The Confessions of Mycroft Holmes

The Confessions of Mycroft Holmes The Barnes Noble ReviewThis is literary entertainment of the highest order as engaging as early Martin Amis as addictive as the Sherlock Holmes stories on which in a roundabout way it is based The Co

  • Title: The Confessions of Mycroft Holmes
  • Author: Marcel Theroux
  • ISBN: 9780156007436
  • Page: 384
  • Format: Paperback
  • The Barnes Noble ReviewThis is literary entertainment of the highest order as engaging as early Martin Amis, as addictive as the Sherlock Holmes stories on which in a roundabout way it is based The Confessions of Mycroft Holmes is a paper chase, a mystery where the clues are all documents and the detective is the kind of hero every irrepressible reader can sympThe Barnes Noble ReviewThis is literary entertainment of the highest order as engaging as early Martin Amis, as addictive as the Sherlock Holmes stories on which in a roundabout way it is based The Confessions of Mycroft Holmes is a paper chase, a mystery where the clues are all documents and the detective is the kind of hero every irrepressible reader can sympathize with an irrepressible reader As the story opens, Damien March, a cultural mongrel who is half British and half American, is languishing midway through his life in a dead end job at the BBC Estranged from his family his brother is a successful movie director, his father a retired lawyer and diehard Anglophile Damien is astonished to learn that he is heir to the estate of his uncle Patrick, a failed novelist who lived reclusively in an eccentrically furnished antique cottage on an island off Cape Cod The mere fact that Damien is Patrick s sole heir, and the terms of his inheritance the preservation of his uncle s house in the exact condition it was left in is all so baffling that Damien can t resist accepting, if only to figure out what message Patrick is trying to send from beyond the grave When he finds an unfinished manuscript in his uncle s filing cabinet entitled The Confessions of Mycroft Holmes, intrigue, love triangles, sibling rivalry, and deeply buried family secrets begin to emerge.Mycroft Holmes, an archetype of literary trivia, is the scantly mentioned brother of celebrity detective Sherlock Holmes Mycroft s confessions lead Damien to discover the truth about his uncle Flitting gracefully between Mycroft s Victorian narrative and Damien s own ruminations and amateur detective work, the untangling of the mystery is a beautiful game And though Damien s narrative rushes forth like water from a tap, it s marvelously satisfying to realize in the end what a very tangled web of deception the players of this game have woven Minna Proctor

    One thought on “The Confessions of Mycroft Holmes”

    1. Damien March, a bored BBC journalist on the night shift, suddenly inherits a house on an island off the coast of Cape Cod from his long-lost uncle Patrick. There is a condition, however - he must preserve the house exactly as it is. Given that his uncle was somewhat eccentric, and the house is littered with bric-a-brac (e.g. a collection of ice-cream scoops), this is not as easy as it sounds.In trying to settle into the house, Damien comes across letters and old manuscripts that reveal more abou [...]

    2. An excruciatingly slow read that limps to an underwhelming ending. I only bothered to finish it because it was so short. As Holmes pastiche, it's a failure - Mycroft isn't even mentioned until 144 pages into this 216-page novel and his actions don't jive at all with my impressions of the canonical character. It's a device that feels shoehorned in.Mostly, the book's about a guy who's the British equivalent of a pretentious Brooklyn hipster. I got the sense that the main character is a lot like th [...]

    3. At first,the plot seems intriguing enough- a young man leading a dull and average life, receives an unexpected inheritance from his uncle Patrick. While exploring his big house,he comes across a manuscript of unpublished story which reveals more than he would like to know.Unfortunately, as the story develops, it gradually loses reader`s interest. I think a good plot needs more development.As a whole,my impression was that the novel was weak.

    4. Can honestly say this is the worst book I've ever read! Kept thinking it would get better and hate not to finish a book once I've started it - but I would have been better spending my time doing something else!

    5. If you're expecting this to be about the Confessions of Mycroft Holmes, you'll be disappointed. The name of Holmes is used purely as a device to draw readers to the book. In actual fact the story overall would be better without Theroux attempting to shoehorn Mycroft into his narrative. The character of Mycroft is inaccurate and clearly is only meant as a reflection of the narrator's uncle.I think this would have been a much more enjoyable book if it had simply been about the fragmentation of fam [...]

    6. What a huge disappointment! This book is 30 chapters long, Mycroft Holmes' "confessions" take up only two chapters. There should be a law that if a book is entitled The Confessions of Mycroft Holmes, then Mycroft Holmes should play a honkin' big part of the book. The remainder is just pretentious crap. There is no mystery, no Holmes -- and no point.

    7. I stuck with it because I LOVE the idea that someone wrote something related to Mycroft Holmes, Sherlock's little known older brother. Unfortunately the writing belabors the details, takes too long to come to the point, and lacks a moving plot.

    8. I got 105 pages in (halfway) and just wasn't compelled to read the rest. And I never found out who the title character is.Wow. I just realized that this is the same author of Far North which I read last year and loved. This book is not of the same caliber.

    9. I really liked the book until the very end. It just ended and the big surprise wasn't that much of a surprise plus it wasn't laid out very clearly. It ended too abruptly.

    10. Made it about 2/3 of the way through and just couldn't see the point of continuing. Very plodding and not very interesting.

    11. This book left me confused, disappointed and underwhelmed. The plot was boring and slow moving. The characters felt flat and failed to capture my attention. Glad I only spent a dollar on this book.

    12. Found this book rather boring and dry Hung in there as long as I could hoping it wood get better but just couldn't hang with it.

