Catching up on Classics (and lots more!) discussion

And Then There Were None
This topic is about And Then There Were None
125 views
New School Classics- 1900-1999 > And Then There Were None - NO Spoilers

Comments Showing 1-50 of 66 (66 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1

Christine | 1217 comments This thread is for background information and general discussion of our August 2016 New School Group Read selection, And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie.

Please DO NOT post spoilers in this thread.


message 2: by Sue (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sue K H (sky_bluez) | 3328 comments I plan to start this next week. Excited. I read this as a tween but don't really remember anything about it.


Christine | 1217 comments I'm glad you will be reading it with the group, Sue! I just read this one a few months ago so I will not be rereading this month, but I hope to be able to join in the discussion. This was my first Agatha Christie, and I loved this book!


message 4: by Sue (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sue K H (sky_bluez) | 3328 comments Christine wrote: "I'm glad you will be reading it with the group, Sue! I just read this one a few months ago so I will not be rereading this month, but I hope to be able to join in the discussion. This was my first ..."

There is also a newer British TV series that's on Amazon Prime that I can't wait to watch after reading it. Have you seen that Christine?


Sarah | 587 comments I have somehow never actually read anything by Agatha Christie.
I'm looking forward to it.


Phil J | 627 comments I read this one with a student recently. I'm interested to see your thoughts.


siriusedward (elenaraphael) | 2058 comments I just started it.and this will be my second agatha christie.the beginning is promising...


Linda (lindadol74) | 49 comments I love this book. It got me hooked on Agatha Christie. I only wish I hadn't seen the movie before reading the book.


Simone Martel | 45 comments I just started it. It's the first Agatha Christie I've read, though I've seen plenty of movies and TV shows based on her work. One question for anyone who has read other books of hers -- does she always write "She said:" and then put the dialog on a new line? I find it sort of...abrupt. Though otherwise I'm enjoying it.


message 10: by Joy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Joy This is my second Agatha Christie, at the insistence of my daughter. I will be starting it tonight.


☕ R 2022 (raissatordin) | 8 comments I read the book last month on my Kindle. I enjoyed so much that I decided to buy a printed edition for my collection. After finishing it, I went to watch a couple of documentaries on Agatha's life and work =)


message 12: by Pink (new)

Pink | 6554 comments Raíssa wrote: "I read the book last month on my Kindle. I enjoyed so much that I decided to buy a printed edition for my collection. After finishing it, I went to watch a couple of documentaries on Agatha's life ..."

That's high praise indeed!

I hope everyone enjoys this one :)


Christine | 1217 comments Sue wrote: "There is also a newer British TV series that's on Amazon Prime that I can't wait to watch after reading it. Have you seen that Christine?"

No I haven't, but I will definitely have to look for it now! Thanks for the heads up. :-)


Jennifer (diary-of-a-part-time-writer) | 57 comments After my Nancy Drew obsession got me through every book Carolyn Keene authored at our local library, I decided I ought to read adult mysteries and sought out none other than Dame Agatha herself. At the time, being probably just out of junior high, I remember being highly disappointed that all her characters were "old," but reading quite a few of her books anyway. I didn't really understand the plots, or the British idioms, but I liked the characters even if they were ancient (poor Miss Marple bore the brunt of my annoyance about age). A few years ago I picked up a Hercule Poirot novel and Miss Marple's final outing (Sleeping Murder) at a used bookstore and I've been in love ever since.

All that to say, I've owned a copy of And Then There Were None for years and years, it came with a computer game I was given during my PC game phase, but somehow I've never managed to sit down and actually read the book!

Simone: I don't remember that particular stylistic choice in other novels of hers I've read, but she does have a few odd quirks that I suspect are indicators of the era she was writing in. It hasn't bothered me so far, anyway!


Melanti | 2384 comments I read this a couple of days ago.

I'll be the odd one out and say I've never been a huge Agatha Christie fan.

She fleshes out her characters just enough for the reader to be able to solve the mystery and no more. Anything that's superfluous to the puzzle she's creating gets left out.

