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A Study in Scarlet -- first of the four…
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A Study in Scarlet -- first of the four Sherlock Holmes novels (original 1887; edition 2008)

by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
5,0622031,334 (3.88)3 / 409
Member:bonius
Title:A Study in Scarlet -- first of the four Sherlock Holmes novels
Authors:Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Info:B&R Samizdat Express (2008), Kindle Edition
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:manybooks.net, kindle, Sherlock Holmes

Work details

A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle (1887)

  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 (185)  Spanish (7)  French (3)  Swedish (2)  German (2)  Hebrew (1)  Dutch (1)  Italian (1)  Greek (1)  All languages (203)
Showing 1-5 of 185 (next | show all)
My first ever Holmes. Wonderfully there is much of the modern understanding of Sherlock Holmes clearly laid out on the page. He is perhaps even more self aware than TV and movie adaptations allow describing his mood swings and eccentricities to Dr. Watson even before they move in together.

There is a remarkable section in the middle where the narrative goes all Fenimore Cooper and we are transported from London to the snowy peaks of Utah. Quite unexpected. This was more fun even than I had expected. Fortunately I have already purchased further volumes. ( )
  asxz | Mar 13, 2019 |
Reading A Study in Scarlet I saw how it became a hit and why my professor didn't assign it along with other Holmes stories when I took British Detective Fiction. Parts of the story's content is unusual and Watson and Holmes was a great pairing from the start, but on the other hand, Holmes is extra douchey in his exposition. And not in a "oh, what a lovable eccentric curmudgeon" kind of way, either.

I also can't get the BBC's Sherlock turnabout on Doyle's more absurd plot elements out of my mind. I can't help thinking about how much more interesting the audiovisual Holmes is in comparison to this stuffy, self-centered drawing-room bore. "Oh yes please, tell me more about the soil composition of East London!"

And then the story shifted to 19th century Mormon country. Thankfully Doyle writes of the establishment of Utah as the Mormon promised land as if it were the establishment of some authoritarian Soviet Bloc nation. Objectionable as some may find this it makes an otherwise complete waste of time interesting. Thankfully mystery writers would work on making the motive behind a crime at least as interesting as the crime itself.

I'm teetering on this one. Aside from the significance of Scarlet being the first Holmes adventure there isn't much to recommend it, but I can't consider it a total wash as so much better did follow.


The Complete Sherlock Holmes, Vol. 1 ( )
  ManWithAnAgenda | Feb 18, 2019 |
Ok, so I liked this book, but I forgot how weird the middle part is. ( )
  tntbeckyford | Feb 16, 2019 |
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 |
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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 Celebrated Cases of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

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Has the adaptation

Is expanded in

Is parodied 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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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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 47 descriptions

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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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