Jun 17

You shall not pass ... the MOT inspection!Click for larger image

J Greely Comments: Nothing says “magical Victorian London” like Sherlock Holmes in checkered bell-bottoms entering a tiny steampunk sleigh, with a ghostly Gandalf watching over him.

Published 1988

Actually, that cover IS a classical work of art!I would touch it without protective gloves.I've seen worse. Far, far, worse.Interesting, but I would still read it in public.Middlng: Neither awful nor awfully goodWould not like to be seen reading that!Awful... just awful...That belongs in a gold-lame picture frame!Gah... my eyes are burning! Feels so good!Good Show Sir! (Average: 7.00 out of 10)

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23 Responses to “Druid’s Blood”

  1. Bibliomancer Says:

    “Fetch the reindeer, Watson. The spirit of St. Nicholas is urging me on!”

  2. THX 1139 Says:

    Who’s your favourite Sherlock Holmes? I’d have to say, probably Jeffrey Archer. With John Carradine in a cloak as Ghost Watson.

  3. THX 1139 Says:

    If Conan Doyle were around today, we’d be getting the Strand Magazine’s next riveting instalment of Sherlock Holmes and the Diabolical Liberties Taken with Public Domain Characters. The game is afoot!

  4. Tat Wood Says:

    THRILL as Max Boyce steals George Pal’s copyrighted Time Machine design and changes just one detail!

    MARVEL as he mugs a pastry-chef for his trousers!

    SWOON as he joins The Crazy World of Arthur Brown to re-record ‘Fire’ in Welsh!

    Still, at least there’s no sodding Zeppelins this time.

  5. Francis Boyle Says:

    “Watson. where we’re going we don’t need wheels, or common sense for that matter. Come to think, of it I might just have a night in. Now where’s my cocaine and spanking pornography.”

  6. JuanPaul Says:

    Sherlock is upset that his one-seater time machine means he can’t bring along his boy-toy Watson.

    …and my favorite Sherlock is either Cumberbatch or Nicole WIlliamson. Though I generally feel that Sherlock has historically been cast too old.

  7. Tor Mented Says:

    Holmes: “Watson, how would you deduce where this outlandish vehicle has been?”

    Watson: “Well, I suppose I would analyze the composition of the mud on the runners and trace it, conveniently, to the only place in England that has such soil.”

    Holmes: “I’ll do you one better, old chap. This vehicle left from Abbey Grange and crossed Thor Bridge on the way to Wisteria Lodge. It then paid a visit to the Priory School before continuing on to the building where the Red-Headed League once had its headquarters.”

    Watson: “Egad, Holmes, how did you determine all of that?”

    Holmes: “By looking at the GPS, you moron.”

  8. Anna Tiessen Says:

    That guy’s probably a Holmes impersonator, since he never would have worn a deerstalker in the city (it’s a country hat), no matter how iconic.

    I daresay the ghost is probably deliberately trying to lead him astray, though.

  9. Ray P Says:

    I never knew that Holmes was the first presenter of Top Gear.

  10. fred Says:

    Stuart Whitman would be about my 837th choice to play Holmes, 200 places below the corpse of Grumpy Cat.

  11. Rick Libott Says:

    Notice that the artist used Peter Falk as Columbo as his model for Holmes.
    Very enjoyable fantasy btw…

  12. B. Chiclitz Says:

    Good argument for being busy and unable to check in all day—brilliant comments! GSS all around. All I can add is—you want Friesner with that?

  13. Bruce A Munro Says:

    “You’re a Wizard, Johnny!”

  14. GSS ex-noob Says:

    This is indeed a terrible cover, but the book’s pretty good. I got it at the library sale and was not ashamed to read it, but I rarely take public transit (I’m going to later this week, but nowadays we have smartphones). The trousers are particularly egregious.

    @THX (2): Egad, that IS John Carradine, isn’t it?

    To answer your question seriously, as a young’un, my fav was Basil, but probably Nicholson now. And, go ahead and scoff, but I’m also fond of Jonny Lee Miller’s modern interpretation — more than Bumbershoot Cummerbund’s, plus the scripts don’t pat themselves on the back for their cleverness whilst disappearing up their own derriere. Plus I covet Lucy Liu’s wardrobe.

    @Ray P: Bravo. Lestrade hated him speeding along full tilt in a souped-up hackney, and the provincial yokels simply didn’t know what to make of The Stig.

    @fred: Too soon.

    @Bruce: sadly, I believe she pronounces it with the long e.

    GSS to all.

  15. Bruce A Munro Says:

    Johnny Watson, that is.

    @J Greely, Tat Wood – those pants really do make the cover, and not in a good way.

    I actually read this one as part of my “read every alternate history book I can find” phase, which led to my reading a lot of very silly alternate history. I can’t recall if there actually were steampunk sleighs, which really doesn’t make much sense as a form of urban transportation without a steam-powered horse or reindeer. How does it steer?

  16. Raoul Says:

    So how was anything on this cover relate to the bloody druid?

  17. J Greely Says:

    @GSS ex-noob: I rather liked the book as well, although I haven’t re-read it in quite a few years. Back when it came out, I don’t think I noticed how ridiculous the cover was, or how unconnected to the contents.

    There are some clunky bits in the novel, like the mostly-abandoned point that “Holmes” is an actor who assumed the role of “Watson’s” fictional detective, and I never quite understood how an exiled Pictish prince got to be so stuffy and repressed and class-conscious, but I don’t recall anything like a steampunk sleigh.

    IIRC, the “druid’s blood” is just the royal family’s ancestry, the source of the magic that made a completely different history somehow result in a near-perfect replica of Victorian London, complete with Lord Byron and Ada Lovelace (and, of course, Victoria).


  18. Anna T. Says:

    Well, that’s the thing: there are no druids here.

  19. J Greely Says:

    I re-read the book last night for the first time in many years, and I had completely forgotten that “Holmes” does in fact borrow a single-user sleigh-like time machine from a Druid named Wells, as a minor plot point.


  20. THX 1139 Says:

    These aren’t the druids you’re looking for…

  21. Tor Mented Says:

    (Jeremy Brett voice:) “Mrs. Hud-SOOOOOONNN! I seem to have misplaced my left hand.”

  22. Ray P Says:

    Holmes: I draw your attention to the curious incident of the druid on the book-cover.
    Detective: The druid did nothing on the book-cover.
    Holmes: That was the curious incident.

    (with apologies to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s ‘Silver Blaze’)

  23. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @J Greely: thanks for the update/reminder. Not sure if I still have the book around, but if I do, I might re-read it. Sounds like a nice lazy summer’s day diversion. Or midsummer night’s.

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