Thursday, October 27, 2011

Success Secrets of Sherlock Holmes by David Acord

book cover

Success Secrets of Sherlock Holmes
by David Acord

ISBN-13: 9780399536984
Trade Paperback: 186 pages
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
Released: November 2011

Source: Review copy from the publisher.

Book Description from Back Cover:
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle funneled much of his real-life genius-and the brilliance of others around him-into Sherlock Holmes, creating a character greater than the sum of his parts. In this quirky and intriguing look at the traits that made Sherlock Holmes successful, David Acord explores how to unleash our own genius.

Not only does Acord give unique insights into the character of Sherlock Holmes and his creator, but you'll also discover:

  • How to cultivate a passion for definite and exact knowledge that will help you achieve your goals faster than you thought possible
  • Why focusing on the little things is one of the most overlooked keys to success
  • The value to knowing what other people don't know
  • Why you should step up and take credit (death to modesty!)
  • The importance of admiring your enemy
  • Why we should all have friends in low places

My Review:
Success Secrets of Sherlock Holmes is a quick read. I've read most of the Sherlock Holmes stories, so I thought I'd enjoy this book. I had expected a humorous book with some good advice woven in, but the author is serious in his admiration of a fictional character and in his belief that mimicking Holmes will gain you success.

Much of the advice was pretty basic (to me), like learn more about your field of study, do things you have a passion for, specialize, and pay attention to detail. But other advice, like taking everything to the extreme and becoming obsessed with your work to the point that you enjoy nothing else isn't exactly healthy advice. You'll end up just like Sherlock Holmes: a lonely man with few friends and with some dangerous habits.

The book also pointed out some biographical details about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and the real life people he based Holmes on, but I already knew most of that from the brief biography I read at the front of the 'Sherlock Holmes collection' books that I own.

You don't need to have read a single Holmes story to understand this book, but I think I would have enjoyed re-reading a Sherlock Holmes story more than reading about them (which takes up a lot of the space in this book).

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt from Chapter One
In the very first Sherlock Holmes story, A Study in Scarlet (1887), Arthur Conan Doyle introduced readers to the master detective in a highly unusual manner. When the story begins, John Watson has just been released from the British army after serving in Afghanistan and India. He finds himself in London, desperately in need of a cheap place to live. He happens to run into an old army buddy, Stamford, who works at a local hospital. Luckily, Stamford knows someone who is looking for a roommate to go halves with him on a very nice apartment.

There's just one problem, Stamford tells his friend. This man, a fellow named Sherlock, is a little...odd. He works in the hospital's chemical laboratory and spends his days pursuing "out-of-the-way knowledge."