18 December 2006

FEATURED BOOK: The Hound of the Baskervilles



What I say:
This crime-fiction classic by legend author Arthur Conan Doyle caught my eye at the library the other day so I picked it up. It is classic Sherlock Holmes style - highly rational, impeccably neat and tightly executed. It is certainly not edge-of-your-seat stuff but it's a great read.

Part of its appeal (for me) is also due to its highly formal use of English and the insight the reader gains into 19th century England - I find it fascinating!

The crime itself isn't earth-shattering but the steady waves of excitement and supply of clues and red herrings allow this novel to be read at a leisurely pace without losing momentum.

Definitely worth a read, and plus, the book is quite thin and only 15 chapters long, so it's not overwhelming like some classics! Also, there is an introduction by Christopher Frayling who has edited it and added extensive footnotes which are infinitely valuable when there is an archaic word or turn of phrase.
This book educates you a little even if you don't enjoy it! Score!

What Penguin Classics say:
Perhaps the most popular of all Sherlock Holmes stories, The Hound of the Baskervilles combines the traditional detective tale with elements of horror. When Sir Charles Baskerville is found dead on the wild Devon moorland with the footprints of a giant hound nearby, the blame is placed on a family curse-and it is up to Holmes and Watson to solve the mystery of the legend. Rationalism is pitted against the supernatural and good against evil, as Sherlock Holmes tries to defeat a foe almost his equal.

Introduction and notes by Christopher Fraying.

Check it out!!

Website: www.penguinclassics.com

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