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The Big Four

(Hercule Poirot #5)

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  26,136 ratings  ·  1,731 reviews
Framed in the doorway of Poirot's bedroom stood an uninvited guest, coated from head to foot in dust. The man's gaunt face stared for a moment, then he swayed and fell.

Who was he? Was he suffering from shock or just exhaustion? Above all, what was the significance of the figure 4, scribbled over and over again on a sheet of paper? Poirot finds himself plunged into a world
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Paperback, Agatha Christie Signature Edition, 272 pages
Published 2002 by HarperCollinsPublishers (first published January 27th 1927)
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John
Aug 24, 2011 rated it it was ok
This is a weird one. Apparently (I looked this up, because the book was so weird) Christie wrote a series of short stories about Poirot for some magazine and these stories were mashed together into this book. You can sort of tell that something like this is up, because the mashing didn't work all that well and things still seem a little disjointed.
But really, the main problem here is that Poirot is fighting a team of supervillains, and he uses disguises and smoke bombs and has to find their sec
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Fiona
Once upon a time, Agatha Christie stayed up way too late, drank her way through three bottles of Chardonnay and watched a Sean Connery James Bond film. As she was going to bed, some time about 3am, her eyes rested for a moment on her typewriter. I would not be in the least surprised if that was all she remembered about this book. For shame, Agatha. This is exactly the same reason I'm not allowed whisky and Twitter on the same evening any more.
Adrian
Now apparently (allegedly ?) this book was a "mash-up" of short stories that ended up as a novel, and some people have criticised the book for that very fact. Personally if I hadn't been told this "fact" I wouldn't have guessed, although, it is set out as a series of little mysteries. I quite liked this format as I lived with the progression of the overall storyline, as Hastings and Poirot battled the Big Four through a series of adventures.

Strangely I had never read this book before, I don't kn
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Kim
Jun 17, 2008 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Susan
Jun 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel was published in 1927. It follows, “The Murder of Roger Ackroyd,” and it also followed Christie’s notorious eleven day disappearance; an event which haunted her all her life. Devastated by the death of her mother, and the breakdown of her marriage, her brother in law suggested that she re-work some short stories, previously published in “The Sketch,” an American magazine. Due to the publicity surrounding her disappearance, “The Big Four,” was a huge success – much more so than, “The M ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
The big four (Hercule Poirot #5), 1927, Agatha Christie
The Big Four is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie, first published in the UK by William Collins & Sons on 27 January 1927 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company later in the same year. It features Hercule Poirot, Arthur Hastings, and Inspector (later, Chief Inspector) Japp. The UK edition retailed at seven shillings and six pence and the US edition at $2.00.
تاریخ نخستین خوانش: هجدهم سپتامبر سال 2011 میلادی
عنوان: چهار غول بز
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BrokenTune
Jul 02, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed
‘But Poirot— why?’

This is possibly the most appropriate quotation I can choose to describe the book.

The Big Four has one of the silliest plots of Christie's books which is based on Poirot and Hastings engaging in international crime and espionage - much in the same way that Holmes and Watson do,just in a more believable way. Where Holmes is reserved enough to carry off disguises and under-cover work, Poirot's flamboyance has him stick out like a sore thumb all over the place, and Christie's att
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Jokoloyo
Jan 13, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book is a weird Hercule Poirot story. Not the usual mystery murder of a person from the upper class members of society. More like a thriller or a quicker pace mystery of Sherlock Holmes. What do you think about a story where Hercule Poirot against a crime organisation that aim for worldly power? If that premise is not bothering you, please proceed.

I could still give it a three star until the middle part. Alas, the ending is not so satisfying. Without spoiler, that's all I can say for now.

No
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Poonam
Jan 02, 2017 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars
This being the 5th book in the Poirot series is very different from any other Poirot book or in fact different to any other Christie book that I have read till date.

Instead of a cozy setting of a house, village or hand few of suspicious people with multiple red herrings, this is about an International Gang - Big Four . This famous gang comprises of 4 people and we know the identity of one of the members right away.

