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From School Library Journal
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
About the Author
- ASIN : B07DP57D27
- Publisher : CDED (June 8, 2018)
- Publication date : June 8, 2018
- Language : English
- File size : 917 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 149 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : B08KQDYQX7
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #4,621 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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But, when I grow up, I realize how brilliant this story is. It is not just a mystery novel, it is a family drama set in a dark period of British colonization of India and Doyle works through a few decades of history to make his point at the end of the novel.
As a kid, I couldn't comprehend it. As a grown-up, I couldn't but be amazed at how A.C. Doyle portrayed not only my favorite detective but one era of British history using all classes of British society and their secrets to show that.
"The Sign of the Four" is the second "Sherlock Holmes" novel, the first being "A Study in Scarlet". This novel was published in 1890, during the Victorian Era. It is a good example of both of a Sherlock Holmes novel, and Victorian Literature. The novel is of medium length. Many Victorian novels are quite lengthy compared to many modern American popular novels. The language is somewhat formal and proper, especially when individuals such as Holmes and Watson are speaking. The is no vulgarity. The story was authored during the time of British Colonialism and some references may seem ethnically insensitive.
"The Sign of the Four" and "A Study in Scarlet" are both good novels and I liked both of them about the same. Both involve a back stories from other countries. The back story takes up a good bit of the time of both novels. It also makes both novels somewhat unlikely stories, but of course, this is fiction! At times both of these stories are somewhat convoluted. But in the end they are both fairly readable and comprehendable.
As a retired detective who enjoys Victorian Literature, Sherlock Holmes is certainly one of favorite fictional detectives.. I enjoy some of his leaps of logic, although for me many of them fall into the category of "possiblity" rather than "probability" as far as I am concerned. Of course Sherlock Holmes is almost always correct.
During my career, I had to rework numerous cases, "cold cases" and others that were generally screwed up messes. When I worked these cases, what I found was that often police officers would sometimes make such leaps of logic and then assume these leaps are correct. When cases go nowhere, as often as not I found it was because these leaps were incorrect.
In summary, I liked this novel very much. At times the story was somewhat convoluted but was still enjoyable. In the near future I intend to continue my study of Sherlock Holmes stories, the next being "A Scandal in Bohemia". Thank You...
A Public Domain Book
Publication date: May 12, 2012
THE SIGN OF THE FOUR has been one of my two favorite Sherlock Holmes books since I was a child. What red-blooded American boy or girl for that matter wouldn't like an adventure and mystery tale of stolen treasure; India during the mutiny; strange, exotic characters invading a stately home of England in search of the treasure stolen from the thieves by double dealing "gentlemen" ; murder and more. The only thing I didn't like was the ultimate fate of the treasure. As an adult, I understand that this enabled Dr. Watson to find an even greater treasure but....
This young woman will become a very rich lady if her fortune is recovered. Then the new found riches certainly would have deterred Dr Watson from declaring his love. Then the key to the treasure box is lost and so by this mysterious incident and accident, Dr Watson gains a true love out of a mere trifle while Holmes has to bear with a boring life again.
Peter Ackroyd's introduction is very brief for a Penguin introduction but very concise. A good read!
The years since it was first published haven't diminished the power of the mystery, the personalities of Holmes and Watson (or indeed of London) or Conan Doyle's lively writing style. It remains a great adventure, enormously fun (even with the more awkward passages that appear within the context of its 19th Century origins) and of course a wonderful example of the appeal of the Great Detective, Sherlock Holmes.
Top reviews from other countries
This is my second Sherlock book now, and my current assessment would be that it can sometimes be hard to be motivated to read them, but once you get going, they are hard to put down.
A fun story, and will definitely continue with the Sherlock cannon!
The story was actually shorter than I had expected but it allowed for the action to move swiftly, for Sherlock to display his detecting skills and show off a little, and let us get to know Watson and the beginning of his relationship with Mary Marsten.
For my first foray into Arthur Conan Doyle's writing, The Sign of Four was a great read. Full of mystery and intrigue, stolen gold and mysterious thieves who can vanish without a trace.
I'll definitely be looking up more Sherlock Holmes stories at some point.
The real star is Toby the Hound sniffing his way across the entire Greater London area. Enjoyable read let down by the final, lugubrious, exposition chapter.