I’ve never once read The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes before, but I’ve seen many adaptations on TV. My most favorite adaptation is the BBC Sherlock starring Benedict Cumberbatch (who is distantly related to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle!) but I’ve also watched Robert Downey Jr.’s Sherlock films as well. I tried not to hold onto too much preconceived notions I have of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson when I started. However, I couldn’t quite escape those motions as Sherlock struck me as still the analytical detective and John Watson as the ever faithful doctor even if what they’re doing isn’t all that legal.
So far, I have not been disappointed and find myself enjoying The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes even if I have not gotten so far into the book yet. I was a bit surprised that the narrative is told through Dr. Watson’s point of view. Reading it through his narrative feels like it makes the story more relatable to the layperson as we as readers bear as witnesses to Sherlock’s adventures rather than specifically being a part of the adventures. The way it’s told in Dr. Watson’s point is view is intriguing in that we can only observe Holmes rather than experiencing the famed detective’s own thought process.
I like that Sherlock Holmes is more of a genius than he is portrayed on screen in his capabilities of doing his job. Watson notes after Holmes gets into disguise: “The stage lost a fine actor, even as science lost an acute reasoner, when he became a specialist in crime.” Holmes’s disguises are great in that he merges into who he is going to act like to further his investigations that Holmes truly becomes his disguise for the brief time that he’s using it.
Doyle’s remark on women keeping their secrecy reveals a mistrust between women who believe men will fall prey to other temptations beyond them. “Women are naturally secretive, and they like to do their own secreting. Why should she hand it over to anyone else? She could trust her own guardianship, but she could not tell what indirect or political influence might be brought to bear upon a business man.” This statement does seem to reflect the personality of Irene Adler. Furthermore, considering that Sherlock in the end only goes to referring Irene Adler as “The Woman”, it’s clear that she made a deep impression on Sherlock as he reacts to her and gave her a seemingly derogatory moniker as he refuses to name her. A name is part of an identity, and Holmes denies Adler an identity to him but what he makes of her.