Book review : The Hound of the D’Urbervilles

Professor Moriarty: The Hound of the D'UrbervillesProfessor Moriarty: The Hound of the D’Urbervilles by Kim Newman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Professor Moriarty The Hound of the D’Urbervilles is a Sherlock Holmes pastiche with a difference, in that it is a Sherlock Holmes story that doesn’t feature Holmes at all (well not for a great deal of it), but is very reminiscent of the Holmes stories with some great plays on the titles of the original stories such as A Shambles in Belgravia, The Red Planet League, The Greek Invertebrate as well as the title story of the book itself.

The book can be read as a novel or as a collection of short stories and works just as well which either way you choose to read it. Personally I treat it as a single novel with all of the stories being sections of the novel, but it is really a collection of short stories, much like the canon that this pastiches.

If you love books where different literary characters and genres meet then you will love this book, and you don’t have to be a fan of Sherlock Holmes to appreciate this, but there is a lot more too this book if you do have more than a passing interest and knowledge in those classic stories, which Kim Newman definitely is but, if he wasn’t into that sort of thing, then we would not have books like this, which would certainly be a very bad thing indeed, as this is a rip-roaring adventure from start to finish with plenty of humour and a fine dollop of care lavished in its treatment of all the characters and incidents that appear in the book.

In this sort of book the fun lies in trying to work out all of the references to other characters and books and unless you have an encyclopaedic knowledge of Victorian literature than you would have trouble with this, as I only really spotted some of them when they were spelled out me in the references at the back of the book.

I cannot do anything other than recommend this book to all fans of Victorian literature and gothic horror, as you will most definitely find something to interest you in this book.

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