?

Log in

No account? Create an account
research
Posted on Saturday 9 February 2013 at 7:58 am

Interview Me!


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
Hello all! I have new friends, many of whom have been doing intro posts of late. I thought about doing the same, but I never know what to say, what people want to know. So I decided to just leave it up to y'all. Ask me questions, everybody! New friends, Old friends, Whatever! Have you always wanted to know about my favorite childhood toy? Are you new around here and want to know what this dissertation thing I always talk about is actually about? Want to know about my OTPs, how I first got into various fandoms, or if I'm into a fandom you haven't seen me mention but you think I'd love?

If you don't have something immediately jump to mind that you want to ask, here are some mini-topic ideas to get you going. If you want to know about a topic, but don't have a specific question, feel free to just say "Tell me a bit about x, please."

Personal: Family; Pets; Political, Religious, or other Big Topic Views; Daily Schedule; Crohn's; Basic Personality; Mini Biographical Info. like Where I've Lived or Where I've Gone to School; Current Living Situation

Academic Life: Research Interests and Reasons; Dissertation Topic and Progress; Teaching Interests and Thoughts; Career Goals

Hobbies: Reading Interests; Outdoors Stuff and Exercise; LJ Layout Coding; Motorcycle; Puzzles; Board and Card Games; Music; Movies; BBC Radio

Fandoms: Star Wars; Harry Potter; Indiana Jones; Doctor Who; Highlander; Jeeves & Wooster; West Wing; almost anything Sherlock Holmes; anything Neil Gaiman but especially Good Omens; Various BBC Radio Shows; The Monkees; Hogan's Heroes; etc.

Comments:

sunshine304
sunshine304 at 1:55 pm on 09 February 2013 (UTC) (Link)
I'd love to read a bit about your dissertation and your career goals. :)

Also: Top 3 favourite movies and books?

How did you get involved in fandom? Are you someone who concentrates on one fandom or can be very involved in multiple fandoms at the same time?
Rachael
bratty_jedi at 2:48 pm on 10 February 2013 (UTC) (Link)
I'd love to read a bit about your dissertation and your career goals.
Lots of people have asked about dissertation and career stuff so I'll do a full post on that soon.

How did you get involved in fandom? Are you someone who concentrates on one fandom or can be very involved in multiple fandoms at the same time?
My first fandom was Star Wars and it exclusively held my heart for much of my adolescence. I feel in love with it when I was 11. I walked in to the living room one day when my sister had the TV on to some movie. I watched over her shoulder for a few minutes, yelled "Attack of the Killer Teddy Bears!" sat down, and watched the last third or so of Return of the Jedi. I feel I should be ashamed of this given general fandom sentiment towards the ewoks, but they will always have a special place in my heart for being the thing that got me started. Of course, the ewoks got me to sit down, but I think it was the lightsaber-and-mental battle between Luke and Vader that got me to stay for forever. My sister liked Star Wars and had the novelizations of all three books and lent them to me that same day but I kept peppering her with questions as I read because I knew from the start about Luke and Leia being Vader's twin children and didn't realize that the characters knew none of this and I wasn't supposed to know it either. I plowed through all the then existent Expanded Universe novels (something like 15 at the time) then started hanging out in online chat rooms at AOL and the like. I eventually moved on to playing a collectible card game and formed an online community with our own little website with fake Jedi training games, quizzes, and the like with a few other middle and high school kids I'd found online. Oh, mid to late 90s geeky teen internet! In college I joined a city-wide fan club and went to conventions in costume and the like but largely dropped out of online fandom.

I didn't get back into online fandoms until the Harry Potter bug bit me. That is when I first discovered serious fanfic writing and began writing some of my own and also what prompted me to get a LiveJournal. Since then I've dipped in and out of various fandoms, and in and out of how much I read or write fanfic. I'm pretty fickle with fandoms, able to be sort of in several at one time. Sometimes I devote myself more to one or two, but mostly I just flit around in lots of them. A the moment, I only occasionally read fanfic and almost never write it and lean more toward the meta discussion side of things.

