The Narrative of John Smith

Before there was the astute detective Sherlock Holmes and his capable compatriot Watson, there was the opinionated Everyman John Smith In 1883, when he was just twenty three, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote The Narrative of John Smith while he was living in Portsmouth and struggling to establish himself as both a doctor and a writer He had already succeeded in having a numbBefore there was the astute detective Sherlock Holmes and his capable compatriot Watson, there was the opinionated Everyman John Smith In 1883, when he was just twenty three, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote The Narrative of John Smith while he was living in Portsmouth and struggling to establish himself as both a doctor and a writer He had already succeeded in having a number of short stories published in leading magazines of the day, such as Blackwood s, All the Year Round, London Society, and the Boy s Own Paper but as was the accepted practice of literary journals of the time, his stories had been published anonymously Thus, Conan Doyle knew that in order to truly establish his name as a writer, he would have to write a novel That novel the first he ever wrote and only now published for the first time is The Narrative of John Smith Many of the themes and stylistic tropes of his later writing, including his first Sherlock Holmes story, A Study in Scarlet published in 1887 can be clearly seen More a series of ruminations than a traditional novel, The Narrative of John Smith is of considerable biographical importance and provides an exceptional window into the mind of the creator of Sherlock Holmes Through John Smith, a fifty year old man confined to his room by an attack of gout, Conan Doyle sets down his thoughts and opinions on a range of subjects including literature, science, religion, war, and education with no detectable insecurity or diffidence His writing is full of bravado Though unfinished, The Narrative of John Smith stands as a fascinating record of the early work of a man on his way to being one of the best known authors in the world This book will be welcomed with enthusiasm by the numerous Conan Doyle devotees.
The Narrative of John Smith Before there was the astute detective Sherlock Holmes and his capable compatriot Watson there was the opinionated Everyman John Smith In when he was just twenty three Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wr

  • Title: The Narrative of John Smith
  • Author: Arthur Conan Doyle Jon Lellenberg
  • ISBN: 9780712358415
  • Page: 353
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 1 thought on “The Narrative of John Smith”

    1. "The choice of inanimate companions is to my mind only second to that of animate ones. Show me a man's chambers and I'll give you a pretty fair estimate of his intellect and capacity. What the eye rests upon, the mind will dwell upon. It is easier to think daintily in a parlor than in an attic." - The Narrative of John Smith, p. 16 So sayeth our opinionated Mr. John Smith and so we can imagine a similar perspective spouted off by none other than the infinitely recreated and remarkably popular Sh [...]

    2. This is supposed to be Conan Doyle's first book, the only copy of which was lost in the post and never recovered, rewritten from memory and found upon his death. It was recently published (2011) by the British Museum which purchased it at auction.Not a mystery or adventure story but a long rambling philosophy supposedly narrated by John Smith to his doctor and friends. I actually found it quite interesting.

    3. I adored this book, to put it simply. But if you go into it with the wrong idea, I think you're going to have trouble. I got this book because it was the first novel (or attempt at a novel, as it is incomplete) that Doyle wrote when he moved to my hometown of Southsea. And, obviously, I like Arthur Conan Doyle. If all you have ever read is Sherlock Holmes and you know little about his creator, this may be a little heavy going and too bizarrely structured. But if you have an idea of how his brain [...]

    4. There are pieces of music, notes really, stuck in your head that you heard in passing or a long time ago. The notes have a touch of familiarity though the lyrics or the complete arrangement escape your memory. It haunts you every now and then, slamming in your mind at odd and different times.The narrative of John Smith is something like that. This half a novel is far from perfect or even good. Its a glimpse to the evolving mind of Doyle - in the way he saw things and understood them. It cannot b [...]

    5. Hardcover: 144 pagesPublisher: The British Library Publishing Division (26 Sep 2011)Language EnglishISBN-10: 0712358412ISBN-13: 978-0712358415 Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 13.6 x 1.8 cmbbc/news/entertainme

    6. "The dead are such good company that one is apt to think too little of the living."A 'novel' about Arthur C Doyles, ehm John Smith's, musings on politics, philosophy, regligion etc. Overall, meh.

