Ripping Review–The Hound of the Baskervilles

WARNING: Ripping Book Reviews are solely the judgments of Professor VJ Duke on an unlucky book that has caused him much repulsion—in one way or another. Therefore, blame must be put on the professor and nobody else. With that in mind, read on—if you are brave enough to take it.

THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES by SIR ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE

Doyle and I have warred on two separate occasions. Each time, the professor was victorious—and he didn’t take any hostages.

Before we get started, the professor must make something clear. Baskervilles—as we shall term the novel, since it’s a lengthy title—caused some repulsion, but not too much. Of course, Doyle is a repulsion, so we can rip on that fact alone. Besides, he has also deposited a few rippable jewels throughout Baskervilles.

So, then—to war!

The novel opens up with a very frequent occurrence: Holmes—I suppose I should say Doyle—makes a gigantic fool out of Watson. I suppose it might not be a hard thing to do, but either Holmes or Doyle has a penchant for it—to a high degree.

Holmes is seated at the breakfast table when Watson shows up. Holmes has his back to Watson, yet he knows that he has appeared. Of course, this vexes Watson:

“How did you know what I was doing? I believe you have eyes in the back of your head.”

I believe what Watson meant to say is: How did you know I was here? But we must forgive him; he was flustered.

And Holmes replies:

“I have, at least, a well-polished, silver-plated coffee-pot in front of me…”

Now, interestingly enough, this told the professor something very disturbing about Watson. You see, Watson is extremely silent, stealthy, and sneaky. He doesn’t make any noise whatsoever. As a matter of fact, if you don’t have a well-polished coffee-pot, your hopes for finding Watson are slim.

Notice that this is a double effort here to make Watson look silly. In truth, I do fear that if Doyle did not lead Holmes around, Holmes would be very dull.

It’s interesting to note that Holmes says, “I have, at least…” Now that is telling. You see, maybe Watson miscalculated and the floor boards creaked under him, or maybe he was breathing extra hard, but whatever the case, we can assume that he did, in fact, make a noise. And Holmes is trying to cover it up and look brilliant. For in truth, Holmes actually heard Watson’s mistake, and that’s why he said ‘at least.’ He was just trying to seem smarter than he really was.

I’m also positively sure that Holmes was deeply grateful to Doyle for polishing his coffee-pot.

Moving on…

I would just like to present one more example of how Holmes delights in making Watson to look like a fool.

Holmes says:

“…It may be that you are not yourself luminous, but you are a conductor of light. Some people without possessing genius have a remarkable power of stimulating it. I confess, my dear fellow [He’s trying to be nice with that endearment after he insulted him, but it comes across rather dry.] that I am very much in your debt.”

Now of course, Watson is flattered; I would have been insulted.

But even the unbelievingly dull Watson is slightly insulted by Holmes next statement:

“…When I said that you stimulated me I meant, to be frank, that in noting your fallacies I was occasionally guided towards the truth…”

I would have shot Holmes; Watson was confused.

Throughout the novel, the reader comes to realize that Holmes understands and perceives things that normal people just wouldn’t. No doubt it’s because he’s in cahoots with Doyle himself.

I shall present an example.

Holmes and Watson are inspecting a walking stick that has teeth marks on it. Holmes says [because Watson is too dull to come to any conclusions himself]:

“…Being a heavy stick the dog has held it tightly by the middle, and the marks of his teeth are very plainly visible. The dog’s jaw, as shown in the space between these marks, is too broad in my opinion for a terrier and not broad enough for a mastiff. It may have been—yes, by Jove, it is a curly-haired spaniel.”

Wow. Truly impressive.

It’s a wonder to this professor that Watson missed Doyle whispering in Holmes’ ear. I say it was close to a mistake to say that the spaniel was curly-haired. Watson may have missed Doyle, but even I thought he’d catch that one. How Holmes gets from teeth marks to types of hair is a great mystery—well, in fact, it’s revealing. But all is just fine. You see, Watson should be added to the league of persons who are dull to the point of tears. As a matter of fact, anyone who exhibits Watson’s brilliance should get an award. We’ll call it: Watson’s Award of Absolute Brilliance.

While there are many examples of Watson’s dullness and Holmes’ brilliance (many thanks to Doyle) throughout the novel, there are only a few instances of Holmes’ rottenness.

And the professor must needs show one. Holmes says:

“…And I have also communicated with my faithful Cartwright [a boy who helps Holmes] who would certainly have pined away at the door of my hut, as a dog does at his master’s grave, if I had not set his mind at rest about my safety.”

Holmes isn’t intimidated; Holmes isn’t scared. He comes right out and tells us what he thinks of his helper: he thinks him a dog. Yes, it is pretty nasty, but Holmes does seem quite wicked.

So, that is the majority of rippable parts in Baskervilles. There are more, of course, but these are the main ones.

I purposely did not tell you too much about the story, for this professor does recommend the book. It’s an interesting mystery, written very well.

After reading this novel, I can definitely say that Doyle’s historical fiction is far worse—and more rippable. Nevertheless, Baskervilles will make an entertaining read one drizzly afternoon—when there’s nothing else to do.

Doyle and I battled again, but this time, the professor took hostages.

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30 Responses to “Ripping Review–The Hound of the Baskervilles”


  1. 1 krugthethinker August 15, 2013 at 16:48

    As a matter of fact, if you don’t have a well-polished coffee-pot, your hopes for finding Watson are slim.

