Monday, October 29, 2018

A Curious Collection

Friday was the day.

I've been waiting and waiting for the new Chris Redmond anthology, Sherlock Holmes is Like, to arrive at my house.  And it finally showed up Friday afternoon!

I was lucky enough to be asked to contribute an essay to this collection, and my chapter compares Sherlock Holmes to Huckleberry Finn.  But it wasn't because my name was in print that I was excited to see this new book.  A few months ago, Chris sent the table of contents out to all 60 contributors.  It was like getting to see the shape and size of your Christmas presents, but having to wait to open them. 

59 other intriguing, interesting and unknown personages graced the list.  I'm not going to review each and every chapter, as Brad Keefauver is doing that in his own entertaining and off the wall way over on Sherlock Peoria.  Plus, his random approach to the book is better for a review than my linear, page by page consuming of it.

I've talked with other readers who have the discipline to only allow themselves one essay per day so the pleasure of this book lasts longer. 

I don't have the kind of will power.

I dove right in, like Cookie Monster at a bakery.

The first section is all about eminent Victorians, many of whom I was not familiar with.  It was so nice to be learning about new historical figures through the lens of Sherlock Holmes.  If tax law and doing laundry could be done through the lens of Sherlock Holmes, I bet I would find those topics much more interesting as well.  Maybe Redmond and his authors are on to a new line of educational theory here: learning about topics through the lens of Holmes. 

I'm half way through the next section, Legends and Immortals.  So far I've read about Odysseus, Loki, Shiva and King Arthur.  That sentence alone is enough to get your attention, but comparing the world's greatest detective to such luminaries is a recipe for success.

The chapters are collected into themes, Eminent Victorians, Legends and Immortals, Characters of Literature, Figures of Pop Culture, The Bloodhounds, and the catchall Something Recherche.  As I look forward (and I mean that in every sense of the phrase) to the coming chapters, there are ones I have a pretty good knowledge of and am looking forward to (Sam Beckett, The Beatles, Hermione Granger, Doctor Who), ones that seem intriguing (The Wizard of Oz, Batman, Zorro, Lucy Van Pelt), and ones that I have no idea what to expect but can't wait to learn (Gandalf the Grey, Hamlet, Jimmy Lavender, Elon Musk). 

So, why am I still sitting around typing this blog?  I've got reading to do!

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