If you don't know much about Holmes then just go and enjoy the movie. No need getting hung up on facts involving the character. Obviously, at some time you will need to read the stories. The best film/TV versions of the stories in terms of being faithful to the stories are the Jeremy Brett shows that were on PBS (The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes). The Basil Rathbone movies are great fun but not very true to the stories.
If you really want to get into Holmes I would suggest visiting I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere and listening to the podcasts they have.
Dan, thanks for the advise & recommendations. I do recall the recent thread on the PBS Series among others. I finally have the time to start reading the stories (they're on my bucket list) but I'll start by listening to the podcasts. I do plan to try & see the movie this weekend.
I love the Homburg hat he's wearing, by the way. Always been more of a homburg man than a fedora man.
What kind of advise are you looking for, and how much of a neophyte are you?
If you haven't already, my advise would be to:
1) read the books. I figure you've done this.
2) Watch Jeremy Brett's version on Netflix. It's very true to the original.
3) Avoid Robert Downey's version until AFTER you know what Holmes is really about. Both of RDJ's are fun movies, but not really Holmes.
4) Avoid "Sherlock" from England and "Elementary" from America until you're familiar with the character. Both are truly awesome, but they take some major liberties with the character.
5) If you dig old movies, look for some of the Basil Rathbone movies, and finally:
6) If you can find them, read Laurie R. King's Beekepeer's Apprentice series. It's fluff, but it's fun fluff involving an older Holmes and it really captures the spirit of the originals.
If you have any specific questions ask away! I'm a serious Holmes geek.
Thanks for your recommendations & advise also. That's exactly what I'm looking for. I have read some of the books before but it has been many yrs ago. I actually enjoyed reading them better than watching what stories I have due to my lack of hearing comprehension of the proper English dialect, I suspect.
At any rate I'm looking forward to reading them and to seeing this movie as well. Sounds like this movie could be more along the lines of the BeeKeeper's Apprentice Series?
Being somewhat of a traditionalist I would recommend reading Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's stories first, and only then going on to others' interpretations of them and his sleuth. Amazon has a three-volume collection (Sherlock Holmes Boxed Set) which I can recommend, as I have the same. His stories read and wear well, especially on cold nights, and accompanied by pipes of your favorite tobaccos.
The Beekeeper's books involve mid-60's Holmes falling in love with and eventually marrying a very young Mary Russell. In the first book, she's a precocious adolescent of 14, and it's one of the best books I've read. Great twist as to the final villain.
In the second book she's coming into her own as an adult, developing this on again/off again attraction to Holmes, and it reads a lot like a bad romance novel. Really, it's very skippable, though it does involve a pretty good mystery.
The rest of the series, maybe 12 or more, she's a full adult, married to Holmes, but quite independent.
The first, while light and fluffy, is one of my favorite books of all time. The rest are worth reading if you can make it through the second, but no great loss if you don't read them at all.
Also, you might want to never read "Shadows Over Baker Street," a Holmes/Cthulhu Mythos mashup!
jonnyreb, I too seem to have difficulty with very English Accented dialog in those shows from across the pond. Found a strange but true fix. Turn the volume up really loud! Don't know why, but it really helps.
Thanks for your advise also. I bought the box set listed on Amazon. ABE Books has a couple of box sets also.
Among many Laurie R. King books (spies are a common theme of hers) thru a local library I made note of this one:
In the company of Sherlock Holmes : stories inspired by the Holmes canon
I believe that you will enjoy the boxed-set. Once you have digested them, then allow me to recommend Nicholas Meyer's book titled "The Seven-Per-Cent-Solution," the title of which alludes to Holmes' cocaine habit. It is an interesting adjunct to the Sherlockian cannon.
That's one I did not know about.
I started out years ago to read everything in and related to the original, even one mostly-forgotten story in which Holmes turned out to be a serial killer, actually responsible for the crimes he "solved."
Yeah, I take it way too seriously, but I'll check out In the Company Of...
I don't think that at all. I'm sure those of us who like to read commonly do the same thing, just with different authors, characters or subject matter. I read Lonesome Dove and the other three books which collectively became known as the Lonesome Dove franchise long before the miniseries and the made for TV movies came out. I have re-read and re-watched them many times since. I know those characters well. Which led me to read all of Larry McMurtry's other books.
I've done the same thing with Robert B. Parker's Jesse Stone series, Sunny Randall series, and his Appaloosa trilogy plus Gunman's Rhapsody. A lot of those later became made for TV movies, especially from the Jesse Stone series. Cormac McCarthy's so-called border trilogy comes to mind as well. And a major motion film and a made for TV movie have come out of that series. All of which I have read & watched more than once.
And then there's the non-fiction historical characters I read and know well.