Excerpt: ...continued, disregarding my remonstrance. "He is a man who leads a sedentary life, goes out little, is out of training entirely, is middle-aged, has grizzled hair which he has had cut within the last few days, and which he anoints with lime-cream. These are the more patent facts which are to be deduced from his hat. Also, by the way, that it is extremely improbable that he has gas laid on in his house." "You are certainly joking, Holmes." "Not in the least. Is it possible that even now, when I give you these ...
Excerpt: ...continued, disregarding my remonstrance. "He is a man who leads a sedentary life, goes out little, is out of training entirely, is middle-aged, has grizzled hair which he has had cut within the last few days, and which he anoints with lime-cream. These are the more patent facts which are to be deduced from his hat. Also, by the way, that it is extremely improbable that he has gas laid on in his house." "You are certainly joking, Holmes." "Not in the least. Is it possible that even now, when I give you these results, you are unable to see how they are attained?" "I have no doubt that I am very stupid, but I must confess that I am unable to follow you. For example, how did you deduce that this man was intellectual?" For answer Holmes clapped the hat upon his head. It came right over the forehead and settled upon the bridge of his nose. "It is a question of cubic capacity," said he; "a man with so large a brain must have something in it." "The decline of his fortunes, then?" "This hat is three years old. These flat brims curled at the edge came in then. It is a hat of the very best quality. Look at the band of ribbed silk and the excellent lining. If this man could afford to buy so expensive a hat three years ago, and has had no hat since, then he has assuredly gone down in the world." "Well, that is clear enough, certainly. But how about the foresight and the moral retrogression?" Sherlock Holmes laughed. "Here is the foresight," said he putting his finger upon the little disc and loop of the hat-securer. "They are never sold upon hats. If this man ordered one, it is a sign of a certain amount of foresight, since he went out of his way to take this precaution against the wind. But since we see that he has broken the elastic and has not troubled to replace it, it is obvious that he has less foresight now than formerly, which is a distinct proof of a weakening nature. On the other hand, he has endeavoured to...
Although the stories are short they are nevertheless excellent reading.
Feb 18, 2010
Learning About English Culture with Sherlock H.
I am 80% done with the book but it is for adult reading and would not reccommend this book for a minor. It glamorizes drug use.
Love the book, I am learning about English culture this is my first Sherlock Holmes book.
Dec 31, 2009
Bought the Oxford Press edition of this book to read the references indicated during the stories - also easier to handle than my unabridged sherlock holmes.
May 2, 2007
short and logical
This book is composed of twelve short Sherlock Holmes stories: A Scandal in Bohemia, The Red-headed League, A Case of Identity, The Boscombe Valley Mystery, The Five Orange Pips, The Man with the Twisted Lip (my personal favorite), The Blue Carbuncle, The Speckled Band, The Engineer's Thumb, The Noble Bachelor, The Beryl Coronet and The Copper Beeches. Although I've long been a fan of Laurie King's Mary Russell novels, which are semi-pastiches of the Holmes series, my only experience of the original Sherlock Holmes has been limited to my dim recollection of reading The Red-Headed League in high school and of watching a few of the BBC television episodes with my dad! Several years ago, I tried reading one of Conan Doyle's novel-length works but was rapidly turned off by the slow development of the plot and did not finish it. Reading this book, though, was a much better experience and I'm so glad I chose it. I think that the author's skill and the Holmes "genre" itself are much better seen and enjoyed in short stories. None of the stories are thrilling or heart-pounding; that is not what made Sherlock Holmes mysteries so great. Instead, they each follow a rather simple pattern: Holmes and Watson are introduced to a short, bewildering mystery that is quickly and, to Watson's never ending surprise, easily solved by Holmes, who then calmly gives a detailed analysis of the case and his logical steps to solving it! This set-up must be what made Sherlock Holmes such a refreshing character and what made the books so popular!
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