Title: The White Company
Author: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Page Count: 338
This is some more of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s historic fiction, but unfortunately I didn’t quite find it as gripping as his Brigadier Gerard stories. I liked the accuracy and the research that he’d put in clearly comes across, but the plot itself wasn’t quite as gripping, perhaps because Sir Nigel Loring is less gripping than Gerard was. And both are pretty much standard old school colonialist types fighting for queen and country, which I can’t exactly relate to.
As you might expect from the creator of Sherlock Holmes, the plotting and the pacing was pretty good. Some of the dialogue was questionable because he spent a lot of time trying to imitate dialects etc, but overall it was readable enough. If anything, it was more the setting and the characters that held me back from loving it, although I did appreciate it for what it is.
There’s always something kind of fascinating about reading historical fiction that itself is historical, and I’ve always thought it was kind of cool that as well as writing the Holmes books, Conan Doyle also wrote The Lost World (a cracking read) and some historical fiction. Let’s just not talk about when he started to believe in fairies and stuff.
So this isn’t really something for the general reader, and it’s probably best avoided if you only know of Conan Doyle because of Holmes. If you’re a long-term fan and want to delve deeper into his work though, or if you’re particularly interested in historical fiction, it might be worth checking out.
For my part, I’m glad I read it, but I’m also glad that I read it as a bedtime book and so I didn’t have to spend huge chunks of time with it. I could dip in and out at will, often reading chapters instead of entire stories, so there was plenty there to enjoy – just over time.