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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Hound of the Baskervilles

The Hound of the Baskervilles is a Sherlock Holmes novel written by Sir Aurthur Conan Doyle. It is also the only Sherlock Holmes novel I have ever read, but it certainly won't be the last. I found the story to be very entertaining, and I didn't feel too lost in spite of the many unfamiliar words and settings- most of it was easily understood through context clues. This might not be important to some readers, but it means a lot to me. I like to be able to develop a feel for the surroundings of the characters to get into the mood of the book. This can be difficult to do when you have no idea what the heck is going on... For example, I've never been to England. I've never been on the moors, or been in a mire. I have no real idea of what London is like, let alone what it was like over 100 years ago. I'm a housewife who is pushing 30 and lives in Hawaii and who doesn't get out much. Yet, somehow, though Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's writing I was still able to step into the shoes of Dr. Watson so fully that I was able to feel the chill air of the English moors- without turning on the air conditioner!

Long story short:
Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson are an ambiguously gay (you read it your way, I'll read it mine!) pair of detectives living in London. Sherlock Holmes is well known for his master sleuthing skills and generally fashionable appearance, Dr. Watson is well known as being the constant companion and personal assistant and roommate and business partner and lesser skilled detective counterpart of Sherlock Holmes.

One evening, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson were sitting in their home in London being ambiguously gay and studying a walking stick that had been left in their office. Sherlock Holmes asks Watson what he thinks about it, then makes Watson feel stupid for missing some details. (I like to think Watson then ran off flailing his arms and sobbing loudly like Nathan Lane's character in The Birdcage).

Before long the owner of the walking stick, James Mortimer, shows up and and tells Holmes and Watson of the legend of the curse of the Baskerville family. Basically, one guy was an evil psycho and sold his soul to the devil. He kidnapped a girl, she escaped, and when he chased after her a giant black hound from Hell killed him. The legend goes that the hound kills off the Baskervilles one by one after they inherit the estate.

Everyone thinks it's a giant load of bullshit until Mortimer explains that a good friend of his, Charles Baskerville, was found dead from an apparent heart attack and looked as though he had been scared to death.

Holmes and Watson agree to meet the next Baskerville heir, a man named Henry. Upon meeting Henry, they discover that one of his boots has been stolen. Henry also receives an anonymous note warning him to stay away from the moor. Holmes makes some deductions about the note, and agrees to take the case.

Later they all meet at Holmes' and Watson's apartment to discuss some details. As Mortimer and Henry are leaving, Holmes and Watson follow them only to find that Mortimer and Henry are being followed. Holmes and Watson follow the follower, and notice he seems to be wearing a fake beard. They do some sleuthing but are unable to find out who the guy is.

Henry decides he's going to Baskerville estate anyway, Watson is designated to join him while Holmes finishes a case in London. A string of suspicious characters come in and out of the story, some weirdness happens, and Holmes solves the case. And that's all I'm gonna tell you because you should read the book yourself- it's very good!

And now for my moment of thankfulness: I am thankful for the improvement of my friend Lara's condition. She's having to learn how to use her body all over again, but she's a strong woman and I just know she's going to get through this!


  1. This was seriously hilarious. I'ma read me this story.

  2. I don't know. For some reason, I don't remember it quite this way. But it's been a while and I may not have been at skilled at reading ambiguity then.