The puzzles are challenging, yes, but I like all my characters to have a bit more depth and background to them. Perhaps I just don't like pure mysteries.


message 16: by Emerson (last edited Aug 02, 2016 07:41AM) (new)

Emerson | 348 comments I'll not read this with you because I read the play version of this barely two months ago, but I've enjoyed it very much, I'm sure all of you will too!

though Melanti is right, this is pure murder mystery, not much flesh on the character's side.


siriusedward (elenaraphael) | 2058 comments I just finished it today.and i think it was very good.i am tempted to try other books by her.my first book by her a pockrt full of rye was an ok book...i just did not understand what all the fuss was about.. But this was awsome..i will give 1/2 more books a try


message 18: by Katy, New School Classics (new)

Katy (kathy_h) | 9690 comments Mod
Melanti wrote: "I read this a couple of days ago.

I'll be the odd one out and say I've never been a huge Agatha Christie fan..."


I am with you on her, Melanti. I've read this book of hers, but never bothered to pick up another. It was an okay read and somewhat fun to solve the puzzle, but just not my cup of tea I guess.


Melanti | 2384 comments Kathy wrote: "I am with you on her, Melanti. I've read this book of hers, but never bothered to pick up another. ..."

I have one famous one left - Murder on the Orient Express - and then I'll feel like I've done my duty to pop-culture and ignore her from there on out.

Christie tends to get talked about by other authors so even though I'm not thrilled by her writing, I like being able to understand when other authors make vague references to Miss Marple or Poirot.

I'm in no rush though.


Simone Martel | 45 comments Jennifer wrote: "After my Nancy Drew obsession got me through every book Carolyn Keene authored at our local library, I decided I ought to read adult mysteries and sought out none other than Dame Agatha herself. At..."

Thanks. It's odd. It almost seems like stage directions. Or maybe a shortcut. It must've been very difficult to write a book with so many characters.


message 21: by Joy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Joy I didn't read her books for years because I've never been a fan of mystery, probably for the same reason as Melanti - the characters and historical setting are pretty flat and superficial. I am fan of historical fiction and fantasy.

That being said, I did read Murder on the Orient Express earlier this year at my daughter's insistence, and because I really should have it (and this one) in my repertoire.

I am warming up to them and will probably read more of Christie's work, at least one Miss Marple book and one of her non-mysteries, the Mary Westmacott books.


siriusedward (elenaraphael) | 2058 comments You are right.it was superficial.but it was a page turner for me.i liked the ending.i did think it was like a movie..but a cozy one...


message 23: by Katy, New School Classics (last edited Aug 02, 2016 11:26AM) (new)

Katy (kathy_h) | 9690 comments Mod
Melanti -- what ones do you consider the "famous" ones? Or anyone else?

Do you agree with this list?

https://www.theguardian.com/books/200...


Summer (paradisecity) | 15 comments This was my first Christie, too, and like others I wasn't all that impressed. It was tightly written, which I appreciate, but I didn't feel very invested in the characters at all (and it was also hard to keep them straight). Overall, though, I'm glad to have read it and to have at least one Christie in my reading repertoire.


message 25: by Melanti (last edited Aug 02, 2016 11:35AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Melanti | 2384 comments Kathy wrote: "Melanti -- what ones do you consider the "famous" ones? Or anyone else?

Do you agree with this list?"


The ones I see mentioned all the time are:
And Then There Were None
Murder on the Orient Express
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

Then I made sure to read the first Poirot book and the first Miss Marple book.


That list is way too extensive for me, since I'm not a fan. All I really want is to read the ones I see mentioned most and to get an idea of who Poirot and Miss Marple are so I'm not completely lost when other authors mention them.


Melanti | 2384 comments Joy wrote: "I didn't read her books for years because I've never been a fan of mystery, probably for the same reason as Melanti - the characters and historical setting are pretty flat and superficial. I am fan..."

