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Publisher's Summary

In From Holmes to Sherlock, Mattias Boström re-creates the full story behind the legendary detective and his many incarnations - a real-life narrative of success, tragedy, and family secrets that has never previously been told in its entirety. The beginning is classic: a young Arthur Conan Doyle sitting in a Scottish lecture hall taking notes on his medical professor Dr. Joseph Bell's powers of observation. More than a decade later, Conan Doyle's short stories became a runaway success in the popular monthly Strand Magazine. A parallel Holmes soon evolved, with a whole industry of plays, parody, and pastiche, and Boström skillfully follows the men and women who have perpetuated and recast the Sherlockian myth - including the actors who became famous for their personifications of Holmes; Conan Doyle's sons, who desperately wanted to make big business of the detective; the Georgian princess who ended up entangled in the Conan Doyle legacy; and finally the pair of modern-day fans who brainstormed the idea behind the TV sensation Sherlock. Written in novelistic prose, Boström's account is a singular celebration of the most famous detective in the world - a must-listen for newcomers and experts alike.

©2017 Mattias Boström (P)2017 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

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A treat

A treat from start to finish. Mattias Boström lays out the entire history of Sherlock Holmes, from the time Conan Doyle first set down a few notes on a sheet of paper through the Sherlock and Elementary TV series and the film Mr Holmes. It's replete with silent films feared lost but rediscovered in an unlikely place, and with podcasts and hashtags. It's a tale of immense creativity, but also a tale of lawsuit after lawsuit, as the Conan Doyle estate asserts full copyright over not just the stories but the characters themselves.

Boström has written a hundred or so short chapters. Typically a chapter will end on a bit of a cliffhanger, with the next chapter veering off into a different direction, and the connections emerging only later. In the process he's created a literary biography of Conan Doyle, a history of the Conan Doyle estate, and a celebration of the many brilliant actors who have taken on the role of Holmes.

I don't know how a real Sherlockian would feel about this. (A Sherlockian is someone who chooses to pretend Holmes was a real person and that the stories are nonfiction.) Boström shows us the man — or more accurately the men and women — behind the curtain. Briskly paced, well-narrated, and highly recommended. I look forward to listening to it again.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Bronx Guy
  • new york, ny United States
  • 10-18-17

Sometimes too much is too much

A remarkable achievement. There is no aspect of the Sherlockian saga is untouched here. Not only is Conan-Doyle's life examined in minute detail, but also the lives of C-D's children, friends, acquaintances, publishers, as well as assorted heroes, rascals, actors, copiers, poseurs, etc. The tome is best read/heard in small doses since the information download can be overwhelming. Bostrom assumes a reader will want to know all there is to know about anything related to Holmes, not matter how tangential. If this is your interest, this is the book for you. If you don't intend to apply for membership in the Baker Street Irregulars, you may want to stick with the Canon.

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  • Lucky
  • Philadelphia, PA.
  • 09-25-17

The reader!

Interesting content but can hardly deal with the sing-song performance of the reader! What a shame!