The Hound of the Baskervilles | Sir Arthur Conan Doyle | Book Review

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Book review of The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

So, we all have that favourite title from every genre we proudly splay at the top of the pile. As far as crime fiction is concerned, for me “The Hound of the Baskervilles” has been that head ranker always owing to the sheer mastery with which the story has been crafted and the tale of crime plotted. Just to let you guys a little bit about my thoughts on this classic British literature crime fiction, sharing my thoughts today.

The Hound of the Baskervilles

Neelam Sharma
Author: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle


It was a brave man who would cross the wild Devon moorlands in darkness…

This line alone can give you a complete and picturesque description of what is about to unfold and transpire in this phenomenal classic by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle titled “The Hound of the Baskervilles”, a Sherlock Holmes mystery that has been one of my absolute all-time favourites and which I had to share with you guys today.

I mean, I need to do this for Christ’s sake, to share my absolute favourite crime fiction with you guys. It is only natural that I do so since I am sure this is a story and a book that you will also enjoy reading to bits. Especially if you like crime fiction that is fast-paced, intuitive, intimidating, dramatic, and, at the same time, written par excellence.

So, if you like me have ever read Sherlock Holmes, you will realize that Sir Arthur’s writings have a different kind of persuasiveness attached to their tales. It is done not only invoking a great sense of mystery but I have to admit the tales have a lot to dish out-logic, deductive reasoning, intelligence, sheer valour, a certain qualmy unpredictability about them and most importantly Holmes’ sense of quiet that tends to overpower and do the talking towards the climax and end.

I mean though that is somewhat Sir Arthur’s usual style as far as Holmes is concerned, this book, for me at least was an exception. Like a lion silently waiting in the bushes, preparing to unleash its ferocity on its prey, this tale had the ability to completely uncoil itself on my senses, keeping me hooked from the very beginning.

Ok, I know you will be like this one is written in the Victorian era but hey that hardly matters for the kind of brilliance this one elucidates.

The story which revolves around the Baskerville family described a curse which was supposed to have been on them for ages leading to the sinister events that take place on the melancholic moor of Devonshire. The legend which commenced with Hugo Baskerville’s death, has been the pet story of the family and returns again post the death of Charles Baskerville when his heir, the surviving relative Henry Baskerville comes to stay at the Baskerville Hall.

As one scenario unfolded after another, I was absolutely thrown off balance since it happened to lever me in different directions all at once. On the one hand, there is Dr. Mortimer, the benefactor of the family, who gets Holmes involved in order to solve this mystery, which has been “hounding” them for ages. On the other hand, there is Henry Baskerville, innocent and unsuspecting yet an indispensable party to the mystery. The manner in which Holmes, aided by Dr. Watson and all the other clues he gets along the way, solves this riddle will keep you gripped and intrigued for ages.

To begin with, the novel which brought with it mystery, intrigue as well as crime fiction has that little bit of a supernatural quality too which for me added that oomph, spicing it up for me reasonably well.

The moor, which comes to life, post twilight added so much suspense, not to mention the bit of “horror-like” feel the moor was adding to the entire story. I virtually could feel myself walking along it, beside Sir Henry and visualizing that “hound of death” both, before and during the climax.

Scintillating and well-paced, Sir Arthur has managed to create a masterpiece of stupendous proportions through this tale, synchronizing smaller subplots in a seamless manner. There is wit and humour, there are multiple suspects alongside an imposing scenery, dead bodies and so much that you can barely stay still.

Yes, one may argue that Sherlock is one of the most interesting characters in British literature, but for me, that alone is not a reasonable argument in support of voicing the sheer excellence of this piece of work. The complete continuum of the tale, the symphony of characters, the sequencing of events, and the characterizations themselves, are in such beautiful tandem that it felt like a super sinister poetry I was reciting, at places rather than a suspenseful crime fiction.

Related: Best Classic Translated Book: Timeless Tales in Translation by Chaitali Sengupta

Whoa there! I guess I may not stop at all. But just to give you guys my concluding thoughts- a book you cannot afford to miss? Nah, I’d rather say a criminal offence if you miss reading this one! An absolute delight for crime fiction lovers, this one has to be adorning the bookshelves of your reading nook.

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