This is the the kind of book that makes me long for a headlamp and blanket fort--reading it is too much of an adventure for an armchair, or a park bench.
The Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness, and Obsession, is a collection of little worlds packed into 12 articles by New Yorker staff writer David Grann. And I can take no credit for discovering it--I nabbed a copy from Jad's desk about a year ago, and he nabbed it back before I had a chance to take it home. Luckily Pat Walters also had a copy (Pat, if you're reading this...I can bring it back after Thanksgiving! Really!). Book lending is rampant in these parts.
Thanks to Pat, I spent a fantastic rainy weekend tearing through stories more irresistible than the most seductive dime-store detective tale--stories about a master of disguise, a researcher intent on capturing a baby giant squid, and an aging stick-up man who can't give up his gun. On one hand, it's a rollicking book about sleuthing and obsession. And on the other, it's a profoundly moving study of personality--article after article introduces characters who are charismatic, complicated, and often up against some kind of unimaginable immensity. It's a good one.
P.S. I'd love some recommendations...I've got some train time coming up over Thanksgiving, anybody reading something awesome?