April 17, 2012

Book: And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

Filed under: Books — Tags: , , , , — krishnafromtoronto @ 3:43 pm

This one is such a classic that I doubt any mystery book lover would not already have read it. It inspired many imitations, in the book and the movie world, and I myself have seen two imitation movies as far away as Southern India.

I have reread it now, and the first time I read it was way back when, and this blog did not exist. Having read it again, I decided to review it here.

Ten people get invited by a mysterious U. N. Owen to be guests in a deserted island which can only be reached by a boat. They are invited using various letters by this person, and all accept the invitation. Once they reach there and are settled comfortably in their chairs, a recorded message accuses them all of murders which they have gotten away with, and promises them retribution.

It takes a while for them to figure out that U. N. Owen really stands for ‘Unknown’ and a couple of deaths to figure out that the person was not kidding. They are deathly afraid, and their fear is compounded when they know that due to the weather, no boat can reach them. And since there was no way for anyone to enter or leave the island, the murderer had to be one of them…

In addition, the murderer seems to have a theme as well, in line with the popular nursery rhyme (Ten Little Indians). Each one is killed reminiscent of the rhyme, and as if to emphasize the point, a group of ten little Indian china figurines are kept in the dining room initially, and one figuring goes missing every time a person is killed… An interesting fact is that the original title of this book was Ten Little Indians,  and later editions changed the title as the original title was no longer considered politically correct.

Agatha Christie is best in weaving her stories and in fact in this one, even at the end of the story proper, the reader is clueless as to what happened. (It requires a postscript to resolve the mystery). No Herculie Poirot or Miss Marple comes and reveals the killer!

This is one of the best books of Agatha Christie, and if you like that sort of books, a must read. (If you still have not read this book and are a mystery buff, I will be astonished.)

A satisfying explanation finally solves the mystery for you, the reader.

Overall a 8/10


— Krishna


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