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Synopsis

The 21st century is a good time to be Sherlock Holmes. He stars in the Guy Ritchie films, with Robert Downey, Jr.; an internationally popular BBC television series featuring Benedict Cumberbatch; a novel sanctioned by the Arthur Conan Doyle Estate; and dozens of additional novels and short stories, including two by Neil Gaiman. Add to this the videogames, comic books, and fan-created works, plus a potent Internet and social media presence. Holmes' London has become a prime destination for cinematic tourists. The evidence is clearly laid out in this collection of 14 new essays: Holmes and Watson are more popular than ever. The detective has been portrayed as hero, and antihero. He's tech savvy, and scientifically detached--even psychologically aberrant. He has been romantically linked to The Woman and bromantically to Watson. Whether Victorian or modern, he continues to fascinate. These essays explain why he is destined to be with us for years to come.

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Sherlock Holmes for the 21st Century
Average rating
4 / 5
February 5th, 2014
Sherlock Holmes for the 21st Century is a great read for anyone interested in Sherlock Holmes and its recent televisual and cinematographic adaptations - the Robert Downey Jr films, Sherlock and Elementary. It starts off well with the investigation of sexual subtexts in the various adaptations, but it gets weaker as it goes. The idea behind the chapter "Welcome to London: The Role of the Cinematic Tourist" had the potential to be fascinating, but as someone who knows London fairly well, I thought it was all a bit obvious and could have been better grounded in academic research. As for the last two chapters on The House of Silk and SH pastiches, I didn't even bother. I did thoroughly enjoy "The Watson Effect: Civilizing the Sociopath", which makes many interesting points about the balance between Holmes and Watson and offers a fresh view on Watson - I think ACD would approve of it too. Overall, I felt that many of these chapters had not been researched to very high academic standards and were mostly based on the authors' impressions (think long, well-written Tumblr rants) but it's still worth a read!
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