Of all the books by Simon Parke in this series (there are three others at the time of writing this review), this 'conversation' is the most unusual. Simply because the subject turns out to be such a fascinating, excentric and unpredictable man.
I was intrigued by Arthur Conan Doyle, not knowing much beyond his literary claim to fame. Now I do know.
The book is a joy to read for its wealth of information about such a variety of things: his friendship with Houdini, views on Suffragettes fairies (yes, fairies!), and most wacky of all - belief in Spiritualism.
But never mind the ultimate questions of the human existence, and the even more ultimate lack of unswers; I was just as delighted to discover that Conan Doyle went to the Arctic on a whaling boat Hope as a ship's surgeon. Here's a glimpse of that experience, in his own words:
"The perpetual light, the glare of the white ice, the deep blue of the water, these are things which one remembers most clearly; and the dry, crisp, exhilarating air, which makes mere life the keenest of pleasures."
For all his interest in the afterlife, this was a man intensly in love with life on earth, and this litle book succeeds in showing him in all his multifaceted complexity.
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