And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

details
Title: And Then There Were None.
Writer(s): Agatha Christie.
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers .
Format: Paperback.
Release Date: March 29th 2011 (first published November 6th 1939).
Pages: 302.
Genre(s): Mystery, Thriller.
ISBN13:  9780062073488.
My Overall Rating: ★★★★★.

thoughts

Once called Ten Little Niggers and now And Then There Were None, Agatha Christie’s most difficult novel to write was an instant hit and is now a popularized classic that reminds us all who the queen of mystery was and will always be. A perfectly-paced, brilliantly-creative and cleverly-structured mystery is not an easy feat to accomplish but this if there is an author who knows her cup of tea better than anyone else, it’s her. This isn’t just about having a reasonable amount of red herrings, coupled with a bunch of lies, half-truths, and omissions. It’s about teasing the reader, taunting them with a conglomerate of possible outcomes, fasting them till they beg on their knees to know whodunit. With this world’s bestselling masterpiece, Agatha Christie delivers one of the most influential pieces of literature known to man.

What is And Then There Were None about? It all begins with ten strangers invited to an isolated island mansion off the Devon coast by an unknown individual who goes by the name of U.N. Owen. Lured by various promises tailored to their lives, they all accept the invitation without thinking twice. Without knowing what was waiting for them there, it’s only upon reaching their destination that suspicions crawl to the surface and terrorizes our group. They thus disembark from their boat and are led to their residence, wondering where their host was at and what they had just gotten themselves into. Suffice to say that a nursery rhyme, found hanging on their walls, about the gradual disappearance of 10 little soldiers was far from reassuring. It’s only after their supper that the final chapter of their lives unfolds as their wicked pasts come back to haunt them. The game thus begins as they are each marked for murder and nothing can stop it from happening.

Untitled

Entirely based on a minstrel song foreshadowing the faith of these guests, the story progresses one death after another until the grand finale where all the pieces of this puzzle are ingeniously put together for the reader to gawk at in stupefaction at Agatha Christie’s ruthless plot twist. You would imagine that a story where all the deaths are premediated and revealed beforehand would make for an unmemorable and boring read but this mystery leads you on craving for answers as you wonder how all the pieces will be set in motion for the song to come to life. The suspense is unforgivably constricting and chokes you into flipping through this novel at an incredible pace, gasping for answers, while dumbstruck by the insanity and implausibility of each death.

With not even a dozen of characters featured in this novel, Agatha Christie also does an impressive job in attributing each one of them with a clear-cut personality, demeanour, and purpose. From the moment they meet for the first time, the atmosphere on this private island was palpable and of an unprecedented eeriness. How each character reacted to the events unfolding on the island was genuine although sometimes a bit cliché but their psychology always evolved accordingly. Doubt, hysteria, paranoia. You name it. These characters were stuck in a predicament that no one would ever wish upon another and contributed to a self-fulfilling prophecy that simply made this story more captivating by the minute.

And Then There Were None is a classic mystery with ludicrous tragedies leading up to a logical and inconceivable ending that ultimately remind you that Agatha Christie will always own this genre with her unmatched mind for suspense and plot twists to prove it.


EXHIBITA

2

exhibitb

There are many film/TV series adaptations of this classic novel. Have you seen the 2015 BBC mini-series? What adaptations have you seen? What do you think of it compared to the novel?

Banner1

INSTAGRAM – FACEBOOK – GOODREADS – TWITTER – OUTLOOK

71 comments

      • I disagree. Both ‘Ten Little Niggers’ and ‘Ten Little Indians’ are outdated and racist titles and bear very little purpose to the story. I don’t believe in whitewashing history by any means nor do I think censorship is the answer but does it change the story? No. Does it make it more appealing to readers? Absolutely.
        Also, as a side note: And Then There Were None is a much more intriguing title than Ten Little Anything.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I guess it’s just the idea of modifying something that was initially released under a certain name. It should just live with the decision, whether it helps the book or not. It’s just part of its “baggage”, is how I see it. Whatever the title was, I would have probably still have picked it up on its merits, its popularity, the praise, the controverse, etc. hahaha

          Liked by 1 person

          • It’s publisher’s moving on with the times, I honestly don’t think any publisher would continue to publish something under an offensive name and it would have become a more obscure title. But I shall leave it at that as we are clearly set on our opposed positions!

