Yngvild's Reviews > Murder is Easy

Murder is Easy by Agatha Christie
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Mar 03, 10

bookshelves: mystery

The most astonishing part of Murder is Easy is how very simple the language is. I put the first few lines through my spell checker and it gave me a Flesh-Kincaid grade level of 3.2, implying that it was suitable for American 8-year olds.
England!

England after many years!

How was he going to like it?

Luke Fitzwilliam asked himself that question as he walked down the gangplank to the dock.

The sentences are extremely short all the way through, and nearly all the words are of Anglo-Saxon origin. With this, Agatha Christie builds a gripping story with a broad range of characters, a complicated plot and a satisfying resolution.

This is why I return to Agatha Christie, especially this story. If she can do so much with a tiny vocabulary and simple syntax, then we have no excuse for writing impenetrable business or technical English. I love Shakespeare, drool over Milton and roll like a happy puppy in Dickens, but each genre has its own virtues. There is as much to admire in a simple story simply told as in all the convoluted polysyllabic adjectival phrases in Henry James.
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