The Datalogics Book Club is back and we’re ready to solve some mysteries! This quarter’s theme is Sherlock Holmes. The master detective and his friend Watson have enjoyed a surge in popularity over the past several years, from award winning television shows to big action movies. We’ll be diving into one of the longer Holmes stories, “The Hound of the Baskervilles,” to see how the original text holds up and compares to current popular re-imaginings.
Sherlock Holmes was created by Scottish author and physician Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and first appeared in print in 1887. Holmes is a “consulting detective,” whose abilities border on the fantastic. He is known for his astute logical reasoning, his ability to adopt almost any disguise, and his use of forensic science to solve difficult cases. He is assisted by physician and roommate John Watson, who is also the narrator for most of the Homes stories. Watson provides frame narratives around descriptions of the detective’s most interesting cases. Watson publishes these stories, and receives a great deal of criticism from Holmes for being overly sensationalistic and romantic.
Sensational romance, while annoying to the sensibilities of a precise and logical detective, makes for good stories. “The Hound of the Baskervilles,” originally serialized in magazine form in 1901 and 1902, is set largely on Dartmoor in England’s west country. It tells the story of an attempted murder inspired by the legend of a fearsome, diabolical hound of supernatural origin. It is praised as one of the best Holmes novels and has been adapted for television and film over 20 times. We’re looking forward to diving into this spooky old legend. Please download the book from Datalogics Book Club and read along with us!