8.04.2012

Some day the true story may be told.

This evening Jess and I concluded a glorious episode in the Roy family history of reading-out-loud/dinner preparation: we closed the cover on the Complete Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. To express my impression of this monumental achievement I shall now endeavor to give my literary assessment in proper S.A.C.D style.

Ehem.

Of all the singular occurrences that have ever happened to Jess and Matthew in their long and illustrious careers, never have their unique powers of observation and deduction, their literary and culinary intrepidity, and their fortitude in the face of unmitigated mysteries been more clearly demonstrated then on that damp but beautiful evening in the American Riviera. There are some for whom the prospect of reading a 1,122 page tome has little appeal, but just such a task provided the greatest opportunity for both occupants of Roy Manor, Loma Street, Santa Barbara. For Jess, a woman of the most prepossessing features, tall, graceful, with piercing eyes that bespeak a wealth of ingenuity, sagacity, and strong will, the evening meant tending to the culinary wants of her household and the creation of such comestible delights as would astound the Queen herself! Matthew, a strapping lad with a sizable cranium, brooding dark brows overhanging eyes of limitless energy, and a mellifluous, mellow voice, adjoins the sound of sizzling legumes with a truly thespian performance of the memoires of the adventures of that famous logician and detective Sherlock Holmes, as gathered, collected, and narrated by the most faithful of biographers and companions, Dr. John Watson.

Whew. That's all I've got. Propriety takes a lot of concentration, or a more British upbringing. These stories were excellent, the perfect tidbits to prepare us for dinner. As I recall, we actually began to read this lengthy collection back in early 2011, in Spokane. The most difficult thing for me in the intervening  years was the judicious use of character voices and especially accents. My male and female Cockney isn't too bad, and I can do a convincing High British man and a Scottish woman (thank you Professor McGonagall); unfortunately I found that I cannot for the life of me sustain a working Highland man accent, and all my attempts at a proper British woman necessitated making her sound at least sixty years old. We had to be quite creative.

We were both amazed with how much Sherlock has been reappropriated into popular culture, and I especially enjoy seeing the evolution of the detective/sidekick duality as it has developed in later manifestations. Some shows like to emphasize the oddness of the detective and their ultimately tragic inability to function as a normal human in society (Law and Order CI, House, Bones). Other shows bring the sidekick to a more integral function with very entertaining results (Psych, the recent Sherlock Holmes Movies). Very fun to see where it all started in Baker Street. 

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