Comments: 20
Yikes. Sounds like on top of creating (in MR's description) "the imaginary love child of Hitler and 'The Big Four'", she also managed to finagle in a plot point of Charles de Gaulle quelling the French May 1968 youth rebellion? Ayiii ... no. (Though given Christie's obvious difficulties in coming to grips with the world of the 1960s and 1970s at large, in a completely twisted sort of way it would even make sense ...)
BrokenTune 2 years ago
It's in exactly that twisted sort of way that the book makes sense. If she packed in social commentary (which I believe she did in huge chunks), then she REALLY struggled with the world around her - especially with the notion that the new generation might not only have ideas but actually want to live by them. Must have been a shock to her, but at the same time it is odd to see her take this stance when she once was a daring young thing herself who refused to stick to the Edwardian dress code.
So, from that perspective it was interesting.
Oh dear. Yes, I've read enough awful 1960s and 1970s Christie to get an idea what's up with this book (in addition to MR's description). Dunno, but I feel a reviewing project coming on -- Christie's last and worst, or something along those lines. If I actually do this, I'm going to make it one single composite post, however. Anything above and beyond that would be a complete waste of reviewing space, Christie or not ...
BrokenTune 2 years ago
Yeah, it would be a waste, and that is a neat idea for a reviewing project.

What I take away from this read is that I want to read her last few books next so that I can look forward to reading her better work after.....with the exception of The Big Four. I may have to throw in that re-read with Postern of Fate, et al to get the awfulness out of the way.
BrokenTune 2 years ago
Btw, I thought MR's description of a combination of Big Four and Mein Kampf was a good description, but I would describe it as a Bond novel starring Miss Marple and Bertie Wooster.
Tannat 2 years ago
But...Miss Marple with Bertie Wooster sounds kind of cool...although perhaps not with the James Bond, admittedly. Can you picture Bertie Wooster being connected to anything James Bond? Bertie Wooster needing to save the world...we're screwed.
BrokenTune 2 years ago
"...we're screwed" - Yes. Exactly.
:::snort:::

And yes, "The Big Four" should definitely be thrown in with her final ones! If you can stand that much awfulness all at once, that is. I'm not sure I'd be able to -- heck, I'm not sure I will manage even though I have actually read all of her final series entries (which are all varying degrees of terrible), so at least I'm over the initial shock reaction on those and only the stand-alones remain to be tackled ...
BrokenTune 2 years ago
Well, for me there would only really be Postern of Fate and Elephants (+ Big Four) left of her late books. So, I think it is manageable.
Those two take a *lot* of forbearance. Each one of them already does individually -- combined, the effect isn't doubled but squared.
BrokenTune 2 years ago
What do you reckon, will wine help? Or a Manhattan?
Long Island Iced Tea -- at least a full size glass per chapter, especially for "Postern of Fate." Alternately, I'd recommend whisky in generous doses, except that would be a huge waste of the whisky. Then again, some high-proof vodka might do the job rather nicely as well ...
BrokenTune 2 years ago
So, what you are recommending, really, is to read this while fully anaesthetised.
Precisely. Sober, it's unbearable. Beyond a few pages at a a time, anyway.
Tannat 2 years ago
So where does Christie start to turn bad in her later works? I'm starting to think I should skip ahead to the end too.
BrokenTune 2 years ago
For me the downhill trend starts with Hallowe'en Party (1969). However, I would exclude "Sleeping Murder" and "Curtain" as both were written decades before they were published.
Tannat 2 years ago
Thanks!
BrokenTune 2 years ago
Indeed.