Amalia Gavea's Reviews > Murder on the Orient Express

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
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it was amazing
bookshelves: british-literature, crime, favorites, historical-fiction, mystery, tv-series, united-kingdom

‘’Some crimes God does not forgive!’’

Last week, I watched (for the gazillionth time…) ITV’s 2010 production of ‘’Murder on the Orient Express’’ with the inimitable David Suchet in the role of our beloved Hercule Poirot and it prompted certain thoughts in my mind. Why is this considered one of Christie’s finest creations? Many say that, arguably, it is her best work and this view I do share.

I don’t think any of us need a synopsis. To say the story is well-known would be an understatement. Even people who haven’t read the book know of the outstanding outcome and the resolution of, possibly, the most controversial murder (but is it a ‘’crime’’?) in Christie’s marvellous works. So what is it that makes this novel by the Lady of Crime so iconic and a point of reference?

Is is the exceptional cast of characters, each one battling with the demons of the past? Is it the wintry atmosphere? The intense feeling of claustrophobia, of being trapped in a train, within a snowstorm, in a foreign country with a dead body lying in a compartment? Or is it the absolute, ultimate questioning of the moral values we have come to adopt? What is right and wrong? When injustice isn’t punished, to what extent can we bend the human limits? God and Law can’t always protect us...Here, Hercule discovers that his little grey cells are only a small part of the solution. It is his heart that has to do the rest.

This is a jewel not only of Crime Fiction, but of Literature in general, regardless of the genre. A work that doesn’t ask the reader to think of the ‘’who has done it’’ question, but to contemplate on the ‘’what would you have done’’ issue. And as for me, I fully agree with Greta Ohlsson. Some crimes God doesn’t forgive….

My reviews can be found in: https://theopinionatedreaderblog.word...
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Reading Progress

October 1, 2017 – Shelved
October 1, 2017 – Shelved as: british-literature
October 1, 2017 – Shelved as: crime
October 1, 2017 – Shelved as: favorites
October 1, 2017 – Shelved as: historical-fiction
October 1, 2017 – Shelved as: mystery
October 1, 2017 – Shelved as: tv-series
October 1, 2017 – Shelved as: united-kingdom
Started Reading
October 2, 2017 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-39 of 39 (39 new)

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message 1: by Jaline (new) - added it

Jaline Great questions and observations, Amalia! I read most of Agatha Christie's works many years ago, and one of my goals for next year is to make my way through them again. I am sure there is much I have forgotten - or will now have a completely different perspective on.


Amalia Gavea Jaline wrote: "Great questions and observations, Amalia! I read most of Agatha Christie's works many years ago, and one of my goals for next year is to make my way through them again. I am sure there is much I ha..."

Thank you so much, Jaline. Yes, many people believe that Agatha wrot excellent mysteries and the story ended there, but there is such a psychological and social wealth in her novels that are far from superficial thrillers. Unlike the mysteries of our times which are all practically the same boring stuff with different front covers...


message 3: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Great review, Amalia! I still haven't read a Christie yet *hangs head in shame*.


message 4: by Jaline (new) - added it

Jaline Amalia, as you know I have also been reading Josephine Tey, Patricia Wentworth, and Dorothy L. Sayers the past several months. I have discovered the same thing with those authors: they wrote mysteries, yes; but they were not cranking out light entertainment. As you said, there is a wealth of psychological and social commentary that bubbles up through the stories to great effect. And - each one is different!! I am in awe of all these women, Agatha Christie included, of course. :)


message 5: by Deanna (new)

Deanna Awesome review, Amalia!!


ατζινάβωτο φέγι. Συμφωνώ σε όλα τα σημεία μαζι σου. Η Κριστι αλλα και γενικα η αστυνομική λογοτεχνία υποτιμούνται. Δεν είναι μονο το ηθικα και κοινωνικα ζητηματα που τιθενται. Ειναι η τεχνη του να φτιαχνεις ενα μυστηριο απο το μηδεν με ολα τα ψυχολογικα στοιχεια που είνα απαραίτητα. Σου δινει μια νεα οπτικη για το που μπορει να φτασει το ανθρωπινο μυαλο.


message 7: by Candi (new) - added it

Candi Excellent review, Amalia! I read this too long ago - it certainly deserves a re-read one of these days :)


PorshaJo Awesome review Amalia! I love this one too. A great Christie read. I've watched the movie tons of times also. I'm so disappointed that they are remaking this one....the original is a classic (in my mind).


message 9: by Netta (new)

Netta Awesome review, Amalia! To me The Orient Express kind of stories is mostly about being trapped and the outcome of being trapped. If the writing is good I treat it not as a whodunit but more like an exploration of human nature - a writer isolates a specimen (or a few) and dissects it.


