This is the first post in English of this blog and I will talk about The hound of Baskervilles and the meeting of The Brno Book Club. Of course after reading the book, the comments are going to be full of spoilers, be aware of it ;).
Well, first of all, I would like to introduce the book club. This club is the wonderful idea of Lyra (thank you so much!), who is the administrator of the club and our Facebook group.
Description: We are book lovers who intend to meet every month to discuss a specific book. If you want to join, you must be either invited by a current member or write a short message why you want to join. Thank you!
If you live near Brno and you would like to join, don’t hesitate to contact me to give you access to our Facebook group.
The hound of Baskervilles is the second book that we have read and discussed together. The first one was Animal Farm by George Orwell, but unfortunately I could not attend the meeting and therefore there is no post about it. However, I did finish the book :P, click here to read the review (in Spanish).
So let’s focus on The hound of Baskervilles. We started the meeting with some brief introduction and summary, and then Lyra led the conversation with her questions about the book and some more general matters connected with it:
- Why were/are Sherlock’s stories so famous?
Firstly, the author was one of the first writers in England to write about detectives. Secondly, Sherlock himself. Despite being cold and distant with people, he has an advanced mind and he is a great observer, solving his cases based on facts and theories that he proves right or wrong to find the truth. Fascinating way to solve crimes, isnt’t it?
Moreover, the fact that the stories were published in parts was also appealing. Another reason can be the friendship of our two heroes, so different from each other.
- Why is this book so famous? Why not another one?
Well, we were just guessing that it was because of Sherlock himself and the location of the action, so different from the city of London, where almost all Sherlock’s adventures take place.
However, after some little research, I believe I have a better answer for this question, previously mentioned in my review of the book (in Spanish). I think this book is so famous because it was written after the author killed Sherlock.
From what I read, the author was tired of Sherlock stealing his time and decided to kill him, as he wanted to write about different topics. However, after Sherlock died, fans started to complaint to get Sherlock back. But when the author heard the story on which the novel is based, he decided to “revive” him. I say “revive” because this novel is about a case in which Sherlock participated before he died. After this novel, the fans got crazy and the author had to eventually revive him for real. That’s why is so famous novel and everybody knows about it.
I think another factor why the novel is so famous can be the main role that Watson plays in the investigation. Maybe the author tired of Sherlock, decided to put Watson as the hero for a while… :D
- Description of the relationship between Sherlock and Watson.
According to some members of the club, during other adventures, Watson shows himself as submissive and therefore Sherlock doesn’t hesitate to use him, as he does in this novel too. However, here we can see how Watson is trying to get acknowledgement from Sherlock thanks to his personal research on the case.
As for why they are so compatible, I think it is because Watson understands Sherlock or doesn’t judge the way he is and he feels devotion for Sherlock.
- Description of the Moor.
As I said before, the location where the story takes place is really different from the usual London we see in other adventures. The mood, the mystery and the creepy atmosphere is the perfect location for a mystery like the hound. We highlighted the way the moor and Stapleton are so similar: under harmless surface, there is something perverse hiding.
- Characters and women.
We also talked about our favourite character. Stapleton is my favourite one because sometimes he seems to be more astute than Sherlock and he really is a rival for him.
We also talked about the women of the book and the role that they play in the story. They are a really important part of the story but they also show their strength. We all agreed on the fact that they seem to be really strong for that era but also rebels, fighting against the authority, either the society itself or a husband.
- Classes of the period.
Although there is a brief mention about peasants (“There are two moorland farmers”), that’s all that we know them. During the meeting, we talked about it and concluded that there are not more mentions about peasants, because the original readership of the novel did not want to know about them during their free time.
Well, I guess that’s all for now until the next meeting about Of mice and men by John Steinbeck. I hope you enjoyed our comments and I strongly recommend you to read The hound of Baskervilles, it is very entertaining and as Sherlock said in the novel:
“Never been there [in Dartmoor]? Ah, well, I don’t suppose you will forget your first visit.”
PS. Happy World Book Day! ;)
Header image: first edition. Thanks to Wikipedia.