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Sherlock Holmes Was Wrong: Reopening the Case of the Hound of the Baskervillesby Pierre Bayard
Synopses & Reviews
A playfully brilliant re-creation of one of the most-loved detective stories of all time; the companion book no Holmes fan should be without.
Eliminate the impossible, Holmes said, and whatever is left must be the solution. But as Pierre Bayard finds in this dazzling reinvestigation of The Hound of the Baskervilles, sometimes the master missed his mark. Using the last thoughts of the murder victim as his key, Bayard unravels the case, leading the reader to the astonishing conclusion that Holmes — and, in fact, Arthur Conan Doyle — got things all wrong: The killer is not at all who they said it was.
Part intellectual entertainment, part love letter to crime novels, and part crime novel in itself, Sherlock Holmes Was Wrong turns one of our most beloved stories delightfully on its head. Examining the many facets of the case and illuminating the bizarre interstices between Doyle's fiction and the real world, Bayard demonstrates a whole new way of reading mysteries: a kind of "detective criticism" that allows readers to outsmart not only the criminals in the stories we love, but also the heroes — and sometimes even the writers.
"French literature professor and psychoanalyst Bayard (How to Talk About Books You Haven't Read) returns to the close reading and iconoclastic analysis of classic detective fiction he did in Who Killed Roger Ackroyd? with this audacious revisionist view of one of the best-known mysteries of all time. As always, Bayard playfully counters the ways literary academics read with the way real people read as he explains his theory of 'detective criticism.' Arguing that Sherlock Holmes often drew false conclusions, Bayard picks apart the apparently airtight case Holmes assembled in The Hound of the Baskervilles and offers an alternative solution. He goes a step further than with the Agatha Christie whodunit by suggesting that Holmes erred in his identification not only of the murderer but of the murder victim. Readers may be more impressed with Bayard's cleverness than his tongue-in-cheek arguments, but his logic will lead many to hope that his opinion on who really killed Hamlet's father (in Enqute sur Hamlet) will be translated into English as well." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Bayard's argument ultimately rests on his theory that Holmes botched the solution of The Hound of the Baskervilles — that the purported murderer was actually a patsy for a murderous wife. In this surprise ending, as in the rest of the book, Bayard acquits himself nicely." Very Short List
"[An] entertaining and imaginative account of a Sherlock Holmes classic." Library Journal
"With wit and careful analysis, Bayard makes a convincing case for...Dr. Watson's unreliability as narrator and eyewitness to the events in the novel." Los Angeles Times
In this playfully brilliant re-creation of one of the most-loved detective stories of all time, Bayard examines the many facets of the case and illuminates the bizarre interstices between Doyle's fiction and the real world.
“With wit and careful analysis, Bayard makes a convincing case…This slim yet satisfying inquiry will make readers eager to pick up the classic mystery and test Bayards methods for themselves.”—Los Angeles Times
In his brilliant reinvestigation of the classic case of The Hound of the Baskervilles, Pierre Bayard uses the last thoughts of the murder victim as his key to unravel the mystery, leading the reader to the astonishing conclusion that Holmes—and, in fact, Arthur Conan Doyle—got things all wrong. Part intellectual entertainment, part love letter to crime novels, and part crime novel in itself, Sherlock Holmes Was Wrong turns one of our most beloved stories delightfully on its head.
About the Author
Pierre Bayard is a professor of French literature at the University of Paris VIII and a psychoanalyst. He is the author of How to Talk About Books You Haven't Read, Who Killed Roger Ackroyd?, and many other books.
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