Sherlock Holmes is conceited, pushy, needy, selfish, righteous, and obsessive. He takes his only friend, John Watson, for granted, and talks down to him, as well as everyone else. He smokes too much, the cocaine use can't be good, and he can get a little manic at times... but he's brilliant!
I had an idea that I would read Sherlock Holmes from beginning to end, starting with A Study in Scarlet, and just crank through the books in the order they were written. Then I found this volume in a used book store and thought: What the heck, this seems like a good collection. Its called A Treasury of Sherlock Holmes. It's got a few of the novels, and a bunch of the short stories, and it's bound nice, although it's and older volume and the binding wasn't made to last unfortunately. I feel like I'm missing something however.
The stories were selected by Adrian Conan Doyle (Sir Arthur's playboy son) who also wrote the introduction, which discusses how he didn't really have complete freedom in the selection of the stories, and worked with the folks at Hanover House to insure that it would all fit into the volume they were willing to publish. I didn't finish the introduction as it was one of those chatty things where the writer goes on to analyze the stories and drops one spoiler after another because he assumes we've all read Sherlock a thousand times I guess. I'll go back and read it afterward. So without knowing more, I get the feeling that the stories are either out of order, or there are some gaps in the chronology due to the stories that were left out.
Otherwise, its so far, so good. Some of the stories are better than others, and there are a few that just don't satisfy very much at all, but I'm enjoying the book generally. And I don't really feel bad for Watson, by the way. He's just a tool the author uses to talk to me through Holmes's lips; explaining the things I don't understand as we go along. For my part, I don't say much, I just hang next to Watson (where the action is) and I leave it to him to ejaculate "Good God Holmes!" or some similar exclamation of our mutual amazement and admiration.
Go get 'em Sherlock. More later.