I used to read the Sherlock Holmes stories a lot when I was a kid. I read all of them several times, which shows even now when most stories in this book sounded at least vaguely familiar (and I managed to recall the solution to the mystery right from the start in most of them). I always wanted to come back and re-read Conan Doyle in English (as a kid I read in Russian), and now I found a good opportunity - combining it with a first experience of hearing an audiobook. Indeed, as with any book, reading it in the language it was originally written in is much more pleasant. The English of Conan Doyle is delightful - combining the prettiness of the refined British jargon of the 19th century with a very readable and lucid style (which can't be said about many books by British authors of those times). The "Adventures" is a set of 12 short stories built on top of the same template - someone comes to Holmes, complains of a problem. Holmes listens and usually forms a solution right away. Sometimes, it takes him another day or two of searching around to solve the problem. Even though it's so simplistic, these stories are a lot of fun to read. Forgive me the comparison, but that Holmes would be one hell of a hacker had he lived today. He loves collecting reference information, does research on topics like cigar ashes and clay types of London areas, and immerses himself in all nighters of chemical experiments. Clearly, he has the hacker attitude. Another thing I noticed is the "meta"-references of the book to itself. In multiple places, Holmes mentions that Watson is putting these memoirs to writing, and often adds that Watson often exaggerates his (Holmes's) humble achievements. This way, the book actually refers to itself - which is cool. If you haven't read Sherlock Holmes's stories yet, you must! Age has no meaning here, I believe everyone will enjoy them. If scholar merit is of great importance to you, you can be consoled by the fact that the books provide a pretty good description of the life in London in the late 19th century.


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