Welcome to the Cephalopod Coffeehouse hosted by the Armchair Squid. The purpose of the Coffeehouse is to share the best book you read in the past month.
This month is sort of a cheat. I read And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie. It wasn't the best book I read, but it was the only book I read this month, so I'm reviewing it for you.
Ten strangers are invited to a secluded island, under the pretense of employment, meeting old friends or simply a week long vacation. Once there, however, their mysterious and absent host accuses each of them of causing the deaths of others. Most of the guests refuse to accept responsibility for the deaths, and those that do show no remorse for them. In short order, the guests begin to die in various mysterious, and not so mysterious, circumstances.
And Then There Were None is often considered to be Agatha
Christie's best work, and according to the Author's Note in the version I
read - which was taken from her own autobiography - it was the most
difficult for her to write. She writes:
"Ten people had to die without it becoming ridiculous or the murderer being obvious."
I don't know if in modern times you can get away with murdering ten people, one right after the other, without becoming ridiculous. The bodies pile up so quickly it's almost like a bad horror movie. That all of the victims are guilty of the crimes they're accused of is a given, so the only real mystery is who among the ten visitors is the murderer? I'll admit I didn't figure it out, although once the ending rolled around and the killer was revealed, it was as plain as day in hindsight.
This is only the second Agatha Christie novel I've read, and I'm not sure if I like her style so much. I can see why she's popular, but perhaps it's that And Then There Were None was originally published in serial format, and that forced her to rush the plot. While the idea intrigued me, the execution didn't work for me.
That's it for me. I hope to have a more delightful review for you next month. In the meantime, stop by the other participants in the Cephalopod Coffeehouse: