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The Sign Of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle
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The Sign Of Four (original 1890; edition 2011)

by Arthur Conan Doyle

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2,500772,428 (3.78)202
Member:vancouverdeb
Title:The Sign Of Four
Authors:Arthur Conan Doyle
Info:Viking UK (2011), Paperback, 144 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:British Literture, Sherlock Holmes, detective, classic

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The Sign of the Four by Arthur Conan Doyle (1890)

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Sherlock Holmes, the world’s first consulting detective, is bored. And when he’s bored he injects himself with one of two types of drugs–cocaine or morphine. His housemate and biographer, Dr Watson, hates to see the genius in such a state so when Mary Morstan turns up at 221B Baker Street with a puzzling case he is relieved. Relieved, and other things. Miss Morstan is rather fetching.

The young woman presents her story, which involves her long-missing father, pearls that began arriving mysteriously a few years ago and, now, a note promising to explain everything if only she meets a stranger that very evening and doesn’t bring any police. She may bring two friends, though. Holmes and Watson will do nicely and they’re certainly up for it.

Off they go and are soon mired in a story involving a locked-room murder and missing treasure and a boat race on the Thames.

And casual racism. Sakes alive, the casual racism. One has to be prepared for it in fiction from 100+ years ago–the Victorians in particular loved some anthropologically-based racism. They started stumbling across new races of people and immediately began ascribing all sorts of negative and offensive characteristics to them. This novel is particularly rife, though.

Story-wise I’d give this one a 4/5. Holmes is doing his typical deductive thing, which is why I like reading the stories and why I assume others do, too. If you’re a completest and want to read all of them then it’s a fine read, though if casual racism puts you off stories, this one is going for gold.

The Sign of Four is the second story featuring Sherlock Holmes. The first was A Study in Scarlet .

[Completely off-topic editorializing: Dang, white people are awful. Just because you own the world doesn’t mean you’re the barometer against what everything else should be measured. Reading it from the point of view of a person writing from the country that had the largest empire on Earth at the time is interesting in terms of getting a sense of ego. It’s a digression, but I kept thinking about it while reading the book so it became part of the experience of the novel for me.] ( )
  vlcraven | Feb 4, 2015 |
Dr. Watson, maybe there are easier ways to pick up women than chasing pygmies and peg-legged people down the Thames. ( )
  CarsonKicklighter | Jan 26, 2015 |
READ IN ENGLISH

The Sign of The Four will be used in the third series of BBC Sherlock as The Sign of Three. I'm quite thrilled that for once I have read the book before they used it, and I will be able to look for everything they used form the book. I can't wait till the third series start!

I liked reading this book as well. The writing style is still quite modern, and reads very easily. The story itself is quite interesting, so it was really a nice read. ( )
  Floratina | Jan 4, 2015 |
I wouldn't recommend this book to other people. The book was very difficult to read, as in it took me an hour to read fifteen pages. Some pieces of the book were interesting, but much of it was dull and not engaging. 3Q2P The cover art is okay and I'd recommend this book to high school students and adults. I chose to read this book because I really like Sherlock Holmes and thought it'd be awesome. BenjaminA
  edspicer | Dec 30, 2014 |
Liked this one much better than the first one. This one had more suspense in it for me. Hopefully I like the next one, the better known [b:The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes|3590|The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (Sherlock Holmes, #3)|Arthur Conan Doyle|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1164045516s/3590.jpg|1222101], more so. ( )
  Anietzerck | Dec 27, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (105 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Doyle, Arthur Conanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ackroyd, PeterIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Del Buono , OresteContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gallone, MariaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Glinert, EdEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Korhonen, JussiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Roden, ChristopherEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
Sherlock Holmes took his bottle from the corner of the mantelpiece, and his hypodermic syringe from its neat morocco case.
Quotations
"What is it today," I asked, "morphine or cocaine?"
"No, no: I never guess. It is a shocking habit - destructive to the logical faculty."
"While the individual man is an insoluble puzzle, in the aggregate he becomes a mathematical certainty. You can, for example, never foretell what any one man will do, but you can say with precision what an average number will be up to. Individuals vary, but percentages remain constant."
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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This is the main work for The Sign of Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It should not be combined with any adaptation, abridgement, larger work, etc.
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Haiku summary
"A locked-room murder,
Priceless treasure? Business as
Usual, Watson!"
(passion4reading)

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140439072, Paperback)

Yellow fog is swirling through the streets of London, and Sherlock Holmes himself is sitting in a cocaine-induced haze until the arrival of a distressed and beautiful young lady forces the great detective into action. Each year following the strange disappearance of her father, Miss Morstan has received a present of a rare and lustrous pearl. Now, on the day she is summoned to meet her anonymous benefactor, she consults Holmes and Watson.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:45:58 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

A beautiful young woman seeks the help of Holmes and Watson when the mysterious benefactor who has been sending her a pearl each year since her father disappeared wants to meet her. Involved are a priceless hoard of Indian treasure and a murderer. whose trademark is "the sing of four.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 20 descriptions

Legacy Library: Arthur Conan Doyle

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Audible.com

20 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140439072, 0141034378, 0241952964

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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