Why I love it
Book of the Month
By Josh Gad
Ten strangers find themselves being invited to a remote island off the British Coast for a weekend retreat. Unbeknownst to them, they have all been invited there by an absentee host who goes by the name 'œMr. Owen.' After a lovely dinner, the guests are forced to listen to a recording accusing each and every single one of them of murder. And thus begins one of the great murder mysteries of all time'¦ a tale of ten guests, who like the famous poem 'œTen Little Indians,' find themselves disappearing one by one in the middle of nowhere.
In preparing for my role in Murder on the Orient Express the new Kenneth Branagh film out November 10th, I decided to dust off my Christie collection and revisit some of her greats. The one that left the greatest impression on me was And Then There Were None. I’m not going to lie. Christie has never been an obsession for me. I grew up consuming Tolkien, Rowling and King. The name Agatha Christie equated stuffy old books from the past that were useful for school curriculum or middle aged book clubs. I would have been embarrassed to tell my friends who were ripping through the pages of George R.R. Martin’s masterworks, that I was spending my summer reading Miss Marple stories. Consequently, while I read one or two of her books early on in school, I had reduced the experience to an assignment and nothing more. Now, two decades later, I have discovered a treasure trove that has awakened a passion for the murder mystery genre I never knew I had.
The joy of an Agatha Christie novel is that, in many, you are the detective. While Poirot or Marple often guide us through the clues, it is our own hungry desire to solve the case that leads us down a path of discovery and investigative deduction. We are armed only with what Christie gives us and oftentimes the clues are maddeningly obtuse and misleading. But nevertheless, we are slaves to her game. We, the reader, can’t but help get ahead of ourselves and the facts, until we find ourselves fooled and one-upped by a master who has outmaneuvered and out gamed us every step of the way. Perhaps, due to the lack of an investigative lead at the center of the story, And Then There Were None, truly leaves the reader feeling an enormous anxiety and tense desire to find out what the hell is going on before no person is left on the island.
At the top of the story, Christie sets up the characters and the environment so illustratively and descriptively that we can’t help but feel a sense of sadness and madness as we futilely watch them get picked off one by one. In many ways, she makes us sympathize with them despite their sordid pasts, which makes the experience all the more dreadful and terrifying. As the walls close in on them, so too do they close in on us. Whether death by whisky or a bullet to the head, every murder is done in shadows and darkness, crippling us as passive readers knowing full well that more tragedy is just on the horizon. Christie not only traps her characters in this house of horrors, but she traps us as well. We know from the title where all this is headed and there is nothing we can do to stop it except turn every page faster and faster until we know the secret'¦ until we know what it is that has led these ten little Indians to face their judgment once and for all.
In many ways, I feel ashamed that I am only now discovering the depth, beauty and sheer entertainment value of the great Agatha Christie. There is a reason she is in the company of The Bible and William Shakespeare as the most sold author of all time. Her books are timeless even as they are steeped in a period that remains just out of reach. Whether we are trapped on a train with a murderer on the loose or abandoned on an Island with a phantom out of vengeance, each one of her stories has an urgency to it that leads us down a path of exploration and discovery that is every bit as shocking as it is entertaining. And while I do regret that I am only now discovering many of her works for the first time, I am also beyond grateful. I now have countless more surprises, thrills and secrets awaiting me until I too can finish every one of her extraordinary stories and say aloud'¦ and then there were none.
Considered the best mystery novel ever written by many readers, And Then There Were None is the story of ten 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.
To this day, Agatha Christie never ceases to amaze me with her skill to trick the reader into â€œwho done itâ€ and keep you hooked for more of her incredible mysteries. The ending had me stunned.
A classic that I really loved! Great characters, story and ending! I tried to solve the mystery while reading, took notes, pondered theories, etc. but was still surprised. Christie doesn’t disappoint.
Mystery perfection. Agatha Christie prides herself on the “closed-room” cases in which the murderer is restricted to a small number of people, and for that reason, I have found a new love in books.
What a masterpiece. This book gave me chills that I haven’t experienced from modern day suspense novels. Any lover of thrillers should stop, and go back to the roots of this genre and read this book!
Interesting and Invigorating,Christie writes a classic that takes you back in time to a murder mystery like non other. Each character offers an individual perspective that will leave you wanting more.
If you love Clue, the movie, you'll love this book! A classic thought provoking mystery that will have you guessing until the very end! Someone is seeking justice where the law failed too... guess who
Once I got use to some of the language and cadence, it was hard to put down. Every time I thought I knew what was happening, it changed. The ending was so shocking I had to re-read it. I was so wrong!
Every line of And Then There Were None had me on the edge of my seat wondering who was next and what did these people do to be invited to this deadly dinner party. Agatha Christie is amasterfulwriter
Agatha Christie is the mistress of murder for a reason. This was my first read of hers and I am unsure why I waited so long! Twists and turns that I did not see coming. I thought I knew the murder was
Port Lavaca, TX
Basically it was like reading a book about the game of clue! I understand now why they say that this pretty much is the best mystery novel that was ever written. Fantastic! The murderers get murdered!
A classic "who dunnit" that not many make anymore. Really my kind of mystery book - a closed list of suspects with a few clues scattered through-out. A great read that I couldn't put down til the end.
At first it was hard to follow along, meeting all the characters. I went back and forth if I thought there was an extra person on the island doing the killings, definitely wouldn't of guess who it was
Homer Glen, IL
I enjoyed reading this audio book in my junior high class a couple years ago. I repurchased the book again. Love Agatha Christie. She keeps you in suspense. Definitely a book to have in your library
My first Agatha Christie novel! I can see why she is considered the queen of the genre and how she has inspired writers decades later. A timeless and clever mystery with an ending I never saw coming!
BELLINGHAM , WA
My first Agatha Christie book! Not my usual read but I loved the plot. It was like the game Clue. I had to read the epilogue to find out who did it. That’s a great books. Highly recommend.
A classic Agatha Christie novel. If you have seen the movies made from this book then you will be in for a surprise as the book ending is different from the movies. Highly recommend for mystery fans.
LOVE LOVE LOVE!!! I feel as though this book is the inspiration for so much since its been written (eg. game of Clue) I could not figure the mystery out & was totally caught off guard by the ending!
Finished this book in one sitting and nearly cried tears of fright and helplessness myself as the characters fought for survival on this twisted island! By far, one of the best books I've ever read!
Las Vegas, NV
This was my first Agatha Christie book and it is wont to be my last! Full of mystery, suspense and death, whats not to love? And everything comes together like a puzzle in the end. Shes the master.
I tried so hard to outwit Christie and figure out the culprit and I was still shocked, but then in hindsight you can see all the crumbs of evidence she sprinkled for us along the way. Masterpiece!