Great White Snark: "The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes."

Saturday, October 23, 2010

"The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes."

Because this blog wouldn't be truly Halloweeny if I didn't promote a spooky story or two.

(Do you guys remember this episode?? It was super scary! If I ever find all the episodes of Wishbone on DVD, I AM BUYING THEM. ALL.)

There are very few stories which I recommend people to listen to rather than read. The Hound of the Baskervilles is one of them.

Also, it's a Sherlock Holmes story. If you didn't know that, get off this blog, you don't belong here.

Plot Summary: I can't even sum up this plot. It'd be like trying to explain "Les Miserables" to someone. There's just a lot going on. In short: Sir Henry Baskerville is this noveau riche American guy who falls into his family's old landed money. Which sounds spectacular, only there's this curse. Anyone in the Baskerville family gets haunted and hounded (see what I did there?) by this ghostly, beastly, demonic hound dog. And it's an EPIC dog. It's like, the size of a horse and it gallumphs across the moors seeking out Baskerville blood. It's totally way scarier than I just made it sound. It eats people's throats out. THAT'S INTENSE.

So anyway, a friend of Henry Baskervilles, named Mortimer, seeks out Sherlock Holmes's help. Holmes is interested, but being the world's only consulting detective, he's way too busy to deal with ghostly, throat-hungry hounds. So he's all like, "Guys, I'm Sherlock Holmes. I'm way too busy saving the world to deal with this. But it is interesting. Watson, you go." So, after throwing a minor hissy fit and following Baskerville around London like a creeper with Holmes, Watson goes off to Baskerville Hall and basically conducts the entire investigation, all whilst writing incredibly detailed letters to his bff Holmes back home.

(Also something with a phony cab driver and a boot happens. But I won't spoil it.)

So Baskerville Hall is located in the middle of the creepiest part of England ever. There are all these moors and swamps ("mires," they call them), wherein animals get trapped and die slow, horrible deaths (much to Watson's horror). Also, there are women weeping the halls at night, and they also hear they baying of the hound. Well, Watson is smart, but he's no Holmes, so he just goes around talking to pretty much everyone he meets on the English countryside, playing detective. All the neighbors are creepy, btw.

So, all this stuff happens. It's creepy. The moors are creepy. Holmes is being stuck-up in London, and then people start dying. And Watson's all like, "Omg, what do I do?" So he keeps writing to Holmes, because that's sure as hell what I'd do if I was friends with Sherlock Holmes.

I don't want to say anything else, because then we get into major spoilers territory. But the hound totally exists and it DOES rip out people's throats. And there's an escaped convict and some ruins. And Holmes makes a dramatic and heroic re-appearance. And Watson ends up doing a pretty fine job on his own.

So why, being the absolute Holmes fangirl that I am, would I like a story where Holmes is so clearly absent? Because it's GOOD. And creepy. And Holmes is actually there the whole time, we're just too stupid to figure out his genius mastermindery. He is like a puppetmaster, and all the characters and the readers are like marionettes dangling from the strings of his genius. You don't even KNOW.

You can download the audiobook for free here or, if you're insistent upon reading it (it's good either way, really), you can do so here.

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