We come to know the identity of the remaining members as and when the st
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zahra haji
يعود هيستنغز إلى بريطانيا بعد غياب طويل ليفاجأ عند وصوله باستعداد بوارو
للسفر إلى البرازيل بمهمة سيجني من ورائها ثروة طائلة إلا أن وصول هارب
من مصح عقلي بحالة عجيبة يحول دون إتمام السفر وتغيير الخطة لتتحول جهود
بوارو وخلاياه الرمادية لحل لغز منظمة خطيرة متعددة الجنسيات تحاول الهيمنة
على العالم وتقف وراء العديد من الجرائم وتستمر محاولات بوارو للإيقاع بالمنظمة
شهور عديدة بمساعدة هيستنغز والمفتش جاب
غرور بوارو وسخريته من صديقه بأعلى الدرجات هنا.. أما أسلوب الرواية
والأحداث والحبكة العجيبة توحي وكأن
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Erin
2.75 stars

Book #4 in my Agatha Christie Challenge

Disclaimer: My local library had a very old copy of this title and so I spent a lot of time trying to find the exact cover, so this edition while not exactly the cover of my copy is the correct publishing company and amount of pages.


Prior to beginning this read, I couldn't help but notice that several readers were less than thrilled about Hercule Poiriot in this conspiracy theory type mystery. Although I agree that it is far from the masterpiec
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David Schaafsma
If you are looking into reading one Christie/Poirot book to check out what they are like, don't choose this one. This has to be one of Christie's worst efforts, a "departure," though only her fifth Poirot book. Maybe calling it an experiment would work, though that would be generous. I looked into background about the book and I learned that in this year Christie's mother died and she discovered her husband was having an affair, so their marriage was ending. She was as a result strapped for cash ...more
Laurel Young
Sep 27, 2010 rated it it was ok
I love the fact that Agatha Christie was always experimenting with new ways of writing mysteries, rather than resting on her considerable laurels. By 1927 she had already written such masterpieces as The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, so I have no doubt that The Big Four was an intentional departure from her previous work. Unfortunately, it is not one of her more successful efforts. An adventure story doesn't play to her strengths at all. The Big Four is one cliche after another, with Poirot and Hasti ...more
Andrei Bădică
Sep 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Continui să citesc cărți scrise de Agatha.Îmi plac!
Evgeny
Nov 01, 2012 rated it did not like it
Before the review I just want to ask a couple of questions. What was The Queen of Mystery smoking? It this stuff still available in 21st century?

On to the review: the only reason I can justify the existence of this abomination is that it is a parody (I hope it is) of Sherlock Holmes vs. Prof. Moriarty duel of wits. Basically, there is an international crime cartel led by 4 people the last of whom is a ruthless killer whose identity is unknown. It is up to Poirot and Hastings to track him down.
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Sophia
B.R.A.CE. 2018 4 βιβλία με διαφορετικούς ντετέκτιβ (3/4)

Παροδοχές:
1. Είναι το πρώτο βιβλίο με ήρωα τον Πουαρώ που διαβάζω
2. Είναι το τρίτο βιβλίο της Agatha Christie που διαβάζω
3. Έχω επηρεαστεί ήδη από την τηλεοπτική απεικόνιση του
4. Δεν τον συμπαθώ τον Πουαρώ, είναι υπερόπτης
5. Η μετάφραση είχε αρκετές αστοχίες
6. Κάποιες σελίδες της έκδοσης αυτής ήταν μπρος πίσω, αλλού ντ’ αλλού

Γενικότερες σκέψεις:
Δεν μου αρέσει όταν τα μυστήρια / εγκλήματα λύνονται από κάποια τυχαία παρατήρηση, συγκυρία,
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أَحْمَد
مجموعة غامضة من اربعة اشخاص تخطط لفرض سيطرتها على العالم ..." الاول هو لى شاينج مى قائد صينى عبقرى فى الاجرام (العقل) ... الثانى هو ملياردير امريكى ( المال) ..الثالث :. امرأة فرنسية , عالمة فى مجال ال ذرة (العلم) .... الرابع هو رجل انجليزى ..ممثل بريطانى معتزل محترف فى التخفى والقتل ( المدمر ) ...م"

