Reviews

The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

demievrything's review against another edition

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4.0

Eine schöne Sammlung der Kurzgeschichten, die mir insgesamt noch besser gefallen haben, als die "Abenteuer des Sherlock Holmes".
Die Schlussfolgerungen und Auflösungen wirken teilweise etwas seltsam in der heutigen Zeit, allerdings machte das die GEschichten für mich umso interessanter, da ich mich ganz der Erzählung hingeben konnte und viel genauer auf Details geachtet habe.

Einzelne Bewertungen der Geschichten:
Silberstrahl ★★★★☆
Das gelbe Gesicht ★★★★☆
Der Angestellte des Börsenmarklers ★★★★☆
Die Gloria Scott ★★★★☆
Das Musgrave-Ritual ★★★☆☆
Die Junker von Ryegate ★★☆☆☆
Der Verwachsene ★★★★☆
Der griechische Dolmetscher ★★★★☆
Das Marine-Abkommen ★★★★★
Das letzte Problem ★★★★★

rymrgard's review against another edition

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3.0

I. Silver Blaze: We are starting out with a common Sherlock Holmes story. It‘s got everything we expect from the famous detective — nothing more, nothing less. One thing I appreciated was that we, as the reader, got to spend some more time with Holmes in the present, and less with the clients‘ recollection of past events.
A solid, 3 star entry.

„Is there any point to which you would wish to draw my attention?“
„To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.“
„The dog did nothing in the night-time.“
„That was the curious incident,“ remarked Sherlock Holmes.


II. Cardboard Box: This story didn‘t do it for me. The characters remain stereotypical and flat, even for a short story, and the conclusion to the mystery is painfully obvious, especially since the plot is quite stereotypical too. There is a beautifully crafted sentence near the end, which I sadly cannot quote as it reveals too much. I found myself reading it out loud to myself multiple times, appreciating the rhythm and musical quality of its structure.
For that sentence alone 3 stars .

„What is the meaning of it, Watson?“ said Holmes solemnly as he laid down the paper. „What object is served by this circle of misery and violence and fear? […]“


III. Yellow Face: I fear at the time of its release this story was seen as either scandalous or a happy feel-good tale — for all the wrong reasons—, even though the sentiment was surely quite progressive in late 19th century Britain.
Spoiler We are supposed to feel admiration at the noble act of accepting a Black child as one’s own, we are supposed to feel good at Effie‘s unyielding love for her late husband despite (!) him having been Black. A favourable read of Effie‘s motivation of hiding her child would be an urge to protect her from the judgemental countryside (as she herself states). A less favourable one would a sharp sense of embarrassment, disguised as care. I know that some see this story as an anti-racist message even to this day. While certainly true back then, I don‘t think it is necessarily true today.
Either way, I don‘t think a modern audience reads this story as a victorian audience did. As far as I can tell, however, ACD‘s intentions were pure and it is definitely not as bad as I feared after reading the title.
A well-meaning 3 stars .

„Watson,“ said he, „if it should ever strike you that I am getting a little over-confident in my powers, or giving less pains to a case than it deserves, kindly whisper ‚Norbury‘ in my ear, and I shall be infinitely obliged to you.“


IV. Stock-Broker‘s Clerk: Many of ACD‘s stories can be summed up with: If a job offer sounds too good, it‘s not real. This one is one of them. The mystery is sadly once again non-existent and almost drawn out — in fact, it is the villain who has to croak out one last keyword pointing Holmes to the last missing puzzle piece, even though it is painfully obvious to a reader who has at least been semi observant.
3 stars , because it is not bad enough for 2.5

The public not unnaturally goes on the principle that he who would heal others must himself be whole


V. Gloria Scott: This story starts of interesting, as it is the first one told from the perspective of Holmes, recounting his very first case as a young man to Watson. We get a glimpse at his time at university and how even back then he was withdrawn, making no more than a single friend — a friend he is now more or less estranged to. This tale is once again a flashback in a flashback in a flashback — it’s engaging, however, even atmospheric in places, so I won‘t judge it too harshly.
Another 3 star entry.

My God! Was there ever a slaughterhouse like that ship!


VI. Musgrave Ritual: I loved the beginning of this story, it is clearly its highlight for me, and while it doesn‘t live up to its fabulous start, it doesn‘t crash either, making me look favourably on it overall. What makes the beginning so good? Well, we start out with Watson complaining about Holmes‘s untidiness and his various housekeeping habits not befitting a proper Gentleman. Cue Holmes acting in a way every person will recognise that has ever asked a small child to clear up their toys: Instead to tidying up, he shows Watson his treasure trove of case files (you know, the one he was supposed to put things in ) and presents them — like a child showing you a toy that has suddenly become a new favourite, in hopes of distracting you enough that you forget all about having asked them to tidy up in the first place. I love that Holmes is not that one-dimensional Gentleman he appears to be at first glance, but instead is given a myriad of very relatable flaws all befitting his character. What knocks the story as a whole down though is the fact that the „ritual“ had never been figured out before, even if it‘s as obvious as a treasure hunt at a child‘s party.
An upper-end 3 stars for this one.

I have always held, too, that pistol practice should be distinctly an open-air pastime; and when Holmes […] would sit in an arm-chair […], and proceed to adorn the opposite wall with a patriotic V.R. done in bullet-pocks, I felt strongly that neither the atmosphere nor the appearance of our room was improved by it.


VII. Reigate Squires: This one is a decent story, nothing much to talk about. We see more of Holmes‘s unconventional deduction techniques and his uncaring attitude when it comes to presenting himself in a silly manner. This was the first story where I had trouble finding a nice quote to show here.
Unspectacular 3 stars .

