Monday, 20 May 2013

Elementary my dear.... What's On?

 I love reading as much as I love writing. I read more than what I write, but then I think that's how it should be. I've not always read crime and I've not always wrote comedy. My literary tastes are and always will be very eclectic. I remember in my youth, my guilty secret was Thomas Hardy. I read everything he wrote. It was like time travel for me. I've spent my life flitting from one genre to another, Dickens, Neville Shute, Harold Robbins, Denis Wheatley, Agatha Christie, JB Priestley, Stephen King, John Grisham, Tom Sharpe, Ben Elton. In recent years I'm fascinated with crime, yet all my life I have avoided Sherlock Holmes, both in print and on screen. I now have The Complete Sherlock Holmes downloaded on my eBook reader.
My What's On Guide embedded in the theatre part of my brain, is telling me that until further notice, my reading list will be a mixture of ancient and modern, i.e., Sherlock Holmes, contemporary fiction. Often I will review contemporary fiction, and often I have met the author whom I am reading.
I have to be honest, and state that I wasn't excited with the prospect of taking on such a huge chunk of life commitment to read Arthur Conan Doyle's most iconic detective in the world. The concept of Holmes and Watson sharing an apartment, in a very unequal partnership; Holmes ego against Dr Watson's subservient admiration for Holmes didn't sit well with me.
How wrong could I be? Switching from ancient to modern is not going to be easy, as I finish one adventure, it will be hard to wrench myself back into the 21st century.
A Study In Scarlet was Sherlock Holmes introduction into the world. The first couple of chapters set the scene how Dr Watson invalided from the Afghan Wars came to be introduced to Holmes who was looking for a room mate to share the cost of his Baker Street apartment.
The writing is timeless, and the incredible detail does not overburden my poor old brain one bit.
Conan Doyle's mastery of the written word and the intricacy of his crime writing based on logic rather than procedure is simply refreshing in this day and age.
Obviously I won't be reviewing someone who is up there with the gods of literature, but every now and again expect me to say WOW.