تبدو هذه المجموعة الغامضة جيدة لنسج قصة بوليسية ممتعة .حولها....فهل كانت الرواية كذلك ؟.
الحق ان هذه الرواية هى الاضعف من بين السلسلة الشهيرة التى ابهرت بها اجاثا العالم كله على مدار قرن كامل
الرواية
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Roman Clodia
Jun 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Christie goes down a James Bond-esque route with a sinister international organisation aiming at world domination and with an all-powerful death ray at their disposal - luckily, though, we have Hastings and Poirot in our corner who, with no more than ze little grey cells, a sprinkling of aniseed on the shoes (so that bloodhounds can track them, you see) and some up-and-at-'em attitude manage to foil every dastardly plot and restore world peace - phew!

So... not one of Christie's best though there
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Moira Fogarty
Jul 19, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: mystery
I hesitate to use the word "awful" in association with the Queen of Crime, but this is a bad egg. Penned (some say ghost-written) during Dame Agatha's worst year: In 1926, her mother died and her husband told her he was in love with another woman and wanted a divorce.

No wonder she was off her game, poor dear.

Originally published in serial format, this cluster of overblown spy adventures should never have featured portly, inactive Poirot & clueless Hastings as the heroes. They just don't fit
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An Odd1
Apr 15, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Decided disappointment - or meant to be taken in fun? The plot shapes up like an impossible farce. The conspirators plan to rule the world. "Number One" is the unseen brains, Chinese Li Chang Yen. "Two" is multimillionaire American Soap King Abe Ryland. "Three" is idolized brilliant Parisian chemist Mme Olivier. Their assassin "Number Four" is young actor Claud Darell. Or is he? are they?

The elusive Four litters the landscape with corpses as an author's device to add yet another disguise. Capta
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Mmyoung
Aug 14, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christie, mystery
A great disappointment after the skillful and inventive The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. The Big Four barely holds together as a book. Indeed it may not be said to have a plot at all. Instead it is a series of vignettes that are tied together with the loosest of bindings. I presume what Christie was aiming for was a romp such as she had provided in several of her earlier books but this time with Poirot and Hastings at the center of the story. But instead of a romp she delivered a book that lacks bot ...more
Susan
Jul 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: who-dunnit
2.75*
Possibly the worst Agatha Christie I’ve ever read.
It started out ok, but went downhill quickly.....very disappointing.
Aravena
Di awal kariernya, novel misteri Agatha Christie bisa digolongkan jadi dua kelompok besar: jenis pembunuhan ruang tertutup (biasanya menampilkan detektif non-konvensional seperti Hercule Poirot dan Jane Marple), dan jenis petualangan/thriller bertema spionase (menampilkan pasangan Tommy & Tuppence Beresford, maupun tokoh-tokoh petualang wanita yang lincah seperti Bundle Brent dan Anne Beddingfield). Menurut pendapat umum (*yang saya setujui), judul Christie yang terbaik berasal dari golongan ...more
Tim
Jan 19, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
What the hell did I just read?

See that rating? That's a one star rating. Had you asked me a week ago I would have said that Christie did not write one star books. Sure some are of much lesser quality, but one star seems rather much. Had this book been written by some other author with some other character it would have possibly been entertainingly bad enough to receive two stars. Here it is an insult to the characters and a bit of a train wreck.

This is bad... like so bad that if feels like it wa
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Pallavi Sharma
Aug 06, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: own, poirot
****2.0*****
_______________

Re-Read in 2017

****3.5****
Fifth in Poirot series, perhaps the least favorite of mine. But re-read has surely increased my ratings.

Plots opens up when a mysterious man is found in Poirot's bedroom. The man is covered up with mud from top to bottom. Poirot and Hastings suspect that he might have entered from the window. He doesn't seem right on his mind but keeps on repeating Poirot's name and Number 4.

