“But no artist, I now realize, can be satisfied with art alone. There is a natural craving for recognition.”
Number of Pages: 264.
Location: Devon, England.
Ten strangers were gathered on a remote island. After a mysterious recording blames each person for a different unsolved murder, the ten start dying, one-by-one. As the only people on the island, they have to figure out which of the ten is the true murderer. For a complete summary, you can go here.
Do you like… reading books… with lots of… ellipses…? If so, you will dive right into this book. It took me at least fifty pages to get into the story enough to ignore all of the ellipses and colons in dialogue.
While reading this book, I had to remind myself that this was one of the original mystery books. Many recent mystery and thriller writers adapted elements of Agatha Christie’s books. At the time, I’m sure her story structures were unique. With that in mind, it was a creative approach to make every character a suspect and use the classic Ten Little Indians song as inspiration. However, I don’t think you can say a mystery is very well-done if you have to explain it step-by-step to the reader at the end for it to make sense. Once the big reveal happens, everything should fall into place.
This was a classic whodunit novel that felt like a game of Clue [Mrs. White in the study with a candlestick]. Note: Clue was released about thirty years after this book was written, so we clearly see who inspired who.
We also have to keep in mind that this book is almost 80 years old. The barometer of what is appropriate in books is different now. This book title and content had to change several times over the years. If you don’t know what I mean, do a quick Google search. The book was originally horribly racist.
With all that said, it is always cool to read the books that inspired so many other writers. To still be talking about a book published 80 years ago is very impressive. It was entertaining to read and I recommend that everyone check it out if they have never read any Agatha Christie. She is a legend, after all. If you are interested in buying the book, you can buy it here. After you have read it, leave a comment and let me know what you think!
“Crime is terribly revealing. Try and vary your methods as you will, your tastes, your habits, your attitude of mind, and your soul is revealed by your actions.”