Thisby Thestoop and the Black Mountain

It’s fair to say that I read a good number of books children’s books. Having kids of my own, I like to pilfer their shelves from time to time. In our house, we like to stock “the classics” as a sort of quality guarantee. Since children’s books became a genre there have been writers who have tried to cash in on the children’s market as a way to make a quick buck with little effort. Reading “the classics” means that you get the best books from every era without having to wade through the formulaic twaddle, most of which has mercifully been forgotten over the years.
It’s a different story with modern children’s books. Picking up a new children’s book means taking a chance on wasting your time, and the modern children’s book publishing machine loves tried and true formulas. After the success of Harry Potter we got books about schools for magical/mythological/specially talented kids who are sorted into groups based on their personalities. After The Hunger Games took off, we’ve have had m…

Oh, that Snarky Holmes

I'm reading The Valley of Fear right now, and I love the level of abrasive banter between Holmes and Watson. Chesterton was absolutely right about Sherlock Holmes stories when he said, "The best part of it is the comedy of the conversations between Holmes and Watson."

Here are two of my favorite examples from the opening scene:
"I am inclined to think-" said I.

"I should do so," Sherlock Holmes remarked impatiently.

I believe that I am one of the most long-suffering of mortals; but I'll admit that I was annoyed at the sardonic interruption. "Really Holmes," said I severely, "you are a little trying at times."

"...You have heard me speak of Moriarty?"

"The famous scientific criminal, as famous among crooks as-"

"My blushes, Watson!" Holmes murmured in a deprecating voice.

"I was about to say, as he is unknown to the public."

"A touch! A distinct touch!" cried Holmes. "You are developing a certain unexpected vein of pawky humour, Watson, against which I must learn to guard myself."


buddy2blogger said…
Well said, Rick. The camaraderie between Holmes and Watson is a crucial factor for the phenomenal success of the canon.

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