plausive: (sherlock: i has a skull)
[personal profile] plausive
So last night at work I found a super cute Sherlock Holmes paperback boxed set from the 70’s. If the art hadn’t already won me over, the fact that P. G. Wodehouse wrote one of the intros would have surely done it.

As soon as I got home, I pulled out the copy of The Sign of Four and started to read.

Nothing could have prepared me for what came next.

Below is only an excerpt from the intro. I’ve never found it in another collection, and I can’t find it online anywhere. If you ever see it, I really recommend picking it up. It’s one of the best intros I’ve ever read.

…Even if he did totally troll me.

“It all boils down to one question- Why is a man casual about money?

The answer is- because he has a lot of it.

Had Holmes? He pretended he hadn’t, but that was merely the illusion he was trying to create because he needed a front for his true activities. He was pulling the stuff in from another source. Where is the big money? Where it has always been, in crime. Bags of it, and no income tax. If you want to salt away a few million for a rainy day, you don’t spring into 9:30 trains to go and talk to governesses, you become a Master Criminal, sitting like a spider in the center of its web and egging your corps of assistants on to steal jewels and navel treaties. I saw daylight, and all the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle fell into place. Holmes was Professor Moriarty.

What was that name again?

Professor Moriarty.

Do you mean that man who was forever oscillating his face from side to side in a curiously reptilian fashion?

That’s the one.

But Holmes’ face didn’t forever oscillate from side to side in a curiously reptilian fashion.

Nor did Professor Moriarty’s.

Holmes said it did.

And to whom? To Doctor Watson, in order to ensure that the misleading description got publicity. Watson never saw Moriarty. All he knew about him was what Holmes told him on the evening of April 24,1891. And Holmes made a little slip on the occasion. He said that on his way to see Watson he had been attacked by a rough with a bludgeon. A face-oscillating napoleon of Crime, anxious to eliminate someone he disliked, would have thought up something better than roughs with bludgeons. Dropping cobras down the chimney is the mildest thing that would have occurred to him.

P.S. Just kidding, boys. Actually, like all the rest of you, I am never happier than when curled up with Sherlock Holmes, and I hope Messrs Ballantine will sell several million of him. As the fellow said, there’s no police like Holmes.”

Date: 2011-04-02 03:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh my god fjlksjflksflksfslkd

Date: 2011-04-02 03:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I know, right? He sucks you right in with his bizarre theroy, and then just goes LULZ I'M JUST PLAYING!! XD

Cunning bastard.

Date: 2011-04-02 04:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This needs to be reprinted everywhere forever. It's like April Fools redux, like all the best pranks - the initial disbelief, the slow sneaking suspicion, the final aquiescence to belief, and then the HAH, sucker. Followed by the eternal quiet voice saying "maybe it was really true...."

Date: 2011-04-02 04:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I can't believe it's not in every edition, it's just so clever and fun. I own a silly amount of re-prints and publishings of the original SH stories, and I swear I've never stumbled across this before.

And yes, I don't think I will ever be able to read Holmes again without hearing that little voice in the back of my mind.

Date: 2011-04-02 04:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

I only own one set of Holmes but I always peruse the different editions I find and I completely agree - that should be in EVERY single one! LOVE!

Do you mind if I c/p this to another LJ friend of mine since it's locked?

Date: 2011-04-02 04:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Huh, I didn't even notice I had locked it.

Ta-da, tis unlocked now. :) Share away.

Date: 2011-04-02 06:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
No problem.:D

Date: 2011-04-02 07:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That? Is completely awesome. I was all: huh, I might have written this in one of my lit analysis clas...IT WAS A JOKE?!

Cruel. Completely cruel. And awesome.

Date: 2011-04-02 07:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Wodehouse is such win.

Date: 2011-04-03 12:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hmm... oscillating...

The cover is strange. Holmes, dressed as Dracula, is shocked and horrified as Watson aggressively grabs his balls.

Date: 2011-04-03 12:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The art on all the books is wonderfully odd. Stranger still, the box they come in has art of a completely different style (far more traditional and sketchy), yet all the fonts are the same.

I'll take photos later when I get a chance.


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