Silken, seductive prose indeed for those who wish Holmes and Watson still stalked the streets
I came across this thanks to the excellent and enticing review by a self-confessed Sherlockian – fellow blogger extraordinaire, FictionFan. (here is her review) And it satisfied me as much as she seemed to suggest it would.
It’s very clear that Horovitz himself is a true Doyle devotee, and has not been arrogant, attempting to put his own ‘spin’ on the great works. Indeed, in the very interesting just-for-e-readers Afterword, where he includes an essay, which was based on a talk he gave, he is particularly scathing against those who seek to update or put a twenty-first century viewpoint into the works – the regrettable tendency to sensationalism, generally with sex and drugs, though, to my knowledge, no (as yet) rock-and roll.
Horovitz keeps the faith most beautifully. As he points out in his essay, what is most enduring about ‘Sherlock Holmes’ is the relationship between Holmes and Watson. There have been ‘clever’ (actually stupid) attempts to imply a sexual subtext. Horovitz has none of this, nor does he attempt to give Holmes a female relationship, a revisiting of Irene Adler, but respects Doyle’s description of Holmes’ imperviousness to the feminine. He is strong on atmosphere, and more or less observes that actually the body counts in Holmes, and also the graphic descriptions of violence, are spare. What we have is the deduction itself, the unfolding of narrative, the precision and enjoyment of language.
So, having just returned from the world of fog wreathed London streets, where low crimes are carried out in high places, and where once again the great mind, and his brave-hearted friend and biographer have made the world a better place, it’s time for a re-submergence into Doyle and his stories. Horovitz didn’t make me think ‘something was missing and I need to re-read Doyle’ – it has been more a case of reminding me that I haven’t spent time with an old friend recently, and the only antidote to my disappointment at finishing Horovitz’s Holmes, is to re-read Doyle!
Meanwhile, to annoy my dear fellow blogger and Sherlockian, here is my perfect thespian Holmes, R.I.P Jeremy Brett!