Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Happy Birthday, Sherlock Holmes!

Hamlette over at The Edge of the Precipice is having a Sherlock Holmes birthday bash today, with the following questions.  My answers will be more movie related, because I have not read all of the stories. 

The Good Old Index of Questions

1.  When and how did you first encounter Sherlock Holmes?

I first encountered Sherlock Holmes in the Basil Rathbone/Nigel Bruce movies, which my dad still loves to this day.  We watched them a lot when I was young.  My dad gave me the Original Illustrated Sherlock Holmes book back then as well, but I don't believe I read very far.  The only story I remember from the books is "The Adventure of the Speckled Band," which I loved.

2.  Please share a fact or two about yourself related to Holmes.  (You've read the whole canon, you've been to Baker Street, you're an official BSI member, etc.)

I am not actually a fan of Sherlock Holmes, but every close friend I've had has loved him!  It's very interesting.  But a couple of the Basil Rathbone movies scared and scarred me so much that I still get creepy vibes whenever Sherlock Holmes is mentioned. (Pearl of Death and The Scarlet Claw, I'm looking at you two!)

3.  What are three of your favorite Holmes adventures?  

Mine would not be the original Sir Arthur Conan Doyle stories, but various movies:  The Seven-Percent Solution (1976), Without a Clue (1988), Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011).  I am also quite partial to the 1959 Peter Cushing version of The Hound of the Baskervilles.

4.  What draws you to the Sherlock Holmes stories? 

Not much, although I greatly admire Sherlock himself and his intellect.  Mystery stories in general do not appeal to me. 

5.  If you were going to give Sherlock Holmes a birthday present, what would it be?

A new pipe and some Old Toby.

6.  If you could climb into a Holmes story and replace any one character for a day, who would you like to be?

Holmes himself, of course!  I would absolutely love to be able to see the world the way he does.

7.  Please share some of your favorite Holmes-related quotes!

I'm fond of the classic ones...

"You see, but you do not observe."
"When you have eliminated the impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."
"The game is afoot!"


  1. Hi!

    The Speckled Band was Arthur Conan Doyle's own favourite Sherlock Holmes story and it's one of my favourites too. I didn't like the first Guy Ritchie Sherlock Holmes movie but I thought 'Game of Shadows' was a big improvement. The Peter Cushing Hound of the Baskervilles is on my "to-watch" list :)

    1. How interesting! I didn't know that was his favorite story too! And yes, totally agree. The first Guy Ritchie film had some moments, but overall is not one that worked for me. Game of Shadows, however, was a huge improvement. I genuinely enjoy most of that movie.

  2. You did the tag! I wasn't sure you would or not, since I know you're not especially a fan. But I made an RDJ/Jude banner thingie just in case :-D

    "Speckled Band" is another of my favorites! I had a hard time deciding between it and "Copper Beeches" for this tag. I think ten years ago, "Band" would have won out.

    I need to see the Peter Cushing versions -- they keep coming up in these party answers.

    And I love your birthday present answer :-) The idea of Holmes smoking Old Toby fills me with glee.

    1. You may laugh, but I actually do all you tags and memes and things. In Word files on my computer. Then I either get embarrassed about my answers and never post it, or there's a couple questions I can't answer, so I never post it, or I take too long to complete it and I never post it. But I have scads of unpublished posts in my "journal" folder.

      I was trying to figure out if I could make one of the headers with Basil Rathbone, who will always be my favorite Holmes, simply because he was the ONLY Holmes I knew and grew up with for years and years. But nothing wrong with RDJ!

      The Peter Cushing version of Hound is... lurid. The beginning has never left my mind. I can't remember that much of the rest, honestly. But it made quite the impression on me when young!

    2. Awww. Not laughing, just smiling.

      I did make a Rathbone header, but four felt like too many to post -- it felt like people would be scrolling down past them too long and might lose interest or something. Oops! Sorry 'bout that.

  3. I remember as a child finding "Speckled Band" quite creepy ... the dark house, the whistle, the (spoiler) on the rope ... *shudder*.

    Re: "Old Toby" -- not being familiar with tobacco, I wondered what you meant. Toby was the dog (lurcher, I believe) that Holmes used to track the creosote from the Sholto house in "Sign of Four" and I was really confused for a bit! :)

    1. Sounds like you figured it out, but Old Toby is the favored variety of tobacco smoked in Lord of the Rings. Thought I'd just combine stories!

  4. The Specled Band is delightfully creepy and suspenseful, and would probably make it to my Top Ten favorite Holmes stories if not the Top Three. I myself found Sherlock Holmes through the modern-day BBC show, so I can identify with your particularity for screen Holmeses :)

    1. That's so cool that the new BBC show brought you to Sherlock Holmes!

      I think I'm going to read Speckled Band again, refresh my memory on the details I'm sure I've forgotten.

  5. Anonymous5:21 AM

    'The speckled band' is definitely my favourite short-story.

    I find it interesting that you don't seem to like detective stories in general but still like Sherlock Holmes. It tells a lot about how unique a character he is, I think.

    I also love the quotes you chose. Classic, yes but there is a reason if they became classic. They're great quotes and speak to everybody.

    1. Holmes really is unique, isn't he. Just such a fascinating figure, in all his incarnations.

      My dad used to say the "you see but you do not observe" All The Time. Until I started observing. :-D Good lesson.

      Thanks for stopping by!