The Sherlock Holmes Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained

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The Sherlock Holmes Book, the latest in DK's award-winning Big Ideas Simply Explained series, tackles the most "elementary" of subjects--the world of Sherlock Holmes, as told by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

The Sherlock Holmes Book is packed with witty illustrations, clear graphics, and memorable quotes that make it the perfect Sherlock Holmes guide, covering every case of the world's greatest detective, from A Study in Scarlet to The Adventure of Shoscombe Old Place, placing the sorties in a wider context. Stories include at-a-glance flowcharts that show how Holmes reaches his conclusions through deductive reasoning, and character guides provide handy reference for readers and an invaluable resource for fans of the Sherlock Holmes films and TV series.

The Sherlock Holmes Book holds a magnifying glass to the world of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's legendary detective.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Penguin
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Published on
Oct 20, 2015
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Pages
352
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ISBN
9781465449979
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Language
English
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Genres
Literary Criticism / European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
Literary Criticism / Modern / 19th Century
Literary Criticism / Mystery & Detective
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Sherlock Holmes was still an undergraduate when Squire Trevor pointed out the direction of his future life's work, telling him that "all the detectives of fact and of fancy would be children in your hands." His prediction was right on the mark: so it was then, and so it remains more than a century later.

Never mind that Trevor's name wasn't really Trevor, or that Holmes hid the name of his university. Or perhaps you do mind, as so many have before you. It was such a like-minded group of people who got together in 1934 to found the world's first Sherlockian organization, The Baker Street Irregulars. With the end of the Second World War came the opportunity to found a means of publishing their studies in Sherlock Holmes and the Sherlockian world, The Baker Street Journal.

Long the first place the inquirer should look for answers to Sherlockian puzzles or the posing of new ones, The Baker Street Journal still flourishes, both as a journal of record of Sherlockian activities in America and throughout the world, and as the premier publication devoted to "the writings about the Writings" and to keeping green the memory of the world's first consulting detective.

The practitioners of the game have at their best offered learned works that they have written with their tongues planted firmly in their cheeks. Their tone has ranged from mock-heroic through the archly chiding to the playful, in prose and verse or in combinations of the two.

Sherlock Holmes by Gas-Lamp is the first time that the best of these writings has been gathered in one place.

Some of the prominent players of the game have included such luminaries in various walks of life as Christopher Morley, Franklin D. Roosevelt, T. S. Eliot, Vincent Starrett, Elmer Davis, Harry S. Truman, Franklin P. Adams, and Ellery Queen.

The Secret Marriage of Sherlock Holmes is about reading, a process that we take for granted. But Sherlock Holmes, the cultural icon to whose exploits Michael Atkinson gives new readings, became famous by taking nothing for granted. Holmes's adventures can be read in new ways, including ways that he himself would have found startling, but which can give contemporary readers satisfaction. In clear, accessible prose that will engage specialists and lay readers alike, Atkinson engages in "a series of flirtations" with nine of Arthur Conan Doyle's favorite detective fictions, using the tools of modern literary theory, from depth psychology to deconstruction. Bluebeard, the kundalini serpent, and Conan Doyle's mother pop up alongside Jung, Nietzsche, and Derrida as guides to new understandings of these classic stories. Just as Holmes uses treatises on tobacco ash and tattoos to give fresh readings to puzzling facts, Atkinson employs widely different critical strategies to unravel the mysteries of reading itself.
"What a delightful book! This is surely the most interesting writing you will ever read about Sherlock Holmes, but it is much more. Michael Atkinson gives us literary criticism at its best: the sheer fun of watching a bold and imaginative reader breathe into well-loved, but well-worn, fictions new and enchanting life. Atkinson's mind races as nimbly as Holmes's own, and he makes the stories our hansom cab through human nature itself. A tour de force!" ---Norman N. Holland, author of Murder in a Dephi Seminar
"A book that speaks directly to readers. . . Atkinson sees far beneath the surface of the Sherlock stories to provide fascinating commentary." ---Cincinnati Post
"Atkinson demonstrates a love and knowledge of the Holmes stories. . . I would recommend The Secret Marriage of Sherlock Holmes enthusiastically to any lover of the Canon who is prepared to have their perceptions widened." ---Mystery Writers of America
Michael Atkinson is Professor of English and Comparative Literature, University of Cincinnati.
When he created the character Dave Robicheaux, author James Lee Burke lent the New Orleans homicide detective a few of his own characteristics: a daughter named Alafair, a lifetime struggle with alcohol, his Roman Catholic faith, and his love for fishing and the outdoors. On the other hand, Robicheaux is portrayed as a veteran of the Vietnam war, something Burke never experienced firsthand. Yet the demons Burke has known allow him to write convincingly about demons he never knew. Thus Burke has created a realistic, complex and compelling protagonist for his crime fiction series. That depth is one element that elevates Burke’s writing above the status of genre fiction. This book explores how James Lee Burke, through the first person narrative of detective Dave Robicheaux, probes the world of law and order, crime and disorder, and one man’s internal conflicts with modern moral issues. The first chapter reveals the similarities and differences between real life creator and fictional protagonist. Next, chapters arranged by theme explore the roles of women, Robicheaux’s paternal side as revealed through his adopted daughter, the paternal influences in the detective’s own life, and the contrasting personality of his half-brother, Jimmie. The next chapters probe the roots of the detective’s moral dilemmas: his battle with alcohol, the Vietnam war’s lingering trauma, and religion. Next the author explores Burke’s use of the supernatural, sense of place, and music to deepen his stories. Final chapters delve into Robicheaux’s moral quandaries as a law enforcement officer, the character’s contrast to his reckless and funny partner, Clete, and how Burke reveals truths about life through Robicheaux. An interview with Burke is included.
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