Friday, July 07, 2006
DESPERATELY SEEKING GREAT STORIES WELL TOLD
The Sherlock Holmes Pub, Northumberland Street
Originally uploaded by ANiceCupofTea.
Seventy-six years ago today, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle encountered the darkness that fascinated and drove, terrified and challenged his great creation, Sherlock Holmes. In Conan Doyle's tales, death was sometimes a setting, sometimes a character itself. It was both mundane and exotic, and it was always a story.
I wonder how Conan Doyle was classified in his lifetime: Was he literary or commercial? Noir? A thriller writer or was his work labeled psychological suspense? Did he care, or did he just set out to write the best story he had in him to tell, seen through the eyes of one of the most intriguing characters ever created?
Did those who bequeathed literary prizes honor him, or did they scorn him for his popularity? The answers are surely available (probably as close as Wikipedia), but I don't intend to look them up. Why? Because seventy-six years later, it doesn't matter.
What matters is Sherlock Holmes. What matters is the stories.
In my constant quest for great stories, well told, I've ordered the books on my summer reading list. The box containing those already released arrived last week. A few titles are not available yet. Today seemed like the perfect date to share my list:
1. TRIANGLE by Katharine Weber
2. THEFT: A LOVE STORY by Peter Carey
3. THE MEMORY KEEPER'S DAUGHTER by Kim Edwards
4. CAGE OF STARS by Jacquelyn Mitchard
5. TALK, TALK by T.C. Boyle
6. RAVEN BLACK BY Ann Cleeves (an award winning suspense novel, not yet available in the U.S.!)
That's six titles and since I'm determined to read a book a week this summer, I've still got a couple of vacant slots on the list. If anyone can suggest a great story, well told, I would love to hear it.