352 pages, 3.75 × 2.54 × 0.48 in
March 9, 2010
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
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 CircumstancesRichard 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 Adrian’s death, the papers apparently vanished. And whenever Green tried to
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.
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 YorkPraise 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 himself trapped in a novel by García Márquez.” —Rich Cohen, New York Times