There’s a “new” book out titled Sherlock: The Essential Arthur Conan Doyle Adventures which collects 19 famous cases that the BBC Sherlock creators, Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, view as essential reading.
If you’re like me, you’re not particularly interested in this book because you already own at least half a dozen different versions of the complete Sherlock Holmes canon (How did I end up with so many versions? How much is too much?). However, I did find their listing of 19 “essential” stories interesting. Here is the list of stories that they selected for the book:
A Study In Scarlet
The Sign of Four
A Scandal in Bohemia
The Red-Headed League
A Case of Identity
The Man with the Twisted Lip
The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle
The Adventure of the Speckled Band
The Yellow Face
The Musgrave Ritual
The Greek Interpreter
The Final Problem
The Hound of the Baskervilles
The Empty House
Charles Augustus Milverton
The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans
The Adventure of the Devil’s Foot
The Adventure of the Dying Detective
(This reminds me of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s selection of 19 stories.)
So! If you were going to put together a collection of “essentials” or if you were about to offer a selection for a friend to read the Canon for the first time, would you agree with the above list?
If you don’t agree with the list, what ones would you replace and what have they overlooked?
3 Replies to “Weekly Forum #47”
I’m surprised to see YELL but not THOR. The detective work in THOR is top notch.
The detective work in THOR is definitely top notch. I hated to see how the wife was regarded by everyone, considering the cruelties that drove her to her elaborate plan, but in that sense THOR serves as a reminder of how women were seen in that time period. I agree that THOR deserves a spot on the list. If for no other reason than the fact that Dr. Watson’s gun played a key role in solving the case and that was pretty cool.
This is, overall, a good list. But I don’t agree with including “The Yellow Face” or “A Case of Identity”; I’d include “His Last Bow” and my favorite novel, The Valley of Fear, instead. Thor Bridge is certainly a good choice, perhaps instead of Dying Detective.
As far as a list for first-time readers, I wouldn’t include any novel except Hound, and probably cut Twisted Lip, Greek Interpreter and Milverton. All these can come after he/she is hooked.
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