Forgotten Fridays – And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

Posted January 31, 2014 by Kara in book review, forgotten fridays, Kara, Lyn / 4 Comments

forgotten fridays


Welcome to Forgotten Fridays. This mission of this feature is, twice a month, to review books that are more than a year old. And we review them TOGETHER! Most reviews have minor spoilers because it is hard to block them out in a back and forth dialogue about a book. So keep that in mind when reading, though we do try to not mention anything that would ruin a book for anyone.

This time, Kara picked And Then There Were None, a classic whodunit written by Agatha Christie. Read on to get more information about the book and see how we felt about it!

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Lyn: Nice classic pick! It is always refreshing to pick up the old stuff every now and then.

Kara: Yeah, it’s one of my favorites and always has been. I think this is the third time I’ve read it (also played the computer game), but uh, one thing I didn’t notice all the other times I read it was the racism and anti-semitism which kind of shocked me, to be honest. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, considering the decade this was written in, but still. It through me for a loop because I wasn’t expecting it. I then went and did a little bit of research and the original title of this book SHOCKED me. Did you happen to catch that? I don’t want to mention that here because no, but wow. I don’t know how that got by the publishers!!

Lyn: I don’t know if this is a rumor, but I heard that the UK isn’t all fussy over PC terms. I always knew the book by the first title, so I was somewhat surprised to see that it was changed way back when, but my English teacher still referred to it as the first title.

Kara: Your English teacher called it Ten Little N—–?

Lyn: She called it Ten Little “Black People” – air quotes and all. Even though I was a naive little thing, I still got the reference.

Kara: OMG. I am a bit speechless here. I never knew. I knew that it changed to Ten Little Indians in between those two titles, but I found out on Goodreads about the other. I was SHOCKED. Anyway, glad we got that out of the way. Haha.

So, how did you feel about who the culprit ended up being? It was actually interesting for me, reading this as someone who KNEW who did it, looking for all the clues the author left behind.

Lyn: This is going to sound so snotty of me, but I pieced it together, but when the person I thought had been offed, I was lost. So, in a way, I was still surprised. I’m not sure if we want to reveal any clues, but I can mention what tipped me off behind a spoiler alert. Also, I was really happy to see some of the characters die off. I cheered at 3 deaths (I’m sick).

Kara: Yeah, totes put it behind a spoiler alert. I think you should. I remember thinking the same thing. I think you are supposed to think it is that person but then the red herring throws you for a loop. It’s like, “WTF, okay what do I think now?” And yeah, I remember the first time I read it being utterly confused and not figuring it out at all from that point on.

Lyn: I think the biggest tip off was the order of the character introduction, and the know-it-all-attitude of the culprit. I’ll also say that Armstrong was an asshole. I was a little dismayed at the sexism of the book. I was mildly surprised a woman wrote this.

Kara: I’m not. Almost everything from that decade is sexist. I don’t even think most women had the urge to be independent then. Just look at the fifties. There were women who were trying to gain independence, but a lot of them were also satisfied to stay in the home and take care of their husbands. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but I still think the idea of feminism wasn’t nearly as big then as it is now. I also think Christie favored her male characters though I did hear that she loved the two she killed off last the most and one of them was a woman. I don’t know. Maybe I am just rambling.

As for the culprit and what you stated, that totally makes sense. What do you mean by the introduction? Because he was introduced first?

Lyn: I did feel that most of the men had better characterization, but, on the other hand, the males were just monsters. The women did some horrible things, but DAMN the men were so mean!

Yes. When i saw the initials were U.N.O – uno is one, and he was the first. It just clicked because he was really steering the whole game along the entire time.

Kara: Nice! I never connected that. You are smarter than me, lady! I actually got a lot of the characters confused this time around. I was surprised by how poor some of the characterizations were. It was easy to tell the women apart but except for the judge, all the men ran together for me. I wish you were able to play the game. I think you would love it. It bgins the atmosphere of the book to life, and honestly, that was my favorite part about the story. I FREAKING LOVED that setting.

Lyn: The more I read, the more I feel that I can pick up on things, and old literature always seem to have information tied up in pretty little packages for the reader.

What shocked me more than the ending (I did like how they revealed the whole thing – nice touch) was Vera’s backstory. I think my mouth fell open when she let it slip about the past. And OH the men! I had to write down notes, because Macarthur, and the two other guys (I seriously am drawing a blank) were like the same person in my head. I was curious if it was going to be difficult to tell the characters apart, because you can only do so much with 10 main characters.

Kara: Ahhhh, you took notes! Brilliant idea. I never take notes though I know I should. I have a notebook that I never use and every now and then I try to get back into it and end up not sticking with it.

OMG. Do you know I forgot about that twisty shit with Vera? It’s been several years since I read it and it caught me by surprise too. That was the only thing that did, but it was worth it. I loved reading this again and getting all nostalgic. I think I was around 27ish the last time I read it. Glad I picked it. I can’t wait until we finally get to Ten so we can see if it’s decent or not.

Lyn: I am really excited to read Ten now. I hope it comes off as well as this one. Also, for the rating, I’m going to go with 3.5 stars, because I did enjoy it, but I felt muddled at times, and I disliked most of the asshats in the story. But it was a good one!

Kara: It was always a 5 star for me but I am knocking off a star this time because of the male characterizations and the racism. I CAN’T EVEN. O_o Still really love it though.

Lyn: Awesome! Let me know when we want to do Ten. I still need to purchase it. I thought I picked it up, but it was another book.

Kara: I think I will probably just do it for my next pick and get it out of the way. We have Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen next. Are you doing that one?

Lyn: Yes!

Kara: Yay, and then you get to do yours and I won’t reveal that until next time. So, until next time?

Lyn: Yes, see you in two weeks!

 
Lyn 3.5/ Kara 4
 

4 responses to “Forgotten Fridays – And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

  1. Excellent book. The ending was such a nice wrap up of an impossible guess. As for the racism, I read her biography and she uses the word in her memories/history as well. Different times in the Victorian age.

    • Interesting that she uses that word in her memoirs. But this book was published in 1939, which was well past the Victorian age. I am not trying to argue or anything, and I wasn’t criticizing the book for the racism in my post either. I just wanted to let people know because some readers have triggers for that sort of thing. Also, this is one of my favorite classics.

  2. I realized I had never read anything by Agatha Christie and recently picked up this one. Glad to see it’s a good one! Will have to come back and read more on your thoughts as soon as I read it myself. 🙂

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