To be fair, her settings weren't historical to her. They were contemporary - which is probably why she doesn't dwell on them.


message 27: by Emerson (new)

Emerson | 348 comments I'd add the The A.B.C. Murders to Melanti's list, those are the ones I've heard about countless times.


message 28: by Melanti (last edited Aug 02, 2016 11:45AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Melanti | 2384 comments Emerson wrote: "I'd add the The A.B.C. Murders to Melanti's list, those are the ones I've heard about countless times."
Oh, I read that one too... And, yeah, come to think of it, I've seen a handful of references to it - though not as many as the three I mentioned above

I think I've heard the concept mentioned (working your way through the alphabet) more often than I've heard the book itself referred to directly.


message 29: by Emerson (new)

Emerson | 348 comments Yes, you are right.


message 30: by Joy (last edited Aug 02, 2016 01:08PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Joy Melanti wrote: "her settings weren't historical to her. They were contemporary..."

That's true. My daughter and I often discuss the difference between historical fiction and fiction that was contemporary for its time but is now in the past. I struggled with how to word my thought, and didn't do a very good job when I said "historical setting." I was meaning setting, but not the immediate surroundings, more of the cultural and social nuances of the time and location.


Jennifer (diary-of-a-part-time-writer) | 57 comments For what it's worth, I've always found Christie's series (aka: Poirot or Miss Marple mysteries) to be better constructed than her standalones. Since she lives with these sleuths for longer, I feel like she fleshes out their characters more, as well as their sidekicks. And in my opinion, her best novel is the Miss Marple swan song Sleeping Murder. It reads quite contemporary to me, and not so much like a dated historical novel.

Then again, I've always preferred cozy or puzzle style mysteries, where there's a logical answer and if we go back and look we can see the clues pointing to the solution.


message 32: by Renee (last edited Aug 02, 2016 07:42PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Renee | 864 comments I love mysteries, and Agatha Christie is one of my favourite authors. I love the stories she weaves together and I find them fun to read and try to see if I can figure it out before all is revealed. Sometimes I can, but most times she gets me at the end. It's always fun to be surprised by the ending though and I enjoy looking back at what I missed. And Then There Were None is one of my favourites.

As to settings, and social/cultural nuances, you don't see much of that in this book mainly because it takes place on the island. In some of her other books, characters talk about how different things have been since the war, how difficult it can be to get certain supplies/food and how neighbourhoods are changing, which I guess would be more immediate surroundings than cultural though.


message 33: by Tytti (last edited Aug 02, 2016 09:06PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tytti | 1092 comments Endless Night also gets mentioned often. It is one of the few Christie novels that I have read as an adult (I read most of them when I was about 10, their ages never bothered me) and I think it was pretty different compared to her usual mysteries. It's been years, though, and I have since seen the tv movie, too. It's a stand alone and quite modern for a Christie novel. (And with fewer than 10,000 ratings on GR?!)


Renee | 864 comments Tytti wrote: "Endless Night also gets mentioned often. It is one of the few Christie novels that I have read as an adult (I read most of them when I was about 10, their ages never bothered me) and I..."

I haven't read that one yet, but am looking forward to reading it next month with my Agatha Christie group. It sounds interesting.


Tiffany I will hopefully be joining this group read sometime this month. I'm #12 and #7 in line for different editions at my library. I'm hoping they'll come in before too long.

I watched a version of the movie a few years ago, but all I can remember about it is that it was in black and white -- British? American? 1940s? 1960s? I don't remember. I also barely remember how it all ends, so I'm looking forward to reading the book.


Summer (paradisecity) | 15 comments Has anyone watched the newer miniseries (?). It looks like maybe it was a BBC production that got ported to Lifetime somehow, but I don't know much more than that.


message 37: by Nix (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nix | 112 comments Melanti wrote: "I read this a couple of days ago.

I'll be the odd one out and say I've never been a huge Agatha Christie fan.

She fleshes out her characters just enough for the reader to be able to solve the my..."