Amalia Gavea Melissa wrote: "Great review, Amalia! I still haven't read a Christie yet *hangs head in shame*."

Thank you so much, Melissa! Oh, I haven't read most of her Miss Marple series, but I intend to do so this winter. I've always thought that winter time is excellent for reading Agatha's work:)


Amalia Gavea Jaline wrote: "Amalia, as you know I have also been reading Josephine Tey, Patricia Wentworth, and Dorothy L. Sayers the past several months. I have discovered the same thing with those authors: they wrote myster..."

I fully agree. A mystery has to trace back the weaknesses and the emotional turmoil of the perpetrator and the victim, otherwise it's a soap-opera with murders....


Amalia Gavea Deanna wrote: "Awesome review, Amalia!!"

Thank you so much, Deanna!


Amalia Gavea Reckoner wrote: "Συμφωνώ σε όλα τα σημεία μαζι σου. Η Κριστι αλλα και γενικα η αστυνομική λογοτεχνία υποτιμούνται. Δεν είναι μονο το ηθικα και κοινωνικα ζητηματα που τιθενται. Ειναι η τεχνη του να φτιαχνεις ενα μυσ..."

Συμφωνώ απόλυτα. Και δυστυχώς οι δημιουργίες που πλασάρονται (για να το πώ κυνικά) στην εποχή μας ως ''αστυνομική λογοτεχνία'' είναι κάτω του μετρίου, με μερικές φωτεινές εξαιρέσεις. Ακόμη και σημερινά ''μυστήρια'' από τη Σκανδιναβία κάπου καταλήγουν λίγο παρωχημένα. Πολλές φορές, νομίζω πως διαβάζω το ίδιο και το ίδιο βιβλίο με άλλο εξώφυλλο.


Amalia Gavea Candi wrote: "Excellent review, Amalia! I read this too long ago - it certainly deserves a re-read one of these days :)"

Thank you so much, Candi! Yes, autumn and winter certainly call for a good mystery!


Amalia Gavea PorshaJo wrote: "Awesome review Amalia! I love this one too. A great Christie read. I've watched the movie tons of times also. I'm so disappointed that they are remaking this one....the original is a classic (in my..."

Thank you so much, PorshaJo! I couldn't agree more with you. Both the 1974 and the 2010 versions are masterpieces, though I confess a small preference to the 2010 TV film because -for me- David Suchet IS Poirot. Oh, the remake....don't get me started:) Only last night I saw some photos on the Internet and I was beyond furious. I mean, did you see Branagh's mustache? Killing every Shakesperean play at hand isn't enough for him, apparently. He has to butcher Poirot as well....


Amalia Gavea Netta wrote: "Awesome review, Amalia! To me The Orient Express kind of stories is mostly about being trapped and the outcome of being trapped. If the writing is good I treat it not as a whodunit but more like an..."

Thank you s much, Netta! You said it perfectly, this is the heart and the worth of a true, well-structured mystery. It has to speak to the reader's heart and mind. Christie definitely succeeded in doing this.


Konstantin Great review, Amalia! Love this one as well, just perhaps not as much as you do... The fact that Christie weaved all the house staff, servants and friends into - you know whom - was a little bit too convenient for me. Still, this novel has the depth many of her other works lack, and it is atmospheric, intriguing and even morally questionable. P.S. I adore David Suchet series, possibly even more than the books. When you said "gazzilionth..." I couldn't help myself but agree! I've lost my count after seven. The trailer for this new movie is crappy, cast of characters is fine but nothing really excellent. Actor who plays Poirot has awful mustaches (and I just can't forgive that!) and Judi Dench is SO not Princess Dragomiroff...


Lindsay - Traveling Sister Wow - I love your review Amalia! I've wanted to read this for so long. I need to get my hands on a copy ASAP!! Sounds so good! I'm glad you loved it! Wonderful review! 😊


Amalia Gavea MravaWishes wrote: "Great review, Amalia! Love this one as well, just perhaps not as much as you do... The fact that Christie weaved all the house staff, servants and friends into - you know whom - was a little bit to..."

