I just realized as I was browsing my Goodreads shelves that I have not written reviews for my most favorite books. Yes it shocked me too. When a book overwhelms me, I give myself some time to let my thoughts brew and write my review in a day or two.
Of course when I love a book too much, the two days time-out extends a bit – or lot more. Sometimes, a lot more means eventually or.. never. That is what had happened to those ‘favorite’ books and I never gotten around to write those amazing 5 star reviews. But here I am, finally attempting to talk about one of such books – Agatha Christie’s And then there were none.
Book Name: And then there were none
Author: Agatha Christie
Genre: Fiction – Thriller
Characters: Justice Lawrence John Wargrave, Vera Elizabeth Claythorne, Philip Lombard, General John Gordon Macarthur, Dr Edward George Armstrong, Anthony James Marston, William Henry Blore, Mr Thomas Rogers, Mrs Ethel Rogers, Emily Caroline Brent, Isaac Morris, Fred Narracott.
Eight strangers are invited to a private island near the coast of Devon, England by an eccentric millionaire, Mr Owen. The guests are welcomed by a cook and a butler. But their host is nowhere to be seen and they realize none of them know him very well.
All they find is a framed copy of an old nursery rhyme that tells the tale of ten soldiers who leave, disappear or die until none of them are alive. Everyone is intrigued to find ten figurines depicting the ten soldiers in their dining room.
At dinner a voice accuses that everyone of them was guilty of murder and they will all be dead soon. Immediately one of them chokes on their drink and dies. And they realize one of the figurine is broken. Soon one by one each of the guests dies, following theme of the childhood rhyme.
Each of them starts suspecting the other, as they are all stranded in secluded island. Who is the murderer and who survives their stay forms the rest of the book ‘And then there were none’.
For me And then there were none would be one of the best mystery ever written. I read this for the first time when I was around 13 years old and it was not a surprise that I was not able to solve it.
I completely forgot about this book for about another five years until I gave it another read in my late teens. I still didn’t solve it but that’s when I realized how much I loved it. I keep reading it once in a while and it has never lost its charm on me.
And to make matter worse (or better) it has become a sort of benchmark to compare the other mystery novels and ‘whodunnits‘.
- There are so many mini plots within the story that makes it hard to guess the murderer.
- The murders get more and more exciting as it follows an old rhyme and everyone has a theory that someone else’s involved.
- I liked the strong emphasis on ‘fair’ justice system, even if it meant eye for an eye. I understand it is a fantasy but it sounds so good.
- I don’t think anyone could guess the murderer on their first read. I mean there are literally no clues.
- There are so many characters that you stop feeling related to them, in a while. There are, more or less, no descriptions for any of the characters.
- There is a huge plot hole which is a part of the solution. But it is kinda easy to ignore it (at least it was for me).
- The book obviously feels dated but the casual racism and sexism might turn you off.
I consider And then there were none as a masterpiece and I am sure everyone would love it. I can’t recommend it enough. If you are going to read only one Christie’s in your life, choose And then there were none.
What is your favorite Agatha Christie novel? Have you read this one? Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple – who do you like better? Let us chat.