The Devil And Sherlock Holmes: Tales Of Murder, Madness, And Obsession

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The Devil And Sherlock Holmes: Tales Of Murder, Madness, And Obsession

by David Grann

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group | March 9, 2010 | Hardcover

The Devil And Sherlock Holmes: Tales Of Murder, Madness, And Obsession is rated 4.5 out of 5 by 4.
Acclaimed New Yorker writer and author of the breakout debut bestseller The Lost City of Z, David Grann offers a collection of spellbinding narrative journalism.

Whether he’s reporting on the infiltration of the murderous Aryan Brotherhood into the U.S. prison system, tracking down a chameleon con artist in Europe, or riding in a cyclone- tossed skiff with a scientist hunting the elusive giant squid, David Grann revels in telling stories that explore the nature of obsession and that piece together true and unforgettable mysteries.

Each of the dozen stories in this collection reveals a hidden and often dangerous world and, like Into Thin Air and The Orchid Thief, pivots around the gravitational pull of obsession and the captivating personalities of those caught in its grip. There is the world’s foremost expert on Sherlock Holmes who is found dead in mysterious circumstances; an arson sleuth trying to prove that a man about to be executed is innocent; and sandhogs racing to complete the brutally dangerous job of building New York City’s water tunnels before the old system collapses. Throughout, Grann’s hypnotic accounts display the power—and often the willful perversity—of the human spirit.

Compulsively readable, The Devil and Sherlock Holmes is a brilliant mosaic of ambition, madness, passion, and folly.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 352 pages, 3.75 × 2.54 × 0.48 in

Published: March 9, 2010

Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0385517920

ISBN - 13: 9780385517928

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Awesome Read Awesome follow-upto the Lost City of Z with this collection of previously published magazine articles by David Grann. Each of the twelve real-life tales focuses on individuals marked by madness, genius or obsessiveness. Hard to pick one out of the dozen but the giant squid hunter stands out. Cannot wait for David Grann's next book.
Date published: 2011-03-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Collection of captivating and oddball stories As the author points out in the beginning of this book, you cannot make up stories as sensational as the real thing. This book is full of bizarre but completely enthralling tales of true events that are almost unbelievable. You will read everything from a father who went to death row because he was (wrongly) convicted of killing his two daughters to a scientist that spends his life seeking evidence (and live specimens) of the giant squid. All of these stories are extremely interesting and you will want to keep reading to see what tale follows next. Highly recommended.
Date published: 2010-07-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Investigative Journalism at its Most Fascinating Reason for Reading: I loved David Grann's debut book "The Lost City of Z" and really wanted to read this when I heard about it. An extremely interesting book on a variety of different topics. A collection of previously published articles mainly from "The New Yorker" magazine, with three being from other magazines. These are investigative journalism where the author goes out to meet the people involved, shadow them as they go about their business, and interviews criminals in jail, in search of the truth behind a mystery that has never been solved or never quite to satisfaction or just why somebody would do what they do. It makes very fascinating reading. Each article gives a small one liner to let you know the topic of the article and to me personally, some of them I was eager to read, while others didn't seem like they'd be my cup of tea. However, out of the twelve stories there was only one I didn't enjoy and that was one that was about a baseball player and the game. I don't like sports and that story just had nothing else to offer so for me it was a dud. Otherwise, whether I initially thought the subject would interest me or not, I was fascinated with the remaining eleven articles. Even one which is about the old water tunnel system below New York City and the building of the third tunnel. Sounds like something engineering folks might like but I was fascinated with the history of the building of the tunnels which have been worked on since the early 1900s, the dangers, and the personal stories of the men who work down there, often generations of the same family. Other stories include the mysterious murder of a famous Sherlock Holmes scholar, a Frenchman who serially poses as orphaned teenage boys, trying to track down the truth of a man about to be executed for murdering his children who swears he is innocent, a man who was obsessed with capturing the first live giant squid, and the life story of a stick-up man who committed his last robbery at age 79 but who enjoyed escaping from prison more than committing the crimes, and so on. The mysteries and murders I was immediately pulled into, knowing I'd enjoyed those stories. But even the first couple that made me wonder whether they'd be my thing also pulled me in quickly as David Grann is a wonderful writer. From that point on I was eager to read each and every story. He gets up close and personal with his subject; he follows the people he is writing about and he gets in there with them doing the things they do (or standing beside them, watching) and explaining how he feels. He's been in more than one situation where he's admitted that he was scared. He can also pick up on all the different angles of a story so that no matter where a reader's interests lie they will find an angle that interests them. Most of the stories were riveting, the rest were very interesting, and, for me, I struck out with the baseball story. (There just was nowhere else Grann could go with that one and I realise that.) I read the book slowly. Reading one story a night, taking the time to savour and appreciate each story. David Grann is certainly a talented writer who has a way with engaging his reader, and I do hope he is currently working on another book length story for us.
Date published: 2010-06-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from An Assortment of Contemporary Stories The twelve stories recounted in this book are quite varied. Some involve crime, condemned criminals, potential criminals and mobsters; others involve hazardous professions, crooked politicians and even the pursuit of a rare sea creature. But there is one thing that all these stories have in common: obsession. The author appears to have done a thorough job of investigating each case, including personally interviewing the key individuals. As is generally the case in such a book, some stories will appeal more to a given reader than others. This was certainly the case for me; but overall, I found the book interesting and occasionally even quite captivating. The writing style is clear, authoritative, accessible and friendly. Readers interested in a wide range of relatively recent but unusual/odd events/people are likely to appreciate this book the most.
Date published: 2010-05-07

