The Devil and Sherlock Holmes
Tales of Murder, Madness, and Obsession
By David Grann
(Doubleday, Hardcover, 9780385517928, 352pp.)
Publication Date: March 9, 2010
Enter your zip code below to find indies closest to you.
Acclaimed New Yorker writer and author of the breakout debut bestseller The Lost City of Z, David Grann offers a collection of spellbinding narrative journalism.
Whether he’s reporting on the infiltration of the murderous Aryan Brotherhood into the U.S. prison system, tracking down a chameleon con artist in Europe, or riding in a cyclone- tossed skiff with a scientist hunting the elusive giant squid, David Grann revels in telling stories that explore the nature of obsession and that piece together true and unforgettable mysteries.
Each of the dozen stories in this collection reveals a hidden and often dangerous world and, like Into Thin Air and The Orchid Thief, pivots around the gravitational pull of obsession and the captivating personalities of those caught in its grip. There is the world’s foremost expert on Sherlock Holmes who is found dead in mysterious circumstances; an arson sleuth trying to prove that a man about to be executed is innocent; and sandhogs racing to complete the brutally dangerous job of building New York City’s water tunnels before the old system collapses. Throughout, Grann’s hypnotic accounts display the power—and often the willful perversity—of the human spirit.
Compulsively readable, The Devil and Sherlock Holmes is a brilliant mosaic of ambition, madness, passion, and folly.
DAVID GRANN is a staff writer at The New Yorker and author of the bestseller The Lost City of Z, which has been translated into more than twenty languages. His stories have appeared in many best-American-writing anthologies, and he has written for the New York Times Magazine, the Atlantic, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and the New Republic.
David Grann spent years documenting true stories of obsession and deception. He includes an improbable international impostor and the mysterious death of a Sherlock Holmes scholar in his book, The Devil and Sherlock Holmes. More at NPR.org
NPR Audio Player Requires Flash Upgrade: Please upgrade your plug-in to view this content.
Praise for The Devil and Sherlock Holmes:
"A gifted storyteller, Grann has a Sherlock Holmesian gift for unearthing facts that are hidden in plain sight, presenting a crystal-clear narrative and letting his compelling cast of characters speak for themselves.....Easily worth the price of admission, a visit to Grann's rogue's gallery is likely to leave you with a sense, at once awful and awesome, of the profound desire we all have for recognition." --Portland Oregonian
"Grann's obsession with how narratives are told is complex and compelling...But it's the basic stories themselves -- bizarre and fascinating, bolstered by exhaustive research -- that make the book so gripping." --TimeOut New York
Praise for David Grann’s acclaimed New York Times Bestseller, The Lost City of Z
“At once a biography, a detective story and wonderfully vivid piece of travel writing . . . suspenseful . . . rollicking . . .Fascinating reads with all the pace and excitement of a movie thriller and all the verisimilitude and detail of firsthand reportage.” —Michiko Kakutani, New York Times
”All the pace of a white-knuckle adventure story . . . What a grand tale it is! . . . Thoroughly researched, vividly told, this is a thrill ride from start to finish.” —Marie Arana, —Washington Post
“Outstanding . . . a powerful narrative, stiff lipped and Victorian at the center, trippy at the edges, as if one of those stern men of Conrad had found himself trapped in a novel by García Márquez.” —Rich Cohen, New York Times Book Review
“A fascinating account . . . Grann expertly juggles narrative . . . breathtaking clarity of scene and immediacy; any writer who can breathe life into letters written by scientists in the early 1900s deserves more than a hat tip. Grann brings Fawcett's remarkable story to a beautifully written, perfectly paced fruition.” —Karla Starr, Los Angeles Times
“V idly alive . . . What makes Mr. Grann's telling of the story so captivating is that he decides not simply to go off in search of yet more relics of our absent hero—but to go off himself in search of the city that Fawcett was looking for so heroically when he suddenly went AWOL.” —Simon Winchester, Wall Street Journal
“Fascinating . . . impressively researched and skillfully crafted narrative . . . a gripping journey into the unknown”—Chuck Leddy, Boston Globe
“Wildly delivers the goods . . . an unfathomably riveting narrative”—GQ