#HolmesPeerReading ADVENTURES part 3

The next three stories for ADVENTURES provided memorable action sequences that truly showcased Doyle's knack for descriptive prose and predilection towards the most mundanely bizarre. I know I haven't been exactly consistent in my reading lately, let alone posting my thoughts about it, but make no mistake: I'm still willing to see this peer reading through. I only have three more stories to go before I'd be finished with ADVENTURES, and, so far, this collection has a varied range of cases that are riveting, baffling and humorous (sometimes even downright unsettling for a few notable exceptions). Without further ado, here are my thoughts:



This can be readily seen as a Christmas story, given that it was set during the yuletide season. I remember this story well mainly because of the Granada adaptation. It started with Watson and Holmes examining a hat whose owner's identity they were trying to dis…

#HolmesPeerReading: ADVENTURES part 2

Why do people love the Sherlock Holmes stories so much, or at least some adaptation of it or another?
Save the Russian drama (which I've heard was pretty brilliant), I've watched a lot of Holmesian adaptations already; from the silver screen series of Basil Rathbone (not as great as I would have wanted), different interpretations from the canon (ᴛʜᴇ ᴘʀɪᴠᴀᴛᴇ ʟɪғᴇ ᴏғ sʜᴇʀʟᴏᴄᴋ ʜᴏʟᴍᴇs and ᴛʜᴇ sᴇᴠᴇɴ ᴘᴇʀᴄᴇɴᴛ sᴏʟᴜᴛɪᴏɴ are great standalones; ʏᴏᴜɴɢ sʜᴇʀʟᴏᴄᴋ ʜᴏʟᴍᴇs, sʜ ᴀɴᴅ ᴛʜᴇ sɪʟᴠᴇʀ sᴛᴏᴄᴋɪɴɢ and ᴀ ᴄᴀsᴇ ᴏғ ᴇᴠɪʟ are unfortunately average) and down to the more recent Guy Ritchie ones with Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law that surprisingly pack a punch. I also loved the animation ᴛʜᴇ ɢʀᴇᴀᴛ ᴍᴏᴜsᴇ ᴅᴇᴛᴇᴄᴛɪᴠᴇ and definitely thought the cinematography and feature film aspect of ʙʙᴄ sʜᴇʀʟᴏᴄᴋ every season to be astounding and entertaining, although I'm much more inclined to still believe its American cousin ᴇʟᴇᴍᴇɴᴛᴀʀʏ to be the more nuanced series when it comes to character development and overa…

#HolmesPeerReading: ADVENTURES part 1

I've reached the first anthology of the Holmes canon at last! THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES is comprised of twelve short stories or standalone cases. Think crime procedurals in television shows. That genre of serials might as well hail from Doyle's Holmes canon itself. My idea for my next reviews of this book is that I'll divide the stories in groups of three so that I can discuss everything and hopefully make it as succinct as possible. After all, I can't really spoil too many details for each story, seeing as they are shorts and so the content of my reviews should also reflect that brevity. In the interest of furthering my reviews as an insightful reading material about the Holmes canon, I also want to raise a few observations not necessarily in regards of the plot or mystery/case presented, but also on the characterizations or themes made in each piece. Holmes and Watson's respective development as characters, particularly their personal and/or working rel…

#HolmesPeerReading: THE SIGN OF THE FOUR


Airiz and I have been unfortunately slacking off in our Holmes Peer Reading, but she probably has a better excuse than I have, what with the demands of her work and abundant social life. Me I'm always online and writing for Twitter RP, and that's where most of my creativity is focused on. I was really hoping to turn it around this year, however, which was why I've been writing fanfiction again and even started this peer reading for Sherlockian canon, and I'll do myself an injustice if I don't become consistent with these other commitments.
On my end at least, I've accomplished the first two novels of the canon. My previous twitlonger post about A STUDY IN SCARLET indicated that I've always thought that THE SIGN OF (the) FOUR is a better story, and I definitely stand by that although I should clarify that this is an objective comparison with regards as to how Doyle approached the groundwork of SIGN that feels more intact than the one for SCARLET.

#HolmesPeerReading: A STUDY IN SCARLET


Here I am, 120 pages into A STUDY IN SCARLET, and the story has just reached its inevitable conclusion. As a debut story for a fictional character who will go to live on in such a way that his own creator never could have perceived, SCARLET didn't exactly have all the makings that would lead anyone who first read it to believe that Doyle can pen another story starring Holmes and Watson again, but that didn't make it any less engrossing or worth the second read.
Detective work (especially forensic science) has been made to be so fascinating in televised adaptation that I believe the original medium in which it spawned from (the written form) may not be as captivating, considering that the entire thing was set-up in an era lacking the technology of today. But any good detective work is truly a matter of deductive reasoning which Doyle had done his best to capture in his Holmes canon. I've watched the very first CSI show in 2003 just months after I bought my copy of thi…

