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A Samba for Sherlock: A Novel Paperback – Oct 27 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (Oct. 27 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375700668
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375700668
  • Product Dimensions: 21.9 x 14.3 x 1.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 231 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,926,869 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
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Format: Hardcover
Jo Soares is a well-known Brazilian entertainer with a talk show and a newspaper column. "A Samba for Sherlock" is his first novel, and it reads like it. It's not a bad book, just a bit overwritten in that hyper-enthusiastic way of first novelists. Soares has done his research on Sarah Bernhardt, Sherlock Holmes, and the emperor's court in 1886 Rio de Janeiro. He's crafted a reasonably well-structured novel and thought through the different pieces of the plot so that they fit together at the edges. The problems, of course, are with the greatest challenges for fiction writers: character and dialogue, and "Sherlock" fails at both. The characters are all buffoons, every one of them. This makes for some lighthearted humor at the characters' own expense, but it also means that in the end none of them have any depth or nuance. They are just cardboard caricatures that the author has set up in order to knock them down, mere plot devices. Similarly, the dialogue is cute and sometimes clever, but never really deep or revealing of subtlety. Finally, the research itself sometimes gets in the way as the author fills pages of text with details culled from history books that do not drive the story forward but only distract a reader's attention and break the spell of the story. "Sherlock" is a fair novel, a good first attempt. I may pick up another Jo Soares novel in the future, but I won't run breathlessly to the bookstore to find it.
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Format: Paperback
This book is an entertaining satire of a supposed Sherlock Holmes case in Brazil. The author does a good job of adding components of Brazilian culture to the case, poking fun at the concept of a know-it-all investigator while the story unfolds in pretty random fashion.
It should be read as what it really is, a satire. This book is not for those seeking the brilliant problem solving of Sherlock Holmes, it is definitely not here.
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Format: Paperback
I like to think of Soares as a comedic Gore Vidal. The basic tension in this book comes from throwing a famous, eccentric, British aristocrat into a world where characters don't act like they do in England, like a comedic version of the Holmes story which takes place in Utah. For what it is, entertainment, it's fine, but hardly 5 star literature.
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Format: Hardcover
I have reed the Americans' reviews. Now it's time for a portuguese one: you're absolutely right. More than a speaker of Soares's language, I'm also a great enthusiast of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's greates creation, and it sickens me to see how perverted and degraded Holmes and Watson were in this book.
They're seen as stupid, clumsy. Holmes never uses his skills, the clues always appear from nowhere. The killer is a Jack, the ripper wannabe. Poor Watson isn't Holmes confident, but rather a waitress for the detective. Most of the jokes have come from previous books, including the one about Holmes knowing nothing about astronomy. For someone who doesn't know that, he does know more about other "useless" subjects in the book. then he gets in love with a woman, something never seen before in a Doyle's book; He's cold and emotionless, not a dandy. and seeing that this is the XIXth century, when all the englishmen were ethnocentric and cared only about their England, Holmes fills Brazil with too many compliments, instead of treating it with the racism of a XIXth century gentleman.
Bottom line: this is no Sherlock Holmes book. I only found him in the Title, and that because the original was changed, I suppose to catch some of the fans of the detective. This book is just another one to place with all the others that try to cash with the fame of Conan Doyle. If you care for the original, don't buy this.
Why do i give one star? as horrible as the story was, the historical details are brilliant, though it overshadows the plotless "plot"
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Format: Hardcover
I have reed the Americans' reviews. Now it's time for a portuguese one: you're absolutely right. More than a speaker of Soares's language, I'm also a great enthusiast of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's greates creation, and it sickens me to see how perverted and degraded Holmes and Watson were in this book.
They're seen as stupid, clumsy. Holmes never uses his skills, the clues always appear from nowhere. The killer is a Jack, the ripper wannabe. Poor Watson isn't Holmes confident, but rather a waitress for the detective. Most of the jokes have come from previous books, including the one about Holmes knowing nothing about astronomy. For someone who doesn't know that, he does know more about other "useless" subjects in the book. then he gets in love with a woman, something never seen before in a Doyle's book; He's cold and emotionless, not a dandy. and seeing that this is the XIXth century, when all the englishmen were ethnocentric and cared only about their England, Holmes fills Brazil with too many compliments, instead of treating it with the racism of a XIXth century gentleman.
Bottom line: this is no Sherlock Holmes book. I only found him in the Title, and that because the original was changed, I suppose to catch some of the fans of the detective. This book is just another one to place with all the others that try to cash with the fame of Conan Doyle. If you care for the original, don't buy this.
Why do i give one star? as horrible as the story was, the historical details are brilliant, though it overshadows the plotless "plot"
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Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
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