Here’s another choice from the Hometown Book Club that I’m in! I was super excited about it, because I had read another Christie book a couple years ago (The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, which I reviewed on the same blog that took down my Charlotte Holmes reviews, dag nabbit) and it had me gripped until the very end – and this one was no different! What a great choice for a book club. Since I’m a remote participant in book club (lol), I’m going to write up my review here so my friends (really, though, if you’re reading this review because you like books, then you’re my friend too) can see my thoughts!
In And Then There Were None, ten strangers are brought out to Soldier Island, a privately owned but deserted island off the coast of Devon in England, all under fictitious circumstances. As they sit around trying to figure out where their host is, a mysterious record plays, accusing each one of them of at least one murder in their pasts. They try to figure out where the record came from, and the first one of them dies. As the days start to wear on, they continue to die, and those remaining have to figure out who is killing them.
But the creepiest part they have to figure out is if the killer is one of them.
3 Things I Loved
- The atmosphere. There is such a wonderful air of mystery to this book. Soldier Island itself is so strange, as if shrouded in fog. I loved it. It really made the story hard to put down!
- The chapter breakdowns. This is such a tiny thing, but it’s nice to have smaller sections broken down inside chapters sometimes. I live a busy life, and it made making time to read a little more doable some days.
- The surprise ending. Agatha Christie was a master at surprising her readers, and this classic was no different. So worth it to read to the end!
Okay… so I know that this book was written during a different time. It was first published in 1939. But if the publisher can change the title and edit out a very blatant racial slur, they can update some of the language. It’s not difficult to change the word “queer” to “strange,” that’s all I’m saying. It wasn’t the only instance of something like that, something fairly easily fixed without changing the meaning of ANYTHING. I get it. Those were Christie’s words. But if you can change the title and the poem? You can change a couple words.
Everything else I found issue with was very “product of the time,” but it still bothered me. A book like this, with all the inner thoughts of clearly terrible men, would never work in this day and age, which I think is a good thing. An example? There was a scene somewhere toward the middle of the book where one of the terrible men was speaking his hypothesis or something, and one of the women interrupted. And the words on the page, THE WORDS ON THE PAGE, were “he thought, ‘how like a woman.'” Good glory, yes, HOW LIKE A WOMAN TO INTERRUPT A STUPID MAN. But I guess that was less accepted in the early 1930s. *shrug*
A reminder of the rating scale:
- Red = DNF, I hated everything
- Orange = Ugh, no thank you
- Yellow = I mean, I’ve read worse, but there were problems
- Green = This was good!
- Blue = Oh my gosh, I loved this book!
- Purple = This is the unicorn of books and I will be rereading it until the binding falls apart and EVERYONE should be reading it!
Because it was written so long ago, this is one of the few cases where I’m not going to take my problematic content section into account in the rating. So yeah, this mystery was lit, fam. I’ve never read anything even close to it that was written lately. Agatha Christie had a gift. I’m giving And Then There Were None a BLUE rating. If you like mysteries at all, you’ll love this!