On more cross-examination, it comes out that there is an organisation
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حسام خليل
Jan 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
أكثر ما أعجبني فيها هو أن الأحداث تشرح نفسها بطريقة جميلة جداً، لا تحتاج للكثير من التفكير من قبل القارئ وفي نفس الوقت لن تجدها مباشرة أمامك فـ أحياناً قد تضطر لقراءة أحد الفصول مرة أخرى .

يعيبها أن بعض التفاصيل الدقيقة غير قابلة للتصديق بسهولة، لكن بالنهاية هذه رواية ومستحيل أن يكون جميع ما ذُكر فيها صحيحاً وواقعياً 100% .

يعيبها أيضاً أن النهاية لم تكن على مستوى إثارة الأحداث التي مرت بها الرواية النهاية سريعة جداً ورغم انها ليست نهاية مفتوحة لكنها لم تشفي غليلي للأسف .

في النهاية هي مناسبة لمن
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Richard Derus
May 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
Rating: 2* of five

Middling-at-best early 20th century spy fiction short stories.

A melodramatic and ghastly filmed version.

One and only one reason to watch the filmed version is the reunion of Miss Lemon, Japp, Hastings, and Poirot. But get tipsy first because your common sense is about to be done a violence.
3houd
Jul 28, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
رواية بمنتهى السخافة, أسوء قصص أغاثا على الإطلاق.
من خلال بحثي قرأت أن هذه الرواية في الأصل كانت مكتوبة على شكل قصص مغامرات مسلسلة في إحدى المجلات, و في وقت لاحق تم تجميعها في كتاب واحد فأنتجت هذه المهزلة البوليسية.
Farhana
Jun 25, 2018 rated it did not like it
Whenever I read any Best of "xyz" book, I thought all of them are so good, I must read the complete collection. But books like this one would make one feel that the editors of those Best of "xyz" books must be some saint having saved the readers from the clasp of such hocus-pocus and doomed piece of writing :/

I was glad that it had somewhat 18 chapters only instead of 28/30. The writing was totally a mess, incoherent, and poorly drawn. Madame Christie juxtaposed several short stories into this
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Amy
May 04, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: who-dunnit
This was not the best Poirot novel. It's storyline was far too grand and epic in scope to be covered in less than 200 pages. Instead of charming, it just seemed baffling. Poirot is good, but this book made him out to be clairvoyant in his ability to guess EVERYTHING correctly. It wasn't a horrible book, but I hope this isn't an indication of how the stories will continue!
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33,588 followers
Agatha Christie also wrote romance novels under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott, and was occasionally published under the name Agatha Christie Mallowan.

Agatha Christie is the best-selling author of all time. She wrote eighty crime novels and story collections, fourteen plays, and several other books. Her books have sold roughly four billion copies and have been translated into 45 languages. She is t
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Other books in the series

Hercule Poirot (1 - 10 of 41 books)
  • The Mysterious Affair at Styles (Hercule Poirot, #1)
  • The Murder on the Links (Hercule Poirot, #2)
  • Poirot Investigates (Hercule Poirot, #3)
  • The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (Hercule Poirot, #4)
  • The Mystery of the Blue Train (Hercule Poirot, #6)
  • Black Coffee: A Mystery Play in Three Acts (Hercule Poirot, #7)
  • Peril at End House (Hercule Poirot, #8)
  • Lord Edgware Dies (Hercule Poirot, #9)
  • Murder on the Orient Express (Hercule Poirot, #10)
  • Three Act Tragedy (Hercule Poirot, #11)
“He laughs best who laughs at the end.” 45 likes
“He dragged me back - just in time. A tree had crashed down on to the side walk, just missing us. Poirot stared at it, pale and upset.
"It was a near thing that! But clumsy, all the same - for I had no suspicion - at least hardly any suspicion. Yes, but for my quick eyes, the eyes of a cat, Hercule Poirot might now be crushed out of existence - a terrible calamity for the world. And you, too, mon ami - though that would not be such a national catastrophe."
"Thank you," I said coldly.”
11 likes
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