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The Big Four (Hercule Poirot #5)

3.61  ·  Rating Details  ·  16,865 Ratings  ·  986 Reviews
Framed in the doorway of Poirot's bedroom stood an uninvited guest, coated from head to foot in dust. The man's gaunt face stared for a moment, then he swayed and fell.

Who was he? Was he suffering from shock or just exhaustion? Above all, what was the significance of the figure 4, scribbled over and over again on a sheet of paper? Poirot finds himself plunged into a world
Paperback, Agatha Christie Signature Edition, 272 pages
Published 2002 by HarperCollinsPublishers (first published January 27th 1927)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Aug 25, 2011 John rated it it was ok
This is a weird one. Apparently (I looked this up, because the book was so weird) Christie wrote a series of short stories about Poirot for some magazine and these stories were mashed together into this book. You can sort of tell that something like this is up, because the mashing didn't work all that well and things still seem a little disjointed.
But really, the main problem here is that Poirot is fighting a team of supervillains, and he uses disguises and smoke bombs and has to find their sec
Jun 17, 2008 Kim rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Once upon a time, Agatha Christie stayed up way too late, drank her way through three bottles of Chardonnay and watched a Sean Connery James Bond film. As she was going to bed, some time about 3am, her eyes rested for a moment on her typewriter. I would not be in the least surprised if that was all she remembered about this book. For shame, Agatha. This is exactly the same reason I'm not allowed whisky and Twitter on the same evening any more.
Laurel Young
Sep 27, 2010 Laurel Young rated it it was ok
I love the fact that Agatha Christie was always experimenting with new ways of writing mysteries, rather than resting on her considerable laurels. By 1927 she had already written such masterpieces as The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, so I have no doubt that The Big Four was an intentional departure from her previous work. Unfortunately, it is not one of her more successful efforts. An adventure story doesn't play to her strengths at all. The Big Four is one cliche after another, with Poirot and Hasti ...more
May 27, 2013 Evgeny rated it did not like it
Before the review I just want to ask a couple of questions. What was The Queen of Mystery smoking? It this stuff still available in 21st century?

On to the review: the only reason I can justify the existence of this abomination is that it is a parody (I hope it is) of Sherlock Holmes vs. Prof. Moriarty duel of wits. Basically, there is an international crime cartel led by 4 people the last of whom is a ruthless killer whose identity is unknown. It is up to Poirot and Hastings to track him down.
An Odd1
Aug 18, 2013 An Odd1 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Decided disappointment - or meant to be taken in fun? The plot shapes up like an impossible farce. The conspirators plan to rule the world. "Number One" is the unseen brains, Chinese Li Chang Yen. "Two" is multimillionaire American Soap King Abe Ryland. "Three" is idolized brilliant Parisian chemist Mme Olivier. Their assassin "Number Four" is young actor Claud Darell. Or is he? are they?

The elusive Four litters the landscape with corpses as an author's device to add yet another disguise. Capta
Aug 14, 2010 Mmyoung rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, christie
A great disappointment after the skillful and inventive The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. The Big Four barely holds together as a book. Indeed it may not be said to have a plot at all. Instead it is a series of vignettes that are tied together with the loosest of bindings. I presume what Christie was aiming for was a romp such as she had provided in several of her earlier books but this time with Poirot and Hastings at the center of the story. But instead of a romp she delivered a book that lacks bot ...more
حسام خليل
Jan 28, 2012 حسام خليل rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
أكثر ما أعجبني فيها هو أن الأحداث تشرح نفسها بطريقة جميلة جداً، لا تحتاج للكثير من التفكير من قبل القارئ وفي نفس الوقت لن تجدها مباشرة أمامك فـ أحياناً قد تضطر لقراءة أحد الفصول مرة أخرى .

يعيبها أن بعض التفاصيل الدقيقة غير قابلة للتصديق بسهولة، لكن بالنهاية هذه رواية ومستحيل أن يكون جميع ما ذُكر فيها صحيحاً وواقعياً 100% .

يعيبها أيضاً أن النهاية لم تكن على مستوى إثارة الأحداث التي مرت بها الرواية النهاية سريعة جداً ورغم انها ليست نهاية مفتوحة لكنها لم تشفي غليلي للأسف .

في النهاية هي مناسبة لمن
Mar 14, 2010 Goose rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
When Agatha Christie's publisher expected a follow up to the hit, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, she was in no state of mind to produce one. Her mother had just died the year before and her husband Archie and she were in a trial reconciliation after he had proclaimed his love for another woman. However, Agatha needed the money. Her brother-in-law suggested taking several stories she had sold to a magazine, adding some connective material and a beginning and ending and voila, instant book. It shows ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 24, 2012 Rohit rated it it was ok
Agatha Christie fails to impress. As many remarked," as a creation, this book is an insult to Poirot". For me, this could easily be the worst Poirot story I ever read.