    Hahaha, this is brilliant! I love these ripping reviews:)

    • 2 Professor VJ Duke August 15, 2013 at 18:19

      Thank you! The professor is honored!

  2. 3 ladycheetah7 August 14, 2013 at 22:07

    I think this is a book to read in the future, but I really enjoy the rips better.

    • 4 Professor VJ Duke August 14, 2013 at 23:22

      Thank you! But the professor does anger some with his rips…

  3. 5 Julie Israel August 14, 2013 at 01:58

    Watson is “dull to the point of tears”. I think you’ve just given me a character archetype to use (hopefully humorously, and not actually boringly.) Have you ever heard of an old Irish show called Father Ted? Your description of Watson reminds me of Father Stone, whom Ted describes as “a wall with a mustache.” Here’s a clip, if you’re curious: http://youtu.be/wMJEg7AXxwU?t=2m14s

    • 6 Professor VJ Duke August 14, 2013 at 02:22

      Great, great. I never have, but just gave it a watch. Humorous! Watson definitely seems like ‘a wall with a mustache.’ That is quite perfect.

  4. 7 FictionFan August 13, 2013 at 18:57

    Note to self: don’t recommend any more books to the Professor… ;)

    • 8 Professor VJ Duke August 13, 2013 at 19:29

      Aw…I thought the professor did a half ripping; I guess it was brutal.

      Memo to self: Be somewhat nicer with Gatsby.

      • 9 FictionFan August 13, 2013 at 20:05

        No, no – you must rip away! Your public expects it!

      • 10 Professor VJ Duke August 13, 2013 at 21:41

        But FF is part of the Punchy Family too! (Missed a fabulous FF book review today…)

      • 11 FictionFan August 13, 2013 at 23:06

        Of course I am! Every family should have the weirdo in the corner who likes books… ;)

        Will be back in action tomorrow (out all day today and didn’t have time) – but most of my old reviews are posted now, so won’t be able to keep up 5 reviews a week – I’m not BigSister, you know!

      • 12 Professor VJ Duke August 13, 2013 at 23:55

        :lol: But every family isn’t lucky enough to have a FF! ;)

        That will make them all the more special. I fear that the professor will soon run out of rips. Will have to start making them up…

  5. 13 Sonya Solomonovich August 13, 2013 at 17:18

    The ironic thing is that, as you probably know, professor, Doyle got sick and tired of Sherlock Holmes and tried to kill him off in a later adventure. Perhaps Holmes, despite being Doyle’s pet, had overstepped his boundaries by being too much of an arrogant twit.

    • 14 Professor VJ Duke August 13, 2013 at 19:29

      :lol: Sonya, I think you’ve got something there! (Were you upset that he killed off Holmes?)

      • 15 Sonya Solomonovich August 14, 2013 at 04:49

        I was, but then Holmes was promptly resurrected and I rejoiced. Professor Moriarty, however, was not brought back to life. Perhaps this is the true reason for the feud between you and Doyle? He failed to bring back a fellow-professor!

      • 16 Professor VJ Duke August 14, 2013 at 11:11

        I’ve been found out! Professor Moriarty, of course, is the neatest character, you know.

  6. 17 Carl D'Agostino August 13, 2013 at 17:08

    I read every single Sherlock Holmes story by age 15.

    • 18 Professor VJ Duke August 13, 2013 at 19:28

      Wow. The professor is impressed. Did you have a favorite?

  7. 19 Susan P August 13, 2013 at 15:00

    Perhaps, Professor, Holmes has simply gone over to the dark side. I recall reading this piece of Gothic mystery when I was around eleven years of age. It positively terrified me. Such a lame ending.

    • 20 Professor VJ Duke August 13, 2013 at 16:05

      I agree. The ending was a bit lame. It could have been better. Definitely scarier in the beginning!

      I think you’re right. Holmes is a Sith definitely, right? ;)

      • 21 Susan P August 13, 2013 at 17:35

        By George, I believe you are right.

      • 22 Professor VJ Duke August 13, 2013 at 19:28

        I love that expression! :)

  8. 23 L. Marie August 13, 2013 at 14:45

    You made me laugh out loud, especially with this: “As a matter of fact, if you don’t have a well-polished coffee-pot, your hopes for finding Watson are slim.” Watson the ninja. Interesting notion.

    • 24 Professor VJ Duke August 13, 2013 at 16:06

      Thank you! :)

      Very interesting notion. I do wonder what Watson would look like in ninja garb…?

  9. 25 The Dancing Rider August 13, 2013 at 13:21

    Ah, yes, Dear Professor. (lol) Holmes (and thus this portion of Doyle’s personality) is definitely an – – – – – -. Rightly, and justly, ripped!

    • 26 Professor VJ Duke August 13, 2013 at 16:06

      Just say Prendick. It stands for that swear word: a**. Professor’s definition, that is. ;)

      Thank you much! I like the justly part!

  10. 27 Mariah August 13, 2013 at 12:51

    Desk at work*. Obviously.

    • 28 Professor VJ Duke August 13, 2013 at 16:08

      Of course! The professor always makes such mistakes. *bangs head on desk*

  11. 29 Mariah August 13, 2013 at 12:49

    It’s a great feeling to sit down at my desk got work, convinced I’m going to start my work early today, and see you’ve posted. What a great reason to push all of these papers aside :)

    • 30 Professor VJ Duke August 13, 2013 at 16:07

      Mariah, the professor is honored! :D Many thanks! (Work is always vexing anyway!)


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