EVERYONE Has Read This but Me - The Catch-Up Book Club discussion

And Then There Were None
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Kaseadillla | 1352 comments Mod
Hello all - starting up discussions for the OCTOBER 2017 BOTMs. This discussion is for the group's poll selection for the CLASSICS category: And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie.

This discussion will be SPOILER-FREE. If you have already read the book and want to discuss, hop on over to the spoiler-filled discussion HERE .

Happy reading!
Kasey


Cheryl is busier irl atm. (cherylllr) | 985 comments I remember liking it when I read it several years ago, hope to make time to reread. :)


D.L. I read it earlier this year and liked it.


Moonglowpages Bookstagram | 4 comments I love Agatha Christie and am excited to start this book!


Marcos Kopschitz | 1768 comments I read this in 1975! :-)
Great read. I'll try it again!


Sarah | 345 comments I read this last August and really enjoyed it. It was my first Agatha Christie.


Kerri | 701 comments I'm excited to read this book with everyone! I only started reading Agatha Christie a year or 2 ago, but I love all her works that I've read so far!


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Elvira Dobis | 9 comments I'm excited to read this one! Never read Agatha Christie before.


message 9: by Ceri (new)

Ceri (cezzie) Wow. It turns out that the original title of this book was Ten Little N****rs.
... Take from that what you will.


Rachel Burke Ceri wrote: "Wow. It turns out that the original title of this book was Ten Little N****rs.
... Take from that what you will."


There's a lot of history to unpack here. That was the name of the song/nursery rhyme that is used throughout the book. And the book was written in Britain in the 1930s which was a different cultural place than the US in the 1930s.

None of that makes the obvious racism better (after all the exact point of the rhyme is that dark-skinned children don't learn from past mistakes.)

In the end the title is a product of its times that has been changed twice in order to be less racist.


Marcos Kopschitz | 1768 comments Yes, Rachel, that's it, a lot of history and culture. They're well known and as all books from many years ago, it should be read in context. You made an excellent brief of the issues that may arise when reading this one.

By the way, my copy is the Brazilian Portuguese 1975 edition, but the translation dates back to 1943, not too distant from the original publication, so the translated title is still the original one. Current editions have had the title changed as well.


Shawna Stuck (stuckirl) I'm excited to start this, which will be only my second Agatha Christie read! I tried to find the audiobook to enjoy on my daily commutes, but all I could get my hands on (from my library) is the BBC Radio 4 full cast dramatisation. I'm kind of bummed because I wanted to actually listen to the book. Has anyone listened to this though?


message 13: by D.L. (new) - rated it 4 stars

D.L. Shawna wrote: "I'm excited to start this, which will be only my second Agatha Christie read! I tried to find the audiobook to enjoy on my daily commutes, but all I could get my hands on (from my library) is the B..."

Never listened to an Agatha Christie book on audio but I bet it would be fabulous.


message 14: by Phil (new) - rated it 4 stars

Phil Jensen | 53 comments Ceri wrote: "Wow. It turns out that the original title of this book was Ten Little N****rs.
... Take from that what you will."


I like this book, but Christie's attitudes on race make it a bit confusing at a couple points. I'll be more specific on the other thread.


Shawna Stuck (stuckirl) Daph wrote: "Shawna wrote: "I'm excited to start this, which will be only my second Agatha Christie read! I tried to find the audiobook to enjoy on my daily commutes, but all I could get my hands on (from my li..."

I listened to Murder on the Orient Express earlier this year and it really helped with understanding how to pronounce Hercule Poirot's name.


message 16: by Lena (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lena (nlgmcr69) | 81 comments I have had this one on my bookshelf for years, but never read it so I am excited to join in.


Joanna Loves Reading (joannalovesreading) | 1109 comments Shawna, do you have access to Hoopla? There's a version with Dan Stevens narrating. I think I will try it after I finish my current audiobook.