The Big Four is intended to be the Poirot's biggest case ever. Its not about just one mystery but a collection of many short incidents which Christie intends to weave into a bigger mystery, that of the Big Four. The Big Four is similar to the spider like network of James Moriarty in Sherlock Holmes stories.

The lack of originality
سمعت عن هذه الكاتبة كثيرا وكانت بدايتي لها مع هذه الرواية،
رواية ممتعة جدا ، حبكة بسيطة واسلوب جيد ، قليل من الإثارة تتوقع الأحداث قبل حدوثها ...
ومع ذلك أحب أن أشاهد هكذا نوع في فلم على أن أقرأه في كتاب (:
Harish Kumar Sarma Challapalli
A very great mystery novel. Can be termed as one of the best works of Ms. Christie. The twist at the end was mind blowing.

Enjoyed reading the book and through out the plot, the author maintained the same tempo. The narration went at a swift pace and one will never feel bored of the plot. The pages will be going on automatically, once u get into the plot. The adventures are very fun filled and u will def expect unexpected twists and turns in the plot.

I recommend this to all who loves to read myst
Jun 24, 2015 Jo rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, adult
Poirot faces his biggest challenge yet. He will have to call upon every one of his grey cells to defeat the enemy, and time, effort, and mustaches must all be sacrificed to the cause.

This is definitely a different style of Poirot. Usually he is involved in more of a mental game...this book has both mental and physical action. It has so many twists, turns, and double-backs, that sometimes it was hard to keep track.

An interesting departure from Christie's norm, and I enjoyed it this once, but I wo
Viji Sarath (Bookish endeavors)
An average read.. The villains were colorful enough for more actions,but they were not brought into much action.. There isn't much of what you call normal detective work and that is a big blow to the reader.. As a story this book is fine,but it doesn't rise to the level of the usual Agatha Christie works.. I liked two things about the book-
1)the deceptions of number 4.
2)Hercule Poirot's pride.
Anybody interested in chase of international villains will find this an entertaining read.
Jul 31, 2015 3houd rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
رواية بمنتهى السخافة, أسوء قصص أغاثا على الإطلاق.
من خلال بحثي قرأت أن هذه الرواية في الأصل كانت مكتوبة على شكل قصص مغامرات مسلسلة في إحدى المجلات, و في وقت لاحق تم تجميعها في كتاب واحد فأنتجت هذه المهزلة البوليسية.
Moira Fogarty
Jul 26, 2012 Moira Fogarty rated it did not like it
Shelves: mystery
I hesitate to use the word "awful" in association with the Queen of Crime, but this is a bad egg. Penned (some say ghost-written) during Dame Agatha's worst year: In 1926, her mother died and her husband told her he was in love with another woman and wanted a divorce.

No wonder she was off her game, poor dear.

Originally published in serial format, this cluster of overblown spy adventures should never have featured portly, inactive Poirot & clueless Hastings as the heroes. They just don't fit
Oct 24, 2015 Fran rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Francamente troppo esagerato: a partire dalla cerbottana al curaro fino alla morte inscenata, passando per le varie stramberie e sopratutto numero quattro che sembra Fregoli o Brachetti....

Molto meglio un tranquillo Poirot che usi davvero le sue celluline grigie.
Christina Popsuj
It's hard to know how to rate this book. I really enjoyed reading Hercule Poirot books growing up, and recently decided to read the series in order. This book is very different than most Hercule Poirot books. The plot is almost laughable and reminds me of watching a comic with the big evil villian that is trying to rule the world. But I still enjoyed Hercule's character and the interactions between him and Hastings. For anyone not wanting to read all Hercule Poirot books I would recommend skippi ...more
Sep 06, 2014 Lina rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014-list
3 star rating - I liked it.

My first Agatha Christie experience which was not a disappointment. In fact, I found myself engaged, thrilled, and overall satisfied despite a few setbacks: the plot was more or less a game of cat-and-mouse; events and circumstances were purely by chance. It felt as if Christie was trying to patch up singular ideas into a major one insufficiently. Regardless, it was action-packed, suspenseful, and enjoyable nonetheless.
Not one of the best, but still good! :-)
Sith Lancerlot
Mar 28, 2013 Sith Lancerlot rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
الحبكة رائعة و أسلوب الكتابة بسيط و مشوق الأربعة الكبار من أفضل الروايات لأغاثا كريستي
Jul 13, 2012 Jim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries, ebooks, fiction
The eponymous Big Four are a global group of criminal masterminds, and Hercule Poirot is on their case. Through a series of short and largely independent mysteries (it turns out that they were all short stories originally, and then combined into the novel later on), Poirot and Hastings learn more about the bad guys and ultimately put them away. In many ways, this one has more in common with a Saturday adventure matinee or a pulp novel of the period than it has in common with the usual Christie c ...more
الأربعة الكبار رواية جميلة جدا لمن يحب الروايات البوليسية وقصص التحري

بطل الحكاية بوارو ومساعده هيستنغز انه حقا ذو ذكاء خارق المتحري بوارو وخلايا عقله الرمادية

