Book Review: The Hound of the Baskervilles

The names Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson are instantly recognized by many. Wearing his trenchcoat and cap, playing his violin, or smoking his pipe, Holmes could deduce more from the least iota of evidence than most people could from a police report. In the story The Hound of the Baskervilles, Holmes and Watson had two main objectives. One was to unravel the mysterious death of Sir Charles Baskerville. The other was to protect his heir, Sir Henry, rom the fate which seemed to strike everyone by the name of Baskerville. The Hound of the Baskervilles is a classic example of Holmes' detective powers.

Plot is the most important element in the story. At the beginning of the story, Dr. Mortimer, a friend of Sir Charles, presented to Holmes the legend of the Baskervilles' hound and the mysterious death of Sir Charles. He also asked Holmes whether he thought it was safe for Sir Henry to go to Baskerville Hall. Holmes believed there would be no harm with Sir Henry staying at the Hall, but sent Dr. Watson with him; he gladly accepted the case. Throughout the story the mystery became more complex with each new thing that Holmes learned, heightening the suspense. This suspense helps to keep the reader reading on to find what happens next.

The setting is also important to the effect of this story. Most of the story takes place in Devonshire, England, at or near Baskerville Hall. The land surrounding the Hall is moorland, which is essentially a swampy, open wasteland. The barren land of the setting leaves on the reader a gloomy, ominous impression. This impression adds to the effect left by the suspenseful plot.

In addition to plot and setting, the point of view is important to the story. The Hound of the Baskervilles is told in first person limited point of view. Watson is telling the story; he tells it as he is looking back on the case, making a record of it. Therefore, he leaves out some information and lets the story unfold the way the case did. Had the story been written in another point of view, it would not have had the same quality of suspense.

Plot, setting, point of view: all helped to make this story suspenseful and attention-grabbing. The plot stretches the story out to create suspense. The setting helps the reader to focus on the plot. The point of view leaves out some information to add to the suspense. For those who enjoy reading about Sherlock Holmes, or just plain mysteries in general, The Hound of the Baskervilles is a story worth reading.

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