Lair of the Geek

Bringing you all the geek stuff

The Encounters of Sherlock Holmes

encounterssherlockAuthors: George Mann , Mark Hodder , James Lovegrove , Paul Magrs , Cavan Scott , Mags L Halliday , Nick Kyme , Stuart Douglas , Eric Brown ,
Richard Dinnick , Kelly Hale , Steve Lockley , Mark Wright , David Barnett
Published: Titan Books £7.99
Edited by: George Mann
Review by: Martyn Elwell

I need to come clean, and to apologise dear reader, about a certain factor, and that fact is that
I’m not a huge fan of anthologies. I’ve read a fair few in my life. I’ve read anthologies from a single
author, about a certain genre and about certain connecting subjects, but they always leave me
a little dissatisfied and my expectation of the book never seems to be upheld. It’s like looking
forward to eating a really good meal you loved as a child; only find that it wasn’t as satisfying as
you remember. So, automatically this book had to work harder to grab my attention than any other
book, merely because of its status as an anthology. One of its plus side factors was that it was purely
about a certain resident of 221b Bakers Street (Sherlock Holmes), and this is something I could truly
enjoy.

 

Each story presented is unique in that Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson are pitted into some rather
interesting and unique situations that Sir Conan Arthur Doyle would never, could never, have
written about. Adventures from far flung exotic locales, or involving the living dead, or even another
universe are explored within this anthology. I feel that the book itself, due to its nature of being
about one particular hero, needed to explore different paths, to introduce these interesting and
unique situations to the reader to keep them hooked into how our brilliant Mr Holmes would
deduce and observe the truth in each short tale.

Sadly though, for me, the curse of the anthology struck. I felt at times that the stories were a little
contrived and forced, the situations a little too interesting and unique. I felt that the characters, at
times, were constrained within the stories and more than once I was left scratching my head at how
a scenario panned out, how an intangible solution was achieved. It left me a little hungry for the plot
twists and turns that I would find in a classic Holmes adventure. In essence, I was disappointed. I felt
that so much could have been achieved with this book, and sadly, for me at least, it didn’t quite get
there. I do not doubt the writing skills of each of the authors or the stories they wove, but to hold
the stories together was a little tenuous. I felt that there was no smooth segue between the tales,
and at times it was a little jarring, especially as some tales were presented in first person and some
in third. I longed for a little harmony in this book and it wasn’t the place to obtain it.

This is not to say the book was awful. On the contrary, it is easy for me to seek and discover those
aspects I dislike but there was a lot about this book I enjoyed. I loved the fact that I could easily pick
this up and read a story and put it down. It was episodic in its approach and I know many people
who love that style. The tales presented were exciting and enjoyable to read. I lost a fair few hours
reading this and, though I wanted a little more, it gave me a taster to seek out some Sherlock
Holmes related material (which I found watching television). To summary, if you like Sherlock
Holmes, read this book. If you like your heroes in strange, and I mean strange places, read this book.
If you like anthologies read this book. If you the answer to those previous questions was a no, go
elsewhere.

By Mart

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *