I skipped over most of the first three chapters which tell of Conan Doyle's time as doctor aboard a whaling ship. This horrid persecution of innocent animals was too painful for me to endure. The writing, though, is admirable as demonstrated in the following:
"Even so, he would come to have qualms about this “murderous harvest,” as he called it. “Yet amid all the excitement—and no one who has not held an oar in such a scene can tell how exciting it is—one’s sympathies lie with the poor hunted creature. The whale has a small eye, little larger than that of a bullock, but I cannot easily forget the mute expostulation which I read in one, as it dimmed over in death within hand’s touch of me."
Conan Doyle's creation of Sherlock Holmes is related in vivid fashion, as is his fascination with spiritualism. This book covers his very active life in great detail. It is to be recommended to anyone curious about the writer of one of the most influential themes of the modern world.