Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,
Nicholas
nwhyte

January Books 4) The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes

4) The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes, by Arthur Conan Doyle

I have been reading this on my Palm T|X after downloading more or less at random from Project Gutenberg. The last of the four collections of Doyle's stories about the great detective, published in 1927, but mostly set in 1900-1902, "around the time of the Boer War". It's an odd selection, not the best of the Holmes stories; there are several tales turning on freaks of nature (monkey gland injections, a disease almost like leprosy and a killer jellyfish) and several where Holmes doesn't actually solve anything but is more a kind of deliverer of absolution. I was also intrigued by the presence in different stories of no less than three Latin American ladies of fiery temperament. Did Doyle have a particular experience from his own past in mind?

The other thing that struck me was the universal use of the telegram as a method of communication. We've forgotten all about this now, but it combined elements of the fax, the SMS and the email. I wonder if anyone can date precisely when the telegram went out of use?
Tags: bookblog 2006, sherlock holmes, writer: arthur conan doyle
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