أحداث الرواية مشوقه جدا جدا أحيانا استخدمت خلايا عقلي الرمادية لاحل بعض ألغاز القضية ولكن دائما ما وجدت تفكيري مثل تفكير مساعده هيستنغز

دقة التحليل واستخدام كل الظروف في حل اللغز طرق رائعه جدا

وقع في الفخ مرتان أو أكثر ولكن بوارو بالنهاية استطاع أن يحل القضية ويلقي القبض عليهم بحيلة ذكية خارقة نوعا ما

كان تحليله لشخصية الرقم واحد واثنان وثلاث
I usually like Poirot but this novel was sub-par. The plot was just so incredibly lame. The titular Big Four is a criminal organisation which aims and I quote "to destroy the existing social order, and to replace it with an anarchy in which they would reign as dictators." It seems to me that Christie was trying to write a thriller, there are several instances where the main characters find themselves in mortal peril, there are subterranean criminal headquarters, bombs, kidnappings, murders, secr ...more
Jan 28, 2012 BASHAER rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

روآآية جدا مشوقة و تدخلك في احداثها و تفاصيلها
تجعلك تتخيل وتفكر مثل المحقق (بوارو) المحقق الشهير بمجموعة من سلسلة روآيات اجاثا كريستي..
وصلت لمنتصفها ولا زلت مستمتعة..


على باب غرفة نوم بوارو وقف ذلك الضيف الغير مدعو،وكان مغطى بالغبار من قمة رأسه حتى اخمص قدميه
حدق الرجل فيه للحظة،ثم انهار على الأرض.

من كآن هذا الرجل؟ هل يعاني من صدمة أم مجرد ارهاق شديد؟والأهم من هذا كله. مآ مغزى الرقم اربعة
الذي مآ انفك يخطه بيده على الورق مرارا و تكرارا؟؟
لقد وجد بوارو نفسه قد تورط في عالم من المؤامرات الدولي
هدى ناصر
Aug 21, 2015 هدى ناصر rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
غاية في الروعة
ممتعة ومثيرة وشيقة الى حد كبير
Anna [Floanne]
Mia cara vecchia Agatha, le spy-stories non sono proprio il tuo forte. Mamma mia che brutto libro! E che fatica finirlo! Come ho letto in un paio di recensioni negative, anche a me è sembrata una farsa, una presa in giro. La storia è sconclusionata, senza senso, nè logica e Poirot non ha nemmeno la parvenza del personaggio arguto che tanto mi ha appassionato in altri romanzi. Sembra si sia rimbecillito! Se non avesse prevalso la voglia di vedere come andava a finire questa assurdità, l'avrei pia ...more
Aug 02, 2014 Demercel rated it it was amazing
This book is quite different from the other Agatha Christie books I have read so far. Hastings is back again, but this is not the important change. It is the scope. Up to now Poirot’s cases were confined to a single main murder in a single location - they were classical criminal murder cases. But here the scope is much larger. The Big Four is like James Bond's SPECTRE – an international organisation of villains who use numbers as names/ranks in the organisation and have plans for global dominati ...more
Sep 16, 2013 Lindz rated it it was ok
I read The Big Four a few months ago, and forgot to review it. Honestly I remember thinking that the plot was ridiculous, and apparently it was pretty forgettable as well. This wasn't as racist as some of her other thrillers, but that doesn't mean as much as you'd think. Overall, Agatha Christie needed someone to sit her down and inform her that she was no longer allowed to attempt thrillers, and that the only acceptable writing style for her was a murder mystery.
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Poirot Vs The Big Four?without the ending who do you think would win? 1 42 Sep 28, 2011 07:54AM  
  • Spider's Web
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  • Agatha Christie: A Biography
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  • Agatha Christie
Agatha Christie also wrote romance novels under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott, and was occasionally published under the name Agatha Christie Mallowan.

Agatha Christie is the best-selling author of all time. She wrote eighty crime novels and story collections, fourteen plays, and several other books. Her books have sold roughly four billion copies and have been translated into 45 languages. She is t
More about Agatha Christie...

Other Books in the Series

Hercule Poirot (1 - 10 of 42 books)
  • The Mysterious Affair at Styles (Hercule Poirot, #1)
  • The Murder on the Links (Hercule Poirot, #2)
  • Poirot Investigates (Hercule Poirot, #3)
  • The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (Hercule Poirot, #4)
  • The Mystery of the Blue Train (Hercule Poirot, #6)
  • Black Coffee (Hercule Poirot, #7)
  • Peril at End House (Hercule Poirot, #8)
  • Lord Edgware Dies (Hercule Poirot, #9)
  • Murder on the Orient Express (Hercule Poirot, #10)
  • Three Act Tragedy (Hercule Poirot, #11)

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“He laughs best who laughs at the end.” 37 likes
“You surprise me, Hastings. Do you not know that all celebrated detectives have brothers who would be even more celebrated than they are were it not for constitutional indolence?” 6 likes
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