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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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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Tad Davis on 09-20-17

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.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Richard H on 01-07-18

Too much & read poorly

Fascinating, well researched, history of the origin and development of the characters and stories. But more than I wanted to know about the author’s spendthrift, squabbling heirs and their machinations to milk their father’s work while apparently doing little to make their own livings. Read in a sing-song cadence that became very difficult to listen to as the subject matter devolved into details that obscured the points ultimately made. The narrator’s voice pitched up and paused like a pendulum, irrespective of the meaning and contents of the sentences. If you want to get to the point, listen to the chapters up to Doyle’s interest in mysticism then the last few as Sherlock emerges as a modern character.

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