Friday, November 9, 2012

Book Beginnings: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author's name.

TWITTER: If you are on Twitter, please tweet a link to your post using the has tag #BookBeginnings. My Twitter handle is @GilionDumas.

MR. LINKY: Please leave a link to your post below. If you don't have a blog, but want to participate, please leave a comment with your Book Beginning.


To Sherlock Holmes she is always the woman. 
 - from "A Scandal in Bohemia," the first story in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle.

That is a catchy start for any story. But given the eminence of this particular story in Doyle's oeuvre, and the significance of "the woman" to Sherlock Holmes, it is worth reading a fuller opening passage:

To Sherlock Holmes she is always the woman. I have seldom heard him mention her under any other name. In his eyes she eclipses and predominates the whole of her sex. It was not that he felt any emotion akin to love for Irene Adler. All emotions, and that one particularly, were abhorrent to his cold, precise but admirably balanced mind. 

Yes, it is the introduction of Irene Adler! I think she plays a greater role in movie adaptations and spin offs than in the books, but she still looms large in the collective recollection of Sherlock Holmes' world.  

I started reading all the Sherlock Holmes book in order last year.  This is the third volume and I like the stories a lot.  But this is the book I have on my iPhone kindle app, which means it is my emergency book for when I get stuck waiting in line, or need something to read while grabbing a quick bite to eat. So I've been reading these stories for months and months. I may have to grab the book-book off my shelf and finish it off. 

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