Thursday, September 25, 2014

Review: The Hound of the Baskervilles

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The first time I read this book, I was 12 years old. I know, too young, but it was a school assignment. Anyway, I remember that I was haunted by this book for weeks until I couldn't stand it more and I read it again at the beginning of this year, that is four years after. But then, I was haunted again and I decided to read it one more time. This is one of the few books that make that effect on me, and if I could congratulate Arthur Conan Doyle, I would do it immediatly.

The Hound of the Baskervilles is the fifth Sherlock Holmes book written. It is about this curse that has been on the Baskerville family since, Hugo, one of its members, locked a girl up in his mansion because he was in love with her. Now it's a hundred years later, and Charles Baskerville is found dead, and nearby his corpse are the footprints of the so called "hound of the Baskervilles", a supposedly demonic giant dog that kills all of the family members. This is yet a most singular case for Holmes, meaning, this hound is believed to be sent from hell, and the famous detective 1)doesn't believe in such things and 2)he has never confronted anything of the kind, so this might be a difficulty (but we know he prefers those kind of cases):

“There is nothing more stimulating than a case where everything goes against you.”
― Arthur Conan Doyle, The Hound of the Baskervilles

The book has many twists in its plot and that makes it even more enjoyable. There were many times I was sure the answer to a problem was something, but in the end, it turned out to be something entirely different. Like in many of Sherlock's stories, I was fooled. Doyle makes you think of an explanation to the problem that is not the real one (or, on the other hand, you have no explanation and you are puzzled most of the time while reading). And this makes it more interesting.

Of course I love the characters. Who doesn't love Holmes? Also, I'm in love with Watson, most people say he's useless and that he is just there for Holmes to insult. Well, that is mostly true, but he is not useless, in fact, in this book he is given an important roll, while in most Holmes' books he is mainly the narrator.

The writing is dark, as usual, and it made me shiver sometimes. There were moments were the narration was really really creepy (the climax, for instance, and when Watson and Sir Henry are looking for Selden . But I do not complain because I love gothic books.

However, The Hound of the Baskervilles is not just a frightening novel, it has also some hilarious parts, as in many of the Sherlock Holmes canon.

fiercely love 19th century books. And I like them even more if they are set in England. Furthermore, mystery/thriller is one of my favorite genres in literature, so that maybe explains why I like it that much (besides the fact that it is a Sherlock Holmesbook).

Anyway, this is a must-read for everyone. It's one of the best classics and the best Sherlock Holmes story. You will undoubtedly love it :)

“The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes.”
― Arthur Conan Doyle, The Hound of the Baskervilles

P.S.: I love you, Sherlock! I'm gonna be a chemist like you some day!

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