It’s been unusually hot in SoCal this summer, so I was feeling the need for a bit of London fog and walking-sticks to cool me down and cheer me up and so delved into The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Since we’ve been on the topic of bromances this week in the Booth, I thought I’d recommend Holmes and Watson for your reading pleasure as well.
Sherlock Holmes is Encyclopedia Brown, All Grown-Up and with a Better Vocabulary. He’s attractive in a maniacal, crazy-chemist way, intriguing and complicated and intelligent and not always aware of the people around him, which is why he needs Watson.
Doctor Watson is his opposite. He’s practical and compassionate and in awe of his friend almost as often as he is irritated by him. Holmes and Watson have the ultimate Victorian bromance: because their language skills are downright astounding and their culture is so refined, they often say casually kind things to each other that are unthinkable to men of today, but it’s endearing rather than strange.
Holmes’ cases are usually bizarre, but Watson rolls with his every whim and has his back in every tight space. Since Watson is the narrator of the book, the reader gets to experience the cases as he does – as a gentle, often disbelieving but generally warm-hearted compatriot would. We feel lucky to be included in their friendship and we want Holmes to share his side of ham with us in the same genial way he does with Watson.
The methods Holmes uses to solve his cases are typically unbelievable and rely heavily on the myth of Sherlock Holmes, Master Sleuth, but that’s part of the fun. Every chapter in the book is a new case and every new case is quirky and unique, so the reader becomes more and more attached to the characters and the unusual traits that make Sherlock Holmes a beloved friend and not simply a joke or stereotype.
Robert Downey, Jr and Jude Law have made the best Holmes and Watson yet for the big screen, and much of their dialogue was lifted directly from the books, which made the movies extra fun for anglophiles like me.