Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Danger! and Other Stories

Book: Danger! and Other Stories
Author:Arthur Conan Doyle
Edition: read on Google Play Book from Gutenberg
Read: November 10, 2015
165 pages
Genre:  Fiction
Rated: 2 out of 5

A collection of short stories with no apparent theme.


Danger! Being the Log of Captain John Sirius
This is the most famous of the stories and about the only good one of the bunch. This is the reason why I read the book. In reading the book Dead Wake about the Lustania tragedy, Eric Larson mentioned this short story. In it, Doyle predicts the type of submarine warfare which might be successful-attacking the supply and passenger ships heading to England. Reality mimicked the story.

one cannot live under artificial conditions and yet act as if they were natural ones. This is a lesson which we must all learn.  Our situations change and we do not remain the same. It is a rare person who remains unchanged despite all which occurs to them.

More foresight, Johnny, and less party politics—that is my lesson to you. This is something which we could use now. Our political parties think they are more important than the nation. That could spell the end of our nation if we do not wake up. They are playing in the big leagues, but they are acting like minor league players.

War is too big a thing to leave room for personal ill-feeling, but it must be remorseless all the same. War is not a time for personal vendettas. It is to be won without much blood being shed.
"One Crowded Hour"
This is the other story which may be worth reading. It talks about a series of robbery along a lonely highway. All but one were fakes. The robber tells the story to a friend whom he robbed and lets him judge it the robbery was appropriate.

The author of Sherlock Homes let me down.  There is one, maybe two, good stories in this collection of short stories. The Danger! story should be read and pondered about what weaknesses a strong nation has and how we can be destroyed. The rest of the book can be ignored.


New Words:
  • phaeton (The Fall of Lord Barrymore): a form of sporty open carriage popular in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. With the advent of the automobile, the term was adapted to open touring cars,
  • potations (The Fall of Lord Barrymore): the action of drinking something, especially alcohol.
  • Vauxhall (The Fall of Lord Barrymore): a mixed commercial and residential district of central London in the London Borough of Lambeth. Vauxhall formed part of Surrey until 1889 when the County of London was created.
  • Tinman (The Fall of Lord Barrymore): a maker of or worker in tinplate
  • aeronaut (The Horror of the Heights): 
  • tourbillon  (The Horror of the Heights):  
  • Mannheim glass  (The Horror of the Heights): 
  • vol-plané  (The Horror of the Heights):  
  • Mort (Borrowed Scenes): 
  • Ria  (Borrowed Scenes):  
  • Challenge (Borrowed Scenes):

Good Quotes:
  • First Line:   The Title story of this volume was written about eighteen months before the outbreak of the war, and was intended to direct public attention to the great danger which threatened this country.
  • Last Line:  “Never mind, we’ve had a jolly good Indian game,” said Laddie, as the sound of a distant bell called them all to the nursery tea.
  • War is not a big game, my English friends. It is a desperate business to gain the upper hand, and one must use one’s brain in order to find the weak spot of one’s enemy.    (Danger! Being the Log of Captain John Sirius)
  • Common sense should have told her that her enemy will play the game that suits them best—that they will not inquire what they may do, but they will do it first and talk about it afterwards. (Danger! Being the Log of Captain John Sirius)
  • a country is in an artificial and dangerous condition if she does not produce within her own borders sufficient food to at least keep life in her population.
    (Danger! Being the Log of Captain John Sirius)

Table of Contents:
  • "Danger! Being the Log of Captain John Sirius"
  • "One Crowded Hour"
  • "A Point of View"
  • "The Fall of Lord Barrymore"
  • "The Horror of the Heights"
  • "Borrowed Scenes"
  • "The Surgeon of Gaster Fell"
  • "How It Happened"
  • "The Prisoner's Defence"
  • "Three of Them"


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