Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Murder on the Orient Express

Murder on the Orient Express (Hercule Poirot Mysteries) Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie


My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Agatha Christie was a genius. I figured I'm a relatively intelligent person, I'm good with logic puzzles, I should be able to get this. I wasn't even close. Genius.

Oh, and I also liked the use of stereotypes. The Americans had afflicted speech, the English were characterized as stodgy, and the Russian woman was ugly and extravagant. If I were teaching a course about stereotypes, I'd assign this book. I especially love how the non-Poirot investigators (whose characters are there simply so Poirot has someone to talk to and to be the dumb ones who don't figure out the answer) rely primarily on the stereotypes (it had to be a woman, because the murderer was clearly in a fit of rage and women are emotional), while Poirot remains open-minded (mostly). Wow, run-on sentence! Whee!

3 comments:

  1. Yay for five stars! This was your first Agatha Christie?

    I have not read a lot of Christie--maybe five books or so--but I'd recommend The Murder of Roger Ackroyd if you want more Poirot. (I'm not a Miss Marple fan.)

    For mysteries, I also recommend P.D. James. An Unsuitable Job for a Woman is a good starting point.

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  2. Second: I read And Then There Were None in junior high (I had already seen the play). I loved it, which is remarkable since I didn't love many of the books I read in junior high (or high school, for that matter).

    I don't fancy myself a mystery-lover because I don't read many, but I don't know why that is. Maybe it's time to make amends.

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  3. That's an excellent one--

    I didn't start reading mysteries until a few years ago when I started listening heavily to audiobooks during my commute. Now I read them in little sprees.

    The one thing I don't like about them much is they tend to be plot-driven instead of character-driven (although the series about a specific detective do build); I like a nice balance.

    A handful of "Best Of" & award lists for you:

    http://www.classiccrimefiction.com/awards.htm

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