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Old February 7 2013, 07:19 PM   #1752
S. Gomez
Rear Admiral
Location: Vancouver, BC
Re: So What Are you Reading?: Generations

Allyn Gibson wrote: View Post
S. Gomez wrote: View Post
Allyn Gibson wrote: View Post
To the point where I am (seventy-five pages), I have mixed feelings.
I'm interested in hearing what you thought of it when you're done. I enjoyed the book a lot, though not quite as much as the original stories. The solution to the mystery is very, very different from anything Doyle would have written, yet the book still somehow remains convincingly in-universe. I found there was a touch of melancholy in Watson's narration at some points, as he realizes this is the last tale he'll ever tell about his friend.
I finished it on Sunday after Downton Abbey, and I posted some thoughts on my blog.

Here's a key sentence from that: "Silk reads as if Horowitz decided to write a “Sherlock Holmes greatest hits” novel, and he decided to pack in so many of the iconic scenes and passages from the Canon as he could that, by the end, I was half expecting an appearance by Irene Adler."

By and large I thought the writing felt like Watson's, though there were some moments when it really didn't like when Watson comments from his future vantage point on the events in the story's present.

"The Adventure of the Flat-Cap Gang" was, I thought, a little mundane, but it also felt more authentically Canonical. "The Adventure of the House of Silk" had more in common with some of the more lurid Jack-the-Ripper theories and didn't feel very Canonical at all. Ironically, it was the House of Silk mystery that I solved (except for where it was) before it was solved in the book, and I didn't suss out the Flat-Cap Gang solution at all.

I admired the book more than I liked it. It's well-written, it's certainly evocative and gripping, but I also didn't find it to be anything special -- or worthy of the critical notice it received for being authorized by the Doyle estate. It's nothing more than another Sherlock Holmes pastiche.
It's been awhile since I read the book, but this conversation inspired me to get the audiobook from the library. I agree with you about making too much out of the estate's authorization; I don't think that makes it anything more than a pastiche either. But I've read a few pastiches in my time, and this is definitely one of the better ones. So I liked it purely on those grounds.

As for my reading, I just started a book called The Floating Admiral...written by a whole bunch of authors! Back in the Golden Age of detective fiction, circa 1930s, many of the best-selling writers of the day (including Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers) were part of an informal group called The Detection Club. And one day someone got the crazy idea to write a collaborative novel. Each writer produced a chapter, handed it on to the next writer, and so on. The solution was not foreseen at the outset, so the last person had to tie everything together. In addition, each contributor handed in their own solution in a sealed envelope to be printed at the back of the book. It sounds like a giant mess...but really it was just a game they played with themselves for their own amusement. And it couldn't have been that bad because they did it a couple more times.
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