    7. This edition is all that remains of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's first attempt at writing a novel; the complete manuscript being lost in the post, en route to the publishers. Having no other copy (these were the days before backup hard drives and printers of course), he resolved to re-write the novel from scratch. Which he in part did, completing the first five chapters before abandoning the project on the sixth.In this novel, Doyle strongly adheres to the axiom “write what you know”. In what se [...]

    8. John Smith is diagnosed with rheumatism and gout and is advised by his doctor to stay in for a week. Being the active person that he is, he insisted that he’s perfectly able-bodied. His doctor then proposed that he write something, and so his narrative commenced.This book contains the actual manuscript that Doyle wrote between 1883 and 1884, with the erasures and some missing words. The manuscript ended at chapter 6, mid-page. It is an exhibition of John Smiths ideas, visionaries and philosoph [...]

    9. If you're a hard core fan of Conan Doyle and want to read and collect this book for its historical value, that's totally fine. But the content, in my opinion, is really dry, raw, and hard to chew. Conan Doyle was not the writer he became to be when he wrote this unfinished first novel. It's full of his opinion about politics, religion, creation, medical breakthrough and other general issues. All were quite interesting actually, if it's woven into one neat little story. But this book (although wa [...]

    10. "It is as impertinent as it is inartistic of a novelist to wander away from his story in order to give us his opinions on this or that subject." "It may become an excellent mosaic of philosophy, information, theology- pantology in fact- but it ceases to be a good novel."There isn't much more to say about this novel that Arthur Conan Doyle hasn't already said in the book. It is not a good novel. There's hardly a plot. It isn't even finished. It certainly isn't Sherlock Holmes. But it is interesti [...]

    11. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's first work (sort of). He orginally wrote it, posted it for the editor but never arrived. Original is more than likely destroyed or lost. ACD was only 23 when he wrote this but there inklings of Sherlock, John and all the things that makes his greatest character. While the novel is rough, unedited, published as is, it does show how ACD brain works and what literary devices he kept.Stream of consciousness narratives with people breaking it up, much like the Old Testament b [...]

    12. Significant as Doyle's first novel, though it was never published until recently. The original manuscript was lost by the British Postal Service on its way to the publisher. No second copy so Doyle spent the rest of his life recreating the story from memory. He never did finish the rewrite and apparently thought that was for the best.That copy too, was thought to be lost, but recently recovered. The novel itself is not a story as much as Doyle's discourse on various subjects, religion, coloniali [...]

    13. This is certainly NOT Doyle's best work. But heck, it WAS his first attempt at a novel (early 1883; about 4 yrs. prior to A Study in Scarlet), and was never quite completed, fully edited, or even published until 2011. I would not recommend this to the casual reader, but to those who are serious Sherlockians who want to see how the young writer was learning his craft (and some hints of early sketches of the man who became Holmes), this is a must read. [again, do not expect to read here the more p [...]

    14. Definitely worth reading for the Arthur Conan Doyle fans, but I wouldn't rate it as great literature. I can understand why Conan Doyle didn't think it was good enough for publishing, but I can understand the want to publish it. There is a lot that's very interesting in it, but you can tell it's a work in progress. For the true Conan Doyle fans this would be a great insight into his writing and what's to come.

    15. As a first attempt, it's a novel that betrays both this author's future strong points and his failures. He excels at making characters come to life off the page, but consistency in long narratives wasn't his winning horse. Still; a fairer first attempt than most can boast - pity for the post.

    16. In my opinion, it's not a book (not that we understand by the term book). It's a set of ideas of Arthur Conan Doyle about the world, the future and the people. Nice, but nothing more.

    17. This is the best philosophical book, I ever read. It has so much truth and morale in it. Even better than Sherlock Holmes. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is the Master of Writing Fiction!

    18. My favorite quote from this book: 'Perhaps evil and sin and pain may prove to be merely the dark background which is necessary to make the bright design stand out hard and clear.'

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