Comments: 12
Murder by Death 2 months ago
I think Fry's narration goes a long way towards bringing the love sick puppy out in the text; I've read this one at least three times as well, but since I'm not a romantic, I never noticed just *how* besotted Watson was. When I listened to Fry's characterisation, it was impossible to miss. In fact, he almost did the job too well, as I think I might have yelled at the car radio a couple of times for Watson to stop acting like an idiot (this would be when he was moaning over how he'd never be able to be with her if she were rich). :)
BrokenTune 2 months ago
It was the mention of large doses of strychnine that brought it home to me this time. I don't know, maybe because I was primed to it still thinking about A is for Arsenic.
But, oh yes, he was such an idiot! No wonder Holmes took to the mick of him.
Murder by Death 2 months ago
The strychnine line made me laugh; the first time I read it, it was so unexpected it caught be by surprise, making it seem funnier than it would have in another book. :)
Linda Hilton 2 months ago
As a romance reader and writer, I thought Watson was .. . dopey. And thoroughly unbelievable.
Murder by Death 2 months ago
I've always found Watson tolerable in a kindly uncle kind of way. His purpose in the series is to be naive, unimaginative, stalwart, and faithful. Watson's naiveté and lack of imagination are the lens through which Holmes' genius is magnified. The side effect of which (for me) is that he often gets on my nerves, lol.

But yeah, it's probably a good bet this book is an example of why Doyle didn't write romances. :D
Linda Hilton 2 months ago
Yeah, no kidding!

I'd have to go back and read the beginning of the series, but the whole Holmes& Watson thing never seemed to make sense to me. Mycroft & Cyrus Douglas made sense.

But they're still fun.
Murder by Death 2 months ago
I really enjoyed Mycroft and Cyrus, but as I said, I had to forget that he was talking about Mycroft Holmes, because that *wasn't* Mycroft as Doyle imagined him. Even though Jabbar portrayed a younger Mycroft, he was still way too far off in fundamental personality traits to make it anything like a reasonably believable portrayal of Doyle's creation. Once I set that aside though, the book was incredibly compelling and entertaining.
Linda Hilton 2 months ago
I agree. I hadn't read any ACD for decades but remembered Mycroft as, well, stodgy. And middle-aged. That memory may have been faulty, however, so I set it aside. When I had finished, I could allow for Mycroft to age from 23 to, say, 45 or whatever he would have been, and become the Mycroft of ACD.

What I couldn't do, after reading Mycroft, was reconcile Holmes & Watson. Holmes seemed to mock Watson rather than treat him as a partner, and Watson wasn't even aware of it. BUT -- this was the first ACD I've read in more than 35 years. A reading of more of the series would undoubtedly alter that impression.
Murder by Death 2 months ago
Possibly not - Holmes *does* mock Watson frequently; I'm just wrapping up my fourth reread of the entire collection and what I always find coming to mind as I near the end (The Casebook of SH stories) is 'Watson never learns' - there's almost no progression to Watson's reasoning faculties after all those cases and all those years. You'd think he'd have absorbed *something*, even if just by osmosis. So I sort of get the mocking.

BUT, throughout all the stories there is also a constant and sincere affection for Watson on the part of Holmes. And Watson is so utterly without an ego of his own, I don't know, it somehow makes it much more tolerable, that imbalance between the two. Between them, they are a complete human.
Linda Hilton 2 months ago
That's what makes the whole reading thing interesting: Different points of view. ;-)

I didn't see that affection, at least not in SoF. Not even a spark that would make me think something like friendship might develop. I saw Sherlock as an egotistical jerk who didn't mind trading on Watson's devotion and mocking his infatuation with Mary.

Years ago, we had a speaker at an RWA meeting who described people as falling into one of three main categories: heart, mind, body. All are mixed with at least a little of each, but most have one trait that dominates. She used Star Trek as the perfect illustration: Spock is mind (uses intellect and logic to resolve issues), Bones is heart (uses emotion and empathy to resolve issues), Kirk is body (uses physical means to resolve issues). Interesting conflicts can arise when a character is faced with a situation that their primary trait isn't sufficient to resolve.

I was thinking about that triad after I had finished SoF and felt that there wasn't much room for either Sherlock or Watson to become a whole person with at least some of the other, non-dominant traits. Sherlock employed some physical means to solve issues, but he didn't seem to have much heart, much empathy. Watson also avoided the physical, but he had little intellectual input.

BUT -- all that being said, I'm a reader who reads for character, so that's the kind of thing I'm going to look for in EACH character. Plot, though important, is less of a focus for me. If I can't bond with the characters, all bets are off.
BrokenTune 2 months ago
Different points of view indeed. I love both Holmes and Watson, and I also see the affection that MbD refers to. It is subtle, but it is there.

Saying that, I can see why Holmes does not endear everyone. :)
Murder by Death 2 months ago
No, that affection definitely wasn't present in SoF - but it was their first meeting. As the stories progress it becomes more prevalent, although always, as BT says, subtle. I'm a character reader too, and also like BT, I like both Holmes and Watson, but I unabashedly adore Holmes. Which probably won't surprise, lol. :D But I definitely understand that he is unlikeable, or not easy to like, for a lot of readers.