"The creator of Sherlock Holmes believing in ghosts, in seances..." "On Conan Doyle: Or, The Whole Art of Storytelling by Michael Dirda.

Aug 13, 2018, 02:25 AM


(Photo: Sherlock Holmes in "The Man with the Twisted Lip", which appeared in The Strand Magazine in December, 1891. Original caption was "THE PIPE WAS STILL BETWEEN HIS LIPS."

Sanasi Dekabr 1891

Manba The Strand Magazine)



Twitter: @BatchelorShow

"The creator of Sherlock Holmes believing in ghosts, in seances..." "On Conan Doyle: 2 of 2:  Or, The Whole Art of Storytelling by Michael Dirda.


Winner of the 2012 Edgar Allan Poe Awards, Best Critical/Biographical Category, Mystery Writers of America

Finalist for the 2012 Marfield Prize, The National Award for Arts Writing, Arts Club of Washington

One of The Times Literary Supplement's Books of the Year 2014, chosen by Joyce Carol Oates

"[A] brief, elegant reflection. . . . With thoughtful care, Dirda explains how Conan Doyle 'rose above the conventions of his time' in many of his writings. Dirda shines a helpful light on the adventurers Professor Challenger and Brigadier Gerard, while a selection of 'weird' fiction causes him to declare that those stories 'can stand up to the best work of such masters of the uncanny as Sheridan Le Fanu and M.R. James.' Dirda circles back to Holmes, directing our attention to overlooked aspects of the stories--the elusive presence of Professor Moriarty, for example, or Holmes' brother Mycroft. He also treats us to a delightful, intimate glimpse of the magical power of books in his own early life. What book lover hasn't had at least one cherished experience of reading? Dirda's own involves his loving preparations, as a youth, to read The Hound of the Baskervilles on an appropriately stormy day when the rest of his family was out of the house. . . . And there's much of that same feeling in Dirda's inviting book, which demonstrates why for so many years Dirda has been such an insightful guide to literatures past and present. (Note to director Guy Ritchie: If you're still looking for more Conan Doyle fare after 'Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows' opens next month, you might read Dirda's book for ideas.)"--Nick Owchar, Los Angeles Times