Holmes himself is a mysterious character he speaks his mind to every person he comes in to contact with, regardless of his or her public status, Holmes himself thinks him self-superior to the law and will break it if necessary to crack a case. When he does this he gives very little thought to what consequences he may have brought upon himself. Holmes will sit up in his chair for hours on end smoking his pipe, trying to work out clues and connections to the case he may be investigating.
Holmes addiction to opium comes across in almost all of the books I have studied. Holmes is in a way like Samson who appears invincible, but unlike Samson Holmes is flaw is not in his hair but in his addiction to opium. This indeed, Sherlock Holmes major weakness.
The Sherlock Holmes novels nearly always start with Watson in the third narrative going to meet Holmes while passing by. To study what it is about Doyle’s Holmes stories that make them a best seller I compared them with another detective fiction novel, written by an equally famous author, Agatha Christie.
Unlike Holmes novels where Watson is the narrator Christies novels are written in the first person narrative, they have a twist at ever turn. Christie’s novels are a lot longer than Doyle’s, as Doyle’s are only short stories. I feel that although Christie’s novel was exceptionally good; I felt that the Holmes novels were far superior.
Christie’s novel didn’t have the flow and tension as the Holmes novels.
They lacked the enthusiasm Holmes has for his cases especially the ‘chase near the end of the novel. Christie books also had a love story running along side the crime/mystery plot, which I felt spoilt actual mystery. It was also not a surprise to find that the person I had suspected to commit the crime after a few pages was in fact the culprit. Where as with Doyle’s novels you are left perplexed as to how Holmes uncovers the culprit and has to explain who he does it to the reader, and Watson. The Christie novel also had far to many characters involved, many of which were obvious red herrings.
At some points in the novel I didn’t know who was talking to who and had to read back a few pages to try and make it out. Yet with the Holmes novels they flow nicely and are easy to read. Christie’s novels like Doyle’s follow Monsignor Ronald Knox ten rules i.e., no sinister or nasty foreigners are involved in the crime/mystery, although I have only read one of her crime novels. I feel her novels lack the enthusiasm that Doyle puts into his novels. Holmes has a far more superior attitude to him, than the lead character in Christie’s novel. He is given respect from everyone who knows him, apart from his archenemy. Whereas, Christies main character is pushed around by his father and his not the top of his ‘league’ unlike Holmes. Overall I feel although Christie’s novel was good the Holmes novels were far superior.
Out of the several Holmes novels I have read Holmes has always been acquainted with clients. The client will tell of his or her ordeal and then they will leave, Holmes and Watson will have a conversation before they go of to solve the mystery/crime that the client is apparently mystified by. Centuries after being written these books are still widely read and are popular with all ages. The books have a satisfying end and can be read over and over again and still they satisfy. Not only do they give the reader an insight into the life of Sherlock Holmes but it also gives us an idea of what Victorian England was like.