Formally published as A Slight Trick of the Mind, now a major motion picture.
"Why'd she come here? Why'd she come to you?" A cloud passed over the sun, casting a long shadow across the gardens. "Hope, I suspect," said Holmes. "It seems I am known for discovering answers when events appear desperate."
It is 1947, and the long-retired Sherlock Holmes, now 93, lives in a remote Sussex farmhouse with his housekeeper and her young son. He tends to his bees, writes in his journal, and grapples with the diminishing powers of his mind.
But in the twilight of his life, as people continue to look to him for answers, Holmes revisits a case that may provide him with answers of his own to questions he didn't even know he was asking - about life, about love, and about the limits of the mind's ability to know.
©2014 Mitch Cullin (P)2014 Canongate Books Ltd
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"One mystery: How did this get published?"
Everything bar the narration, which was pretty good. Ridiculous, paper-thin 'plots' in which the author seems to have latched on to something unusual (the glass armonica, death by wasp sting) and spun unconvincing and rather desperate stories around them, liberally padded with inconsequential and boring nonsense. And really, a ninety three year old man travelling to Japan and back, seemingly overland? That would have been a serious undertaking for a much younger man in the fifties. Even when Holmes demonstrates his powers to his Japanese host he explains the process, instead of just suprising his audience with the conclusions for effect as Conan Doyle had him do. Managed to get half way through then gave up in disgust.
No, but he made a good fist of it given the poor material he had to work with.
Chapters One to Twenty Two.
"Rambling and disappointing"
I was initially gripped by this book, which promised to be an unusual take on the Sherlock Holmes saga. The language is very like Conan Doyle's but sadly the stories (such as they are) have very little of the intrigue and excitement of the real Sherlock Holmes stories. There are three 'scenarios' in the book - I wouldn't grace them with the word 'story', and the author provides long rambling descriptions which for the most part don't seem to go anywhere. I persevered for a long time, hoping that everything would come together. Sadly, now near the end of the book, it appears that they do not.
The reader makes the best of a bad job.
A plausible plot would have helped.
I am not a Sherlock Holmes fan and that is probably for the best, as this has none of the skillful prose or complexity of character you would expect. It is thin on plot, filled with inconsistency and inane. A waste of time and money.
It made me question how such a feeble excuse for a story ever got published.
I liked the idea that Holmes is suffering from dementia and his fragmented mind is illustrated by a fragmented narrative, but the story is very repetitive and the other characters aren't interesting or likeable enough to grip you, unfortunately. The author really went some way into making Sherlock Holmes as unlikeable as possible, his age emphasising all his worst traits.
Probably not. There were some interesting tidbits, especially about Japan, Hiroshima, and bees, which showed the efforts of his research, but as a narrative this was one long yawn-fest, I'm very sorry to say. Initially, with all the glass armonica business and the grief-stricken Edwardian couple, I was intrigued (and I feel the novel would have been far more interesting had it stuck to this idea of an old, unsolved case), but that storyline soon trailed off and ultimately felt tacked on to a novel which seemed more interested in the follies of memory and ageing - and unsympathetically so.
He nearly sent me to sleep a few times as there was so little range to his delivery. All quite monotonous.
I had been eager to read the Conan Doyle stories, but sadly I now feel I need a good break from Sherlock Holmes for a while!
I can only imagine the film makes a lot of changes to this source material, otherwise it would surely be very boring and disjointed.
"Extreme whimsy at its most whimsical"
I'm not entirely sure if this about loss, getting old or what happened to the father. it's just sort of.. well dull really.
You could have put any detective double act in this, it isn't really specific to Holmes has none of his slight of hand or wonderful insight. it's just a whimsical story about a man getting old who used to solve puzzles.
whimsical/out of ten.
wonderful narration and a beautiful story that is heartbreaking and yet so compelling. i was hookedupon this well crafted story from start to finish.
I think I would like to see the movie now. This is a book I imagine myself listening to again.
Throughout the whole story I was confused. I felt the story was dis-jointed and I could grasp the point. Although I listened to end end, I did so in the hope that at some point everything would become clear but unfortunately it didn't.
The narration was good but I must say I am disappointed.
no, not the Sherlock Holmes I have come to know and love.
unfortunately not a lot. possibly cut out the ridiculous travels for a 93 year old.
no, but I would not mind listening to him again.
no, I did try to keep going but gave up after an hour or so.
I found the story lines boring and trying to imagine Holmes going to Japan at his age in the 1950's difficult to believe. the original stories by Conan Doyle cannot be beaten for me.
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