Top 3 favourite movies and books?
I can't really answer either part of this question for two very different reasons. The books answer is long and involved and put me way over the character limit for this comment. I'll see if it will fit into a comment on its own or if it will have to be a full post...
As to top three movies... no idea. There are movies I very much enjoy, but none that stay with me the way books do. I just don't attach to them or they just don't impact me in the same way. I've largely stopped buying movies, all the most recent video purchases I've made have been TV shows, and I rarely watch the ones I do own. Every time I think of a movie I like, I just kind of feel "Well, yeah, I like it and would re-watch it, but it isn't any more special to me than 50 other films."
sunshine304
sunshine304 at 5:55 pm on 12 February 2013 (UTC) (Link)
I'll have to check out that post about your dissertation. :)
Thank you for the other answers. I have never watched Star Wars (I own the DVDs, though, and one day I will!), but just going from the huge fanbase you weren't alone in falling for it. :) And I find it interesting that some fandoms might make you want to write fic etc. and some reach you more through the discussion aspect of it.
I think I started out with "The Animals of Farthing Wood" when I was about 9 or so. And that was just for me, drawing some of the animals or coming up with new story lines or stealing them from other movies. *g* The came "Sailor Moon" and musicals (especially "Cats"), and then PotC happened and I found my home for many years. :) I'm pretty monogamous when it comes to fandoms, I'll follow one fandom very closely and others happen occasionally.

Rachael
bratty_jedi at 11:46 pm on 12 February 2013 (UTC) (Link)
I'm not familiar with Animals of Farthing Wood. I love musicals but I'm mostly into older ones (give me Gene Kelly any day) so haven't seen CATS.
Rachael
bratty_jedi at 2:50 pm on 10 February 2013 (UTC) (Link)

(cont.) Favorite Books

The best I can do for books is a few kind of best of categories because every time I think I have three I could name, I then realize that something major has been left out. The only thing I can say with 100% certainty is that Neil Gaiman is my single favorite author. Otherwise favorites is problematic at least in part because things I love for fun and entertainment value versus things I love for what they say and do in a deeper sense are two very different things and impossible to compare in many ways. So...

Top three reread books, the ones I always go back to like comfort foods and just love to pieces
  • Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett: My dad picks on me for giggling like a loon at all the jokes even though I've read this so many times I should know it by heart.
  • The Two Georges by Harry Turtledove and Richard Dreyfuss: I'm at one extreme or the other with Turtledove's alternate histories. There are a few I love (this one and Ruled Britannia at the top of the list) and then I completely despise the rest. This one is a detective mystery set in a world in which the American Revolution never happened. The world isn't what I would see as the logical outcome of that change, but that doesn't bother me.
  • The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin: a childhood favorite I can't ever give up.
  • Runner up: The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michal Chabon: I read this too recently to know for certain that it will be a constant reread, but I think it will. I absolutely love everything about this look at two young Jewish men trying to make it in the world of comic books in the 1930s.
Top three "Classics" that stuck with me and say all kinds of profound things to me in ways I often can't explain
  • Catch-22 by Joseph Heller: I have always read books. I can't remember a time when I didn't love books. But I read mostly to be entertained. Catch-22 is the first book I can remember reading and consciously realizing that this book was doing something to me, that I wasn't just being entertained but that the way I viewed the world and thought about everything around me was being changed. It was truly an eye-opening experience that I will never forget.
  • To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee: classic story of racism and power that I didn't realize was doing anything to me when I first read it but that probably helped set me on a path of interest in political culture and social justice.
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley: This is the one on this list I probably reread the most. I absolutely love this book and the way it says something different to every generation that reads it because the questions it raises but never answers are so profoundly universal yet specifically applicable to all kinds of technological and philosophical changes that she never could have predicted.
  • Runner up: Parade's End by Ford Maddox Ford: Another one I've read too recently to know for sure what its staying power will be or where to place it but OMG I love this tetralogy. I've described it as Catch-22 meets Jane Austen set in WWI. So many themes are addressed here that are such staples of British Literature I didn't think there could possibly be anything new to do with them but somehow Ford pulled it off.
Those are the best I can do for individual books, but I still have the problem of most of my favorite authors or series are things I love for the totality but no one individual book made it onto the two lists. Dickens and Twain are two of my all-time favorite writers and each almost made it on to the classics lists, for David Copperfield and Huck Finn respectively, but not quite. Shakespeare's tragedies and histories (especially Hamlet and King Lear) also deserve mentions, though I despise the comedies near universally. Also, no list of my favorites in regards to books can be complete without Wodehouse's Jeeves and Conan Doyles' Holmes.
sunshine304
sunshine304 at 6:06 pm on 12 February 2013 (UTC) (Link)

