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We've got your back. With the Tough-O-Meter, you'll know whether to bring extra layers or Swiss army knives as you summit the literary mountain. (10 = Toughest)

(4) Base Camp

These stories are over a hundred years old now, so a lot of the references have become pretty obscure, especially to types of technology we no longer use (like, we here at Shmoop definitely had to look up what a "wax vesta" is (see our detailed summary of "The Man with the Twisted Lip" to find out). But the plots are logical and easy to follow by design, so once we get past the occasionally tough vocabulary, it's all smooth sailing.

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