Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Homles* (for Homeles* or Holmes)

I just finished a great book entitled Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. While doing a bit of sleuthing about the author, Ransom Riggs, I found he had written something called The Sherlock Holmes Handbook, released in 2009 as a tie-in to the Guy Ritchie film starring Robert Downey, Jr. In Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, Jacob Portman, the sixteen-year-old protagonist, loses his beloved and eccentric grandfather to a mysterious and grisly demise and is consequently launched on a fact-finding mission to rival any embarked on by Sherlock Holmes himself. Furthermore, it's a trip from which Jacob might never come home. This captivating young adult novel is based upon a series of odd Victorian photographs, and has a sort of Holocaust subtext. I shan't spoil it for you except to say that the eponymous dwelling at the center of the story is both utterly perfect in every way and literally unlivable for one more day. With six cases of Homles* in OhioLINK (five for homeles* and one for Holmes) and 95 in WorldCat, it's a typo of "low probability." Would we could say the same about the actual homeless, at home and abroad, in this world and the next.

(Statue of Sherlock Holmes at Meiringen, Switzerland, by British sculptor John Doubleday, unveiled on September 10, 1988. From Wikimedia Commons.)

Carol Reid

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