Comments: 17
BrokenTune 5 years ago
I feel the same way! It is absolutely a fabulous book, but it's not a favourite. It doesn't even make it on to the bottom of my list. And I too have no idea why that is ... even tho I love the scene with the "vegetable marrow".
Lillelara 5 years ago
The "vegetable marrow" scene is brilliant :D. And I´m glad that I´m not the only one who feels that way.
BrokenTune 5 years ago
I have the same issue with Fry's Mythos, btw.
I think this was my first Christie, and I remember it completely flooring me. I really didn't expect what happened in those last few pages, and I had to go back and reread it immediately to see if I should have seen it coming! In a way, for me it's a book that only has one special first read, when you don't know anything and just let it carry you along.
Lillelara 5 years ago
This was a reread for me, so I did know who the murderer was.I took my time while listening to the fabulous narration by Hugh Fraser and was on the look out for clues and hints. And the way the story is written is magneficient.

But I can´t shake the feeling that this book is too accomplished and almost too sleek. I don´t know how to say it, but to me it feels like this book doesn´t have a soul. There isn´t a single thing in the narrative that makes me feel something, whether it being a good feeling or a bad. And I know some of her other books can (Five Little Pigs as an example gave me all the feels).
Yes, it's almost more like a literary experiment, isn't it? An exercise in how to completely mislead a reader. And that's partly due to how it's narrated; the narrator is trying to pull one over on us, and only at the end realizes it's impossible. That's how I read it at least; but at the time, I was still teaching literature, and this book appealed to my tendency to analyze the life out of everything I read. :D
Lillelara 5 years ago
Love your analysis :). And there might be some truth in what you say. I´m just glad that Christie didn´t write all of her books in this manner.
Mike Finn 5 years ago
I wonder if it's a function of the nature of the narrator, superficially so Hastings-like but actually something quite different. Perhaps the perceived slickness of the writing is a reflection of the sociopathy of the narrator?
That could very well be! (It's also part of what makes the reveal work just the way it does, I think.)
Abandoned by user 5 years ago
I love this book and it is one of my favorites, but not because of my attachment to the characters or the plot, both of which are relatively pedestrian.

It is just such a display of technical virtuosity that I am in awe of Christie's guts and her panache. It has been a wildly successful book, but when I think about the chance that she took with it - she could've pissed off and alienated her readership had it not been so incredibly well done. I always want to yell "brava," when I finish it.
Yes, that's pretty much my feeling as well. Dame Agatha was one gutsy lady when it came to her writing. Though I have to say I am glad she did this in a Poirot novel -- he *does* provide just that extra sparkle that really makes this one of my all-time favorite reads. Ditto "Orient Express", for that matter ... neither book would be the same for me without him.
I do remember being angry the first time I read it, when I reached the last pages and realized I'd been had! :D But it was a good sort of angry, like: "Wow, she's brilliant and completely fooled me, and I should have seen it coming!"
Some of Christie's original readers shared your sentiment -- but it's been a consensus ever since this book that it's the reader's job to suspect *everybody*. In that sense, this book really was a game changer (and Christie's writing in general, since she effectively did the same thing again, or something equally as radical at least, in "Orient Express", "And Then There Were None", and "Crooked House" -- all of which are among my favorites in part for precisely that reason).

Btw, have you seen the TV adaptation of "Roger Ackroyd" starring David Suchet? I really, really like the way they handled the big suprise element there.
No, I haven't seen it, I should! And it's funny, because in the last Christie book I read (Death in the Clouds), Poirot does indeed keep repeating that his job (and ours, by extension) is to suspect everybody. He says it several times throughout the novel.
Yes, Christie sort of made a point of that ... :)
Abandoned by user 5 years ago
Christie was so innovative. You can look at nearly any piece of modern crime fiction and find a Christie example of the plot devices that writers are still using today.

And, Locus, I was gobsmacked - GOBSMACKED - by the reveal in Roger Ackroyd when I read it the first time. It made me a much more suspicious and sophisticated reader.
Lillelara 5 years ago
I remember when I first read the book, I guessed the murderer early on. So the being gobsmacked part fell on the wayside for me. But I read this book the first time in 2016 and by that time I had seen quite a few movies with that kind of twist and in regards to Roger Ackroyd, there was something in the story that made me suspect the murderer early on. And I didn´t experience that with "Orient Express", "And Then There Were None" and "Crooked House". Three books which I, in hindsight, enjoyed more than Ackroyd.

Btw, I asked in the discussion group about the tv adaption with Suchet: Would this count as a book made into a movie? I´m standing on the Snakes and Ladder square and I Don´t know if I´m allowed to roll one or two dice ;)