Re: (cont.) Favorite Books

Tank you for that long answer! :) Books are so difficult and I'd have a hard time naming only three as well. The funny thing is: I haven't read a single one of those you've mentioned. Shame on my, but that's why I like lists like this, there are often interesting recs that I simply didn't know about (e. g. "The Two Georges"), or they make me want to read a book more so that I'll go and buy it (e. g. "Parade's End"). I've got "Good Omens", it's very high on my TBR list. I've also got a lot of other books by Neil Gaiman standing around here. Pratchett as well. :)

Sherlock Holmes is also a fav of mine, Jane Austen, too.
RN some individual books I could reread again and again are "Juliet, naked" by Nick Hornby, "The Shadow of the Wind" by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, "Life of Pi" by Yann Martel (I adored the movie, but I didn't expect anything less from Ang Lee), "Fingersmith" by Sara Waters, "The Lies of Locke Lamora" by Scott Lynch. I've also got a lot of books here that I assume will be awesome, but I've just not had the time to read them. *g*
Rachael
bratty_jedi at 11:55 pm on 12 February 2013 (UTC) (Link)

Re: (cont.) Favorite Books

You HAVE to read Good Omens!!! It is seriously one of the greatest books known to man. I could obviously rave about all the others on my lists as well, but Good Omens is just so much fun! Something like Parade's End is fun and enjoyable but is also work while Good Omens is just a treat from beginning to end (with a few profound ideas scattered around).

Juliet, Naked is on my To Read list. I'm also a big fan of Life of Pi, though I haven't seen the film yet. I've read one full book by Jane Austen and bits-and-pieces of other things. I keep telling myself I should read Pride and Prejudice, but I just can't do it. She is outside my usual areas of interests and I just kind of don't want to. This despite the fact that I own and enjoy the BBC mini series. I think of it like I do Lord of the Rings (which I've tried reading multiple times and have never successfully finished the first book despite enjoying the Hobbit book): there's a decent enough core but someone cutting out all the boring bits and giving me a filmed version of the cool stuff works better for me. And I'm one of those who almost always prefers the book to the film. So many contradictions in my crazy little head!
sunshine304
sunshine304 at 4:28 pm on 14 February 2013 (UTC) (Link)

Re: (cont.) Favorite Books

I will! It's one of the first books I'll read when I'm done with my thesis. It sounds so awesome! And I loves "Stardust". :)

I though the movie version of "Life of Pi" was very close to the book - of course some parts were missing, but that wasn't a problem and they got the important things right.
And I think if there's an author you just can't read it's absolutely all right if you don't, although there might be many people who say it's a "must read". I needed two tries for LotR as well and it really drags for the first... 50 pages or so. *g* So if it's a good movie version (like LotR or the P&P BBC version) I think you don't miss out on much of it and you're not wasting your time forcing yourself through a book you just don't like they style of.
Rachael
bratty_jedi at 5:24 pm on 14 February 2013 (UTC) (Link)

Re: (cont.) Favorite Books

Stardust is definitely another great Gaiman book. Are you familiar with his Neverwhere?

