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review 2016-09-29 12:00
Short Review: The Adventure of the Speckled Band
The Adventure of the Speckled Band - Annotated Version (Focus on Sherlock Holmes) - Sidney Paget,George Cavendish, Arthur Conan Doyle

The Adventure of the Speckled Band

by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Short #8 from The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
-- Book 3 of Sherlock Holmes
*Audio Part from The Complete Sherlock Holmes | Narrated by Simon Vance


Said to Dr. Watson:

I shall be very much obliged if you would slip your revolver into your pocket.  An Eley's No. 2 is an excellent argument with gentlemen who can twist steel pikes into knots.  That and a tooth-brush are, I think, all that we need.

They sure do travel light.

The Adventure of the Speckled Band is a very short mystery involving the unexplained death of a woman, and her mysterious parting words to her twin sister:

‘Oh, my God!  Helen!  It was the band!  The speckled band!’

And so Helen Stoner consults with Sherlock Holmes to investigate the reason behind her twin sister, Julia's death--a tragic event that happened right before the victim's wedding.

As far as mysteries go, this one wasn't all that difficult to ascertain the main culprit.  In fact, I'm of the impression that there hadn't even been any conscious effort to keep readers in the dark about who killed Julia Stoner.  I figure that the 'how she was killed' was the true mystery.

Nonetheless, this is a short and enjoyable story, written charmingly, and again show-casing the arrogant cleverness of Sherlock Holmes.

On a side note: This is the second Sherlock story I've read--actually I listened to The Complete Sherlock Holmes audio book narrated by Simon Vance.  A rather nice way to pass the time when you have multitasking to do and want to listen to a short story.

But that's a moot point.


2016 Reading Challenges:
Goodreads Reading Challenge
BookLikes Reading Challenge
Mount TBR Challenge
2016 Halloween Bingo




Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2016/09/short-review-adventure-of-speckled-band.html
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text SPOILER ALERT! 2015-09-04 14:18
Reading progress update: I've read 261 out of 360 pages.
Arthur & George - Julian Barnes

Finally reached the last hundred pages! So, what are my thoughts up until now? (I'm literally asking myself this question)


Well, the first thing that comes to mind: the pages are too damn looooooong. I know, that's a really shallow complaint to have ... but I hate it when I feel like I'm not progressing through the book at all. It takes me like an hour to read even 20 pages O_O - and that's because my edition has only 360 pages in total, whereas other editions have over 500 ... *grumbles*

Other than that though, I still think the book is brilliant. I've read comments by other people, arguing that it's a bit wordy and that it takes too long for Arthur and George to meet up, but I disagree - I think the pacing is just right and it's a joy to slowly discover how these two people's lives are going to cross. Plus, everything that happens in the meantime is really exciting - including the institutional racism and the trial against George. And now that Sir Arthur has taken up the investigation for George's sake, my eyes are basically glued to every page.


One thing I will say though is that you need your full concentration while reading in order to enjoy this book. This is a novel that's obviously meant to make you think - about racism, justice, religion, belief, public image, love and one's (chosen and dictated) purpose in life. To sum up: heavy, thought-provoking stuff wrapped in a fascinating crime story in post-Victorian England.

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text 2015-08-18 12:22
Reading progress update: I've read 83 out of 360 pages.
Arthur & George - Julian Barnes

I really like this book so far, mostly because the characters are fascinating! It's told from two alternating points of view: from "Arthur's" and "George's". As becomes clear pretty quickly, the "Arthur" in this story is actually Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and as a Sherlock Holmes fan it's incredibly interesting to read about the author's life and his relationship to his most famous creation (which wasn't a great one, famously).


What's truly incredible is that even with such a well-known titular partner, the "George" in this book is really quite equally interesting - I really enjoy his unique perspective on the world. It's very British, in a way xD. He's really quite proper and ordered in his appearance and dealings - and he's in love with the law ;). But he manages to be quite charming and endearing at the same time - just a sweetheart really.


To sum up: I love it so far!

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text 2014-07-21 06:41
The Dechronization of Sam Magruder
The Dechronization of Sam Magruder - Arthur C. Clarke,Stephen Jay Gould,George Gaylord Simpson,Joan Simpson Burns

Quite a read! Not so notable for its 1960s-era dinosaurs, or its clunky science fiction with jabs at academic culture, and unevenly paced, but somehow fascinating.... the heart and soul of it is (as the the first chapter insists) the emotional situation of Sam McGruder stranded in the past with no chance to ever see another human again; how does he think in these lonely circumstances and what keeps him struggling to stay alive? The afterwords pointed out the emotional resonance with Simpson's own feelings of isolation and concerns that his life and work would be forgotten. But also a chance for him to lay out thoughts about the meaning of evolution, human destiny, and what is the ultimate dignity of life -- it's strongly reminiscent of Camus's Myth of Sisyphus. Although I'll keep the latter on my bookshelf and not this minor novel, it's still moving and well worth at least one read.

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review 2014-04-16 13:55
Review - The Dechronization of Sam Macgruder by George Gaylord Simpson
The Dechronization of Sam Magruder - Arthur C. Clarke,Stephen Jay Gould,George Gaylord Simpson,Joan Simpson Burns

This is such a great little story! The bright pink cover is at odds with the storyline but don't let that put you off, I actually quite like the colour...it's 'quirky'. A very quick read and therein lies it's only flaw....it ended too soon. I hung on every word and would have liked to see many, many more of them.

The book was only ever intended as an amusement for the author, but by chance was it found after his death and published, and lucky for us that it was.

Short synopsis would be that an academic (Sam McGruder) from the far future (the year 2162), travels back in time to a place in prehistory where dinosaurs roamed, with no chance of ever getting back. Now, it's not JUST the story that hooks the reader, it's all the thought provoking ideas that the story presents too. What would I do? How would I cope? Would I cope?!

I wanted it to go on and on and on......

It's very short so any details I give are likely to be spoilers but it's a great book and one not to be missed. From the moment you pick it up it will draw you in. Even if it's not your usual type of reading material, it's still worth the read.

Remember....don't let the pink cover put you off!

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