Wednesday, June 24, 2015

August Derleth. The Memoirs of Solar Pons

     August Derleth. The Memoirs of Solar Pons (1951) Solar Pons is one of the best Sherlock Holmes pastiches. Derleth has managed to emulate Doyle’s style better than most, with the occasional Americanisms (eg, a locomotive engineer instead of driver, a house in good shape instead of condition). He also writes what Doyle never wrote, “Elementary, my dear Parker”. But the plotting is very, very good, and the characterisations as good as Doyle’s. Sherlock Holmes is carefully constructed original stereotype. Every subsequent fictional detective, private or official, is a variation on or a development of that stereotype. One can point to precursors, but Doyle fixed the template.
     Pons is almost Holmes. His cases  resemble Holmes’s cases, too. Parker is almost Watson. The pleasure in reading these tales is precisely that they are such beautifully crafted variations on the Doyle’s characters and stories. A reread, and if anything more enjoyable the second time round. ***½

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i will pass this on to an avid SH fan