    13. Damien, a young underachiever working in London inherits a house on an island off the Cape from his uncle Patrick. Leaving his lackluster existence in the UK, he decides to spend a few months in the house, of which he has good childhood memories. The trip to Ionia also becomes a trip down memory lane, as Damien's interactions with the island and the islanders, his uncle's friends and the house itself, including the many strange possessions his uncle had hoarded, make him ruminate more on the str [...]

    14. So bad I could not bring myself to finish it. My displeasure with this particular book had little to do with the quality of Theroux's writing technique, rather the very misleading concept that this book should be considered part of Holmes Pastiche whatsoever. The Character of Mycroft Holmes has been squandered on a metaphor loosely trying together a series of dull events at best.

    15. A great little book. I really enjoy reading Marcel Theroux. His book Far North was slightly better. Confessions started a bit slow but the writing picked up. Great ending.

    16. Can't understand the poor reviews - I loved it.The subtly nuanced characterisation lends authenticity (the sense that a story bears witness to reality, as Theroux remarks in his latest novel, The Secret Books) to a narrative that reads like a memoir.

    17. I stumbled across this in a charity shop, and having been impressed by the last Theroux novel I read, Strange Bodies, I bought it. It’s not science fiction in the slightest, more of a family drama slash mystery. The narrator is a UK-based American, who is surprised to discover he’s been left his uncle’s house on a New England island in a will. The uncle was a celebrated writer, who faded away and became a recluse. The narrator leaves his job at the BBC and goes to live in the house – it [...]

    18. 2010 bookcrossing review:I really enjoyed this book - I found it a well-written satisfying read. For some reason I was expecting a more dramatic ending, but the ending was fitting with the rest of the book. I'm glad I kept a note of this on my wishlist so I got the chance to read it. Thanks again bookwormkt for sending it to me!Most of the book is set in the States on Cape Cod. Damien Marsh, our narrator, is working for the BBC in London. When his estranged uncle Patrick dies and leaves his hous [...]

    19. If you can get past the SAT words and the silly faux-Victorian style that Damien March's deceased uncle Patrick uses to write his Mycroft Holmes fan fiction, it's a good story about the fragility of family relationships, especially in the modern world where families tend to scattered all over the globe. One word of caution: if you picked this up because you're a Sherlock Holmes fan, this book will probably disappoint you. This book reminds me of The Crow Road-- Iain Banks's novel about a nephew [...]

    20. Marcel Theroux is an easy writer to read, I love his British accent, snarky humor and subtle details. His illustrative descriptions make a modern-day BBC job, a hoarder's house on Cape Cod, and a London boxing gym in the 1800s all come to life. This story is about under-performing Damian March and his Hollywood successful brother Vivian, 2 yrs his junior; and their over-achieving father and his prone-to-giving-up-on-things brother Patrick, also 2 yrs apart. They are separated geographically by c [...]

    21. Damien March, an American who has grown up in England, inherits the house of his Uncle Patrick, located on the fictitious island of Ionia, off the coast of Cape Cod. Patrick was an obsessive collector of junk, a writer who led a solitary life in his ramshackle house. Damien gives up his job in England to go and live in Patrick’s house, where he finds parts of a manuscript titled “The Confessions of Mycroft Holmes”. As he reads it, it seems to Damien that Patrick may have been writing about [...]

    22. It was only towards the end that everything became of purpose, or at least, more exciting - as per what the blurb promised. When I came upon Mycroft and the novel picked up the pace, I was delighted, probably partly because the first 3/5s of the book didn't seem very impressive; time seemed stretched and crammed with far too many details I reckoned weren't worth knowing, but bear in mind that I felt like a person wading through the English Channel. I certainly liked how everything drew to a clos [...]

    23. Not at all what I expected, given the jacket description. The plot was a bit blah I was expecting a more gripping and more swashbuckling mystery.Theroux's writing does still shine in this novel, with some lovely ideas, vignettes, and memories. He has an amazing knack for showing how little inconsequential things nonetheless have great effect on an individual, and he weaves them together in a way which feels like real life -- meaning and meaninglessness in the same moment in time.

    24. Wish I could give 4.75 stars.I could not put the book down--well written and compelling.BUT--there was unfinished business. A chapter or two that ended weakly. Questions raised and never answered. I almost had a feeling that last minute cuts were made, and no one went through and fixed previous scenes that needed the cut material.

    25. C'est vrai. C'est vrai. J'ai bu une gorgée de mon sang artériel. Je me disais que mon père était - au point de vue des émotions - un crabe violoniste, faisant retraite dans son trou minuscule à la moindre approche, furetant sur la plage avec ses yeux de fouine, impossible à déterrer. Il fallait le traquer à pas furtifs.

    26. I found this book had great atmosphere and its narrator's depiction of straddling two cultures (which Theroux does) was fascinating. The unravelling of his family's background was skilfully done; maybe the conclusion would have been obvious to some - it wasn't to me, which made it all the more satisfying.

    27. While not a classic Holmesian mystery, this book left me constantly questioning, searching for clues about Patrick March around every corner. And, like any great mystery writer, Theroux is always two steps ahead. I was prepared for some plot twists, but I was not equal to the task of solving this one. I was, however, greatly satisfied.

    28. This novel promised a lot and delivered little of it. Good enough potential on the cover blurb to get me to buy it. I didn't feel the characters were good enough to carry the story, which limped along. One of those novels you reach the end of and think 'so what'? Lucky to avoid a two.

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