Review Blog

Feb 15 2016

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle

cover image

Ill. by David Mackintosh. Alma Classics, 2015 (First published in 1901-02). ISBN 9781847494962
Highly recommended. Themes: Myth and mystery; Detective story. I confess to never having read a Sherlock Holmes text before, and I apologise to devotees of Arthur Conan Doyle works; but I do claim to have viewed interpretations of the detective tale in screen texts and regularly enjoy a good Crime and Detective narrative. This book has been republished as a 'Classic' tale for a new generation of readers and it is worth reintroducing the younger generation to the original Sherlock Holmes as he makes sense of small inconsequential clues to uncover the mystery of the Hound of the Baskervilles. The Hound has been the part of the legend of the Baskerville family in their life on Dartmoor in England, and its lingering evil influence reappears with fatal consequences. Holmes, and his faithful and more trusting friend - Dr Watson, together become entangled in solving the mystery of the threatening menace of the Hound on the moors.
This story is written in the language of the late 19th and early 20th century, with extensive description and sentences and vocabulary that are definitely not from the digital era. ' . . . though I have not finally made up my mind whether it is a benevolent or malevolent agency which is in touch with us, I am conscious always of power and design.' (p45) However for any young reader prepared to journey back in time, this is a wonderful excursion into history in both a literary sense and in opening up a window into a time and place that cannot be revisited except through the pages of a book. And there is a compelling mystery that needs solving as well. (This text also includes some background notes about Conan Doyle and the characters within the narrative.)
Carolyn Hull

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