A Sherlock Holmes Summer…

So.. one of my reading challenges for 2011 was to read the complete Sherlock Holmes novels by Arthur Conan Doyle.  I had seen the 2009 film with Robert Downey Jr. and I heard that a new film was being made, so I really wanted to read the novels to see how well the films adapt the texts.. I also thought it was an unforgivable gap in my knowledge of Victorian literature not to have read ANY of the Holmes stories(!)

I am currently making my way through these beauties.. (and I have to say I am loving!! every minute of the journey..)

1. A Study in Scarlet                                         5. The Hound of the Baskervilles

2. The Sign of Four                                            6. The Return of Sherlock Holmes

3. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes    7. The Valley of Fear

4. The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes         8. His Last Bow and The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes

I (think!) that is the entire works and I’m currently only on the third book, but I am hugely enjoying them so far. I was worried that perhaps the stories would get a little repetitive after a while, especially reading them in close succession.. but on the contrary I find that each new story is unique and clever.. and Holmes gets even more intriguing. The stories are snappy and don’t drag, and each one leaves me rushing ahead to read the next!

I can’t say how well Downey Jr captures Holmes yet, as it has been a while since I have seen the film.. my feel is it wasn’t that accurate.. A re-watch may be in order.. but dare I say it.. I don’t want to spoil the characters I am enjoying so much in the novels by watching any terrible adaptations. Holmes is so clever… and elusive… and arrogant… and charming…and so many other random things that much make the character hugely difficult to bring across in an adaptation. The recent modernisation with Benedict Cumberbatch has also been reccomended to me- what do others think? Which adaptations of these stories capture Holmes the best? Which portray the relationship between Holmes and Watson? Jeremy Brett seems to be the favourite from what I have heard.. but then Rupert Everett seems such a good choice too? I really think I may need to get some of these versions once I am done with the novels!

Anyway.. so I am only on book 3 of 8.. lots more to get through.. I think I am becoming a fan though! 🙂