Sherlock Holmes Society of London
"Never judge a book by its title! I didn’t know what to expect when this splendid volume came into my possession. By the time I had read the two introductions telling me what the book wasn’t, I was starting to wonder what it was. I was in for a treat. Here are the twelve original stories of the Adventures, dissected, analysed, turned inside out and on their heads, and re-presented for the reader’s edification with explanations that attempt to resolve some of the inconsistencies in the canon. If this sounds rather dry, have no fear. Dunn-Meynell enlivens his conversations between Holmes and Watson with a wonderfully witty, tongue-in-cheek humour, which had me variously smiling, nodding sagaciously or laughing out loud. Do I believe the Brothers Holmes have developed a system of eating toast noiselessly to meet the Diogenes’ strict standards? Yes, absolutely. It seems the only natural thing to do under the circumstances.
The author’s depth of knowledge of the canon is first-rate, the language true to the original stories and the additional asides can only be labelled as touches of brilliance. A thoroughly enjoyable read, which had me hoping that Dunn-Meynell turns his attention to the Memoirs next to see what he can make of them."
Canadian Holmes - Fall 2021
Nick Dunn-Meynell is no stranger to Canadian Holmes readers as he is a frequent contributor with insightful articles. This book strays from the strict article format and could even for some fall under the pastiche column but that would be doing it a great disservice. If you have ever wondered what the conversation around the Baker Street hearth was after “The Adventure of the Speckled Band” and the other 11 stories in The Adventures, then this book of sequels is for you. Dunn-Meynell takes some of the age-old Sherlockian questions and sets them into an explanatory conversation between Holmes and Watson, adding in their thoughts on a certain literary agent and a tone between the two friends not always found in the original stories. Filled with surprises, clever scenarios and the author’s own dry sense of humour these conversational essays are a thoughtful look at each of the 12 stories.
Regular readers of The Log will be familiar with Nick Dunn-Meynell's essays proposing alternative explanations for the stories from the canon. He has now transformed these stories into fictional form of a conversation between Holmes and Watson following on from a specific canonical adventure. Nick re-imagines each story from an alternative point of view, taking small details from the original tale and weaving a new solutions from sometimes minor points.
With the theories often drawing a long bow from the evidence i the original source, they perhaps work better in this fictional format. The reader is taken through a maze of intermediate way points in the quest to overturn denouements of some of the best known canonical stories. This book is not for the reader looking for and easy or quick read, as it takes some brain power to follow the logic involved.
Holmes here is somewhat irascible and his Watson understandably spends much of each story being somewhat frustrated as part of his traditional role representing the 'everyman' reader. Due to the nature of these alternative stories the interpretations of the originals work well in the context of how they are written, although they do not attempt to emulate the stye of the originals.
Anyone who likes to have their view of the canon challenged would be interested in this book but should make sure they have the time to properly absorb the arguments being proposed.
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