Marcos Kopschitz | 1768 comments I'm at about one third of the book. Two notes:

1. I've forgotten most of the details because I read it so many years ago - especially the end, or "whodunnit" -, so it's been almost as exciting as a first read!

2. This being a 1939 book, it's almost 80 years old! My edition's translation is a 1943 one, so there's another interesting attraction: language. Naturally, use of the language changes with time, so I guess reading a 1943 translation is almost like you reading the original 1939 English!


Joanna Loves Reading (joannalovesreading) | 1109 comments Marcos wrote: "I'm at about one third of the book. Two notes:

1. I've forgotten most of the details because I read it so many years ago - especially the end, or "whodunnit" -, so it's been almost as exciting as ..."


I read a number of AC books when I was younger, but I am not sure if this was one. So either it will be new to me or like new!

Do you typically read in your first language (Spanish?)? I have a GR friend from Germany who prefers to read most English books in English because the translations are typically poor. Just curious. Translation quality is probably much different for current popular books versus classics.


Shawna Stuck (stuckirl) Joanna wrote: "Shawna, do you have access to Hoopla? There's a version with Dan Stevens narrating. I think I will try it after I finish my current audiobook."

I just looked up what Hoopla is. I'm intrigued! Thanks for the recommendation!


Marcos Kopschitz | 1768 comments Hi, Joanna!

My first language is Portuguese, I'm Brazilian. You raise a very interesting point!

Like your German friend, I prefer to read English books in their original language. In this case I've got my own translated copy, so I decided to try it again, it's a reread. The translation is very good, by the way.

Translation is always a problem, even when it is excellent you may loose some of the original flavour. But like anything else, you have excellent translators and poor ones. Some translations are just terrible. I usually include a small assessment of the translation in my reviews, including the translator's name. Actually, the translator becomes almost a co-author. After some time, you can tell by the translator if the translation will be good.

However, when you don't know a language, translations are the only option. If you don't know Swedish or Finnish, for example, you can only read their excellent mystery authors in translations. Even within the main literatures, not everyone can read in English, German , French, and Spanish, just to mention some. What about Russian? :-)

If we read a lot from many countries, translations are inevitable, so, we had better check and try to choose good ones. :-)

Some more thoughts later.


Cheryl is busier irl atm. (cherylllr) | 985 comments Thank you for mentioning the translation notes in your reviews. I totally agree that the translator should get 'secondary author' status.

I read a lot of children's books from Sweden, Germany, etc. in translation, and a lot of the charm gets lost. (My friend who reads them in German says that also they often get abridged and simplified by the publisher.)

Also, coincidentally, I've just begun to read Is That a Fish in Your Ear? Translation and the Meaning of Everything on the subject. More later if it seems relevant. :)


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lethe | 89 comments Cheryl wrote: "Also, coincidentally, I've just begun to read Is That a Fish in Your Ear? Translation and the Meaning of Everything on the subject. More later if it seems relevant."

Books that reference The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy can do little wrong with me :)


Joanna Loves Reading (joannalovesreading) | 1109 comments Shawna wrote: "Joanna wrote: "Shawna, do you have access to Hoopla? There's a version with Dan Stevens narrating. I think I will try it after I finish my current audiobook."

I just looked up what Hoopla is. I'm ..."


I love it. I have turned into an audiobook junkie because of it!


Joanna Loves Reading (joannalovesreading) | 1109 comments Marcos wrote: "Hi, Joanna!

My first language is Portuguese, I'm Brazilian. You raise a very interesting point!

Like your German friend, I prefer to read English books in their original language. In this case I'..."


Thanks Marcos! I knew from other posts that you were from So. America, so just took a guess at which language. I am glad it was an excellent translation. You have such a wonderful way with English words (much better than most off us Native speakers!) that I thought it was interesting you went with a translation.

I have not thought much on the quality of translations, primarily because I have not been reading many books written in other languages lately. I did try to tackle The Brothers Karamazov recently by listening through Librovox, my progress was too slow and I was getting lost so I gave up for now. Narrators can make an impact on a book too, though I'm sure not nearly so much as translators. Life, work, home makes more challenging reads difficult.

