mark monday's Reviews > Sad Cypress

Sad Cypress by Agatha Christie
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Sep 03, 2015

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bookshelves: choose-ur-adventure

Choose Your Own Adventure!

You are on the dock for murder most foul! The awkward thing is that the contemplation of murder is not an unusual topic for you. Your surprisingly extensive knowledge of poison is also a questionable thing. Whatever is a young lady to do? Look to Belgium for succor! A noted botanist of human nature will soon arrive to save the day, and he’ll turn that sad cypress frown upside down. Will you keep your dignity and integrity intact? Or will you admit that sometimes people truly deserve to be slain? Hold firm, young miss, class barriers will soon prove to be no obstacle at all to you – and perhaps all will see that murder is just another way of saying Goodbye!

If you would like to say Hello instead, choose this adventure.

If you would like to continue a life of contemplation amidst a company of magnificent cypress trees, choose this adventure.

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Reading Progress

05/05 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-17 of 17) (17 new)

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message 1: by William1 (new)

William1 If I may ask, with all respect, why do you spend so much time on marginal books? Heres another one: 2 stars. I've always wondered about this, since most of the books you review are 3 stars or less--and it appears (I may be wrong here) that you like so few of them. I guess what I'm asking, esteemed Mark, is what is your esthetic? What do you need from a book? Be well San Franciscan (love that town), William


mark monday interesting question. i had a complicated response i was thinking of, having to do with my love of genre fiction that butts up against my love for actual writing ability and i suppose literariness... but then i realized it just may be a matter of perception. i definitely use '3 stars' in the way that Goodreads defines it (as opposed to how most GR members use it)... meaning, "I Liked It". 3 stars, for me, means i genuinely liked it, it was not a waste of time and there were enjoyable things about it, and i would probably recommend it to the right person.

i just checked my profile, and my average rating is 3.11... which, to my logic, means that i like most of the books i've read! in one way or another.


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

Have you tried Borges, Mark?


mark monday only the popular favorite Ficciones... it was, predictably, a rather amazing experience. a lot to digest. but i also remember it being surprisingly sly at times. definitely deserves a re-read, since that was many years back.

and you?


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

Yes, everything. The stories, the essays, the poems. His work was consciousness raising for me. Michael Crichton always intrigued but never satisfied. Borges took everything to a new level of intrigue and satisfaction that never exhausts itself.


mark monday never thought i'd see Michael Crichton & Borges in the same paragraph!


message 7: by [deleted user] (last edited Jun 13, 2012 06:11PM) (new)

You know that Borges was known for his groundbreaking combination of genre fiction and highbrow literature, right? Pretty sure he mentions Agatha Christie in some of his work. That's why I mention Crichton. Or maybe, closer to Christie, the pre-Da Vinci Code type works that I liked in the 90's: "The Day After Tomorrow" by Alan Folsom and "The Genesis Code" by John Case. There was a recent work by Case that I picked up because it was intriguing and easy to read but by the end I couldn't possibly give it more than two stars. I think "The Last Werewolf" takes a lot of inspiration from Borges, like so many NYTRB-endorsed books today, but it just doesn't have the same encyclopedic knowledge or "spirit" of Borges.


mark monday ah! actually, i did not know that. makes a lot of sense.

i remember The Day After Tomorrow. heh. i remember not finishing it!

hey have you read Angela Carter? not sure why i'm reminded of her right now, but she is a favorite, and has certainly done her work with genre as well. particularly fairy tales.


message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

Never heard of Carter.

The Day After Tomorrow had a stunning final page for my 14 year old mind.


message 10: by mark (new) - rated it 3 stars

mark monday spoil it for me now! seriously. i'm curious.

never heard of Angela Carter? you have to check her out. she's a wondrous writer. here are some of her classics:

The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories
The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman
The Passion of New Eve
Heroes and Villains
The Sadeian Woman: And the Ideology of Pornography


message 11: by [deleted user] (last edited Jun 13, 2012 06:45PM) (new)

Adolf Hitler's cryogenically frozen head rolls off a cliff.


message 12: by mark (new) - rated it 3 stars

mark monday wow. okay!


Debbie Which Angela Carter book would you suggest for a first read, Mark?


message 14: by mark (new) - rated it 3 stars

mark monday hmmm... I'd say start with The Bloody Chamber. try a few stories out, see if you like her style. she's one of my favorite authors but her dark themes and stylized prose is definitely not for everyone.

it was fun re-reading this thread years later! I am trying to remember who [deleted user] was and it has been an interesting memory puzzle. I can picture his profile pic - a bearded younger guy drinking a big stein of beer - and I can remember arguments he had with a couple reviewers over in-crowds and group-think on Goodreads. I can even remember his super sexual review of The Last Werewolf and that he had been broken up with recently and that made him sad and also sort of angry at women in general. I can remember all of those things and yet I can't remember his name.


message 15: by mark (new) - rated it 3 stars

mark monday I remember his name: Justin! wish he hadn't deleted his account.


Debbie I wonder why this thread popped up on my home page today. Did you re-read Sad Cypress or something? Too bad about Justin. I'm the same with memories...I can even remember people's phone numbers from college thirty years ago, but not what I had for lunch yesterday. haha!
Yeah, I'll put The Bloody Chamber on my list, thanks!


message 17: by mark (new) - rated it 3 stars

mark monday a helpful person messaged me to say that the second link was broken, so I updated it... although I'm pretty sure I un-clicked the 'add to my update feed' box, so I'm not sure why it would have appeared...


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