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A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

A Study in Scarlet (1887)

by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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3,3621421,617 (3.84)1 / 292
Title:A Study in Scarlet
Authors:Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Collections:Your library, Owned, eBooks
Tags:eBook, fiction, from Sherlock Holmes Illustrated and Complete

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

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    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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This is the work which introduced the reading public to the phenomenon that is Sherlock Holmes and his trusty sidekick Dr Watson, who narrates the story as he describes his first encounter with the great Holmes, when both were still young men and looking to share living quarters to accommodate restricted budgets. Watson, who has plenty of time on his hands, gladly assists Holmes in this first adventure. Holmes is pompous and very full of himself, but as it turns out, he is also never wrong, even though he comes to immediate conclusions and makes seemingly preposterous statements about details of the crimes and criminals while seemingly going on very little evidence. I had no idea what to expect with this story, and so was nicely surprised that it is made up of two parts. In the first part, there is a mysterious murder of an American man thought to have been poisoned in London. Then the narrative switches to the USA and relates the tale of a man and a little girl dying of thirst and hunger who are the last survivors of a large party of travellers heading out west across the desert in Salt Lake Valley, who are rescued by a party of Mormons, on their way to found Salt Lake City. They rescue John Ferrier and little Lucy on the condition that the pair adopt the Mormon religion, which, according to Doyle's wild imagination took draconian measures to punish those who didn't toe the line. And from there evolves the drama which unfolds years later in London. A really great story, though Holmes himself doesn't really interest me much so far. ( )
  Smiler69 | Jul 1, 2014 |
Brilliant from beginning to end, even the notorious extended flashback to the adventure story set in the American West. The first Sherlock Holmes book introduces Watson, depicts his first meeting with Holmes, and sets them off on a classic puzzle mystery. ( )
  nosajeel | Jun 21, 2014 |
Published in 1887, A Study in Scarlet is the first Sherlock Holmes novel, introducing the famous detective and his sidekick Dr. Watson. The novel derives its name from a statement by Holmes who calls his murder investigation a 'study in scarlet'. It is divided into two parts, the first one introducing the characters and setting the scene and the second one providing background on the motives of the murder of Enoch Drebber and Joseph Stangerson, two Mormons who fled from the United States to England in order to avoid their looming death. Sherlock Holmes is introduced as a consulting detective who helps out Scotland Yard inspectors Gregson and Lestrade in murder investigations.

In the second part of A Study in Scarlet, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle provides a commentary on Mormonism. The reader is informed about how the Latter Day Saints deal with 'Gentiles', that is people with different beliefs from those of Mormonism. When a father does not want to marry his daughter to either Enoch Drebber or Joseph Stangerson, both father and daughter are intimidated by the people in their Mormon community until they finally try to escape their home, their community and even the state of Utah with the help of the daughter's lover, Jefferson Hope. Their flight, however, fails when the father is killed and the daughter taken back into the Mormon community. There she is married to Drebber and dies of a broken heart a month later. That is when Jefferson Hope swears to avenge the deaths of both father and daughter. It is important to mention that Doyle's criticism of Mormonism has to be regarded with respect to the time the novel was written in.

There are several things I liked about A Study in Scarlet. First, there are the rightly famous characters of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson who make a great team of murder investigators and have a lot of witty dialogs. Second, there is Doyle's style of writing which I found amazingly refreshing for a late 19th-century novel. Third, there is the topic of deduction and logic which I think is quite intriguing. While Sherlock Holmes' deductions seem strange at first, Doyle manages to explain them through his narrator John Watson. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle finds a very successful way of passing on knowledge to the reader and thereby influencing and guiding the reading process. On the whole, A Study in Scarlet is a great read which makes me want to read more of the Sherlock Holmes stories. 4 stars. ( )
  OscarWilde87 | May 16, 2014 |
This first story in the Sherlock Holmes original storyline is great. It blew me away. I had no idea it was going to end relating to the Mormon practices of the time! ( )
  superant | May 15, 2014 |
This is the first Sherlock Holmes adventure chronologically. It was worth the price - free on my kindle. :) It was good enough (and since it came as part of a collection) I will go ahead and read the next book, too.
It was entertaining to read the original adventure of how Sherlock and Watson met and how Doyle brought him to life. But, the entire middle section of the book took place in the 1850s in and around Salt Lake City, Utah. Not only was the all the geography the author describes wrong, but the entire portrayal of Mormons was incorrect. I wondered if the author had done any research at all. But, I also have to consider the time period the book was written in and consider the historical conditions. Perhaps some of Doyle's portrayal of Mormons is how they were perceived by outsiders at the time Doyle was writing, but I found the obvious errors distracting to the story line. The entire middle section of the book is back story on the murderer and their motivation for the crime.
So, overall, it was okay and I'm going to give Holmes one more try, but it's nowhere near as good as the BBC Sherlock. ;) ( )
  JenW1 | May 7, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (62 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sir Arthur Conan Doyleprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Davidson, FrederickNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Edwards, Owen DudleyEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Glinert, EdEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McBain, EdIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mesney, PeterNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Page, MichaelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Partridge, DerekNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Perry, AnneIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prebble, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sinclair, IainIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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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.
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 single work A Study in Scarlet and should not be combined with other collections, adaptations, etc.
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Book description
Who killed the two American travellers [book spelling] ... one with a poison pill, the other with a knife to the heart?

Why did the murderer inscribe the German word for "vengeance" in blood? Why did he leave behind a woman's wedding ring?

What was the connection between these two deaths and thd dangerous Socialist societies flourishing on the Continent and in America?

And how did Holmes, in London, unravel a mystery that began in the desert wastes of Utah, spread to the capital cities of Europe and came to a fatal climax in England?
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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:41:35 -0400)

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

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Penguin Australia

Three editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140439080, 0141034335, 0241952891

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