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Sherlock Holmes vs. Cthulhu: The Adventure…

Sherlock Holmes vs. Cthulhu: The Adventure of the Deadly Dimensions (edição: 2017)

de Lois H. Gresh

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673312,635 (3.17)Nenhum(a)
THE SHAPE OF ANCIENT EVIL A series of grisly murders rocks London. At each location, only a jumble of bones remains of the deceased, along with a bizarre sphere covered in strange symbols. The son of the latest victim seeks the help of Sherlock Holmes and his former partner, Dr. John Watson. They discover the common thread tying together the murders. Bizarre geometries, based on ancient schematics, enable otherworldly creatures to enter our dimension, seeking to wreak havoc and destruction. The persons responsible are gaining so much power that even Holmes's greatest enemy fears them--to the point that he seeks an unholy alliance.… (mais)
Título:Sherlock Holmes vs. Cthulhu: The Adventure of the Deadly Dimensions
Autores:Lois H. Gresh
Informação:London : Titan Books, 2017.
Coleções:Sua biblioteca, Horror
Etiquetas:Novel, Horror, Mystery

Detalhes da Obra

Sherlock Holmes vs. Cthulhu: The Adventure of the Deadly Dimensions de Lois H. Gresh


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Exibindo 3 de 3
04/29/21 - i can't believe that after like six months i finally found a book that made me angry enough to write a salty one star review. anyways, RTC.

also 04/29/21 - so, i bought this one pretty close to when it first came out in 2017 and i just... never read it. it was consigned to the interminable purgatory of my ever-growing TBR and has sat there ever since. until tuesday when i found it for cheap on chirp (and since i work long shifts and definitely can totally listen to stuff on the floor completely within the rules) i thought why the fuck not. and here i am, 12 hours of listening later and now i know why the fuck not.

i'm starting this one out with a BIG OLD CONTENT WARNING. this book contains scenes that involve: rape (or, at least, dub-con), graphic descriptions of torture, graphic descriptions of gore, graphic descriptions of death, and a side of the usual lovecraftian body horror. if any of these items upset or squick or trigger you, please stop reading this review and go find another.

spoilers, as always will be marked.


- the premise is great. gresh really delves into the "non-euclidean geometry" that lovecraft really loves to mention (but never explains) and explores what it has to do with the greater lovecraft universe as a whole and how it feeds into the esoteric order of dagon.

- i listened to the audiobook version and dennis kleinmann really did his best. he pulled out all the stops and just gave it his all. not only did he do a wonderful job with watson's narration, he altered his voice very well for the different characters and he did a BOMB ASS JOB with all of the cthonic language. this man said stuff that i would choke on the syllables of and he did it without batting an eyelash, bless his heart.

- the book is told with several different narrators. this was both good and bad. good, because it was interesting to see and hear what character outside of watson's view were experiencing. i'll get to my negative feelings in the next section of the review.

- gresh mimics watson's original style very, very well. her prose sounds very much like SACD and there aren't any weird little quirks about her prose that pull a reader out of some holmes stories. while maintaining the original flavor of a sherlock holmes story, she also manages to let a lot of lovecraft's blindingly purple prose seep into her writing. it's a remarkable feat and not something that i will likely ever be capable of.


-i'm going to start slow: this books has too many narrators. the main chunk of the book is narrated by watson--which is very typical of a sherlock holmes story. however, there are eight different narrators in this book. EIGHT. and they're all written as first person accounts of what's happening to the character. are they the journals of the characters? you ask. no. they are not. they're just weird little first person accounts of shit that watson can't witness injected into the narrative at the appropriate points.

at least if they were journal entries or newspaper articles, they could be added in a fashion similar to that that bram stoker employed in dracula with some little success. but no. they're just there. and, as good a job as dennis did narrating, there were times where i had no idea what the fuck was going on because we'd suddenly changed POVs and i had no idea.

what's more, all of the other POVs were from members of the order and they completely removed any sense of mystery that the book had. the point of this book, at least what i assumed the point of this book was when i purchased it the first time in ~2017, is to show how holmes would cope with solving a mystery that had otherworldly origin. but since we spend a good chunk of the story with the order themselves and since we see their motives and their processes there's nothing left for us to solve with holmes. we've seen it all.

columbo used this formula successfully in the 1970s, but this book lacks any of columbo's charm. mostly because we know that holmes can't completly stop a cult that's been practicing since pre-history in the space of 434 pages whereas columbo certainly can bring martin landau to justice in the space of an hour and a half. in retrospect, i'd love to see columbo take down the esoteric order of dagon and i have every confidence that he could, in fact, do it in an hour and a half. (or 434 pages.)

- willie jacobs deserved better than he got. i'm high-key super pissed that he spent a lot of the book with holmes and the watsons only to be fobbed off by holmes in the end and sent to the asylum. like, bitch, you have enough money to get him to a better place. it doesn't even have to be a swanky sanitarium, just send him to a facility that you know isn't basically a charnal house. i mean, come on! he saved mrs watson and the baby from moriarty's men. he ALMOST DIED DOING IT!!!!!!!! he. he deserved better.

