The last Flaming Lips Christmas song I heard was their rendition of “White Christmas” which is creepy and just awful. For this one, they picked a much prettier song (“Silent Night”) and they don’t mess with it at all. They keep it very simple–echoed keyboards and some backing vocals with Wayne Coyne’s autotuned voice singing properly. It is certainly not the best version of the song I’ve heard, but it is at least pretty.
The song segues into “Lord, Can You Hear Me” which follows the same simple instrumentation as “Silent Night” and nearly keeps the same melody. It’s not so much a song as a coda to “Silent Night.”
This single came out around the time of Christmas on Mars and includes as the B-side “It’s Christmas Time Again.”
[READ: December 6, 2013] Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Speckled Band
Since I’m going to write about a few of these, I’ll keep up this little intro bit so I don’t have to re-write the general ideas/criticisms.
These are indeed the actual Arthur Conan Doyle stories just severely edited and truncated. In other words, a lot of the story is cut out and yet the original language is still in place (at least I hope it is, I hope contemporary writers didn’t write the dialogue), so for young kids I think the wording is a little confusing. The drawings are a little too simple for my liking as well. They do effectively convey the story, but I didn’t like the very basicness of them. I feel they make the stories seems a little more childlike than they actually are.
Having said all that however, I found the graphic novels to be a compelling introduction to Sherlock Holmes’ shorter stories (although not for my 8-year-old apparently).
This is the last book of the series that I have read–there are apparently 14 as of this writing. I don’t think I’ll be reading any more as I feel like I am getting such a small amount of the story that it would be more worthwhile to simply read the actual stories (which I had planned to do anyhow). Reading these feels like I’m getting the answer to the puzzle ahead of time.
This was the most confusing of the five stories, which leads me to believe that there must be a lot more in the original which made it kind of hard to condense. Although perhaps it was just weird. Even the set up of the story is weird. Like that the owner of the property on which this story takes place keeps a cheetah and a baboon.
But so Helen comes to Holmes with the case. Her sister Julia has just died and no one can figure out how. Julia claimed to have heard a whistle for several nights which was making it hard for her to sleep. On the night she died, she shouted “the speckled band.” And was soon dead. Doctors are baffled. But when Holmes investigates he finds several things to be very strange in Julia’s room.
What makes the story even more peculiar is that after Helen leaves from talking to Holmes, her father, Dr Roylott storms in and tells Holmes to butt out of this whole thing–it has noting to do with him. Dr Roylott states that he deal with his daughter in his own way–clearly the Dr is not a very nice man,.
The doctor says he wants Helen to sleep in Julia;s room (which is next to his). Helen is obviously freaked out to be sleeping in the same room that Julia died in, but she is afraid of her father. Holmes and Watson arrange for her to be in another room while they sneak into her room. And they wait. And wait. And wait. Then Holmes hears the whistle and sets his plan in motion. The reason behind the murder is quite diabolical.
I am looking forward to reading this full story to fill in some details.
So overall, I was a little disappointed with this series. I’m not entirely sure that kids would enjoy it because of the language. But maybe it might be a good introduction for more advanced readers.