30 March 2011

The Sherlockian

I'm definitely a Sherlock Holmes fan and I've read nearly every Holmes story written by Arthur Conan Doyle.  However, I am in no way remotely on the level of a Baker Street Irregular, that's another kettle of literary fan/scholar entirely, but I was pleased to find an ARC of Graham Moore's debut The Sherlockian in one of our store mailers back in November.  (And then I promptly packed it in a box by accident because I was moving.)

I started reading this to help jump-start a reading slump caused by said move (I'm behind on my Goodreads challenge to read 100 books this year, mostly caused by all my books being in boxes for half of January).  I've read good reviews for The Sherlockian so I was looking forward to reading the book....but I'm disappointed.

The first disappointment was the constant alternating chapters between the modern storyline - Harold and Sarah trying to track down a murderer and a lost Conan Doyle diary - and the Victorian storyline - Conan Doyle and Bram Stoker trying to track down a murderer and/or a bomber.  Every time a story had rising action we cut to the other storyline...annoying.  So the book was relegated to the bathroom counter, reading a chapter at a time during "visits" (you really wanted to know that, didn't you?).  This worked out quite well because I had a designated reason to set the book down after a chapter and it lessened the irritation about having to start reading the other storyline every 10 pages or so.

The second disappointment came from the twin climaxes.  All I can say is: boring.  I didn't feel any sense of excitement or "Ah-ha!" with either set of characters.  For a novel that derives from the excitement of a Holmes story I just didn't feel it.

I may have been expecting too much from The Sherlockian but I can say that designating a book to read on the pot is very helpful as far as reading challenges go.

*Dear FTC, I snagged the advance copy of this book from my employer.

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