Zach Dundas

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Rezension zu "The Great Detective: The Amazing Rise and Immortal Life of Sherlock Holmes" von Zach Dundas

The Great Detective
TheRavenkingvor einem Jahr

More than a century after Sherlock Holmes first capered into our world, Arthur Conan Doyle’s peculiar creation continues to fascinate us, and in The Great Detective, journalist and lifelong Sherlock fan Zach Dundas sets out to learn why. Through sparkling new readings of the original stories, he unearths the inspirations behind Holmes and his indispensable companion, Dr. John Watson, and reveals how Conan Doyle’s tales laid the groundwork for an infinitely remixable myth. This investigation leads Dundas on travels into the heart of the Holmesian universe, from a Fifth Avenue mansion and the boozy annual gathering of one of the world’s most exclusive Sherlock fan societies; to a freezing Devon heath out of The Hound of the Baskervilles; to sunny Pasadena, where Dundas chats with the creators of the BBC’s Sherlock and finagles a cameo appearance by Benedict Cumberbatch himself. Along the way, Dundas discovers and celebrates the ingredients that have made Holmes go viral — then, now, and as long as the game’s afoot.

Books about Sherlock Holmes are a dime a dozen, Zach Dundas’ work though promised to be something special: a modern look at the Sherlock Holmes phenomenon answering the question why the character created by Arthur Conan Doyle is still so popular more than a century after his inception.

Compared to Mattias Boström’s recent marvellous book on Sherlock Holmes Dundas’s effort seems relatively lightweight and has little new to offer. He does write gushingly about Benedict Cumberbatch, whom he is clearly a huge fan of, and has a fun meeting with the Baker Street Babes, a group of female Sherlockians, but most of what’s on offer here seems disappointingly tired.

The book is at its best when Dundas ventures out to do some “detecting” on his own. Perhaps the highlight being a visit to Dartmoor, the location of The Hound of the Baskervilles, which proves to be every bit as gloomy and unwelcoming as one would imagine.

It is far less interesting when it resorts to telling us what we have heard before, namely the life-story of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle or his source of inspiration for his famous detective.

The Great Detective ends with a visit to the house of a Sherlockian collector. This is exactly the kind of fascinating stuff, which I was hoping there would be more of.

Perhaps there is still a great book waiting to be written about the weirdos and eccentrics associated with the world’s greatest detective, this is not quite it though.


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