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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Book Review - And Then There Were None (Ten Little Indians) by Agatha Christie


Title:
And Then There Were None (aka Ten Little Indians)
Author: Agatha Christie
Year: 1939
Page: 272
Genre: Fiction - Murder / Mystery / Thriller

New to me author? Yes
Read this author again? Yes
Tearjerker? No
Where did it take place? England: Indian Island (fictional)
FTC Disclosure: Borrowed from the library

Summary (from amazon.com):
Considered the best mystery novel ever written by many readers, And Then There Were None is the story of 10 strangers, each lured to Indian Island by a mysterious host. Once his guests have arrived, the host accuses each person of murder. Unable to leave the island, the guests begin to share their darkest secrets--until they begin to die.

First Sentence:
In the corner of a first-class somking carriage, Mr Justice Wargrave, lately retired from the bench, puffed at a cigar and ran an interested eye through the political news in the Times.

Why did I pick this book?
I am thinking of joining the local library book club, and this is the book they are reading for February. I thought I should read the book before going, and then decide whether to join or not.

My thoughts:
  • Even though I said Agatha Christie is a "new to me" author - it is not entirely true. I have read one of her books about 18 years ago, but since I don't remember anything about it (not even the title!), I decided that she is more like a new to me author. I have definitely heard about her even before blogging became popular. I love reading murder/mystery books, though 99.9% they are contemporary. So this is a good opportunity for me to read something considered to be "classic"

  • I like that her writing is quite straight forward (I don't like overly descriptive or "flowery" books... why describe what something looks like over 3 pages when you could have done so in one sentence?) Some expressions used though seemed a bit dated, but this is to be expected, and I guess add onto the charm
  • I also like that at the end of the story everything was wrap-up - it is frustrating to read a murder/mystery with unsolved puzzles (especially if the author made a big deal out of it, like it's a big secret, but never explained what it meant in the end, or its relevancy)

  • I enjoyed reading it - I didn't guess who did it; but at the same time, I didn't feel like WOW WHAT A GREAT ENDING! like I had with Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane (that book started off a bit slow, and the writing wasn't something I particularly preferred, but I love a book with a good twist!)

  • It does make me want to read more of her books - especially about Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot -- which is just as well since I am doing the Marple-Holmes-Poirot challenge :)

  • It also helps that the version I read has a list of characters in the beginning of the book so it is easier to remember who-is-who

  • What I didn't quite like was - perhaps it was something I missed / didn't pay enough attention - Vera's story was a bit unclear (her motivation). But thanks to the internet, I could easily google more about it and had found my answer

  • I won't comment on the cover art since the version I had was different... plus there were so many versions out there (maybe interesting to do a post about that to see the differences! I always wonder why the UK and US versions are different, sometimes including the title)

  • Speaking of which, I found a couple of great sources that analyze the book (you may want to go to these sites AFTER you have read the book, as they may contain some spoilers: Sparknotes and Bookrags)



Quote:
Ten little Indian boys went out to dine;
One choked his little self and then there were Nine.

Nine little Indian boys sat up very late;
One overslept himself and then there were Eight.

Eight little Indian boys traveling in Devon;
One said he'd stay there and then there were Seven.

Seven little Indian boys chopping up sticks;
One chopped himself in halves and then there were Six.

Six little Indian boys playing with a hive;
A bumblebee stung one and then there were Five.

Five little Indian boys going in for law;
One got into Chancery and then there were Four.

Four little Indian boys going out to sea;
A red herring swallowed one and then there were Three.

Three little Indian boys walking in the Zoo;
A big bear hugged one and then there were Two.

Two little Indian boys were out in the sun;
One got all frizzled up and then there was One.

One little Indian boy left all alone;
He went out and hanged himself and then there were none.


Rating:



Have you read this book? 
If you have, I would love to hear what you think!
I'll link your review here if you wish!

Challenges:
100+ Reading

5 comments:

  1. I've been seeing a lot of Agatha Christie lately, and it makes me want to revisit her books. I read this one years ago when I was in high school. I don't remember anything about it, but I remember liking it.

    --Anna
    Diary of an Eccentric

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  2. This is one of my favorites. I've read it multiple times, but I STILL don't know who did it. I think I've mentally blocked out the ending because I enjoy the journey so much.

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  3. @Anna - I was not disappointed and am glad I read it! Definitely a different writing style than I am used to, but I am trying to read more widely this year :)

    @Charley - that's too funny :) But you are right, the journey was fun to see who was to be next!

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  4. This is one of my all-time favourite mysteries and I'm glad you liked it :) I hope you get more used to her writing, the more you read her books!

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  5. @Kals - you know, this book may be worthwhile to re-read at some point just because now I know who the killer is, and can look out for more clues (as listed here: http://www.bookrags.com/notes/none/TOP1.htm). I like murder/mystery that leave clues and analysis - I guess that's why I like the Lincoln Rhythms series by Jeffrey Deaver. Book club is tomorrow night, so it'd be interesting to see what we discuss!

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