Tuesday, May 11, 2010


All I wanted was a copy of A Study in Scarlet by Sir Aurthur Conan Doyle. It's not a huge request. But, apparently, libraries only stock like, four copies of classics in a library system of six buildings.

My library does not stock A Study in Scarlet...by itself.

No, I went in for a Sherlock Holmes book and found myself exiting with a textbook-sized behemoth labeled "The Annotated Sherlock Holmes, VOLUME 1!!!" It's 688 pages of maps, introductions, and annotated narrative, rather than just, you know, a book. Every time I open it, I feel like I should be taking notes for an analysis of Mr. Holmes's cocaine addiction (which he totally has, by the way. Homeboy uses cocaine, opium, constantly smokes. Why do we even like him? Oh, yes, because he's played by Robert Downy Jr. Yum).

Reading this version is really like watching a movie you've never seen before while being forced to listen to the audio commentary. You can probably pick up the general idea of what's going on, but you don't catch the better part of it, because you're too distracted by the director going on about how wonderful he is. Only in this case, it's lots of academics who just luuurve Sir A.C.D and would like to gush about him in the footnotes. Except they aren't footnotes, it is precisely half the page, divided vertically, so that I find myself accidentally skipping from narrative to notes midsentence. Furthermore, the notes assume that you have not only read, but are familiar with the entire adventures of Sherlock Holmes, and make little asides to things with nary so much as a spoiler alert. Thanks a ton, William S. Baring-Gould.

Also, I have a habit of accidentally filling my head with little anecdotes and then popping them off in everyday conversation, invariably lading to that head-bob everyone does when someone has effectively ended a conversation, causing the dreaded "awkward silence" It's terrible, and I, knowing myself, know that I will somehow have managed to make this happen with my new found Holmesian knowledge before the month is out.

In spite of all this, I love Sherlock Holmes. I do. He is such a fantastically ridiculous character, and I love him. I truly do.

I also checked out Crime and Punishment, written by a Russian man whose name I can't quite pronounce. Apparently I have gone on a Classics reading kick that I forgot to inform myself about.

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