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The Sign of the Four Paperback – December 11, 2016
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Perhaps the greatest of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries is this: that when we talk of him we invariably fall into the fancy of his existence -- T. S. Eliot --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
From the Publisher
"Barker adapts character voices adroitly, showing an especially uncanny ear for stuffed-shirt aristocrats." --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
Holmes is a cold calculating machine who is a misogynist when it come to the fairer sex. Tonga the Andaman island shooter of poison darts and his evil friend Jonathan Small meet their just reward. Walk again the foggy gaslight streets of Victorian England at the height of the Empire s vast reach and enjoy your perambulation with Sherlock Homes and Dr. John H. Watson. A good book to read and reread. Enjoy dear reader!
The young woman presents her story, which involves her long-missing father, pearls that began arriving mysteriously a few years ago and, now, a note promising to explain everything if only she meets a stranger that very evening and doesn’t bring any police. She may bring two friends, though. Holmes and Watson will do nicely and they’re certainly up for it.
Off they go and are soon mired in a story involving a locked-room murder and missing treasure and a boat race on the Thames.
And casual racism. Sakes alive, the casual racism. One has to be prepared for it in fiction from 100+ years ago–the Victorians in particular loved some anthropologically-based racism. They started stumbling across new races of people and immediately began ascribing all sorts of negative and offensive characteristics to them. This novel is particularly rife, though.
Story-wise I’d give this one a 4/5. Holmes is doing his typical deductive thing, which is why I like reading the stories and why I assume others do, too. If you’re a completest and want to read all of them then it’s a fine read, though if casual racism puts you off stories, this one is going for gold.
The Sign of Four is the second story featuring Sherlock Holmes. The first was A Study in Scarlet .
[Completely off-topic editorializing: Dang, white people are awful. Just because you own the world doesn’t mean you’re the barometer against what everything else should be measured. Reading it from the point of view of a person writing from the country that had the largest empire on Earth at the time is interesting in terms of getting a sense of ego. It’s a digression, but I kept thinking about it while reading the book so it became part of the experience of the novel for me.]
A missing treasure and an inconceivable murder are a perfect recipe for this mystery thriller and Sir Arthur C Doyle has skilfully narrated the story unfolding each riddle one by one and creating yet another page turner. Holmes, an eccentric to most people but a genius in the eyes of Dr. Watson, uses the science of deduction and solves yet another impossible case. He definitely is an outstanding detective and words fail me when I wish to write more about him. Needless to say, it is a treat to read any book by Sir Arthur starring Sherlock Holmes.
- Roshani Hingorani
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I highly recommend it for everyone who as never read a Sherlock Holmes story!