Every time I tried LotR, everyone told me if I could make it to the Prancing Pony Inn chapter, things would pick up and it would be great after that. I was finally forced to make it past that when I taught some summer reading classes and had to teach the first half of that book to my high school kids. It still sucked. I've decided Tolkien is like George Lucas: great at the big ideas but needs someone else to actually execute them.
sunshine304
sunshine304 at 1:13 pm on 16 February 2013 (UTC) (Link)

Re: (cont.) Favorite Books

I roughly know what Neverwhere is about and I#ve got the book here. American Gods as well. :)

Yes, I also thought that LotR became more interesting after Aragorn joined them. But Tolkien really took his time about it all. *g*
Rachael
bratty_jedi at 1:46 pm on 16 February 2013 (UTC) (Link)

Re: (cont.) Favorite Books

I asked about Neverwhere because there is a BBC Radio adaptation coming in March and I am very anxiously awaiting it and hopeful that it is going to be awesome.

Neverwhere is the problem child of Gaiman's oeuvre for me. He initially wrote the script for what became a terrible BBC TV miniseries. The production was way too low-budget and it suffers for it. Painfully suffers. You can kind of enjoy it in a bit of a campy way, but the real vision just didn't translate to screen. So Gaiman wrote the novelization to try to get the ideas in his head to the audience in a better and more pure way. Problem is that it was his first novel after Good Omens, so his first as a solo author, and it shows. The writing in Neverwhere just can't compare to his later works. Plus, since it was a miniseries script initially, the novel feels very episodic and just doesn't flow that well to me. I've always loved the idea of Neverwhere, but haven't felt any existing interpretation lives up to the potential.

So why do I think this radio adaptation will finally get it right? Here's an excerpt from the cast list...

James McAvoy - Richard Mayhew
Natalie Dormer - Door
Benedict Cumberbatch - The Angel Islington
Anthony Head - Mr Croup
Bernard Cribbins - Old Bailey
Christopher Lee - Earl of Earl's Court

All of those are fantastic casting choices, but Cumberbatch as Islington, Cribbins as Old Bailey, and OMG!Christopher Lee as the Earl are truly inspired.
sunshine304
sunshine304 at 5:42 pm on 18 February 2013 (UTC) (Link)

Re: (cont.) Favorite Books

Oh yes, I've read about that radio show somewhere, the cast list is amazing! :)

I didn't know about Neverwhere's problematic origin, that's good to know, so I won't be surprised when I finally read it. But I definitely have to check out that radio show.

Christopher Lee!
Unsentimental Fool
unsentimentalf at 1:59 pm on 09 February 2013 (UTC) (Link)
OK, I'll bite. Board and card games? Which ones and why? (I have a bit of a collection myself)
Rachael
bratty_jedi at 2:52 am on 10 February 2013 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks to my parents, I was playing card games like canasta, pinochle, pitch, spades, hearts, etc. by the time I was 7 or 8. Perhaps because I played those games starting so young, I've always hated simple but popular games like Uno. We still mostly play cards when I'm home but now it is Phase 10 and things like that for the most part while I prefer the most complex strategy games.

I'm currently madly in love with Small World. It is simple for beginners but has infinite replayability and more advanced strategies due to the changing combinations, especially once you get some expansions. I also love various versions of Munchkin and have lots of hose expansions. Pirates may be my favorite there. I really like the idea of cooperative games like Pandemic, Forbidden Island, and Castle Panic but I haven't yet found one that really speaks to me. My newest acquisition that I haven't played yet is Race for the Galaxy. I like the idea of those kind of world building games (like Civilization for computer and board, Seven Wonders, etc) and this is supposed to be a card and sci fi based version of that. I really want to get Through the Ages, but it is so expensive.

I have some friends who I've been trying to do weekly Sunday afternoon gaming with and we've been fairly successful. Other games we've played recently, some ones I own and some owned by friends, include Ticket to Ride, Carcassone, Settlers of Catan, and a few versions of Flux.
Unsentimental Fool
unsentimentalf at 10:38 am on 10 February 2013 (UTC) (Link)
Oh yes, there are some good games in there! Small World's a favourite here too, and all the card development games- Glory to Rome's my latest crush. I too can't bring myself to pay that much for Through the Ages without at least playing it first! I loathe Munchkin but like Fluxx, and play a lot of the heavier games- Dungeon Lords, Agricola, Power Grid. And Dominion and expansions, endlessly- all my extended family play that now! My son is tempting me slowly back into playing Magic the Gathering, the second time around- I gave it up in the 1990s!

