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The Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness and Obsession

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | The Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness and Obsession.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    David Grann(Author)

    Book details


As Sherlock Holmes once conceded to Dr. Watson, 'If we could fly out of that window hand in hand, hover over this great city, gently remove the roofs and peep in at the queer things which are going on, the strange coincidences, the planning, the cross-purposes, the wonderful chain of events, working through generations and leading to the most outréresults, it would make all fiction with its conventionalities and foreseen conclusions most stale and unprofitable.' And with such a spirit for investigation and discovery does David Grann set out in The Devil and Sherlock Holmes to unravel the truth of twelve great, real-life mysteries.

Although Holmes is the subject of just one of the mesmerizing true stories in this collection, all twelve contain elements of intrigue. Many of the protagonists are sleuths: a Polish detective trying to determine whether an author planted clues to a real murder in his post-modern novel; an arson investigator racing to prove whether a man about to be executed is innocent; a legendary French con man questioning whether he is the one who is suddenly being conned; and scientists stalking a sea monster.

Unlike the adventures of Sherlock Holmes, these tales are all true. The protagonists are mortal and pieces of the puzzle often elude them. Some of the characters are driven to deception and murder. Others go mad.

But ultimately the stories contained in The Devil and Sherlock Holmesshed light on the human condition, and why some people on this earth devote themselves to good and others to evil. As Holmes put it, 'Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent'.

Praise for "The Devil and Sherlock Holmes": "A gifted storyteller, Grann has a Sherlock Holmesian gift for unearthing facts that are hidden in plain sight, presenting a crystal-clear narrative and letting his compelling cast of characters speak for themselves.....Easily worth the price of admission, a visit to Grann's rogue's gallery is likely to leave you with a sense, at once awful and awesome, of the profound desire we all have for recognition." --"Portland Oregonian" "Grann's obsession with how narratives are told is complex and compelling...But it's the basic stories themselves -- bizarre and fascinating, bolstered by exhaustive research -- that make the book so gripping." --"TimeOut" New York Praise for David Grann’s acclaimed "New York Times" Bestseller, "The Lost City of Z" “At  once a biography, a detective story and wonderfully vivid piece of travel writing . . . suspenseful . . . rollicking . . .Fascinating reads with all the pace and excitem

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Book details

  • PDF | 352 pages
  • David Grann(Author)
  • Simon & Schuster UK; UK ed. edition (3 Mar. 2011)
  • English
  • 7
  • Crime, Thrillers & Mystery

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Review Text

  • By Blue eyed enn on 22 April 2014

    Based on 'Lost City of Z', I'd buy anything David Grann publishes. That was the reason I got this. It's not as good as Z, but then again, if that had been my expectation I'd have been a greedy chap. It's good though - nice and varied stories and very enlightening. I had no idea about the massive caverns under New York. I was also impressed with the true-life monster hunters and the attempts to grow giant squid.

  • By Gavin on 4 May 2017

    A fair read, thanks

  • By R. Lowther on 17 August 2014

    I bought this book based upon the title which caught my eye in a second hand book shop as I enjoy Sherlock Holmes. However the title is very misleading. Only the first story has any connection with Sherlock Holmes and that only directly through a tale about a dead Sherlockian. The only other Holmes related parts are the quotes from the Sherlock Holmes stories which appear between chapters.The book consists of a number of short stories each with a tale of 'murder, madness and obsession' as the sub title of the book suggests. These stories have appeared in other sources - and here's my crux. I don't think I would have read them in their original source, as they weren't the type of story to catch my eye or interest me individually but something about the nature of the tale and the style of the author drew me into each and every story and I enjoyed them all. I even googled a few to find out what has happened in some stories since this book was published a few years ago.

  • By Paul on 24 April 2013

    David Grann is one of the best feature writers in the business, and this brilliant collection of stories, mostly written for The New Yorker, demonstrates why. Ranging from a forensic analysis of the wrongful execution of a Texas man to the thrilling tale of the search for a giant squid, these are fascinating stories brilliantly told.My favourite story here is probably The Old Man and the Gun, about legendary stickup man Forrest Tucker, who escaped from prison 18 times, and was still considering escape number 19 in his 80s. Like many of the stories in the book, it feels like a movie waiting to be made. (I note it has been optioned.)My only quibble is with the poor choice of title, presumably made by the publisher and not the author. As the blurb explains, only one of the stories has any connection with Sherlock Holmes, and the breadth of material included probably deserves a more appropriate title.

  • By Jakebrap on 15 February 2012

    Top-notch writing most of the way through, the only really downside for me is some stories didn't interest me at all (Baseball, I'm from the UK) and the fact that it was a fairly dis-jointed and stilted read due to it being (in essence) a bunch of articles stitched together into a book.Still a really great book, some brilliant stories and articles with some geniunely A-class research done. Loved the mystery elements. I've read one of the author's other books as well ('The Lost City of Z') and he has a real flare for this kind of stuff.

  • By Mrs. N. E. Measures on 29 September 2010

    I wasn't sure what to expect from this book, but it was really really interesting. As it is made up of a number of different 'articles' there were some that I had read previously but even so, as the writing is so good, it was nice to read them again. Highly recommended...

  • By david on 18 February 2011

    I am really not sure why this book works so well. Everything is so jumbled up it's almost impossible to categorize it. Part murder mystery, part adventure story, with a little engineering daring do, thrown into the mix.Its perhaps because of the eclectic flavor that makes it so difficult to put down, the best way I can describe this is to compare it to a brilliant guest at a dinner party, as the wine goes down the conversation ebbs and flows, changes tack but improves because of it.Strangely the two stories I personally enjoyed most were if asked not my usual thing at all. The obsession of a squid hunter and the danger of a life as a sand hog far beneath the city streets of New York are hardly my usual fare, but they were intriguing.I really cannot recommend this book highly enough.


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