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Marveling at Descriptions in a Sherlock Holmes Book

4 Sep

…Holmes and I walked slowly across the moor. The sun was beginning to sink behind the stables of Mapleton, and the long, sloping plain in front of us was tinged with gold, deepening into rich, ruddy browns where the faded ferns and brambles caught the evening light. But all the glories of the landscape were all wasted upon my companion, who was sunk in the deepest thought.

Very rarely have I found an author who can so succinctly describe a scene. Three sentences and you are there, walking across the moor, watching the sun set.

The above excerpt also explains where I got my prolific use of commas, and a love of longer sentences.

Then there’s this one:

An anomaly which often struck me in the character of my friend Sherlock Holmes was that, although in his methods of thought he was the neatest and most methodical of mankind, and although also he affected a certain quiet primness of dress, he was non the less in his personal habits one of the most untidy men that ever drove a fellow-lodger to distraction. Not that I am in the least conventional in that respect myself. The rough-and-tumble work in Afghanistan, coming on the top of a natural Bohemianism of disposition, has made me rather more lax than befits a medical man. But with me there is a limit, and when I find a man who keeps his cigars in the coal-scuttle, his tobacco in the toe end of a Persian slipper, and his unanswered correspondence transfixed by a jack-knife into the very centre of his wooden mantlepiece, then I begin to give myself virtuous airs.

Talk about bachelor habits!

Again, within this paragraph we get a sketch of the person who was Sherlock Holmes. We learn that he was mentally sharp and thorough, he wasn’t a flashy dresser, but he was a messy room-mate (a not uncommon trait in geniuses). The examples of his habits are clear and easy to picture.

You also learn about the narrator. He is the friend and room-mate of Sherlock. He had been in Afghanistan because of a job. He is a doctor. He has a sense of humor. (after reading this book with the U.K. spellings of things, it was very difficult to leave out the second U in humor. lol)

I love the way Arthur Conan Doyle wrote. He had a comfortable way of getting to his point. The reader is led without being hurried. At the same time the plot is always moving, never stagnant. Everything moves you forward. Even the parts that seem trivial.

This, in my opinion, is an ideal in writing, and a goal toward which I am striving.

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Yeah, my mom’s right. You can always tell what we have been reading from listening to the way we talk…and write.Β  πŸ˜€

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Now for the fun part. In my personal opinion, I feel that Robert Downy Jr. and Jude Law are to date the most correct interpretations of this duo (although I don’t see any evidence of an ongoing childish argument between the two, and no animosity toward Watson’s wife by Holmes in the stories). So without further ado, here’s one of my favorite parts of the first movie.

Sherlock Holmes scene “Meat or Potatoes” – YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RjBcZwectv0

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Excerpt one is from Adventure 1 in The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Excerpt two is from Adventure 5 in the same book.

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2 Responses to “Marveling at Descriptions in a Sherlock Holmes Book”

  1. The Story Reading Ape September 4, 2013 at 2:02 am #

    The way Conan Doyle writes is why I like his books so much, I recommend you read some of his non-Holmes works as well like The Lost World πŸ™‚

    Like

    • rosedandrea September 5, 2013 at 12:05 am #

      I have always intended to read more of his works. It just hasn’t happened yet. However, now that I have discovered the free classics section on Amazon this may change soon. πŸ˜€

      Like

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