Here is a review and look at the collection of Sherlock Holmes pastiches entitled "Sherlock Holmes in Russia" translated by Alex Auswaks.The book contains 7 stories, two written by P. Orlovetz and 5 stories by P. Nitikin. These stories were written in the around 1905 - 1910, in what were the equivalent of "penny dreadfuls" in Russia. These stories were not authorized and were published without regard to copyright protection at that time.
When I first bought the book, I imagined it was going to contain modern pastiches from a modern Russia. Instead, I read seven stories that reflect the Russian society of the early 20th century. And that has a certain fascination. Of course, there is also the confusion of how Russians name themselves that anyone who has read "War and Peace" is familiar with. But as a long time reader I have learned to ignore such literary distractions and still enjoy what is presented.
The Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson that appears in these stories are not your usual characters - they are oddly flavored in not fully realized charicatures. While still recognizable, I have never read a Holmes story before where Sherlock Holmes is so willing to receive a fee...
The book is readable and the stories have their moments - twice a story ends with Holmes disappearing in a river. These are not great stories, though, and if you are looking for great pastiches, buy some other book first. For Sherlock Holmes collectors, though, you will not mind having this in your library.
The Rating: ... This book has a rating of 3 "Pipes." Readers will enjoy the stories, if they look at the book as a collection of Sherlockian oddities, rather than being great stories.
More information from Amazon:
Sherlock Holmes in Russia
Thanks to the Sherlockian historian George Piliev and translator Alex Auswaks, this remarkable collection of seven Russian Sherlock Holmes stories is now available in English for the first time. Piliev tells the fascinating story of how these tales came to be written, in the context of the Sherlockian phenomenon in Russia. He explains how Holmes reached an even greater audience when Russian writers decided to transport him and Watson from Baker Street to Russia, on the premise that they traveled widely in the country and became fluent in the language.
Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson traveled the length of Russia solving the most difficult and unimaginable cases and pursued all the while by an implacable Russian Moriarty. Instead of mainly dealing with murders, these stories are more diverse, covering kidnapping, a strange problem in a shop, theft, and corruption.
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