A gaming group is a huge asset. We have ended up with a bi-generation group- everyone's either over 40 or under 21 and it works very well.

Your childhood games were mostly different from mine but of the same kind, I think; we were taught varieties of rummy, whist, a game that we called Sevens which no-one else ever seems to know (it does have a wiki entry though) and lots of different patiences. I learned Bridge as a teenager and it's still my favourite game by far, but I haven't found a way to get to play it recently. My maternal grandfather taught us dominoes, and lots of mild swearwords to go with it! And we always played Scrabble and Categories when the extended family on my father's side got together. Very few concessions for the fact that we were children- we were just expected to lose. I don't know if that was a useful life lesson or not!

Rachael
bratty_jedi at 2:57 pm on 10 February 2013 (UTC) (Link)
I really want to give Dominon a shot. Agricola and Power Grid are two I've debated but haven't really felt them speak to me.

I think there were a few rummies mixed in with my childhood card games, but they didn't dominate. When I was in elementary school there was a very elderly couple down the street who taught me to play dominoes. My family met them because they had a dog that kept getting out and we saw this old man trying to catch him one day. After that, my sister and I started walking their dog for them fairly regularly and then when the gentleman passed away we would just go hang out with the woman at least one afternoon a week because she was so lonely. I don't remember if the dominoes started before he passed or only after. Gosh, I haven't thought about them in years.

I'm a fan of word games. When I was a kid, my dad would start at 0 and my mom, sister, and I would start with 250 points if we played Scrabble and Dad would almost always still win. Now he and I are pretty evenly matched without a handicap :D
A work in progress
ancarett at 4:32 pm on 09 February 2013 (UTC) (Link)
Dissertation? Hit me up with that goodness and I'll be your virtual cheerleader!

Add some Star Wars fandom stories to the mix as you wish! Who's your favourite character? Which movie have you watched the most? What are you hoping to see in Episode VII?
Rachael
bratty_jedi at 3:38 pm on 10 February 2013 (UTC) (Link)
Dissertation? Hit me up with that goodness and I'll be your virtual cheerleader!
Lots of people have asked about dissertation and career stuff so I'll do a full post on that soon.

Add some Star Wars fandom stories to the mix as you wish! Who's your favourite character? Which movie have you watched the most? What are you hoping to see in Episode VII?

Check out this reply to someone else for the story of my start in Star Wars.

I'm not sure about favorite characters and the like. I love the Expanded Universe so people like Mara Jade, Wedge Antilles (as fleshed out in the EU since he's obviously movie canon) , and Cade Skywalker are awesome in my book. I've gone to conventions dressed up as Grand Admiral Thrawn and love that book trilogy. I love Luke and Han both for different reasons and could never pick a favorite between the two (well, except in A New Hope when Han clearly wins over whiny Luke). Out of the movies, I'm an Empire fan girl. I think parts of the last half of Jedi are among the greatest film storytelling ever made, but only parts and the entire movie doesn't hang together as well as Empire does as a complete piece. I'm not sure which film I've actually watched the most as I most often decide to do the entire original trilogy if I'm going to watch anything.

As to Episode VII, my main wish, which I realize is probably hopeless, is that they not throw out the entire Expanded Universe. I wouldn't mind if they reboot from just before the New Jedi Order books as I haven't cared for any of that as much as I liked the old Bantam stuff, but I like Mara Jade and the Solo kids and all that and would love to see them in the films in a recognizable form. Beyond that, I'd love to see them do what has been done with the Avengers universe. Having one central storyline with all the characters (in the case of the Avengers coming second but in this case coming first) and then individual arcs focusing on specific characters (like the Iron Man movies, the Thor movies, etc.) is great because the central thing gives everyone common ground and then people can pick and choose which of the individual ones they like. That would be the way to do without swamping the fandom and making it feel too tired and old too quickly, I think.
donutsweeper
donutsweeper at 6:32 pm on 09 February 2013 (UTC) (Link)
Tell me about your pets! Oh, Sherlock Holmes-wise have you ever seen the "Hound of the Baskervilles" version with Richard Roxburg as Holmes and Ian Hart as Watson?

