The Real Sherlock

Author: Lucinda Hawksley

I came across The Real Sherlock as an Audible freebie a few months ago and instantly downloaded it. Just seeing the title made me recall my childhood fascination with anything Sherlock Holmes, starting with The Hound of the Baskervilles in grade school. The Real Sherlock poses as a biography of the genius behind the famous detective. However, the story starts jerkily, zig-zagging interview style between fans and actors before finally settling, late in the two-hour recording, into a bit of background of Doyle.

Listeners learn about Doyle, or at least the highlights, including his interest in spirituality, a few glimpses into his sea travel, and the details of his how he created characters, specifically Sherlock Holmes. It’s interesting, but all very sparse and high level. Despite the brevity of the pod-cast like recording, the author chooses to concentrate on the fluff aspects more common in video docudramas, including a fairly lengthy sequence where a fan describes some of the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle related memorable (journals, etc.) that she has collected over the years. It’s a strange choice, and while actors and hobbyists take the forefront, the true heart of the author we have come to visit is obscured.

In the end, we do learn a few interesting tidbits, but it’s nothing that a brief jaunt through Wikipedia wouldn’t have revealed and expressed in a more chronological, fitting way. For a freebie, The Real Sherlock is acceptable (I mean, it’s free and there are some interesting details given, especially for those of us with no previous knowledge of the author), but I feel that there are better biographies out there that bring the author truly alive and capture a more complete sense of the man and his works.

– Frances Carden

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Frances Carden
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