Sus's Reviews > Cards on the Table

Cards on the Table by Agatha Christie
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's review
Dec 15, 2010

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Read in December, 2010

The fourth Christie book I'm reading.

I dunno, I guess I should have been warned by the title, but so far for my taste this thing has far too much bridge in it. I don't know how to play bridge. I'm not sure I want to learn, even in order to make more sense of this book, which means the story is not sparkling quite as much as I wish it would. I have to admit this doesn't make me feel particularly optimistic about Murder on the Links.

Also, I miss Hastings. I know he's just a straight man, but Poirot is kind of too much without him. You can't understand why people don't just punch him all the time.

Also also, "Shaitana"? Dame Christie, please.

Also also also, I haven't yet decided whether I love or hate Ariadne Oliver. (She's very interesting -- this self-reflexivity in what I think of as a generic mystery story. It kind of makes me want to begin interrogating, you know, genre, or reflexivity, or something. Also, this is an incredibly interesting time for feminism and women's writing, and Oliver's weird, tonally confusing interpolation into the story are -- surprisingly, for such a superficially broad character -- loaded with ambiguous and suggestive possibilities of meaning. Elsewhere in London, Virginia Woolf had published A Room of One's Own just seven years before. Anyway, I'm sure a ton has been written on this; I may take the time to look it up, at some point, when I'm not otherwise occupied reading mysteries for fun.)

ETA: Well, it gets a lot more interesting toward the end, I admit. Still, I think it drags in the middle. And I don't like bridge. And Mr. Shaitana is very implausible. And Poirot isn't as interesting or personable as he needs to be, I think.

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Quotes Sus Liked

Agatha Christie
“I'm not the head of Scotland Yard," said Mrs. Oliver, retreating from dangerous ground. "I'm a private individual -"

"Oh, you're not that," said Rhoda, confusedly complimentary.”
Agatha Christie, Cards on the Table
tags: humor

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