Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Lost Years of Sherlock Holmes- A Book Review



About the Book:

Name of the book: The Lost Years of Sherlock Holmes
Author: Ted Riccardi
Publisher: Jaico Publishing House
Price: INR 275
ISBN: 978-81-8495-434-0

About the author: Ted Riccardi is a professor emeritus in the department of Middle East and Asian languages at Columbia University. He has also served as the counselor of cultural affairs at the United States embassy in New Delhi.

About the cover and back cover:

The cover illustration portraying a beautiful young lady with a veil half covering her face done in the classic combination of black and red is one of the most gorgeous covers I have seen on a book. It delivers a feel of mystery, secrecy and you instantly run your hand on the glossy surface and feel like unravelling whatever secrets are contained inside. 
The back cover with a crisp sum-up of the book is quite interesting as well.

Gist:

The book is mainly about the 'Lost years' of Sherlock Holmes as the title clearly suggests. These recount are the adventures of Holmes in the gap of 1891 to 1894 i.e. , the period when he is assumed to be dead after the fateful incident at the Reichenbach Falls.

 The stories are set in Asia; we see Holmes travelling in various disguises through different parts of the Indian Subcontinent. He is completely alone without the constant support of Watson and the Scotland yard, armed only with his physical strength, logic and his unwavering genius. He battles against the various criminals who have escaped from the hands of law and found abode in the mystical places of Asia. He confronts the secret agent for Tsar Rastrakoff, mysterious Captain Fantome and the great art thief Anton Furer.

It is a collection of 9 short stories with a preface and afterword by Dr John Watson.

My views on the story:

Which kid hasn't grown up reading and admiring the genius of Sherlock Holmes? Conan Doyle's immortal character is one of the greatest detectives in the history of crime fiction and will remain so forever.
It is to get more of this enigmatic detective and find out how a different pen can possibly justify the character that I picked the Jaico Sherlock Holmes Series.

I should start by commending Ted Riccardi on the decent attempt to revisit the life of Sherlock Holmes. The writing style is really good- it is kept simple and the narration is quite effective.

I especially like the description of the landscape in almost every story; it is so beautifully detailed that everything comes to life even more.

There is a certain thrill in imagining the tall, intelligent frame of Holmes coursing through different places of India and places around in interesting disguises which I felt was the real charm of the book.

The plot of the stories ranged from average to good- some had really nice twists while some were a bit of a disappointment. My favorite story was The case of Hodgson's Ghost.

I enjoyed reading the book though I felt that he plot of some stories could have been much better. Though no one in the world can quite recreate the character and aspects of Sherlock Holmes, this was a pretty decent read.

Overall I rate it a 7/10 recommending it to all the Holmes fans. It's worth a try. 



2 comments:

  1. in the viceroy's assistant..who kills reginald maxwell and how?..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Pratiik. Since this is a review, I try my best not to issue any spoilers. So as an answer to your question, I am asking you to refer to Page 40 of the book. The extract there and in the following page clearly explains who the murderer is, his motive and his method.
      Glad you could find time to visit my blog :)

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