It is of the highest importance in the art of detection to be able to recognise out of a number of facts which are incidental and which vital. […] I make a point of never having any prejudices and of following docilely wherever fact may lead me […].


VIII. Crooked Man: This story was the most disappointing one in the volume so far. The twist is simple:
Spoiler There is no crime
. I also had even more trouble of finding a good quote than in the previous story, which, to me, is always a sign of it being unremarkable.
First story to get 2.5 stars .

For an instant the veil had lifted upon his keen, intense nature, but for an instant only. When I glanced again his face had resumed that Red Indian composure which had made so many regard him as a machine rather than a man.


IX. Resident Patient: Happy to report this was a better story than the previous ones. It‘s still not spectacular, but another decent addition to the volume, and different enough to be an engaging read. Also, I found a quote organically while reading — Yay.
Solid 3 stars .

However, wretch as he was, he was still living under the shield of British law, and I have no doubt, Inspector, that you will see that, though that shield may fail to guard, the sword of justice is still there to avenge.


X. Greek Interpreter: This story was on the creepier side of Holmes-stories, which I always appreciate. This is also the story where we meet Homes‘s brother Mycroft for the first time, which was exciting, even if his role is a rather minor one. I hope we will see more of him in the future. The ending left me a bit puzzled, since it is rather unusual for ACD‘s writing —
Spoiler The villains get away, taking one of their prisoners with them (who gets her revenge later, yes, but still). The main victim we have been worrying about during the story still dies and overall it seems like the events would have probably played out rather similarly even if Holmes had not gotten involved at all, aside from maybe Mr. Melas.
.
Another 3 stars .

„My dear Watson,“ said he, „I cannot agree with those who rank modesty among the virtues. To the logician all things should be seen exactly as they are, and to underestimate one‘s self is as much a departure from truth as to exaggerate one‘s own powers […].“


XI. Naval Treaty: This was an enjoyable story with plenty of room for the reader to speculate about what had happened until the culprit is revealed at the end. Mycroft sadly does not make another appearance, but I appreciate that a little more time than usual was spent on solving the case, making the pacing more organic. Sadly, a good quote was once again hard to come by.
Overall the usual 3 stars .

I‘ve heard of your methods before now, Mr. Holmes, […]. You are ready enough to use all the information that the police can lay at your disposal, and then you try to finish the case yourself and bring discredit upon them.


XII. The Final Problem: This is it. The grand finale — and what a finale it is. Having described A Scandal in Bohemia as the Sherlock Holmes story before, this one definitely has to join its ranks. Even people who have never read a Sherlock Holmes story (or watched any of the movie adaptions) will have heard of Moriarty and the Reichenbach Falls before. For some reason I believed this particular tale to be a part of the Hound of the Baskervilles, so imagine my surprise when I opened the first page and was met with the opening sentence. What the past stories had lacked in memorable lines, this one has in abundance. I‘m almost sad to see it told in a short story and not as part of a larger novel, as I had previously believed — I feel like it would have deserved some more time devoted to it. But maybe it‘s precisely that shortness which makes it so good.
Now, it‘s not really a spoiler, but I will mark it as such regardless:
Spoiler We probably all know that this is not actually the death of Sherlock Holmes — neither in publishing, nor within the narrative as well. I kind of wished that it was, Holmes would have deserved this tragic, but oh so memorable ending, and ACD would have deserved to be relieved from having to write one story after the other about a character he, as far as I know, had come to despise. And Holmes especially did not deserve to be brought back for the less than artistic cause of war propaganda during WWI to bolster British morale and defame the French and Germans (see: His Last Bow: The War Service of Sherlock Holmes ).

I‘m as of now undecided if I should continue on with The Hound of the Baskervilles immediately (a novel I have high hopes for), thereby ruining the effect of this short-story on me, or if I should let some time pass until I pick it up. We‘ll see.
I place this story among my top three Sherlock Holmes stories so far — A Scandal in Bohemia, Copper Beeches and now The Final Problem —, therefore awarding it a well deserved 3.5 stars .

You hope to place me in the dock. I tell you that I will never stand in the dock. You hope to beat me. I tell you that you will never beat me. If you are clever enough to bring destruction upon me, rest assured that I shall do as much to you.

erkkmoon's review against another edition

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adventurous emotional funny informative mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? N/A
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.0

budiboksnama's review against another edition

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adventurous mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.0

smm_'s review against another edition

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adventurous dark emotional funny inspiring lighthearted mysterious reflective sad medium-paced

4.0

gap_py's review against another edition

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mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot

4.25

ranee_samaniego's review against another edition

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adventurous lighthearted mysterious fast-paced
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

5.0

This is the most complete Sherlock Holmes compilations I have read - it takes you from some of his earliest cases to his last. 

I have fallen in love with Sherlock Holmes - with his friendship with Watson (a deep and meaningful friendship between two males that hardly makes an appearance in modern literature), his relentless pursuit of what is right, his incredible intelligence, and even all his quirks. 

I also enjoy the short-story format of his memoirs. It makes it easy to read just 1 or 2 before bed - I enjoy each short story and love seeing the growth of our characters, yet I can close the book after a single memoir. I am not inclined to stay up all night finishing the book because there isn’t a huge overarching plot (although, the stories are so fun and fast-paced, that I have accidentally read several more than intended and stayed up too late!) 

Ultimately, I think Sherlock Holmes stories are underrated today and highly recommend them! 

bookswithlydscl's review against another edition

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adventurous challenging dark mysterious reflective tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.0

thebookishnic's review against another edition

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adventurous challenging informative mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

3.0

kdefran117's review against another edition

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adventurous mysterious tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.25

A great book, as always. I was glad to finally read the story of Professor Moriarty. The book came to a great end as Waldron recollects upon Holmes’ “death.” Incredibly captivating book.