Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Adventure of the Three Students: Review

The graphic novel version of the Sherlock Holmes short story "The Adventure of the Three Students" was chosen primarily to fit the need for a graphic novel in the latest challenge I've signed up for. I was very glad to find a Holmes graphic novel available at the local library. The original story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle appeared in The Return of Sherlock Holmes.

The story is a fairly straight-forward one. Professor Soames has been preparing one portion of an exam for a very important fellowship with substantial financial support. Soames is responsible for the Greek portion of the exam. His task is to provide a large passage of Greek text for the students to translate. It must be a passage that none of them have seen before. He leaves the passage on his desk, locks the door, and joins a friend for tea. When he returns there is a key in the door (though the door is locked) and there is evidence that someone has been in the room. His  servant finds him bewildered and when Bannister, the servant, realizes that he has left his key in the door and allowed someone to see the exam he nearly collapses.

Soames calls upon Sherlock Holmes to determine if one of the three competitors for this highly sought-after fellowship was his visitor--and, if so, which one. After following up clues that include clay found on the floor, a deep scratch on the desk, pencil shavings on the window sill, and the odd behavior of Bannister, Holmes is ready to reveal the cheating student.

The graphic novel is faithful to the original story and a very quick read. It is quite obviously meant for young readers and may work quite well to interest them in the Great Detective. From an older reader's viewpoint, it is quite simplistic--and even points out (with arrows!) the clues in various scenes. The illustrations are also very inconsistent--Holmes varies in his look quite a bit, especially in reference to age. In some panels he looks to be in his thirties, others he seems to be even older, and then suddenly he looks very young and fresh-faced as if he is in his late teens. Fairly enjoyable for older readers, but I'm quite sure children will like it more.


Anonymous said...

It has been decades since I read any kind of comic books or graphic novels - they do sound like fun but at this point, I'm not sure I'd even know where to start!

fredamans said...

A graphic Sherlock?! I might even enjoy this one but for sure am passing this along to the hubby. I get it's for kids, but so are video games and he loves them... lol... Great review!