Rainer Maria Rilke

"Live a while in these books, learn from them what seems to you worth learning, but above all love them. This love will be repaid you a thousand and a thousand times, and however your life may turn,-it will, I am certain of it, run through the fabric of your growth as one of the most important threads among all the threads of your experiences, disappointments, and joys."--Rainer Maia Rilke

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Best of the Bunch

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Classic Mystery

My favorite of all the Sherlock Holmes stories!  Also, one of the longest but those two things might be connected. 

Is there any setting more creepy, more perfect, more mysterious than those English moors?  And, even better is a ghost tale of a haunted hound from hell!   Combine Sherlock Holmes with an unnaturally large wild canine with glowing red eyes and you have the perfect mystery.

When Lord Baskerville is found dead and the only clue is a large set of dog prints. Holmes is consulted so that a similar fate doesn't await the new heir of Baskerville Hall.  Unfortunately, Holmes is on a prior case and cannot go with Watson to the moors. Watson has to be the eyes of the story and relays information through letters and posts.  Holmes is only in the story briefly at the beginning and end--so how is he still the main character????  Only a master could pull that off.

This is classic Holmes at his very best--secretive, ill-tempered, rude-and genius!  The ending was a complete surprise--a real shocker.  I had the same clues as Watson so why couldn't I solve it?  I ask myself that time and again with Holmes's stories.  Alas, I will never be a detective but with writing this good, it feels like I'm on the case anyway!

Jolly good show!

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