The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

June 21, 2014

I have always been keen in mystery and the unknown. Life would be horribly bland if everything has been laid out nicely with perfect explanations. And when I think of mystery I would associate it with literary figures like Sherlock Holmes. I grew up hearing that famous name but only had a faint indication of his true talents because I have never read any of the books by Sir Arthur Conan Dyle until recently.

Check that coat toss out

Admittedly, my interest in Sherlock only picked up when I started watching the modern Sherlock TV series. It certainly helped that Benedict Cumberbatch perfectly suits the role of Sherlock (and is such an eye candy), and that Martin Freeman is as cute as  button. I knew part of my heart was stolen when I first saw him in a Star Trek as Khan. Pardon my fan girling, but just look at him.

Anyway, I devoured through all three seasons of Sherlock in a mere span of time. I am not exaggerating when I say that I felt a void when I completed all the episodes, especially with the fact that the fourth season wasn't about to be released any time soon. 

So, quitting cold turkey, I decided to turn to the original classic Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I found myself enthralled by the mysteries that shroud each case, totally captivated by the way Sherlock manages to piece together the vague and scattered evidence into a perfect puzzle. And he does it so matter of factly that I felt like John Watson - kind of ashamed that I could have missed such blatant details. Anyway, having gone through all of Sherlock's adventures, here are my favourite quotes from the book.

1. It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important.

2. You did not know where to look, and so you missed all that was important.

3. You have a grand gift of silence. It makes you quite invaluable as a companion.

4. Weakness in one limb is often compensated for by exceptional strength in the others.

5. It is not cold which makes me shiver.

6. A vague feeling of impending misfortune impressed me.

7. To me at least there was a strange contrast between the sweet promise of the spring and this sinister quest upon which we were engaged.

8. Ah, me! it’s a wicked world, and when a clever man turns his brains to crime it is the worst of all.

9. Absolute and complete silence before, during, and after? No reference to the matter at all, either in word or writing?

10. For a while he could not get his words out, but swayed his body and plucked at his hair like one who has been driven to the extreme limits of his reason.

11. Keep your forgiveness for those who ask for it.

12. To the man who loves art for its own sake (...) it is frequently in its least important and lowliest manifestations that the keenest pleasure is to be derived. 

13. I have frequently gained my first real insight into the character of parents by studying their children.

14. Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent. We would not dare to conceive the things which are really mere commonplaces of existence. If we could fly out of that window hand in hand, hover over this great city, gently remove the roofs, and peep in at the queer things which are going on, the strange coincidences, the plannings, the cross-purposes, the wonderful chains of events, working through generations, and leading to the most outré results, it would make all fiction with its conventionalities and foreseen conclusions most stale and unprofitable.

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