fredag den 27. november 2009

Agatha Christie, And Then There Were None (1939)


This British story was originally published under the title “Ten Little Niggers” long before the term ´politically correct´ had been invented.

Ten people are invited to Indian Island (originally Nigger Island) by the mysterious host, U.N. Owen. They look forward to a free holiday, but once there, they are all accused of having committed murder by a recorded voice.

Then the murders begin, following the pattern of an old nursery rhyme called Ten Little Niggers or Ten Little Indians. The guests die one after the other in Christie´s impressive closed-room mystery, while the survivors begin suspecting each other and forming small groups of allies based on whom they choose to trust.

For readers who are not acquainted with Agatha Christie, this brilliant story with the interesting environment and the strong atmosphere of suspicion will be the perfect starting point.

11 kommentarer:

Margot Kinberg sagde ...

Dorte - Wonderful review! This one remains one of my favorite Agatha Christies! Thanks for reminding me of it : ). It was, so I've read, one of her favorites of her works, too.

Dorte H sagde ...

Margot: she really should be proud of this one. Plotwise it is brilliant.

R. T. sagde ...

Dorte: I remember seeing an American film version of the novel (all the way back in the 60s?), and--when I finally got around to reading the book last year--the film (and the book's "politically correct" publishing history) somewhat "ruined" the book for me. Knowing the solution from the beginning (because of my film viewing experience) interfered with my reading experience, and--for a host of other reasons--I cannot agree with you about the strength of the plot (which I would argue seems all perfectly obvious, but that argument may be also be influenced by the film experience).

Maxine sagde ...

Nice post, Dorte! It is fun being reminded of all these Agatha Christies. The plot fooled me at the time, but then I suppose I was probably quite young- certainly I had not read much crime fiction at the time and probably had not seen any of the many films based on this novel.

Although Agatha Christie had a prodigious output, this book is one that sticks in the mind, like Murder on the Orient Express. It's one of those books that "everyone has heard of and knows the basic premise" (even if they can't remember who did it!).

Dorte H sagde ...

R.T.: I could try to argue one should never watch the film first. But we will probably just have to live with disagreeing on this one. ;)

Maxine: thank you. It certainly also fooled me, and somehow these plots where the murderer picks a group of victims one by one have always appealed to me. I can imagine the growing paranoia among the survivors.

Elizabeth Spann Craig sagde ...

Dorte--Film was okay...until the end! The book was *brilliant*. I was completely shocked when I first read it as a teenager.

Elizabeth
Mystery Writing is Murder

Martin Edwards sagde ...

Christie wrote many fine books, but for me this is the best of them all. In fact, I think it's the best of all Golden Age mysteries.

Kerrie sagde ...

Don't forget to submit this to the Agatha Christie Blog Carnival please Dorte

Dorte H sagde ...

Martin: I am glad you support me. It is one of those plots I wish I had come up with myself.

Elizabeth: I don´t think I have ever seen the film so it is probably true that one should just read the book (or at least read it first).

Kerrie: I will.

Martin Edwards sagde ...

Dorte, you may like to know that an earlier, American, book called The Invisible Host had a similar premise. But we don't know whether Christie had ever come across it.

Dorte H sagde ...

Martin: thank you for telling me. Well, she may or may not have heard about it. And after all, Shapeskeare imitated quite a lot - he just added his own, very special touch to old stories.