- i've gotten to the point where i can read a peace of sherlock holmes media and i can tell which tv/movie holmes the pastiche holmes is based on. unfortunately, this one has big bbc sherlock vibes. now, if bbc sherlock is your thing it's fine. i just... dislike him. a lot. (on a side note, my friend and i talked it over and discovered that it's because i believe that moffitt and gatis don't understand who holmes in on a fundamental level and that leaks into their writing.) this point isn't bad, per se, but it does lead into the next point:

- everyone is wildly OOC. wildly. i'm going to start small: holmes is an ass. (this is the main reason i think gresh's favorite adaptation is the bbc one) now, it's been a little while since i read the canon; however, i don't seem to remember holmes being so careless with watson's feelings or with his family's safety.

which brings me to my next complaint: watson and mary have a child. a baby son. as far as i know, this does not occur in any other adaptation besides the bbc one. and it's so SO random. why pick that one little thing and make it part of your story? and it comes way out of left field and left me wondering which wife this was supposed to be. (watson was married at least twice and i just read an essay on how he may have been married up to six times, bless his horny little soul.) but no, it's mary morston. just not the mary morstan we're used to. and to further confound things she just fucks off in the middle of the book. and shakes off her police protection detail. and she goes to the place where all the cultists are... breeding and stays there. and it's hinted that that's for Reasons, but they don't go into it. it's... dumb

- holmes is a first class dumbass. honestly, i don't know why gresh didn't have him catch on sooner. yes, i know he's extremely adverse to supernatural answers to problems but, like, c'mon. i'd like to think that he could pound it through his thick skull after a fucking electric tram literally came to life and tried to kill him. but maybe that's just me.


this is the part where i'm going to talk about the content i warned about in the beginning. i'm going to be blocking out most of the really upsetting things i'll be covering and i'm not going into any big detail, but: IF ANY OF THE STUFF LISTED AT THE BEGINNING OF THE REVIEW UPSETS, SQUICKS, OR TRIGGERS YOU: DO. NOT. READ. ANY. FURTHER.

i don't really have any points for this part, so i'm just going to ramble for a hot minute.

this was a fairly standard sherlock holmes pastiche for about the first fifty or so pages. sure, there were some dark themes and gresh didn't shy away when describing willie's fossie jaw (a condition where repeated exposure to phosphorus literally rots the skin and bone around your jaw, but it was all pretty basic.

and then gresh hits the reader with an abrupt tonal shift and we're all of a sudden reading a graphic description of an electric tram crash and the fallout surrounding it. gresh describes, in great detail, the death of who we think are watson's wife and two week old son in the fire. and when i say great detail, i mean we learn what it looks like to watch someone burn to death. i wasn't prepared. i don't think i would have been prepared even if it wasn't such a tonal shift, to be quite honest.

the same thing happens when runty pete is brutally tortured and then decapitated by two cultists, when jamison ludsthorpe (a completely random cultist who we never see before his chapter and never see after, either) talks about his time in the whitechapel asylum in no uncertain terms and we get to witness one of his more violent hallucinations, and when koenraad thwaite essentially rapes amelia scarcliffe (she wanted to bear a child of dagon, but not his).

all of these extra POVs only serve to show us the depraved ways of the cultists. it's like, ma'am, i read the shadow over innsmouth. i am aware of what the esoteric order of dagon does, thanks. i don't need to see it in living color and in first person over and over again. i think the most disturbing part is the first person, because the reader has to inhabit the body of whoever is being harmed and gets a front row seat to all the blood and guts and gore. it's... unpleasant, to say the least.

this might seem a touch hypocritical coming from me. mostly because, if you know me, you know i'm a big proponent of being able to write about whatever subject matter you want to as long as: you acknowledge that not everyone is going to like it, you accept that there may be consequences for your actions, and it doesn't directly harm another person.

the book certainly falls under all three of these. my main beef is that the story doesn't need any of these scenes. there is no narrative reason for me to witness any of these things. you could argue, i suppose, that all of these events need to take place in order to familiarize the reader with the cult and their unholy practices. however, anyone who's going to read a sherlock holmes/hpl crossover has likely read the shadow over innsmouth and knows that the esoteric order of dagon is highly fucked up and is doing all kinds of messed up shit.

even if gresh was trying to make a "the real monsters were the humans we met on the way" argument, it just feels... weak. like, ma'am, they're cultists. they worship the elder gods. some of them aren't even human to begin with. they're going to be monstrous. they're going to make monstrous choices. you can't create characters who are cultists (at bare minimum) and actual fish people (at worst) and sashay around like you're connecting some cosmic dots that no one has connected before.

the ending was left super open because this is a trilogy. i won't be buying or borrowing either of the next two books.

in conclusion, i guess it all comes down to personal preference. maybe you like this kind of thing in your horror. maybe you like everything to be spelled out to the letter. but it's not for me. onto the next~ ( )
  cthuwu | Jul 28, 2021 |
Okay story. Its telling of said story though...............a bit discombobulated. ( )
  thePatWalker | Feb 10, 2020 |
It has much to recommend it: well written, feels very Sherlockian, liked the increased participation of Watson's family (and especially his inner concerns about them). But the menace doesn't come together like one would hope, more like a Call of Cthulhu adventure with different menaces about the place, and honestly, I was a bit disappointed when Sherlock called the outworldly menaces "impossible". It didn't seem like him to try and dismiss what his senses were telling him. ( )
  Jon_Hansen | Feb 18, 2018 |
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THE SHAPE OF ANCIENT EVIL A series of grisly murders rocks London. At each location, only a jumble of bones remains of the deceased, along with a bizarre sphere covered in strange symbols. The son of the latest victim seeks the help of Sherlock Holmes and his former partner, Dr. John Watson. They discover the common thread tying together the murders. Bizarre geometries, based on ancient schematics, enable otherworldly creatures to enter our dimension, seeking to wreak havoc and destruction. The persons responsible are gaining so much power that even Holmes's greatest enemy fears them--to the point that he seeks an unholy alliance.

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