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The Adventure of the Empty House (The Graphic Novel Adventures of Sherlock Holmes) Library Binding – January 1, 2010
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Starring appealingly young-looking versions of Holmes and Watson, these comic-book tales feature large print, clear and colorful artwork, and easy-to-follow layouts. The well-paced stories are told with suspense and a bit of flair, providing an accessible and intriguing intro to the Sherlock canon. -- School Library Journal, Extra Helping newsletter, December 16, 2009
From the Publisher
Great Movie Tie-in! Sherlock Holmes in theaters in Dec. 2009! Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's most famous character is now in graphic novel adaptations. Join Sherlock Holmes and John Watson as they uncover clues unseen by police inspectors and solve unsolvable cases. With Holmes on the case, you can be sure adventure will follow in the Graphic Novel Adventures of Sherlock Holmes! Graphic Planet is an imprint of Magic Wagon, a division of ABDO Group. Grades 3-8.
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This is the “Graphic Novel Adventures of Sherlock Holmes”, similar to the old “Classics Comics” from around 1950. It has a short biography of Arthur Conan Doyle (p.46). There is a listing of Arthur Conan Doyle’s works (p.47). Vincent Goodwin wrote this adaptation, Ben Dunn is the illustrator (p.48). These “Sherlock Holmes” stories were written over a century ago. They used to be part of High School English courses. How many other novels from that era are still popular? Doyle followed crime news, his stories were been based on true crimes that were adapted for these short stories. The written stories are better than the movies or “graphic novels”, they tell about the life of those times. The drawings of these people make them appear much younger characters compared to the books. Your Public Library has the full uncensored story in “The Return of Sherlock Holmes”.
It begins with a fateful meeting with Professor Moriarity at the Reichenbach Falls in Switzerland. Holmes struggles with Moriarity, they both go over the cliff! Three years later Inspector Lestrade asks Dr. Watson for help in a murder case. Ronald Adair was killed in a locked room high off the ground by a pistol bullet. How could it happen? Watson gets a surprise visitor! Holmes explained how he survived, then tells Watson to get his revolver. They go to the empty house across from 221B and wait. They capture a man after he fires a rifle at a target. This solved the murder of Ronald Adair. Adair discovered that Colonel Moran was cheating at cards and threatened him with exposure and disgrace.
In THE ADVENTURE OF THE EMPTY HOUSE, Sherlock Holmes, after explaining his years-long absence to his ever-faithful Watson, unravels the mystery, solves the crime and apprehends the villain. Goodwin follows the sequence of the original short story fairly well but I wish he hadn't tinkered with several crucial sequences. Goodwin has Watson witness the Holmes/Moriarty struggle at Reichenbach Falls, which is a radical change from the original. Secondly, his handling of Holmes' subsequent 'unveiling' to Watson isn't anywhere as dramatic as Conan Doyle's original.
Realistically, diehard Holmes fans might quibble with Goodwin's changes but younger readers, just being introduced to the Great Detective, won't be aware of those changes nor probably care. In truth, THE ADVENTURE OF THE EMPTY HOUSE is an entertaining, nicely-illustrated edition of a classic Holmes tale...and younger readers will enjoy it. Recommended.
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