I just spent the day watching QI, since we're sharing I'll just leave this here because I think you'll appreciate it:

Rachael
bratty_jedi at 2:40 am on 10 February 2013 (UTC) (Link)
I don't have any pets at my place in Virginia at the moment but I would love to. My parents have three dogs and I consider them mine and miss them terribly when I'm not home. That's them in the icon. From left to right they are Oshi, Sammi, and K.C. Oshi is the son of Sammi and K.C. They are bichon frises. My extended family have long had them. At one point, my uncle bred and showed bichons professionally and had the number three ranked dog in the nation. Of the current crop, Oshi is fairly laid-back and easy going, content to be on his own. I call him Yoshi after the dragon thing in the Mario video games more than Oshi and think we should actually rename him because he loves to lick everything. Sammi is the only girl and the littlest but she is completely the boss. She is very demanding and loves to play with people but gets annoyed if one of the other dogs tries to join in. K.C. is a lover. All he really wants to do is cuddle and nibble on your ear while you rub his tummy or his ears. In the past we've had several other dogs who all died after living to be at least 15 years so not bad, I think. We've also had a couple of outdoor cats when we lived in the country and a rabbit.

I haven't seen that Baskervilles version. It's on my To Do list. Have you seen or heard the comedic play version by John Nicholson and Steven Canny?

Oh, gods, I love Stephen Fry. As soon as it started playing, I remembered seeing that bit before but still couldn't stop laughing at it!
donutsweeper
donutsweeper at 4:56 am on 10 February 2013 (UTC) (Link)
Hmmm, I don't think I'm familiar with that version of it.

Awww, the doggies are adorable.
Rachael
bratty_jedi at 3:27 pm on 10 February 2013 (UTC) (Link)
It is a very silly take that basically lampshades all the fandom ideas and complaints about the original canon: the bromance of Holmes and Watson is played with, the question of how Watson can spend so much time with Holmes and still be fooled by simple disguises and not have ever picked up any of Holmes's techniques, etc. Plus, Holmes is played as Spanish just to be random. I bought the radio play version from the UK AudioGo site (it is one of the few things available there but not at the US site) and consider it well worth the few bucks. It is absolutely hilarious for anyone enough into the canon to get the inside jokes.
Alice
dineru at 11:14 pm on 09 February 2013 (UTC) (Link)
I'd like to hear about your research interests and how you got started!
Rachael
bratty_jedi at 3:27 pm on 10 February 2013 (UTC) (Link)
Lots of people have asked about dissertation and career stuff so I'll do a full post on that soon. Stay tuned!
Wine gums, envy, pieces of rainbow
qwentoozla at 7:47 am on 10 February 2013 (UTC) (Link)
What kind of music do you like to listen to? How did you choose your field of study? What's your favorite Sherlock Holmes story (from the original Doyle stories, I mean)?
Rachael
bratty_jedi at 4:21 pm on 10 February 2013 (UTC) (Link)
What kind of music do you like to listen to?
I had a former roommate once say that I stopped listening to music after about 1972. That's certainly not entirely true, but the 1960s by far produced the majority of my favorite music. I love folk-rock and the protest songs that were huge then.

My top five bands / groups for listening to over and over are Beatles, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Bon Jovi, Monkees (don't judge!), and any incarnation of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Very close runner up is Queen. Top five individuals or duets are Simon & Garfunkel or just Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen (yeah, yeah The Band whatever), Bob Dylan, Jim Byrnes, and Stevie Wonder. There are dozens of songs from each of them I can listen to over and over.

