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From Holmes to Sherlock: The Story of the Men and Women Who Created an Icon

by Mattias Bostrom

Publishers Weekly This exhaustive study of the 130-year Sherlock Holmes phenomenon spans Arthur Conan Doyle's earliest inspirations up to today's two successful Holmes-inspired TV shows. Boström begins with Conan Doyle's pre-Sherlock life, explaining how the fledgling author struggled to place his early fiction in the popular magazines of the day. He goes on to show how Sherlock Holmes and the faithful Dr. John Watson have been represented in every imaginable medium: plays, radio, film, TV, and even podcasts. The keepers of the flame have been the "Sherlockians," the individuals who analyze Conan Doyle's works and collect memorabilia. Boström narrates Holmes's pervasive and global influence after Conan Doyle's death in 1930; screen adaptations were even produced behind the Iron Curtain. He also lays out the bungling efforts of Conan Doyle's children to control the portrayal of his creations and ensure they got a share of the profits. The book occasionally bogs down in their legal skirmishing, but always gets back on track as it explores the world's continuing fascination with fiction's leading detective hero. The informal, accessible style of Gallagher's translation makes for an easy, if lengthy, read. Elin Hellström, Brandt New Agency (Spain). (Aug.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Publisher and author Boström (Sherlock Holmes and Conan Doyle in the Newspapers) has woven the twists, turns, and copyright convolutions of the original "Sherlock Holmes" stories and later pastiches, films, radio, theatre, and television adaptations into a comprehensive and comprehensible narrative that tracks how devotees have endeavored to breathe new life into their favorite sleuth. What is it about Sherlock Holmes-the consulting detective created by Arthur Conan Doyle in 1887-that captivates us? We all think we know him. Readers may be familiar with the original four novels and 56 short stories that fascinated Victorian England and continue to appeal, or watched film adaptations with Basil Rathbone, Robert Downey Jr., or Ian McKellen. Many have been introduced to the character through the BBC series Sherlock, a dazzling reinterpretation set in modern London starring Benedict Cumberbatch. Some even believe Holmes to be a real person, with societies worldwide celebrating his genius. How did this fictional creation become a revered iconic figure? In brief, novelistic chapters, Boström supplies a well-researched, chronological approach to the history. VERDICT To be enjoyed by Sherlockians everywhere, this title makes it clear that Holmes's story is far from over.-Penelope J.M. Klein, Fayetteville, NY © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book list *Starred Review* Boström begins with one more run-through of the origins of Sherlock Holmes, perhaps the mightiest fictional creation ever, and he comes up with some intriguing and fresh details. Sidney Paget, one of the first artists to draw Holmes, is said by some to have based the detective's angular appearance on his brother Walter. Paget gave Holmes a deerstalker because that's what Paget wore himself. Boström claims Doyle saw Holmes merely as a way to get attention for his more serious work, thus becoming the first of many to learn that one doesn't use Holmes. Just the opposite. Boström also tries, this time unsuccessfully, to make Doyle's heirs' battles interesting, though these are best seen as quarries for future research, like the squabbles among production companies. The attraction here is watching the publishing world catch on to what readers have always known: these are not detective stories but stories about a detective. Boström credits the Robert Downey Jr., films for hastening this enlightenment, claiming that those movies understood that Doyle's tales formed a template for modern buddy films. The canon of critical and biographical material on Holmes and Doyle is massive, of course, but even so, this latest entry makes a significant contribution to our understanding of how a bloodhound called Sherlock took over the world.--Crinklaw, Don Copyright 2017 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.