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 November Buddy Read: The Sign of Four by Sir Authur Conan Doyle

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What would you rate this book after having read it?
1-2
0%
 0% [ 0 ]
3-4
0%
 0% [ 0 ]
5-6
20%
 20% [ 1 ]
7-8
40%
 40% [ 2 ]
9-10
40%
 40% [ 2 ]
Total Votes : 5
 

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Kelsey
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PostSubject: November Buddy Read: The Sign of Four by Sir Authur Conan Doyle   Tue Nov 24, 2009 8:49 pm

Everyone feel free to join and discuss at any time, whether you are reading with us (at your own pace) or have read it before.
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PostSubject: Re: November Buddy Read: The Sign of Four by Sir Authur Conan Doyle   Fri Nov 27, 2009 8:47 pm

I am nearly done with the story. This is my first experience reading Doyle, and his style of writing is very easy to read. Sherlock Holmes' relationship with Watson is pretty much what I expected, but I didn't realize the famed detective was an out-and-out drug addict. That first scene with him injecting cocaine into his veins was pretty eye-opening. I'm not familiar with any of the older movies, but something tells me they glossed over that part. Correct me if I'm wrong.

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PostSubject: Re: November Buddy Read: The Sign of Four by Sir Authur Conan Doyle   Sun Nov 29, 2009 9:06 pm

Not all of them exactly glossed over it, but they did make a point of showing it.

I am done with the story, and I am still as much in love with Sherlock Holmes as ever. And this time I actually took the trouble and read up on the background a little bit.

1. It took me a while to figure out that Mary Morstan was indeed Watson's future wife. There are several short stories set before and after his marriage, but I never thought that he actually got to know her in one of the stories. For some reason, romance and marriage are completely beyond my personal Holmes-universe, even if it is about Watson. Also, I never thought that the lady would be more than merely mentioned (later on, you frequently find references such as "my wife and I were having breakfast...").

2. Then there's this small Andaman person. I read up on that, too, finding that they are indeed exceptionally small, but not nearly as aggressive as the example we are introduced to here, and - on a side not - they are nearly extinct.

3. The case is classic. Strange incident, Holmes has more information than we do (i.e. being very familiar with the British world of crime and its inhabitants), and therefore, he has an advantage over the reader. We can follow him, we can admire him, much like Watson does, but we can never interact with the story at any point, trying to figure out who the criminal could be ourselves. Perhaps you have to be ready to accept this spectator viewpoint to like Holmes.

4. The only thing that is not so very classic is that it is actually a case of murder. Usually, Holmes' cases are strange and unusual, but murder is rare. (He remarks on this several times himself.)

5. Oh, and another thing: I find it really interesting that Doyle portrayed the official police as a bunch of clumsy good-for-nothings who never get anything right. Later on, his attitude seems to have changed gradually, and Holmes eventually takes quite a fancy to collaborating with Lestrade.

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PostSubject: Re: November Buddy Read: The Sign of Four by Sir Authur Conan Doyle   Tue Dec 01, 2009 3:21 pm

I as well have finished the story. My first experience with Doyle his been pleasant. I think the reason I never read any of his stories is that I perceived Sherlock Holmes as being a very dry, straight-laced, cold character, and I thought that Doyle's prose would reflect that. Well, Holmes is cold and quite often dry, but he is definitely not straight-laced. Imagine my surprise when I discovered he was a hard-core drug addict. In this story, the first thing he does, and the last thing as well, is reach for his precious cocaine.

I enjoyed Watson's moral dismay at this flaw in his hero's character. It shows he is not completely blind to Holmes' faults, despite his deductive genius. Watson is definitely the character to root for in these stories, I can see this already. Holmes reminds me too much of those "know-it-alls" that one runs across sometimes in life, those who like to show off their intellect and prove how smarter they are than everybody else.

All in all, though, I did enjoy the story, and I will, when I have the chance, read more.

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PostSubject: Re: November Buddy Read: The Sign of Four by Sir Authur Conan Doyle   Tue Dec 01, 2009 3:59 pm

I also find that Holmes' humour suits me very much. It is dry and often ironic, which I find very funny. In fact, I often catch myself giggling when reading the stories. How did you like that?

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PostSubject: Re: November Buddy Read: The Sign of Four by Sir Authur Conan Doyle   Fri Dec 04, 2009 11:33 pm

Bump!

Want to hear more opinions! Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: November Buddy Read: The Sign of Four by Sir Authur Conan Doyle   Sat Dec 05, 2009 4:46 am

I haven't read any for over a week. I've just been very busy. I will finish it, as it is very short, but it might take me a while. My workload should lighten up next week (I think, but you never know), though, and I'll try to read some then.
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PostSubject: Re: November Buddy Read: The Sign of Four by Sir Authur Conan Doyle   Sat Dec 05, 2009 5:16 am

I am just curious, as I've been reading over the posts. Though I would very much like to, I'm still on Gone With the Wind and I have three more books to read, so I can't start on anything new.
I would like to read some Sherlock Holmes, though I am quite turned off by the fact that he's a drug addict. Is his addiction shown in every book or implied heavily throughout the story? Neutral
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PostSubject: Re: November Buddy Read: The Sign of Four by Sir Authur Conan Doyle   Sat Dec 05, 2009 10:44 am

Louisa Ciel wrote:
I am just curious, as I've been reading over the posts. Though I would very much like to, I'm still on Gone With the Wind and I have three more books to read, so I can't start on anything new.
I would like to read some Sherlock Holmes, though I am quite turned off by the fact that he's a drug addict. Is his addiction shown in every book or implied heavily throughout the story? Neutral

In a way, yes. It is an important part of his character. The good news is, he does show all the negative side effects - and Dr. Watson will usually comment on his addiction with not-too-positive words.

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PostSubject: Re: November Buddy Read: The Sign of Four by Sir Authur Conan Doyle   Tue Jan 19, 2010 9:21 pm

I finally finished the November book read. In January. I've finally got the time.
I liked it okay, but I don't think I'll read anymore Sherlock Holmes for a while. I want to see the new movie, though.
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PostSubject: Re: November Buddy Read: The Sign of Four by Sir Authur Conan Doyle   Tue Jan 19, 2010 11:47 pm

Well, you finished, and that is something. It just goes to show how busy everyone seems to be.

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