– More About This Product –

The Devil And Sherlock Holmes: Tales Of Murder, Madness, And Obsession

by David Grann

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 352 pages, 3.75 × 2.54 × 0.48 in

Published: March 9, 2010

Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0385517920

ISBN - 13: 9780385517928

About the Book

Acclaimed "New Yorker" writer and author of the breakout debut bestseller "The Lost City of Z" offers a collection of spellbinding short stories. Throughout, Grann's hypnotic accounts display the power--and often the willful perversity--of the human spirit.

Read from the Book

Mysterious Circumstances Richard Lancelyn Green, the world’s foremost expert on Sherlock Holmes, believed that he had finally solved the case of the missing papers. Over the past two decades, he had been looking for a trove of letters, diary entries, and manuscripts written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Holmes. The archive was estimated to be worth nearly four million dollars, and was said by some to carry a deadly curse, like the one in the most famous Holmes story, “The Hound of the Baskervilles.” The papers had disappeared after Conan Doyle died, in 1930, and without them no one had been able to write a definitive biography—a task that Green was determined to complete. Many scholars feared that the archive had been discarded or destroyed; as the London Times noted, its whereabouts had become “a mystery as tantalizing as any to unfold at 221B Baker Street,” the fictional den of Holmes and his fellow-sleuth, Dr. Watson. Not long after Green launched his investigation, he discovered that one of Conan Doyle’s five children, Adrian, had, with the other heirs’ agreement, stashed the papers in a locked room of a château that he owned in Switzerland. Green then learned that Adrian had spirited some of the papers out of the château without his siblings’ knowledge, hoping to sell them to collectors. In the midst of this scheme, he died of a heart attack—giving rise to the legend of the curse. After A
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From the Publisher

Acclaimed New Yorker writer and author of the breakout debut bestseller The Lost City of Z, David Grann offers a collection of spellbinding narrative journalism.

Whether he’s reporting on the infiltration of the murderous Aryan Brotherhood into the U.S. prison system, tracking down a chameleon con artist in Europe, or riding in a cyclone- tossed skiff with a scientist hunting the elusive giant squid, David Grann revels in telling stories that explore the nature of obsession and that piece together true and unforgettable mysteries.

Each of the dozen stories in this collection reveals a hidden and often dangerous world and, like Into Thin Air and The Orchid Thief, pivots around the gravitational pull of obsession and the captivating personalities of those caught in its grip. There is the world’s foremost expert on Sherlock Holmes who is found dead in mysterious circumstances; an arson sleuth trying to prove that a man about to be executed is innocent; and sandhogs racing to complete the brutally dangerous job of building New York City’s water tunnels before the old system collapses. Throughout, Grann’s hypnotic accounts display the power—and often the willful perversity—of the human spirit.

Compulsively readable, The Devil and Sherlock Holmes is a brilliant mosaic of ambition, madness, passion, and folly.

About the Author

DAVID GRANN is a staff writer at The New Yorker and author of the bestseller The Lost City of Z, which has been translated into more than twenty languages. His stories have appeared in many  best-American-writing anthologies, and he has written for the New York Times Magazine, the Atlantic, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and the New Republic.

Editorial Reviews

Praise for The Devil and Sherlock Holmes : "A gifted storyteller, Grann has a Sherlock Holmesian gift for unearthing facts that are hidden in plain sight, presenting a crystal-clear narrative and letting his compelling cast of characters speak for themselves.....Easily worth the price of admission, a visit to Grann''s rogue''s gallery is likely to leave you with a sense, at once awful and awesome, of the profound desire we all have for recognition." -- Portland Oregonian "Grann''s obsession with how narratives are told is complex and compelling...But it''s the basic stories themselves -- bizarre and fascinating, bolstered by exhaustive research -- that make the book so gripping." -- TimeOut New York Praise for David Grann’s acclaimed New York Times Bestseller, The Lost City of Z “At  once a biography, a detective story and wonderfully vivid piece of travel writing . . . suspenseful . . . rollicking . . .Fascinating reads with all the pace and excitement of a movie thriller and all the verisimilitude and detail of firsthand reportage.” —Michiko Kakutani, New York Times ”All the pace of a white-knuckle adventure story . . . What a grand tale it is! . . . Thoroughly researched, vividly told, this is a thrill ride from start to finish.” —Marie Arana, — Washington Post “Outstanding . . . a powerful narrative, stiff lipped and Victorian at the center, trippy at the edges, as if one of those stern men of Conrad had found him
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