Sunday, 25 May 2014

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle

Mr. Sherlock Holmes, who was usually very late in the mornings, save upon those not infrequent occasions when he was up all night, was seated at the breakfast table.

This is a hard one to review with the standards we have in place. I mean, come on it's Sherlock Holmes. How can it not hook?

So what I have to do is try to imagine that I know nothing about this bloke and see what this opening line does. If we look at it objectively, it is just some guy who usually sleeps in, already at the breakfast table. So this suggests...let me see, what, the game is afoot! If anything it hints at an unusual character but little else. The only question this raises is why is this person sometimes doing all-nighters. But it is hardly enough to hook and pull a reader in. The hook is in the byline.

First thing said:

"Well, Watson, what do you make of it?"

This is part of the series: the top 100 novels from Daniel S. Burt's book called Novel 100, the top 100 novels of all time. There is debate of course as to what should be on that list, but his list is as good as any. The Hound of the Baskervilles is the 99th best.

Verdict: Fail

Theodore Moracht

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