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My Dearest Holmes by Rohase Piercy

My Dearest Holmes

by Rohase Piercy

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Showing 5 of 5
I said to Paul, "This is the best book written in the history of literature," and I meant every word of it. Every sentence is incredibly satisfying, if you love angst. And my god do I love angst ( )
  Joanna.Oyzon | Apr 17, 2018 |
My Dearest Holmes contains two stories, with the conceit that they're both stories Watson set aside as being impossible to publish given the social circumstances of his day, and that he left them to be published years after his death, when it couldn't possibly affect him or his associates. The first deals with Watson's apparently unrequited love for Holmes, and provides background to his swift marriage to Mary, an arrangement of mutual benefit that allows both Watson and Mary to disguise their true preferences. The second deals with Sherlock's 'death', in the case involving Moriarty, and Watson's grief afterwards, and the true circumstances of their eventual reunion.

I had a lump in my throat for most of the book. It's well-written, in the style of the original Sherlock Holmes stories, and yet filled with feeling -- the focus is not on the mysteries, but on the characters and their feelings. It is very, very moving, even heartbreaking in the latter half, and fits in well to what I know of the canon, too. I enjoyed it very much. ( )
  shanaqui | Apr 28, 2013 |
An early and devoted effort at Holmes/Watson slash fiction. In the 80s nobody put this kind of stuff online. Now that they do, this effort does not measure up so well. It got an extra star for breaking new ground of its kind.

The strongest aspect of the book is that it explains Holmes' strange decision to take a holiday on the continent at the start of the Final Problem. The plot of that tale is ridiculous; it makes much more sense if Holmes' purpose in taking the trip is to protect Watson from the English law rather than just avoid Moriarity's roughs. ( )
  themulhern | May 26, 2012 |
First of all you have to consider that this novel was released in 1988, so well ahead of the movie on Sherlock Holmes and James Watson that so openly suggested that the relationship between the two had a sexual undercurrent. Actually I have two thoughts in mind upon finishing this book: one is that both movie than book have to be very accurate to the original characters since they share so much in common that only having the same origins can explain that, or second hypothesis is that maybe the screenwriters were aware of the existence of My Dearest Holmes and instilled some of their characteristics into the movie characters.

The novel is told from Watson’s point of view and is the account of two of their adventures; in the first one Holmes and Watson are living together and when investigating in a case Watson has the chance to meet with a lady who shares with him some “particular” interests; the lady’s assumption is that Holmes and Watson are a couple in life as they are in career, but Watson will confess that his is an unrequited love, and that Holmes is unaware of Watson’s preferences. As the lady suggests, maybe Holmes is not aware of Watson’s love, but for sure he is dependent from Watson to an emotional level that is even deeper than a simply love relationship. I didn’t feel in Holmes a struggle to admit homosexual feelings, but more a fear of opening himself to the danger of love, whatever the companion is a man or a woman. Holmes has also an addiction to cocaine, addiction that he uses as a shield whenever he wants to rule out something or someone, even Watson, from his mind.

In the second story, Watson is married and has left Holmes; I found this attitude of Watson a little cowardly, like he hadn’t fought enough for his love for Holmes. True, his marriage is only by name, and his own wife has a female lover, but nevertheless he abandoned Holmes without giving the man the chance to make a decision. Between the two, I found Holmes to be the more coherent, and yes, also the more courageous; he maybe is not able to express his feelings if not dragged to the point of no return, but at least he is not betraying his heart.

My Dearest Holmes is a romance that is not a romance; there will be no a sexual realization of the romance, and in this situation, if nothing change, it’s likely that Watson will search that sexual satisfaction outside their bond, but nevertheless the bond is there and it’s strong. At the end Holmes and Watson will be a “couple” in everything if not in the “mechanical” demonstration of that bond.

Even if along with the relationship, this is also the account of two “cases” of Holmes and Watson, the mystery plot is nice but not as important as the romance, so yes, I would definitely classify this one as a romance and a good one for that.

  elisa.rolle | Nov 27, 2011 |
This is a Sherlock Holmes pastiche that offers one new mystery and a reworking of The Final Problem/The Empty House, both suggesting the idea of romantic tension between Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson.

I don't know why I'm bothering to review this; that one-sentence summary is probably enough to decide the issue one way or the other for the majority of people. Still, for everyone else, I have to say that while this was by far not the worst Sherlock Holmes pastiche I've ever read - that would take some doing - it doesn't have a great deal to recommend it beyond the sexuality angle, either. It was basically Brokeback Mountain with detectives instead of cowboys. Please don't think I'm making a thoughtless generalization that gay = Brokeback, either - I mean that this seriously resembled Brokeback in all its angst-ridden, love/hate, I-wish-I-could-quit-you glory (although since it touches on The Empty House as well as on The Final Problem, it's not quite so depressing as Brokeback is). I didn't much care for the characterization, which isn't an uncommon complaint for me with pastiches, but given that the mystery is secondary to the character interaction here, it was more of a problem than usual (in particular, they kept harping on Watson's indiscretion with regard to his sexuality, which just irritated me given that in the official stories, Holmes is always quick to vouch for Watson's discretion when speaking to his clients. Also, Mycroft fans may not want to read this; he's vilified terribly). My other major complaint was how very, very prevalent the gay themes were. It's not that I didn't want them to be important, of course, given the premise of the story, but every single event was somehow tied to sexuality; every character was either gay or giving someone a hard time for being gay, and by the time the innkeeper at the Englischer Hof started hitting on Watson, it was getting ridiculous. As for the mysteries, the first was fairly par for the course, and the second managed to present enough new material that it wasn't too repetitive despite being a reworking rather than a new story, although it did occasionally lift a bit too much from the original. The ending helped in resolving a few things, and I was much more kindly inclined toward the book after the last chapter or so.

This all sounds very harsh, but I'm always quite hard on Sherlock Holmes pastiches (and yet I read an inordinate amount of them. My bookshelves display my masochistic tendencies admirably). For most people, I would imagine that the book isn't actually that bad, particularly if you like a good dollop of angst with your romance. I'd say it's more something to borrow than to buy, though, unless you enjoy collecting unusual books. Personally, I'm thinking I'll leave it out on my coffee table for unsuspecting visitors to flip through. ( )
2 vote Redon | Mar 16, 2008 |
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