On Conan Doyle by Michael Dirda
Or, The Whole Art of Storytelling (Writers on Writers)

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Synopsis

A passionate lifelong fan of the Sherlock Holmes adventures, Pulitzer Prize–winning critic Michael Dirda is a member of The Baker Street Irregulars—the most famous and romantic of all Sherlockian groups. Combining memoir and appreciation, On Conan Doyle is a highly engaging personal introduction to Holmes’s creator, as well as a rare insider’s account of the curiously delightful activities and playful scholarship of The Baker Street Irregulars.

On Conan Doyle is a much-needed celebration of Arthur Conan Doyle’s genius for every kind of storytelling.

 

About Michael Dirda

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Michael Dirda is a Pulitzer Prize-winning critic and longtime book columnist for the Washington Post. He is the author of four collections of essays, "Readings", "Bound to Please", "Book by Book", and "Classics for Pleasure", as well as the memoir "An Open Book". A lifelong Sherlock Holmes and Conan Doyle fan, he was inducted into The Baker Street Irregulars in 2002.
 
Published October 10, 2011 by Princeton University Press. 225 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for On Conan Doyle

Kirkus Reviews

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Dirda is at his best in his sensitive appreciation of Doyle’s style, direct, fluent, and surprisingly flexible as he moves from genre to genre, and in his account of manly civic inspiration as the value Doyle aimed above all to inculcate in his writing (a value in which he found the Holmes storie...

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Publishers Weekly

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Though most people could pick Sherlock Holmes out of a crowd, not many could craft such a spirited and personal account of the great detective’s creator’s life and lesser-known works as Pulitzer Prize–winning Washington Post book columnist Dirda (Book by Book).

Aug 08 2011 | Read Full Review of On Conan Doyle: Or, The Whole...

The Telegraph

I was a Doyle man, and I still am.” Related Articles Dangerous Work by Arthur Conan Doyle: review Looking at Conan Doyle’s life, Dirda eschews strict chronology, preferring to interpret lesser known episodes to his hero’s advantage.

Oct 24 2011 | Read Full Review of On Conan Doyle: Or, The Whole...

Christian Science Monitor

He pays homage to the author of those words with his new book, On Conan Doyle: Or, The Whole Art of Storytelling.

Dec 20 2011 | Read Full Review of On Conan Doyle: Or, The Whole...

Oregon Live

I put myself in the man's place.") Always searching for Sherlockiana, Dirda, we learn, has not read all of Doyle's 21 novels and 150 short stories.

Nov 12 2011 | Read Full Review of On Conan Doyle: Or, The Whole...

Review (Barnes & Noble)

Starting from Arthur Conan Doyle's life and work -- which included, in addition to the Sherlock Holmes stories, wonderful works of historical fiction and adventure -- Dirda weaves a memoir of boyhood, a peek into the world of the "Baker Street Irregulars," and a meditation on the power of fiction.

Dec 22 2011 | Read Full Review of On Conan Doyle: Or, The Whole...

About.com

As with so many of us, he belonged to an elementary school book club that enabled him to buy 3 or 4 inexpensive books each month and his reading career was off and running.

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The Columbus Dispatch

One is that Conan Doyle’s writing possesses a quality he calls “compulsive readability.” Conan Doyle was certainly artistic, but, as Dirda explains, he was less interested in aesthetic perfection than in reaching readers.

Jan 22 2012 | Read Full Review of On Conan Doyle: Or, The Whole...

Portland Book Review

Pulitzer Prize-winning critic Michael Dirda begins by sharing his experience of reading the classic, The Hound of the Baskervilles, as a fifth grader, which launched his life-long devotion to all things Doyle.

Dec 09 2011 | Read Full Review of On Conan Doyle: Or, The Whole...

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Aug 16 2016 | Read Full Review of On Conan Doyle: Or, The Whole...

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Aug 24 2016 | Read Full Review of On Conan Doyle: Or, The Whole...

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Aug 26 2016 | Read Full Review of On Conan Doyle: Or, The Whole...

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