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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Student Review: The Hound of the Baskervilles (Doyle)

Title: The Hound of the Baskervilles

Author: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Genre: Classical Mystery
Pages: 359
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

This book begins, like many other Sherlock Holmes books, in the small, quiet shared apartment of Holmes himself and Dr. John Watson. While enjoying their tea one morning Dr. Edward Mortimer shows up, fearful, at their door. He tells them the story of the head of the Baskerville manor's grandfather's death; he was an evil man with a sadistic soul who locked a young woman in a chamber. Following her escape he led a chase which ended up in his death at the paws of the hound. Soon Holmes and Watson meet the current owner of the estate, Sir Henry Baskerville. Dr. Mortimer fears that the curse of the hound will catch up with Sir Henry and he pleads for their assistance. It is decided that Watson, Mortimer, and Sir Henry will travel to the Baskerville estate, as Holmes has other matters to attend to in London. Watson soon begins investigating, interrogating, and questioning. He is eventually accompanied by Holmes but will their combined wits be enough?

I decided to choose this novel because I am a big fan of the "Sherlock Holmes" series and any book written by Doyle, another reason was because I thoroughly enjoy mystery books. A literary technique used in this text is classism as the author emphasizes the different classes such as the high class like the Baskervilles and the lower class as the small town next to the estate. Two very obvious interesting characters are Holmes and Watson but another sneaky individual is Mr. Stapleton a butterfly collector living out on the moor. The overall theme of this book would have to be "Do not trust appearances."

I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars because it is an overall great read, had just the right amount of detail for me, and had that frightening old style tale feeling to it. I would recommend this novel to mature and strong readers as it is written in advanced vocabulary and old English style text. This story reminded me of all of the previous Conan Doyle books I have read.

The Hound Of Baskervilles written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, written for the purpose to bring Holmes back is a challenging mystery novel and includes danger for Holmes and his partner. If you could, would you take the place of Watson as the legendary detective Sherlock Holmes' assistant?
--Rob, 8th grade

I am so glad that you chose to read and review this book!  This is one of the most popular book choices for our 9th graders during their "Classics" unit each spring.  I, too, am a big fan of mysteries and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.  By the way, this is NOT the cover of the book that we have in the library, thank goodness!  We have the great one with the evil hound baring his teeth...much more in line with the tone of the book, but it wouldn't upload to the blog at all.


Anonymous said...

You have written a very good review of a classic mystery! I am a fan of Sherlock Holmes.

Sam said...

I love Sherlock Holms! You should read The Valley of Death. It's really good.


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