"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Saturday, June 25, 2016

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie's famous mystery novel, And Then There Were None, spins around the verses of the disturbing poem, "Ten Little Soldiers."

Ten strangers are lured to a mansion on a island off the coast of Devon by U.N. Owen. As they dine together the first evening a record begins to play with the voice of their unseen host accusing them all of a deadly secret which caused the death of someone else. Within a few hours the first guest is dead. He chokes to death from cyanide poisoning. Soon the guests figure out their likely murderer is among them. But who is it?

And Then There Were None is Agatha Christie's most popular novel. It was published in 1939. In 2015 it was voted as the favorite Christie novel in a worldwide survey to commemorate her 125th anniversary. It also is the best selling crime novel of all time. (Christie webpage.) And it is the very first Agatha Christie novel I've ever read. Can you believe it?

Last week my family and I listened to the audiobook of And Then There Were None as we traveled to Oregon for a family reunion. Even though the book has been made into numerous movies and spoofs, none of us knew how it worked out and became thoroughly engrossed in the mystery. When we got home from our trip we still had an hour of the story left, so we sat in the family room listening to the conclusion together.

Agatha Christie said it is was a very difficult book to write but the idea of basing a novel on the "Ten Little Soldiers" poem really fascinated her. (Christie)  No matter how difficult is was to write she did it masterfully. What a chilling and perplexing mystery. I highly recommend it. We are reading this book for next month's book club. Betty, a retired teacher, told me she taught this book years ago but before she gave the students their copy of the novel she removed the last chapter of the book so the children wouldn't know who the murderer was before she was ready for them to know. They anxiously awaited the last section which she gave them after a few writing assignments on who they thought did it.  Obviously, she gave this assignment in the days before the Internet, but what a fun assignment.

Now I am off to see if I can locate the BBC series (Dec. 2015) of "And Then There Were None" and the Family Guy spoof, "And Then There Were Fewer" (2010).

Source: Audiobook made available on Hoopla by the Pierce County Library system.

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