Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Hound of the Baskervilles

This was the first Sherlock Holmes novel I've ever read, even though I have had The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes sitting on my bookshelf since middle school or earlier (I got it with a 2 for $1 deal at Walmart).  I like to read a series in its entirety and in order, and it was frustrating to me to not know which came first and what else there was; but then I realized that I was going to have to let it go and just enjoy what was in front of me (especially if I was going to finish it in time for the book club next week).

This, I believe, was a great introduction to the world of Sherlock Holmes.  We all know of Holmes, through TV, movies, stories, etc.  And really, he lived up to all of my expectations.  I can't really say that his character surprised me in any way, because he's been so well-defined in other media.  Which, in this case, is a good thing.

The Hound of the Baskervilles is the only full-length Holmes novel, and it is definitely an adventure.  From London to the moors of Devonshire, the reader is kept interested by Dr. Watson's account and interest in the neighbors of the haunted and cursed Baskervilles.

Legend has it that Hugo Baskerville was a villainous man, and his evil deeds led to the creation of a very real demon from Hell, which hunted him down and killed him, with the threat/promise of killing the rest of his family for generations to come to atone for his misdeeds.  And it seems that this curse is real, because many years later his descendant, Sir Charles Baskerville, is chased down and killed, the only evidence being a single footprint of a hound near the body.  The last living relative, therefore, must come to live at Baskerville Hall, but not before enlisting the services of the one and only Sherlock Holmes.

Will Holmes solve the mystery in time, or is there really a supernatural demon loose that cannot be stopped until vengeance is had?  I was kept intrigued throughout the creepy and mysterious chapters, but not freaked out enough that I had to sleep with the lights on, which is a good combination for me.  So, if you like a good mystery but don't like being scared silly, I highly recommend you read The Hound of the Baskervilles, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.  4 out of 5 stars.

1 comment:

  1. I read some Doyle in a Gothic literature class, which I loved. And I do enjoy the Sherlock Holmes movies and TV shows. I just haven't gotten around to reading the stories. And I should. My boyfriend's father has the whole collection, and they stand out as his personal favorite reads. I'm glad to hear that you read this and enjoyed it. I'll have to try and pick up some Sherlock Holmes for myself soon.