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A Study in Scarlet (1887)

by Arthur Conan Doyle

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
7,5133011,156 (3.87)3 / 460
A tired and battle scarred surgeon returns to London after being wounded in the third Afghan war. After his money starts to run low, a chance encounter leads him to take a flat with an eccentric man at 221B Baker Street. Thus begins the famous crime-solving partnership of the Holmes and Watson duo.
  1. 70
    The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle (hpfilho)
  2. 40
    The Sign of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle (hpfilho, TheEclecticBookworm)
  3. 30
    The Valley of Fear by Arthur Conan Doyle (hpfilho)
  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.
  5. 00
    A Study in Emerald {short story} by Neil Gaiman (mysimas)
  6. 01
    Slippery Creatures by KJ Charles (mysimas)
    mysimas: Vaguely Holmes/Watson dynamics but gay and somewhat more action-y. Also has bookshops instead of mormons

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English (276)  Spanish (10)  French (4)  Italian (3)  German (2)  Swedish (2)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Greek (1)  Dutch (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (301)
Showing 1-5 of 276 (next | show all)
Gets me every time! ( )
  atrillox | Nov 27, 2023 |
A very familiar story, of course, but exciting and interesting for all that. Very enjoyable to read the prose. ( )
  CraigGoodwin | Nov 27, 2023 |
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 24, 2023 |
In part one, I was engrossed by the initial meeting of Holmes and Watson, followed by the mystery that ensued. Part two of the story, explained the prior circumstances leading up to the mystery and crime. It seemed like it belonged in a different book and I really didn't like it that much, with the exception of the very last chapter. I'll still continue to try reading different stories by Arthur Conan Doyle, although I might just listen to the BBC dramatized adaptations. They are well done and entertaining. ( )
  Ann_R | Oct 20, 2023 |
Like a lot of people nowadays, I imagine, I started this book because of the brilliant BBC adaptation starring Brolerdang Commernitch. I must say, while I enjoyed the story and all the inside jokes of the tv show which opened up for me, it was still a bit underwhelming. I don't want to say the tv show is better, but it kind of is. The plot felt just a bit easier and more predictable (which has nothing to do with already knowing what will happen). ( )
  bramboomen | Oct 18, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 276 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (174 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Doyle, Arthur Conanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Davidson, FrederickNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Del Buono , OresteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Edwards, Owen DudleyEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Evan GallagherTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Friston, D.H.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fry, StephenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Glinert, EdEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Greig, JamesIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grinham, G.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hutchinson, GeorgeIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McBain, EdIntroductionsecondary 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

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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 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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Wikipedia in English (2)

A tired and battle scarred surgeon returns to London after being wounded in the third Afghan war. After his money starts to run low, a chance encounter leads him to take a flat with an eccentric man at 221B Baker Street. Thus begins the famous crime-solving partnership of the Holmes and Watson duo.

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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.

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See Arthur Conan Doyle's author page.

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Average: (3.87)
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1.5 4
2 91
2.5 29
3 599
3.5 163
4 1068
4.5 72
5 586

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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