Though, it's not really my money as Project Gutenberg has a free kindle edition even if Amazon doesn't seem to have it.) ( )
  TravbudJ | Sep 22, 2018 |
This is the first book I have read by the famed creator of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. A Study in Scarlet is Doyle's first book featuring the infamous Sherlock Holmes. Holmes' character has been portrayed in the movies so much that I feel like I already knew the character. Reading the original text by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is, not surprisingly, better than any other theatrical take I have seen.

A Study in Scarlet is an easy read that could easily be completed in one day. The edition that I own contains illustrations by the famous caricaturist, Gris Grimly. I am not a fan of graphic novels or even illustrations in books because it distract my own imagination of how things should appear. On the other hand, the illustrations are very impressive so if you are into that kind of thing, I would recommend this edition. Holmes' first adventure in detection in A Study in Scarlet reveals to the world the detectives impeccable deductive powers. Holmes meets his sidekick Dr. Watson in Doyle's freshman detective novel, where the two rent an apartment on Baker Street.

It is a widely known fact that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle single handedly revolutionized the science of Forensics and crime scene investigation. There is an in-depth documentary about how Sherlock Holmes' methods were used in Doyle's fiction novels before they were ever used in real life. Knowing this fact makes reading these books much more interesting and entertaining to read. I plan on chronologically reading all the books written by Doyle that feature Sherlock Holmes. ( )
  Scorched_Earth | Sep 11, 2018 |
This is the first book about Sherlock Holmes, and begins with his initial meeting and growing friendship with Dr Watson, who narrates the story. It's set in the latter part of the 19th century, and is in two parts. The first shows Holmes' analytical mind and attention to detail as he explains to Watson how he solves a rather unpleasant crime. Part One ends with the perpetrator being arrested.

Part Two goes back in time, introducing a man and a young girl travelling rough in the United States after the rest of their group perished. They've given up on finding water, when they're discovered by a band heading to Utah. I don't know how accurate the portrayal of Mormon life and culture in the 19th century is, but it makes an excellent story, albeit quite spine-chilling at times.

Ethics and morals are not pointed out, but it gradually becomes clear that there are often two sides to any story, and that the initial clear-cut crime could have quite clear motivations.

Recommended to teens or adults who like historical crime fiction. I read it on my Kindle but it's widely available in other forms, mostly inexpensively or (from Project Gutenberg) free. ( )
  SueinCyprus | Sep 7, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 182 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (233 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Doyle, Arthur Conanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Davidson, FrederickNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Edwards, Owen DudleyEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Glinert, EdEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mesney, PeterNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moffat, StevenIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Page, MichaelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Partridge, DerekNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Perry, AnneIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prebble, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ryding, EllenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sinclair, IainIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Is contained in

The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Illustrated Novels by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

A Study in Scarlet; The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Six Great Sherlock Holmes Stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

A Study in Scarlet; and The Sign of Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The adventures of Sherlock Holmes ; The memoirs of Sherlock Holmes ; The return of Sherlock Holmes ; The hound of the Baskervilles ; A study in scarlet ... the Bruce-Partington plans (Masters Library) by Arthur Conan Doyle

Is retold in

Has the adaptation

Is expanded in

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Has as a study

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In the year 1878 I took my degree of Doctor of Medicine of the University of London, and proceeded to Netley to go through the course prescribed for surgeons in the Army.
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There is no satisfaction in vengeance unless the offender has time to realize who it is that strikes him, and why retribution has come upon him.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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This is the complete original work A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle, and should not be combined with collections, adaptations, abridgements, etc.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0140057072, Paperback)

Arthur Conan Doyle's Study in Scarlet is the first published story involving the legendary Sherlock Holmes, arguably the world's best-known detective, and the first narrative by Holmes's Boswell, the unassuming Dr. Watson, a military surgeon lately returned from the Afghan War. Watson needs a flat-mate and a diversion. Holmes needs a foil. And thus a great literary collaboration begins.

Watson and Holmes move to a now-famous address, 221B Baker Street, where Watson is introduced to Holmes's eccentricities as well as his uncanny ability to deduce information about his fellow beings. Somewhat shaken by Holmes's egotism, Watson is nonetheless dazzled by his seemingly magical ability to provide detailed information about a man glimpsed once under the streetlamp across the road.

Then murder. Facing a deserted house, a twisted corpse with no wounds, a mysterious phrase drawn in blood on the wall, and the buffoons of Scotland Yard--Lestrade and Gregson--Holmes measures, observes, picks up a pinch of this and a pinch of that, and generally baffles his faithful Watson. Later, Holmes explains: "In solving a problem of this sort, the grand thing is to be able to reason backward.... There are few people who, if you told them a result, would be able to evolve from their own inner consciousness what the steps were which led up to that result." Holmes is in that elite group.

Conan Doyle quickly learned that it was Holmes's deductions that were of most interest to his readers. The lengthy flashback, while a convention of popular fiction, simply distracted from readers' real focus. It is when Holmes and Watson gather before the coal fire and Holmes sums up the deductions that led him to the successful apprehension of the criminal that we are most captivated. Subsequent Holmes stories--The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Return of Sherlock Holmes, and The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes--rightly plunge the twosome directly into the middle of a baffling crime, piling mystery upon mystery until Holmes's denouement once more leaves the dazzled Watson murmuring, "You are wonderful, Holmes!" Generations of readers agree. --Barbara Schlieper

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:43 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

In this first of the Sherlock Holmes stories, Holmes and Dr. Watson investigate the murder of an American and his private secretary.

» see all 47 descriptions

Legacy Library: Arthur Conan Doyle

Arthur Conan Doyle has a Legacy Library. Legacy libraries are the personal libraries of famous readers, entered by LibraryThing members from the Legacy Libraries group.

See Arthur Conan Doyle's legacy profile.

See Arthur Conan Doyle's author page.

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Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140439080, 0141034335, 0241952891

Tantor Media

3 editions of this book were published by Tantor Media.

Editions: 1400100836, 1400109418, 1400115132

Urban Romantics

An edition of this book was published by Urban Romantics.

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Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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