Maybe you would like something like The Hollow better. It's a rather unusual Christie that focuses much more on the characters than the mystery.


message 38: by Nix (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nix | 112 comments Esse wrote: "Has anyone watched the newer miniseries (?). It looks like maybe it was a BBC production that got ported to Lifetime somehow, but I don't know much more than that."

If you mean the one from last year, then yes. I liked it. They take some questionable liberties with the plot, but it's very atmospheric and beautiful to look at. I would definitely recommend it.


Chris | 235 comments It's interesting to see the different perspectives on how much Christie is able to flesh out her characters. While this one she doesn't do as much, I'm always impressed that she fleshes these quirky characters as much as she does in so little space.

At any rate this is one of my favorite Christie's so far, next to Endless Night. Both of those are stand alones. The Mysterious Affair at Styles is another that gets a lot of attention but that is my least favorite of hers that I've read. I read Crooked House last year and enjoyed that one as well.

She was known for having titles and weaving plots around nursery rhymes. And Then There Were None was originally 10 Little Indians (I think) which you see the references changed today to 10 little soldier boys in the rhyme that gets read throughout.


Mhairi (nextreader) I remember reading a number of Agatha Christie books when I was much younger - and Miss Marple/Poirot were always on TV (still are!) - but I haven't read any as an adult so am interested to join in with this group read. I'm new to the group!


Melanti | 2384 comments Nix wrote: "Maybe you would like something like The Hollow better. It's a rather unusual Christie that focuses much more on the characters than the mystery. ..."

Another GR friend told me the same thing the last time I read a Christie book, so that's two votes for The Hollow. Now I just have to make time to read it.

She also said I'd probably like the Tommy and Tuppance series better than Miss Marple or Poirot.


Tytti | 1092 comments Chris wrote: "And Then There Were None was originally 10 Little Indians (I think)"

Nope, there weren't really that many (American) Indians in the UK. It had the N word.


Chris | 235 comments Tytti wrote: "Chris wrote: "And Then There Were None was originally 10 Little Indians (I think)"

Nope, there weren't really that many (American) Indians in the UK. It had the N word."


I stand corrected, thank you.


message 44: by Joy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Joy The cover of mine says "Previously published as Ten Little Indians." I guess I better dig into this a little bit.


message 45: by Joy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Joy That was a quick find, and really interesting!

http://www.biblio.com/ten-little-nigg...


message 46: by Melanti (last edited Aug 03, 2016 09:12AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Melanti | 2384 comments Joy wrote: "The cover of mine says "Previously published as Ten Little Indians." I guess I better dig into this a little bit."

They're hardly going to put the original title on a modern cover, even with a "previously published as..." disclaimer.


The original UK title was "Ten Little N...s".
The original US title was "And Then There Were None".
I guess it was seen as a worse pejorative in the US than in the UK.

Somewhere in the 60s, "Ten Little Indians" started being used occasionally, though "N...s" was still in publication.
And then in the late 80s, most everyone changed over to "And Then There Were None"


message 47: by siriusedward (last edited Aug 03, 2016 09:15AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

siriusedward (elenaraphael) | 2058 comments Very interesting.


message 48: by Joy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Joy Melanti wrote: "Joy wrote: "The cover of mine says "Previously published as Ten Little Indians." I guess I better dig into this a little bit."

They're hardly going to put the original title on a modern cover, eve..."


Excellent summary, Melanti.


message 49: by Phil (new) - rated it 4 stars

Phil J | 627 comments Some folks have commented on seeing the play. My understanding is that Christie changed the ending significantly when she wrote the play version, and that movies have followed the revised ending.


message 50: by Sue (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sue K H (sky_bluez) | 3328 comments Jennifer wrote: "For what it's worth, I've always found Christie's series (aka: Poirot or Miss Marple mysteries) to be better constructed than her standalones. Since she lives with these sleuths for longer, I feel ..."

I agree Jennifer. It bothers me if a mystery is to purposefully obscure. It should be hard but not impossible to figure out. I haven't read a Christie book since I was a tween so I don't remember anything and am looking forward to reading this


« previous 1
back to top