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The Big Four (Hercule Poirot #5)

3.61  ·  Rating Details ·  18,973 Ratings  ·  1,130 Reviews
A Poirot classic superbly read by Hugh Fraser. Beautiful new packaging with stunning cover designs. When put all together these create a fantastic collection of audio spine by spine...
Unknown Binding, 5 pages
Published February 1st 2003 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published January 27th 1927)
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Jun 24, 2015 Jo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 17, 2008 Kim rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Laurel Young
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
Aug 25, 2011 John rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Harish 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
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
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
Moira Fogarty
Jul 26, 2012 Moira Fogarty rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
May 27, 2013 Evgeny rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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.
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.
Sep 06, 2014 Lina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sarah Samir
Nov 03, 2014 Sarah Samir rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
هيريكيول بوارو .. رجل عظيم من ابتكار امرأه عظيمه

اعجبتنى الروايه جدااااااا وبوارو الشخصيه الذكيه الرائعه
عقليه فريده ومميزه .. وهذا الذكاء هو جزء من ذكاء الرائعه اغاثا كريستي

اعتقد انى لن اتوقف عن القراءه لها .. تستحق اكثر من خمس نجوم بكثير
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 (:
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.
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.
Lady Studland
Agatha Christie wrote this in 1927 and if the name Hercule Poirot hadn't been on every page, I'd have suspected this was written by Arthur Conan Doyle. It was more like a Sherlock Holmes novel. This is not to say that it wasn't good - it was. But I am not as fascinated by the international spy stories as I am with English country house mysteries so this one is not as highly rated. I will say that I suspect Ian Fleming was influenced by Agatha Christie because the bad guys in this book reminded m ...more
Not one of the best, but still good! :-)
Raghad Frehat
ليس هناك كلمة تعبر عن مدى روعة هذه الرواية..
لا يحتاج ان اصف كم هي رائعة اساسا لاننا جميعا نعرف اذا كانت اجاثا كريستي هي صاحبة الكتاب فلن يندم احد على قرائته
Ali AlShewail
May 25, 2016 Ali AlShewail rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ali by: Raghad Ferhat

اه نسيت اقولكم كمان انها


ولع الدنيا يا بوارووووووووووووو :D
May 09, 2016 Amy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: who-dunnit
This was not the best Poirot novel. It's storyline was far too grand and epic in scope to be covered in less than 200 pages. Instead of charming, it just seemed baffling. Poirot is good, but this book made him out to be clairvoyant in his ability to guess EVERYTHING correctly. It wasn't a horrible book, but I hope this isn't an indication of how the stories will continue!
مجموعة غامضة من اربعة اشخاص تخطط لفرض سيطرتها على العالم ..." الاول هو لى شاينج مى قائد صينى عبقرى فى الاجرام (العقل) ... الثانى هو ملياردير امريكى ( المال) ..الثالث :. امرأة فرنسية , عالمة فى مجال ال ذرة (العلم) .... الرابع هو رجل انجليزى ..ممثل بريطانى معتزل محترف فى التخفى والقتل ( المدمر ) ...م"

تبدو هذه المجموعة الغامضة جيدة لنسج قصة بوليسية ممتعة .حولها....فهل كانت الرواية كذلك ؟.
الحق ان هذه الرواية هى الاضعف من بين السلسلة الشهيرة التى ابهرت بها اجاثا العالم كله على مدار قرن كامل
David Schaafsma
If you are looking into reading one Christie/Poirot book to check out what they are like, you can't choose this one. This has to be one of Christie's worst efforts, a "departure," though only her fifth Poirot book. Maybe calling it an experiment wold work, though that would be generous. I looked into background about the book and I learned that in this year Christie's mother died and she discovered her husband was having an affair, so their marriage was ending. She was as a result strapped for c ...more
Burçak Kılıç
Jul 28, 2016 Burçak Kılıç rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Çok zekice kurgulanmış bir kitap yine..
Sadece dili çok ağır geliyor bana ondan puan kırdım. Tabi çıktığı döneme göre normaldir belki ama beni sıktı biraz.
Bir de Poirot, şu Hasting'i bu kadar salak yerine koymasa iyi olur :D Gerçi onun da karakteri çok zeki değil ama yine de üzülüyorum :D
Andrei Bădică
Sep 17, 2016 Andrei Bădică rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Continui să citesc cărți scrise de Agatha.Îmi plac!
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  • Agatha Christie and the Eleven Missing Days
  • The Brading Collection (Miss Silver, #17)
  • Agatha Christie: A Biography
  • Agatha Christie
  • Death of a Fool (Roderick Alleyn, #19)
  • The Scoop and Behind the Screen
  • Death of a Ghost (Albert Campion Mystery #6)
  • The Case of the Drowning Duck
  • In the Best Families (Nero Wolfe, #17)
  • The Hunter: A Detective Takako Otomichi Mystery
  • The Murder at the Vicarage
  • The Mystery of the Stuttering Parrot (Alfred Hitchcock and The Three Investigators, #2)
  • The Grass Widow's Tale (Felse, #7)
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 39 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.” 40 likes
“He dragged me back - just in time. A tree had crashed down on to the side walk, just missing us. Poirot stared at it, pale and upset.
"It was a near thing that! But clumsy, all the same - for I had no suspicion - at least hardly any suspicion. Yes, but for my quick eyes, the eyes of a cat, Hercule Poirot might now be crushed out of existence - a terrible calamity for the world. And you, too, mon ami - though that would not be such a national catastrophe."
"Thank you," I said coldly.”
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