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Book Title: John Thorndyke's Cases|
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Reader ratings: 7.7
The author of the book: R. Austin Freeman
Edition: House of Stratus
Date of issue: September 30th 2012
ISBN 13: 9780755128686
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 37.27 MB
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After two novels this is the first short story collection about Thorndyke I've read. The enjoyment stays the same, Freeman can clearly built engaging cases on 20 pages at well as on 200. However what becomes noticable in now the third book I've read is that Thorndyke is less of a character and more a device to move the plot forward. I hate that in yet another Thorndyke-review I'm making comparisons to Holmes but there are just very obvious parallels. I previously said that I find Thorndyke more approachable than Holmes which is still true but while I wanted to strangle Holmes on occasions there were also those beautiful moments in which he showed how much he cared. About Watson and other people. Thorndyke just exists. There are a couple of occasions where Freeman describes his quirks (his..very peculiar way of reading a newspaper) or lets Jarvis think a bit about his friendship to Thorndyke but it almost seems like they have been added as an afterthought.
I still enjoy the cases itself and the very realistic portrayal of the Victorian-age/turn of the century forensics but I am also beginning to see why Holmes is still popular toay while Thorndyke is almost forgotten. He is just a lot less memorable.
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Read information about the authorRichard Freeman was born in Soho, London on 11 April 1862 and was the son of Ann Maria (nee Dunn) and Richard Freeman, a tailor. He was originally named Richard and later added the Austin to his name.
He became a medical trainee at Middlesex Hospital Medical College and was accepted as a member of the Royal College of Surgeons.
He married Annie Elizabeth Edwards in 1887 and they had two sons and after a few weeks of married life the couple found themselves in Accra on the Gold Coast where he was assistant surgeon. His time in Africa produced plenty of hard work, very little money and ill health, so much so that after seven years he was invalided out of the service in 1891. He wrote his first book, 'Travels and Life in Ashanti and Jaman', which was published in 1898. It was critically acclaimed but made very little money.
On his return to England he set up an eye/ear/nose/throat pactice but in due course his health forced him to give up medicine although he did have occasional temporary posts and in World War I he was in the ambulance corps.
He became a writer of detective stories, mostly featuring the medico-legal forensic investigator Dr Thorndyke. The first of the books in the series was 'The Red Thumb Mark' (1907). His first published crime novel was 'The Adventures of Romney Pringle' (1902) and was a collaborative effort published under the pseudonym Clifford Ashdown. Within a few years he was devoting his time to full-time writing.
With the publication of 'The Singing Bone' (1912) hee invented the inverted detective story (a crime fiction in which the commission of the crime is described at the beginning, usually including the identity of the perpetrator, with the story then describing the detective's attempt to solve the mystery). Thereafter he used some of his early experiences as a colonial surgeon in his novels.
A large proportion of the Dr Thorndyke stories involve genuine, but often quite arcane, points of scientific knowledge, from areas such as tropical medicine, metallurgy and toxicology.
He died in Gravesend on 28 September 1943.
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