Swedish author and Sherlock Holmes expert Mattias Boström recreates the full story behind the legend, analyzing the work of "the men and women who created an icon," from a young Arthur Conan Doyle taking notes on his medical professor's powers of observation to the people behind the modern-day TV sensation Sherlock.
...the best account of Baker Street mania ever written ... what Bostrom has accomplished supremely well is to relate, as his subtitle proclaims, 'the story of the men and women who created an icon.' In effect, he shows us how Sherlock Holmes enchanted the world ... more than a treat, it’s a smorgasbord ... be aware that Bostrom’s narrative style verges on the melodramatic: Each chapter is a short vignette, often ending with a cliffhanger. This can take getting used to, but remember that Holmes himself could never resist a theatrical flourish.
...a timely overview of the great detective’s actual genesis and multiple transformations as a mass cultural icon. As translated from the Swedish by Michael Gallagher, it is a riveting tale involving brilliant artists, cunning criminals, eccentric characters and illuminating moments of tragedy and triumph ... Mr. Boström has expertly unearthed entertaining instances of the sleuth’s diverse appearances in all media, throughout the world ... Running like a tangled skein through this wonderfully entertaining history are the attempts by Conan Doyle and his heirs to control Holmes’s dissemination through copyright law.
The attraction here is watching the publishing world catch on to what readers have always known: these are not detective stories but 'stories about a detective' ... The canon of critical and biographical material on Holmes and Doyle is massive, of course, but even so, this latest entry makes a significant contribution to our understanding of how a bloodhound called Sherlock took over the world.