#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 overall faithful tribute to Doyle's canon itself, especially on the more subtle yet meaningful aspects of his Holmes and Watson and the spirit of how he frames the cases.
The definitive Sherlock Holmes for me, as I've stated over and over since this Peer Reading has begun, is the Granada series with Jeremy Brett as the Great Detective. I've been using him as my GIFs for my posts as well. He's phenomenal in the role and the closest who has ever gotten to what many fans who grew up with the stories would envision Holmes to be in the flesh. So why do people love Sherlock Holmes stories? Well, I think it's because mysteries are a universal staple of storytelling in fiction that often translate to the real world events especially cases that have a hold on our imagination. In an era where serial killings are glorified by the mainstream media, a great majority of people have a morbid fascination for murders and mysteries. What separates Doyle's canon from other works by Pie, Agatha Christie or Raymond Chandler (these authors are big names in the genre, by the way, and y'all should check them out) is not only Holmes himself as the lead detective but how he progresses in the stories which also involved his relationship with Watson, his ever loyal Boswell and associate.
This review of the next three stories for THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES may be shorter than the previous ones and would barely have enough content in them, but rest assured that the next one will be better.
THE REVIEW WILL BE SPOILER-FREE.
✫⎣Case #04⎦✫ THE BOSCOMBE VALLEY MYSTERY
﹂✦ RATING: 8 / 10
There was something about the way Doyle had penned this story that was the very first one of the Holmes stories so far that managed to build up a creeping sort of suspense. The balance among flashback, exposition and actual action is also consistent; something I've always pointed out as Doyle's weak point in the beginning of his canon that truly does improve the more he keeps writing Holmes stories. I enjoyed the fact that this was a case in which the Scotland Yard has closed already, technically, but a client came forward to Holmes and Watson and asked them to clear the name of the main suspect based only on her woman's intuition that he did not do it. The reason it got a high rating for me aside from the objective elements I've cited was because of its resolution that further sealed to me that Holmes does operate on his own terms of justice. It isn't vigilantism, not even close, but he tends to use a more flexible moral judgment in which he respects that there is a karmic force that needs to be honored and goes beyond what the law he serves would prescribe. That's pretty much as vague as I'm going to get here to avoid a spoiler.
✫⎣Case #05⎦✫ THE FIVE ORANGE PIPS
﹂✦ RATING: 8 / 10
I waa so torn about this story at first, and most readers would probably not find it memorable enough to earn a rating like this. It unfolded solely via flashback during a client's account of events. The ending too didn't offer any definitive resolution. What I did love about it was the level of dread during the flashback that Doyle has captured spectacularly through secondhand description alone.
The name dropping of a certain organization being used here, for me, was a bold move. It revealed Doyle's own political leanings that in turn have influenced how Holmes acted in the story. Midway through Five Orange Pips, readers glimpsed an emotion in Holmes that I felt was necessary to further develop him as not just this crime-solving analytical 'machine' who gives insightful lectures on deductive reasoning and the science of it, but also as a righteous man who does care about his clients and the evils they may face; ones he feels responsible enough to abolish for their sake.
✫⎣Case #06⎦✫ THE MAN WITH A TWISTED LIP
﹂✦ RATING: 7 / 10
This story is so entertaining! It also started differently than most of the stories so far where Watson was in the middle of figuring out a mystery of his own about a friend of his wife's. The entire plot unraveled rather cheekily next, considering the 'mystery' involved was so simple that Doyle had to get very clever about its revelation in the end. It was reminiscent of A CASE OF IDENTITY which was, as I've said in the previous review, rather crappy.
I think Doyle has realized that himself later on and tried to find a way to redeem that shit show through writing another story similar in its aspects yet far more superior in execution. And it worked. There was wit and humor in the way he crafted each scene that kept me engaged enough. Holmes and Watson too felt more like they have developed a real fondness for one another that hasn't yet been that present in the previous stories.