Wednesday, October 7, 2009

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

There's something you should know about me: When it comes to books, well... I cheat. I often look at the last pages of a novel before I finish it. I knew Tess died. I knew Dumbledore died and what happened to Snape. Same with tv - Buffy died three times? I knew it before I saw it. Sometimes the anticipation is just too much. It becomes a distraction from my enjoyment. Sometimes I just have to know!

This branches like a big, old withered Department 54 Halloween tree into all aspects of my life. I'm generally an impatient person.(Well, duh?) I'll never do cross-stitch, make jewelry or do anything that involves intense small movements for increased periods of time. I've come to accept this fact about myself, that I'll never be able to tie a knot with a pair of tweezers, let alone use them to pluck the hairs from my chin, but with my reading I must inject one strange, bizarre anomaly.

Agatha Christie.

That master of suspense. That seller of a half a billion books, and no I didn't make that up. The "champion deceiver of our time." I've only read two of her novels, this one and Murder on the Orient Express, and I must say, both times I was peeing my pants with suspense, dying to know what happens, canvasing for clues, hidden red herrings, but...did I look ahead as a result of my heart palpitations?


I couldn't do it. I couldn't look ahead. I didn't want to know. Christie is different. Whether it's true or not, my mind is under the delusion that she's leaving me clues along the way. That somehow I can figure out who the killer is. Maybe it's because I secretly think I'm Nancy Drew right down to the Aquanet hairdo and I can solve the mystery of the skeleton key, or, ah..I mean who was the mastermind behind these evil plots.

Just like in Murder on the Orient Express, I was sure who the murderer was (I was wrong, of course). I wondered aloud and often about the fates of the ten people invited to Indian Island under suspicious circumstances by a mysterious stranger whom no one could identify. One by one, they are grimly advanced upon, following the pattern of a grisly nursery rhyme, Ten little Indian boys went out to dine...

Needless to say, it's a nail biter from beginning to end. Her cast of characters was so ingenious, honestly I don't know why she lists them in the front of the book. They're so well described, so distinguished from the rest, that it's impossible not to know which was which with perfect clarity.

It reminded me of one of my all time favorite movie's, Clue, which now I know is loosely based on this book.

An excerpt -
Mrs. Peacock: What are you all staring at?
Mr. Green: Nothing.
Mrs. Peacock: Well who's there?
Colonel Mustard: Nobody.
Mrs. Peacock: What do you mean?
Wadsworth: Nobody. No body, that's what we mean. Mr. Boddy's body, it's gone.
Mrs. White: Maybe he wasn't dead.
Professor Plum: He was!
Mrs. White: We should've made sure.
Mrs. Peacock: How? [muttering]
Mrs. Peacock: By cutting his head off, I suppose.

Ah, music. Sweet music.
I highly recommend this book.
4.5 stars

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A Bookshelf Monstrosity said...

Great review, Lula.

I've got a couple of Christie novels to read. You've just bumped them up a little higher on my list :)

Mandy said...

I've always loved this story since the first time I read it in high school. It is a great mystery and keeps you guessing.

I can't believe you cheat! That is what makes a book fun for me, not knowing what happens and trying to figure it out.

I love Clue! I can watch that movie a million times and I still laugh out loud throughout it. If you ever get better we have to watch it!

StephanieD said...

Dumbledore died?????? Nooooooooooo!

Lula O said...

Quite making me laugh! It's making me cough!

hmsgofita said...

Clue is the all-time best comedy ever! This movie actually brought me and my hubby together! he he. I played the computer game of this book and it was so fun...I really should read the book now! Great review. I do cheat sometimes too!

Lula O said...

Nothing mixes like murder, and ah..marriage?

I've heard of that game. Computer mystery games are fun. I got my mom Return to Ravenhearst last year and it's full of hidden object and puzzles to solve. Good times!

Try out the book - but don't look ahead!