Teen Review: A Study in Scarlet

 A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Where to start? Doyle, who led an amazing life to rival that of Holmes’, wrote quite the page-turner when he wrote A Study in Scarlet. Rarely do I find a book about which I can honestly say that, but I really couldn’t put this book down. The words flowed effortlessly from the page to my eyes and the language is so smooth and beautiful, I could hardly believe that the story is a century-and-a-quarter old. To summarize, this book is flawless.

The story introduces the characters Sherlock Holmes and his companion Dr. John Watson, the narrator of the story and subsequent stories. The first part of the story revolves around Holmes, the world’s only consulting detective, who amazes Watson and the police investigators as he solves two murders using the subtlest of clues. Watson, ever-faithful, provides a vivid description of the events. The second part of the book gives a sort of objective back-story of the events leading up to the murders, jumping all the way to Utah and the Mormon pilgrims as they found Salt Lake City. This second part has become controversial among Mormon readers.

But don’t think that Holmes is without flaws! No protagonist can be interesting without faults. Holmes, for instance, is incredibly ignorant of many commonly-known facts: that the Earth revolves around the sun is unrelated to criminology and so is a mystery to him. Holmes often slips into depressive moods when bored and has little patience for the feelings of others. But his brilliance and heroism and sense of justice really do make him one of the greatest and most iconic literary characters of all time.

In short, though this book has garnered controversy due to its depiction of Mormons and Mormonism, this book is the perfect introduction to classic English literature.

— review by Phillip, teen blogger

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