Tuesday, 29 January 2013

A Study In Scarlet - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Title - A Study in Scarlet
Author - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle


Dr. Watson, who has just returned from a war in Afghanistan, meets Sherlock Holmes for the first time when they become flat-mates at the famous 221 B Baker Street. In "A Study in Scarlet" Sherlock Holmes investigates a murder at Lauriston Gardens as Dr. Watson tags along with Holmes while narratively detailing his amazing deductive abilities


I am ashamed to say that while I have quoted Sherlock Holmes more than once, I have never read any of the books. So after stumbling across the brilliant and seriously amazing BBC's Sherlock, I figured it was about time to read the books. 

A study in Scarlet is truly brilliant, it is the exemplary novel for all of us that appreciate a book with a bit more brain than half naked men, not that I would mind looking at Sherlock Holmes half naked as long as he looked like Benedict Cumberbatch.

The story is told by Dr John Watson, a former army medic who had come home after being injured in Afghanistan. Restless and rather worn out after his ordeal in the war, he is introduced to non-other than Sherlock Holmes himself. I could go on and on about Homes’ character since Dr Watson often had an idealistic view Holmes that could only be compared to Nick Caraway’s view of Gatsby in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby but since I neither have the patience or the obsession I will sum him up as a faulty genius. He has a brilliant mind that is almost incomparable except maybe to the likes of Doctor who. His use of ‘’the science of deduction’’ is truly staggering but at the same time he is so aware of the fact that he is a genius therefore he comes out as rather arrogant. Sheldon Cooper anyone?

He is rude, inconsiderate, attempts to be cold and emotionless, and cares not about the dead or the relatives that are left over. He does not solve crime to make the word a better place but rather because it is the only thing that keeps the boredom away. To make things worse, he is ignorant of all subjects that are of no consequence of his chosen profession. There was a particular incident where Watson notes that Holmes does not know that the sun is at the centre of the solar system because as far as he is concerned it is of little consequence to his life. 
"I consider that a man's brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose. A fool takes in all the lumber of every sort that he comes across, so that the knowledge which might be useful to him gets crowded out, or at best is jumbled up with a lot of other things so that he has a difficulty in laying his hands upon it. Now the skillful workman is very careful indeed as to what he takes into his brain-attic. He will have nothing but the tools which may help him in doing his work, but of these he has a large assortment, and all in the most perfect order. It is a mistake to think that that little room has elastic walls and can distend to any extent. Depend upon it there comes a time when for every addition of knowledge you forget something that you knew before. It is of the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out the useful ones."
I find this passage amazingly enlightening and surprising. Surprising because this statement is steeped in arrogance and ignorance and to quote a brilliant writer Steven Mofatt ''Sherlock is a man aspiring to be a god'', yet I am surprised that I still find Holmes a model thinker. 

In part one of the books, Sherlock drifts through the book with ease and revealing secrets about the scene that seemed rather farfetched but with a deduction path that was not only reasonable but also nothing short of absofuckinglutely amazing.

While the first story was very good, it becomes even more so when part two provides such a large part of the puzzle which paints an overall picture. I will not elaborate as to how since I think this book deserves to be read by everyone however I will say that this book combines the brilliant mind of Holmes, Mormonism, conspiracy and revenge for a lost love.

Overall I will give this book 5 out of 5 stars because my conscience would not stand anything lower. 

Product Detail
Paperback: 72 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Language: English


  1. Ooh, I have to add this to my list! I'm new to loving mysteries and you make this sound so good.

  2. This is book is amazing, I totally think you should read and go watch Sherlock as well since it completely modernizes the book but without losing the wonder and mystery but with more humor.

  3. I am such a fan girl when it comes to Sherlock.