All the Sherlock Holmes-ing I Can Take

I’m listening to all the Sherlock Holmes books, and it’s like after a while you just want to punch him in his stupid face. The degree of certainty and logic presumed in these stories is just maddening. His “reasoning” is ridiculous. It’s like listening to a Rube Goldberg machine.

Now, I am absolutely for the incredibly neat use of observation, actual detective work, science, etc. I love all the good things about Sherlock Holmes. But the idea that from the end you can “deduce” the beginning through reasoning is just so conceited when taken to this extreme. It doesn’t allow for the weirdness of being alive. People do insane things. Those long passages where he explains how he came to his conclusion make me want to jump in and point out every single tiny improbability.

Like the drunkard’s marks on the watch. He sees some marks on Watson’s watch and “deduces” that his brother was a drunkard. His brother could have had Parkinson’s. His brother could have had the mysterious habit of allowing his toddler to wind his watch, or gotten pissed off one night and scratched a bunch of lines in it for no reason. People are infinitely strange. Refusing to admit that makes the whole world a set-up for Sherlock Holmes to solve. You can almost feel the little pieces in the Rube Goldberg machine being assembled by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle so that Holmes can say, “Tah-Dah! I showed you the beginning!” Drives me crazy.

But there’s a reason these stories are so popular. And admittedly that reason is that they’re super intriguing and good. But I insist: this is a world that revolves around Sherlock Holmes, and that is just irritating. And possibly the point made by later interpretations.

Also he kills a dog in the first book which annoyed me. Totally unrelated, but also annoying.

Obviously the better detective.