Monday, 7 December 2015

The Hound of the Baskervilles [#books #review]

by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes.
Sherlock Homles
(Page 19)

I don't know if it's been for the great expectations that accompanied this book, but it turned out a disappointment. The initial idea is very appealing, but then the investigation is boring and uneventful and also the ending, although quite animated, it's not exciting.

The book still exceeds the passing grade because of the intriguing idea of the curse that weighs the Baskerville family and because of the beautiful settings: the murder took place in the famous moor that I learned to love thanks to the Brontë sisters!
Over the green squares of the fields and the low curve of a wood there rose in the distance a gray, melancholy hill, with a strange jagged summit, dim and vague in the distance, like some fantastic landscape in a dream.
(Page 41)
Beautiful, mysterious, wild, dangerous (that poor pony that fell into the quicksand!), creepy, ancient, immense, the moor can only fascinate.
In front of us rose the huge expanse of the moor, mottled with gnarled and craggy cairns and tors.
(Page 42)
Then add to this that this part of the moor in particular was full of remains of Neolithic constructions, and my love for this setting is very complete. It's a landscape that affects you, the moor, and for a case like this with a centuries-old legend, a kind of demon that persecutes a family, there could be no better scenery.
The longer one stays here the more does the spirit of the moor sink into one's soul, its vastness, and also its grim charm. When you are once out upon its bosom you have left all traces of modern England behind you, but, on the other hand, you are conscious everywhere of the homes and the work of the prehistoric people.
(Page 56)
Not to mention that the setting at a certain point almost becomes a character, since its changes, the arrival of an unexpected fog, gives a hard time to Our Guys, almost making them fail. In short, if it were not for the beauty of the landscape I would have probably liked this novel even less!

Quotes

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.
[incipit]

Holmes: I have been to Devonshire.
Watson: In spirit?
Holmes: Exactly. My body has remained in this armchair and has, I regret to observe, consumed in my absence two large pots of coffee and an incredible amount of tobacco.
(Page 19)

One of Sherlock Holmes's defects—if, indeed, one may call it a defect —was that he was exceedingly loath to communicate his full plans to any other person until the instant of their fulfilment.
(Page 107)

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