Amen! I absolutely agree! As you said, the moral dilemmas that drive this novel forward are what makes it so special in the hearts of the readers.

David Suchet is perfection in everything but as Poirot? Oh, he simply worked wonders. You said it perfectly, he took some of the mediocre novels of Christie and elevated them to greatness (along with the skillful writers of the TV series, of course). Peter Ustinov was great, but Suchet was phenomenal. Now, Kenneth Branagh? I may be in the minority, but I cannot stand him. Both as an actor and as a director. To satisfy his own ''vision'', he destroys everything that is the heart and spirit of Shakespeare (with a few exceptions) but as Poirot he is bound to be horrible. I mean, where do you go with this kind of mustache? And Judi Dench is all well and good, but she hasn't got the aristocratic, Russian aura that the part requires (in my opinion,of course) and that Eileen Atkins had to perfection.

This was a rant, but I am sensitive in adaptation issues... :)


Amalia Gavea Lindsay wrote: "Wow - I love your review Amalia! I've wanted to read this for so long. I need to get my hands on a copy ASAP!! Sounds so good! I'm glad you loved it! Wonderful review! 😊"

Thank you so much, Lindsay! I am really looking forward to your thoughts once you read it. It is my absolute favourite Poirot novel:)


PorshaJo Amalia wrote: "PorshaJo wrote: "Awesome review Amalia! I love this one too. A great Christie read. I've watched the movie tons of times also. I'm so disappointed that they are remaking this one....the original is..."

Oh I don't know the 2010 tv version but I'm going to see it out now. But the movie version coming out....I will *never* watch it. I don't understand why they have to try and remake something so good and end up ruining it. And I'm with you on Branagh. Never been a fan.


message 22: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Carter Fantastic review Amalia x


Amalia Gavea PorshaJo wrote: "Amalia wrote: "PorshaJo wrote: "Awesome review Amalia! I love this one too. A great Christie read. I've watched the movie tons of times also. I'm so disappointed that they are remaking this one......."

I couldn't have said it better, PorshaJo!!


Amalia Gavea Rebecca wrote: "Fantastic review Amalia x"

Thank you so much, Rebecca!


Julie One of my favorites! Great review, Amalia!!


Amalia Gavea Julie wrote: "One of my favorites! Great review, Amalia!!"

Thank you so much, Julie!


Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin Fab review hon 💕😊. I'm glad you loved it too!


Amalia Gavea Melissa ♥ Dog Lover ♥ wrote: "Fab review hon 💕😊. I'm glad you loved it too!"

Thank you so much, Melissa!! It is one of my comfort reads, actually:)


Melisa Love your review🙌


message 30: by Susan (new)

Susan Oh my gosh! A flashback! I read this book soo many years ago when I was on an Agatha Christie bender. Your review brings back such good memories!


Amalia Gavea Melisa wrote: "Love your review🙌"

Thank you so much, Melisa!


Amalia Gavea Susan wrote: "Oh my gosh! A flashback! I read this book soo many years ago when I was on an Agatha Christie bender. Your review brings back such good memories!"

Thank you so much, Susan! It's a perfect choice for a winter's night, n'est-ce pas?


Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin You're welcome 😊


Clau_mcc Lovely review, makes me wanna reread it, it's one of my favorite Christie novels, together with And then there were none. Also reminded me there's a new movie adaptation on its way, hopefully a good one considering the exceptional cast.


Amalia Gavea Clau_mcc wrote: "Lovely review, makes me wanna reread it, it's one of my favorite Christie novels, together with And then there were none. Also reminded me there's a new movie adaptation on its way, hopefully a goo..."

Thank you so much:)


Mackey Terrific review!


Amalia Gavea Mackey wrote: "Terrific review!"

Thank you so much, Mackey!


message 38: by Bonnie (new)

Bonnie Shores Great review, Amalia! I've yet to read an Agatha Christie book, but I'll be reading "And Then There Were None" really soon. I can't wait! :)


Amalia Gavea Bonnie wrote: "Great review, Amalia! I've yet to read an Agatha Christie book, but I'll be reading "And Then There Were None" really soon. I can't wait! :)"

Thank you, Bonnie! ''And Then There Were None'' is another favourite of mine:)


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