#HolmesPeerReading: Initial thoughts on SCARLET

❛ Tнεяε'ѕ тнε ѕcαяlεт тняεαd σƒ мυяdεя яυииιиg тняσυgн тнε cσlσυяlεѕѕ ѕкειи σƒ lιƒε, 
αиd συя dυтч ιѕ тσ υияανεl ιт, αиd ιѕσlαтε ιт, αиd εχρσѕε ενεяч ιиcн σƒ ιт. ❜


Reading through the first twenty-five pages for A STUDY IN SCARLET was most certainly very nostalgic. My peer for this endeavor, Airiz, just told me that it was the only Holmes story she had read a while back in high school, so this is more or less a re-read for us both in that aspect.
My impression after coming back to this Holmes story (which was the Great Detective's first appearance ever in the Strand Magazine back in 1887 for their Christmas Annual) was not the same as the one I had before when I read it for the first time at thirteen years old. There was so much wild intrigue and fascination for me back then because I was viewing in the fresh eyes of a budding bibliophile. Doyle was also the first author in classical literature whose work I've had the pleasure to experience, and he had since opened t…

#HolmesPeerReading: INTRODUCTION

❝Lɪᴛᴇʀᴀᴛᴜʀᴇ ɴᴇᴠᴇʀ ᴘʀᴏᴅᴜᴄᴇᴅ ᴀ ғʀɪᴇɴᴅꜱʜɪᴘ ᴍᴏʀᴇ ꜱʏᴍʙɪᴏᴛɪᴄ ɴᴏʀ ᴀ ᴡᴀʀᴍᴇʀ ᴀɴᴅ ᴍᴏʀᴇ ᴛɪᴍᴇʟᴇꜱꜱ ғʀɪᴇɴᴅꜱʜɪᴘ.❞ 

I just finished reading the introduction by Loren D. Estleman entitled ❛ON THE SIGNIFICANCE OF BOSWELLS❜. 
Aside from tackling the contents of the stories provided in the two volumes of this collection that are more or less general summaries about notable titles, the essay also touched upon the role of Dr. John Watson. M.D, who is Holmes' biographer and chronicler of his cases. 
I definitely agreed with the points raised regarding the unfair treatment which Watson had suffered throughout the decades in regards to his portrayal on-screen ever since Nigel Bruce in those series of black and white films from Hollywood starring Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes came out. 
In those movies, he only served as a comic foil, this bumbling fool. They emphasized that he was fat, ignorant and useless. And that never made sense to me at all, given the meaningful contributions his chara…

"It is always the nature of dreams to define reality"

The craft that goes into weaving stories is majorly credited as the most astounding feat of the imagination, but it is also nonetheless laborious and altogether a vexing preoccupation. My own fascination for myths and legends started from an impressionable age which I pursued over the years ever since I discovered that I not only have an insatiable passion to read books but also an inclination to pen tales of my very own.

And this is how Neil Gaiman's enduring series found me at the ripe age of nineteen. In 2009, I was also actively pursuing a scholastic career in writing as soon as I joined the student paper to become a literary writer. The current associate there then (who eventually became one of my best friends) introduced me to Neil Gaiman. He looked up to this author and even had a chance to interview the man himself and write a feature article for our magazine.

Suffice to say, The Sandman shaped a lot about how I began to view the art of making myths and storytelling ever s…

"When you allow darkness to blanket your being..."

The root of all horror is fear, but people frequently mistake fear as an easy experience; it's that obvious crescendo in the scoring during a movie when you know some weird shit it about to go down. Horror then is reduced to mere jump scares and cheap thrills to shock and repulse people, but that ultimately is a disservice. Granted, said genre in film had often catered to audiences that are simply looking for mindless gore and lifeless dialogue being spoken by flat characters whose only purpose are to be brutally murdered and disposed. 
But with recent entries like The Babadook, It Follows and even The VVitch, horror movies can possibly become more exploratory and symbolic; just as it had been decades ago in its prime before all these franchises about serial killers, ghosts and demon possessions have turned the genre into something rather repetitive and sublimely stupid.
Such stories after all lack the human element which is exactly what horror is supposed to be all about regardless…

To More Ceaseless Nights of Bliss and Frenzied Feeding

Short stories can probably be considered the most underappreciated form of fiction writing these days, particularly those that belong in the genre of speculative fiction. Not a lot of people are aware of this, but said genre actually thrives in the fringes of Filipino literature and most are written in the English language. Writers like Dean Francis Alfar and Eliza Victoria have had small mainstream successes with their respective works, but other writers for the genre only have their works usually published as part of a varied anthology.
In fact, I never would have discovered author Gabriela Lee myself if I wasn't dutifully checking the Filipino Literature section of my local bookstore near my place of work. I'm glad I did one day because I would have missed out in buying my copy of her freshman debut Instructions on How to Disappear whose cover illustration as well as the rest of its visual presentation was enticing enough to pick up and browse through. I was furthermore enco…