            Liked by 1 person

    • I need to watch it someday. I haven’t seen any of the Christie-based movies yet, except Murder on the Orient Express (1974) back in high school but I don’t remember it too well. I’ll have to check that out too. Thanks , Icky! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  • I love how your review evoked a sense of the book Lashaan! I admit that Agatha is really quite a master thriller writer with And Then There Were None. We don’t get that in all her books. I think that makes this one hold up to modern times just a touch more. She is the master many pattern their mysteries on after all! My writing partner re-reads these quite often too. She is a little bummed that dame Agatha doesn’t really leave clues for the reader to find, but she more than makes up for it with masterful plots.

    I saw a black and white version with a bit of a happier ending?! It’s one of my favorite straight up Agatha Christie movies. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’ve only read Murder on the Orient Express and this one so far and love what she has accomplished so far. It reminds me why I prefer mystery over a lot of the typical psychological thrillers (not to say they’re all the same or bad though). Oh, I thought this novel gave a couple of hints (that are explicitly cited at the end too) that could’ve helped the reader guess who it was.

      Ohhh, must be the 1945 one. I need to see it soon! Your praise has me curious. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  • I read this book so many years ago also as “Ten little Indians” and it has always stuck with me. The plot twist at the end seriously had me leaving my jaw open. It was so cleverly pulled, and something I didn’t see coming even in a million miles. Truly an absolutely amazing novel. I haven’t seen a movie/tv series adaptation for it, so can’t really say anything about that. As always you have managed to pull off a terrific review here! 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    • Wow. It’s actually pretty cool that you read it under that title too. French editions have the “Nigger” in the title to this day though. It has always shocked me when I first heard of it in High School. I’m glad to hear that you have already read this though! I’d like to see them make a modern SUCCESSFUL adaptation of this today though. After The Murder of the Orient Express that they did a while back, I’d be curious to see this one get another shot on the big screen hahah Thank you for your kind words as always, sir! 😀

      Liked by 2 people

      • Well…usually when you least expect they might do a remake. It’s certainly a story that I think would work well for a movie again, so who knows we might get it! 😊
        As for the title? Yeah…that really is to this day a very strange and shocking on alright. I’m honestly glad that they changed that title to this new one.

        Liked by 2 people

    • What would you recommend me next? I’ve only read Murder on the Orient Express myself and LOVED it. 😛 I too haven’t seen any TV series/movie adaptation for this one. Will have to remedy that in the near future.

      Like

      • Murder on the Orient express was the first Christie book I read. 😀 I have read all her books, but years ago. Don’t try absent in the spring or daughter’s daughter next. It’s not very fiction-y.
        David Suchet as Poirot is the best TV adaptation. 😀 How about Poirot short story series – there are around 50 or so in a book?

        Liked by 1 person

        • Hahah what a coincidence, Murder on the Orient Express was my first too. I’m hesitating between a Poirot or a Miss Marple story. I can’t tell which one will impress me most. 😛 I’ll definitely remember your suggestions though. The edition of the books/novellas will probably influence my choice too hahah 😀 Thank you!

          Like

  • Oooh great review Lashaan! I haven’t read the novel but I remember seeing one of the adaptation (not even sure which one) on TV! The good thing is that I can’t remember a single thing so it gives me an excellent reason to read the book! 😀 I love stories “à huis clos”, and I’m sure I will love this one as well!

