Monday, 31 January 2011

A Sabedoria dos Mortos by Rodolfo Martinez

A Sabedoria dos Mortos [The Wisdom of the Dead]
This book is only available in Spanish [Sherlock Holmes y la sabeduria de los muertos], in French [La sagesse des morts] and in Portuguese .
This a collection of three stories, pretending to be new, unpublished adventures of Sherlock Holmes, that never saw the light of day because of their uncanniness. The author proposes that these have been written by John Watson, M.D. (not Arthur Conan Doyle – but there is an explanation for that), and that his job as been merely of translating the texts found on box in an antique shop in Soho.

The first story, and longest, gives the title to the book. It's “Sherlock Holmes meets Lovecraft”. And Lovecraft does make an appearance in the story, although it's not H.P. Lovecraft, but his father. But it's safe to say that what made Lovecraft Lovecraft is hinted at this story.

It was a nice, long story, that kept me on my toes while reading. Of course there where things that irked me, I kind of wished it was less Lovecraftian and more Holmesian, in the sense that I prefered a better, more satisfying ending to the story. Still, it was worth reading and it's always fun to see Sherlock Holmes on different situations.

The second story [Desde a terra mais além do bosque – From the land a bit further from the woods], my favourite, can be best defined as Sherlock Holmes meets Dracula. And how cool is that? We have, side by side, Sherlock Holmes and Van Helsing investigating and fighting vampire things.

Maybe because I have read Dracula and liked (whereas with Lovecraft my knowledge is limited) I liked this one more. I felt there was more purpose to it, and the fact that is written by two points of view, of John Watson and of John Seward, certainly helped a lot.

A Aventura do assassino fingido – The Adventure of the fake assassin
This third story is the most normal one – nothing really paranormal about it. A simple mystery, in which Holmes keeps his distance, as he has retired from his investigating pursuits. It falls on Watson to find who the culprit is, with the sole help of Sherlock letters.

This one was ordinary. That's the best world I can find to describe it. Nothing paranormal, nothing mindblowing. Just a regular Holmes-kind-of-story.


Overall it was a nice book, it makes me wish I read more of Sherlock Holmes and H.P. Lovecraft. While I was reading I had some trouble in believing that John Watson could have written these stories. Not because he is a fictional character, but because it showed that the author of this story didn't have English as native language. Part of these objections where put to rest on the Translator's Note at the end of the book, but still I am unconvinced (especially having spend the entire book with those objections).

(4/5)

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