Sherlock Holmes: "The Gloria Scott" (review)


The first in the lineup for our Sherlock Holmes challenge is a flashback to Holmes's college days, where he was a solitary student studying chemistry.  He made a total of (surprise) one friend, as he tells us: Victor Trevor.
He was a hearty, full-blooded fellow, full of spirits and energy, the very opposite to me in most respects, but we had some subjects in common, and it was a bond of union when I found that he was as friendless as I.
I like this bit; it makes Trevor to be a sort of proto-Watson - opposite personality to Holmes, but lonely like him.  Trevor also genuinely likes Holmes's conversation, to the point he asks him down to his house for a visit during break.

The actual mystery, involving Trevor's father, is a grisly start for our challenge!  Yet I think it summarizes many key points to the Sherlock Holmes series.  It has the mysterious note, the sympathetic villain or anti-hero, and a somewhat lengthy flashback dialogue.  More importantly, it reconfirms Holmes's belief in himself, and those adventures tend to be amongst his best.

I was a little sad to read that he spent the last seven weeks of the holiday at the college, "working out a few experiments in organic chemistry."  It seems to imply either Holmes had no family to go home to, that he was extremely obsessive about his studies (most probable), or that home was not a good place for him.

Can't wait to read all of your thoughts on this one!

Comments

  1. I definitely found this story to be rather interesting. I have read a lot of stories from Sherlock Holmes when he's older so I loved getting a perspective of his younger self and also that he found a friend in Trevor. My review should be up on Sunday!

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  2. When I first realized how far into "The Memoirs..." this story is, I was having second thoughts about reading in chronological order, but I totally get it now! I won't be reviewing each story, but I enjoyed finally diving in and will get going on the next one soon.

    I sometimes have trouble following and concentrating on classics and have had some luck in recent years trying them on audiobook. I've been meaning to try listening to an audio while following along with the print in front of me as well and decided to give that a go with Sherlock. It was a really lovely experience, even though my husband thinks it's a bit kooky. The narrator's tone, inflection, and differing voices help insure I don't miss things!

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    1. P.S. I'm listening from this full collection from Audible. 58 hours for 1 credit for any Audible members -- and the narrator is great! A reviewer posted a Table of Contents to help find the stories -- it is from 2013 and the chapters seem to have shifted slightly, but it's pretty close to help find what you are looking for.

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    2. That's a great idea, Christine! Audiobooks work well for classics. I have yet to try Audible, but I do use LibriVox.org (especially on road trips!). Thanks for sharing this resource!

      Re: chronological order, this is a new experience for me as well. Theoretically it should work, but I'm curious to see how that overlap of different times in Doyle's life may (or may not) affect the writing style. :)

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  3. What fun The Gloria Scott was! I found the shipman to be entirely creepy. I had a picture in my head of him terrorizing the household with his demands. I can't wait to see Holmes' family start playing a little more of a role in the stories.

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