A Study in Scarlet: Chapter 1

I have just read the first chapter in the first Sherlock Holmes story, “A Study in Scarlet.”

Summary: Watson has just gotten back from service in Afghanistan and is introduced to Sherlock because they were both looking for a roommate. Sherlock seems peculiar but interesting to Watson.

Reaction: Neither character has drawn me as of yet. In my favorite versions they are both attractive (hot, actually), but Watson seems sickly and frail at this point, and Sherlock is too friendly and has emotions like he was glad that Watson seemed to like him. The Sherlock I love would not be so bubbly.

Prediction: I expect Sherlock to grow into himself more as a character. This is the first book, so I’m viewing it as a pilot episode to a series. And life with Sherlock will certainly make Watson more healthy and attractive–or at least bring out some attractive vices, right?

Why This Book Is a Classic: It definitely has all the language a classic needs–full of good vocabulary words for English teachers. It’s off to a faster start than I’d expect from most classics–Sherlock and Watson have already met. Where’s the chapters of description and exposition? I guess this isn’t that kind of classic–and maybe why it was popular in its own time and not just with today’s literature professors.


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