Kinga's Reviews > And Then There Were None

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
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's review
Sep 18, 12

Read from May 27 to 31, 2011

Before I begin I would like to apologise for my use of the N word in this review.
It is necessary, I promise.

This book was originally published in UK under a charming title of "Ten Little Niggers". When it came to the US version in the 40's someone decided that 'Ten Little Niggers' is not the most marketable title for a book so they changed it to 'Ten Little Indians' (as it was still ok to call Native Americans Indians then).
Only years after someone decided that neither 'Niggers', nor 'Indians' is a fortunate choice of words for the title so it was changed to 'And Then There Were None' - the last line of the nursery rhyme which in this new version was called 'Ten Boy Soldiers'.

This is the version that I read and I must say I am glad. I think I would be rather uncomfortable reading something called 'The Little Niggers', which takes place on 'Nigger Island' (how did Christie want to pull this off? 'Nigger Island' off the Devon coast? Really? How?).

The premise, I am sure you know, is this: ten people end up cut off from the world on a tiny island. One of them is a murderer and people keep dying as in the nursery rhyme. Every person on the island has a secret and is guilty of a murder. It's the kind of murder where law is helpless. Nothing can be proven. This is why they found themselves on that island, at the mercy of a prototype 'Jigsaw' madman who decided justice must be done.

The premise requires the structure of the novel to be very organised and clean cut. I felt that it was only right for me to approach the reading of it in an equally disciplined way. I took five sheets of papers and divide each in half, thus ending up with ten cards, one for each character.

And I continued to dilligently fill them out with all the details I learnt about the characters until about halfway through the book when I became too engrossed, frightened and nervous. I already had an inkling as to who the murderer was and was petrified I would be murdered in my sleep as well. The situation was very serious and I had to invite all my teddy bears back to my bed, so they could protect me.

I grew to like two of the characters - the sentiment, I think, I shared with Christie as she liked them so, she killed them last.

This was my second Christie, and the first proper one. The first one I read was a bit of a mishap spy novel, so Christie's brilliance wasn't as apparent as it was in 'And Then There Were None'.

4.5 stars

PS> Thanks to karen I have just found this page - betterbooktitles

And here is their take on Ms Christie:
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Reading Progress

05/28/2011 page 50
19.0% "Ok. I need to start making notes."

Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 new)

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Cydni Perkins I had no idea how censored it was! I was excited to find an old copy entitled "Ten Little Indians," which I thought was the original title. As for the N word, I understand that the British during this time period used it very casually to mean anybody who wasn't white. It may not have been the loaded word it is now, in America. America and Britain have different swear words. I've heard that "Bloody" is the very worst word you can say over there, whereas in America it sound quaint and silly. So I want to give Ms. Christie the benefit of the doubt on this one. Maybe it just didn't have the same meaning in 1930's Britain that is does here and now.

Leerah I felt the same way! As I was reading the book I was so scared! You would have thought I was reading a horror book.

message 3: by René (new)

René "she liked them so, she killed them last" - didn't Arnold Schwarzenegger (oops sorry, used the n-word) say that in a movie?

message 4: by Jonfaith (new)

Jonfaith Christopher Hitchens addresses Christie's anti-semiticism in his memoir Hitch-22; I am not sure if that is germane to her being nonchalant about dropping slurs at every turn.

Enjoyable review. I've seen the film.

Jessica T. I love this review!! I only read half because I just started the book ...

Kinga Thanks! I don't reveal much, but, yes, it's always better read the review afterwards :)

message 7: by Motasem (new) - added it

Motasem Great review !!

message 8: by Diane (new)

Diane Thank you for the history lesson, interesting!

Cynthia Chen I can relate to your review. I was so scared while reading the book late at night in bed. I was afraid someone would kill me in bed too.

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