Some individual songs that I can listen to repeatedly from others are Barry McGuire's Eve of Destruction; Lay Down Sally by Eric Claptopn; Buffalo Springfield's For What It's Worth; Satisfaction by The Rolling Stones; Don't Stand So Close to Me by The Police; Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood by The Animals; Sloop John B and Good Vibrations by The Beach Boys; Carly Simon and James Taylor's Mockingbird duet; Copperline by James Taylor; Dusty Springfield's Son of a Preacher Man; Signs by Five Man Electric Band; Sunshine by Jonathan Edwards; Five For Fighting's Superman (It's Not Easy); Never Been to Spain and Shambala both by Three Dog Night; Lobo's Big Red Kite; Bus Stop by The Hollies; Herman's Hermits' What a Wonderful World; and No Time by The Guess Who. A couple of unusual choices are I Want You But I Don't Need You by Amanda Palmer because it is just completely how I feel about relationships and ABBA's Does Your Mother Know because it is just silly fun.

How did you choose your field of study?
Lots of people have asked about dissertation and career stuff so I'll do a full post on that soon. Stay tuned!

What's your favorite Sherlock Holmes story (from the original Doyle stories, I mean)?
Too many to choose! No, that isn't completely true. There are two that jump out at me that I think might be unusual choices, but they are still near and dear to my heart.

First is the Musgrave Ritual. That one is probably less of an unusual choice as I've seen it creep into a few Best of Holmes lists. I love the riddle of the family tradition, the fact that it was an outsider who figured it out, and the connection to Charles I and the Civil War. The second is something I don't know I've ever seen anyone else list as a favorite: Yellow Face. The story itself is fairly straightforward and shows Holmes acting a bit out of character in voicing a suspicion before he has all the evidence but I love what it gives to the canon and thus to fandom for playing with: the idea that Holmes got it wrong due to assuming the worst about someone, that people can be better than might be expected (love the husband's last line!), and that there is a secret code word between Watson and Holmes for Watson to whisper anytime Holmes is getting too full of himself to bring him back into line (How has that not been played with by fandom more and not made it into BBC Sherlock, yet!? I really should write a BBC Sherlock fanfic with it.)

Of the novels, Valley of Fear is my favorite due to the connection to the real life Molly Maguires and Pinkertons. Unlike Study in Scarlet, the extended back story set in America is interesting!

Oh, and I love and adore Mycroft and have from the first moment he appeared so Greek Interpreter and Bruce-Partington Plans have to get honorable mentions just for his existence.
Wine gums, envy, pieces of rainbow
qwentoozla at 6:58 am on 12 February 2013 (UTC) (Link)
Those are interesting choices for Holmes stories! You're right, I've never seen anyone choose the Yellow Face as their favorite either. I've always liked that one myself, actually. :)
Rachael
bratty_jedi at 11:59 am on 12 February 2013 (UTC) (Link)
I do have my favorites from the more conventional best of lists. I like stories such as Silver Blaze, Three Garridebs, Red-Headed League, Scandal in Bohemia, etc. Maybe I should do a Best of Holmes Canon post at some point with lists like "Top 5 Deductive / Mystery Stories (which is probably the more conventional lists)," "Top 5 Light or Fun Stories," "Top 5 Stories for Secondary Characters," "Top 5 Stories for Holmes or Watson Characterization," etc. and invite other people to play with their own Top 5 lists, either same categories as I do or new ones. Hmmm... I'll have to think about that. Could be a bit before I'd do it, though. I started rereading the stories again a few weeks ago, this time trying for something resembling chronological order (an impossible task, I know) rather than publication order, which is how I usually do it. I'm only reading a story every day or two, though, and would want to finish that before doing the lists so I'd have them all more fresh in my mind. I think it has been about three years since I last read some of them.


The one place I very much differ from conventional wisdom on Best of Holmes and always will is that I despise Final Problem with a passion. I understand why Moriarty has such a hold on anyone doing anything with Holmes after Conan Doyle and I appreciate the need for him and enjoy him in the greater world of Holmesian pastiche, but the way it is actually handled in the original canon is atrocious and just bad storytelling in my opinion.


   Leave a New Comment
Previous Entry  Next Entry