    Liked by 2 people

  • I don’t think I’ve seen any of the film/ TV show adaptations, but I might turn towards that mini-series since it’s only 3 episodes. Have YOU seen it?
    The change in the title is fascinating.
    The book is masterfully crafted for sure.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I haven’t seen it either but I want to try that mini-series as well as the 1945 movie soon. Indeed, the title change is insane. I wonder how much of an impact on sales it would have had if they kept the original title in the UK and USA. Still. It was a fantastic novel!

      Liked by 1 person

  • Wow, I so have to pick this up – I read Murder on the Orient Express following your review of that (and my Dad also recommending it) and as you know, thoroughly enjoyed it. I was planning to check out Death on the Nile first, but I think it’ll have to be this one beforehand – I was actually oblivious to the various adaptations, no doubt I will have seen advertising for the 2015 BBC series but it probably will have passed me by at the time having not thought of delving into Agatha Christie’s work. Great stuff sir!

    Liked by 1 person

  • As far as film adaptations go, your 1974 ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ with Albert Finney in the main role is one of the best and most famous, but a little grim. Most people will say that David Suchet is the best Poirot, however there are two Poirot films from the late seventies that I believe are better and more charming. Peter Ustinov played Hercule in ‘Evil Under the Sun’, and ‘Death on the Nile’ and he is wonderful.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Well then. You sure do know your Poirot! Thanks for information though. I’ll need to read more Poirot stories before ever tackling his movies though. I’ll definitely check out the various adaptations of Murder on the Orient Express and And Then There Were None now. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  • I’m glad you liked it! I enjoyed it, though admittedly was less enthusiastic than you 😉 I felt the characters were less fleshed-out than in other Christie’s novels, and I think this book by necessity holds its charm over the reader only once. That said, it is an impressive feat of literary mastery, and I really loved how all the pieces fit together in the end 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hahahah I can definitely see what you mean. I just told myself that this story was released episodically in some newspaper before being collected, making it normal for it not to have fleshed out characters in it. Do you have favourites by Christie? Superior to this one? I’ve only read The Murder on the Orient Express and thought it was just as good if not better (because Poirot). 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • I liked The Murder on the Orient Express, and Death on the Nile. I’m not a big reader of Christie, her books are elegant, but feel slightly dated – I prefer newer mystery thrillers when I read them from time to time.

        Liked by 2 people

  • I’m so glad you finally got around to reading this one. I love this book! I took it on vacation with me when I read it for the first time and it completely consumed me until I finished.

    Liked by 2 people

  • I loved reading your review – I think I have a copy of this, and a couple of her other books on my kindle – I’m thinking of working my way through her books – it’s a big challenge but I’m not in a rush.
    Lynn 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Lynn! I highly recommend it to everyone, as well as The Murder on the Orient Express (my first and only other Chris book that I’ve read). I too wish I could binge through all her books now but I know it’ll be impossible with all the amazing SFF books I NEEEEED to read haahah! 😂

      Like

  • Amazing review Lashaan! 😍 I’m sure I’ve watched one of the adaptation but I don’t know which one! Maybe the one you’ve linked because seeing Tywin Lannister in an Agatha Christie’s adaptation sounds familiar but I honestly can’t recall anything about it! I do remember how amazed I was after watching the ending, though 😂
    It’s funny because in French, the title is Ten Little Niggers and in Italian, it’s Ten Little Indians 😂 For “ethical” reasons I understand why the changed the title but I liked how the old title gave the idea that the guests were like puppets in this game!
    Now I absolutely want to read the book !

    Liked by 1 person

  • The BBC Adaptation for this is FANTASTIC, I loved it. The book is also an incredible read and it’s an amazing ride throughout. I believe Christie had to write the extra explanation in at the end because she realised it would be impossible for anyone to solve which I think is a testament to how cleverly written it is.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I do look forward to trying out the BBC adaptation someday. I currently plan on trying the recent movie adaptation and to find out how bad the ending is, since I hear they modified it compared to the book hahah Thanks for the positive feedback on the BBC mini-series though. Definitely excited for it! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to Lashaan Balasingam @ Bookidote Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s