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March 2012: Arthur Conan Doyle: The Hound of the Baskervilles

One thing that's not often discussed about this novel is that it was written and published at a time that railway travel was at its height in the UK. People were travelling more and more, and branches of the first newsagents were sprouting up all over the UK, from which people were buying magazines containing serialisations, and also paperback novels for the first time for perusing on their journeys. W H Smith came into being during this time and exploded in popularity; for those not in the UK it is a huge chain stationers/book and magazine sellers still to this day, and has a great deal of clout in the publishing industry.

I just have visions of folks reading this book/serialisation on trains. And the rail journey described by Conan Doyle so aptly in the opening pages just cements that, albeit romantic, concept I have of this bygone-age... <sigh>
I'm reading this now, but somehow can't get the images of Robert Downey Jr as Holmes and Jude Law as Watson out of my mind.
If you want to read a book that parallels (and almost pays homage to) The Hound of the Baskervilles, check out Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. Great book!
Below: One of my favorite "first read" moments in all of literature.

Another was the "Hey Boo." moment from Mockingbird; another, what actually happened in Ender's last "game" from Ender's Game. You get up, hold your head in your hands, walk around the room about three times and then sit down to continue reading. *LOL*

Dr. Mortimer:
"But one false statement was made by Barrymore at the inquest. He said that there were no traces upon the ground round the body. He did not observe any. But I did—some little distance off, but fresh and clear."

Sherlock Holmes: "Footprints?"

Dr. Mortimer: "Footprints."

Sherlock Holmes: "A man's or a woman's?"

Dr. Mortimer looked strangely at us for an instant, and his voice sank almost to a whisper as he answered:

Dr. Mortimer: "Mr. Holmes, they were the footprints of a gigantic hound!"

The Hound of the Baskervilles, ch. 2