Eric Skillman's Reviews > And Then There Were None

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
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's review
Aug 21, 2007

really liked it
Read in February, 2007

An incredibly exciting mystery—even though this basic structure has been ripped off a thousand times since the book's original publication, you still never quite know what's going to happen next.

It's marred only slightly by it's racist backstory, which is fascinating in itself: I was vaguely aware of the book's previous existence as "Ten Little Indians," hanging as it does on the children's rhyme of the same name. That's been excised for this edition, replaced by "Ten Little Soldier Boys," which is a fairly innocuous change, (though "Soldier Island"—because of a rocky cliff that "looks like the profile of a soldier"—is somewhat less convincing), since there was never anything about that rhyme or the plot that had anything to do with any racial group—it was only ever superficially racist. However, did you know that the original title of the book (and, presumably, the nursery rhyme) was "Ten Little N*ggers"? Shocking enough to think of that as a child's rhyme, but what's most amazing to me is that whenever they finally realized that title was just wrong, the solution was to change it to "Indians"? Kinda sort-sighted there, early PC-police...
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Jill Well we do call ourselves Indians. I have yet to meet a "Native American" who never uses the term "Indian."

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