Anyways, I appreciate your point of view on this, very interesting!


Joanna Loves Reading (joannalovesreading) | 1109 comments Cheryl wrote: "Thank you for mentioning the translation notes in your reviews. I totally agree that the translator should get 'secondary author' status.

I read a lot of children's books from Sweden, Germany, et..."


Sounds like an interesting read!


Marcos Kopschitz | 1768 comments Cheryl wrote: "Thank you for mentioning the translation notes in your reviews. I totally agree that the translator should get 'secondary author' status. ..."

Translation is a very interesting topic! I'm not a translator, but like to translate. Sometimes I try to improve some poor translation I stumble upon. I mean, a sentence, not a book. Or try to find a good translation for a difficult title, for example.

In my reviews I sometimes mention other books or authors the translator has worked on. And I even insert a link for others of his translations when he is really good.

Do let us know about your present reading, Cheryl.


Cheryl is busier irl atm. (cherylllr) | 985 comments I'll write a review. I'm not done yet, but I'm pretty sure I won't be grabbing everyone by the collar and proclaiming "you must read this!"


Kandice I have an original copy with "Then Little Niggers" as the title and there is a picture of a black rag doll being hung by the neck on a rope and an iguana in the background. I'll try to post a picture of it. I keep the copy as a collectible, but I don't read it!


Kandice Rachel wrote: "In the end the title is a product of its times that has been changed twice in order to be less racist. ..."

Funny that the "Ten Little Indians" it was first changed to was also offensive. Crazy how much language (and hopefully the people that speak it!) change.


message 31: by Marcos (last edited Oct 26, 2017 10:04AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Marcos Kopschitz | 1768 comments Joanna wrote: "Thanks Marcos! I knew from other posts ..."

Joanna, that's a great compliment of you for my English, thanks a lot! :-)

I studied English when I was young and even became a teacher of English as second language for some time.

Going further on the subject of translation, sometimes they're the best or only way. For instance, let's take The Sorrows of Young Werther by Goethe. It's not only German, it's the German of 1774. Something like reading Shakespearean English. I know a bit of German, but if you don't know a language very well you may miss subtleties, complex constructions, etc. OK, I thought the one I picked was a remarkable translation. Then I went on to know more about the translator, and found out him to be very specialized. From then on I look for his translations of other works in German, including modern literature.

And two more notes about translation I just read on my newspapaer yesterday:

1. Another translation from German by Marcelo Backes (the translator of my edition of Werther), now a book by Heinrich Heine, "Florentine Nights", has just been published.

2. Another translation, of a book by Milan Kundera. It's Testaments Betrayed, an essay in which, among other things, he criticizes the fact that Kafka's translators, unaware of the aesthetical value of repetition in the author's work, substituted synonims for repeated words, for the sake of "good style."

And you know, last lines in italic are my translation for a quote from the review, therefore I may have betrayed it as well... :-)


Joanna Loves Reading (joannalovesreading) | 1109 comments Cara, not sure on the gore, but I don't believe that was Christie's style. I just started listening to this.


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lethe | 89 comments Christie doesn't do gore. Her books are generally described as cosy mysteries. And Then There Were None is the exception to that in my view, but only due to atmosphere.


message 34: by Nick (new) - rated it 3 stars

Nick I read this last year. When the who and how dunnit is revealed at the end I just thought it was so clever.


Kathy | 799 comments I read this year's ago. It was one of my first Agatha Christie reads.


Kandice The violence and murder in Christie's books always takes place off page, so you don't need to worry about actual gore,


aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) | 545 comments Kandice wrote: "I have an original copy with "Then Little Niggers" as the title and there is a picture of a black rag doll being hung by the neck on a rope and an iguana in the background. I'll try to post a pictu..."

I had this copy, too. I picked it up as a kid at a Salvation Army thrift store from a box of used paperbacks.

I read her later novels (about 30 of them) in order of publication dates. Christie wrote it seemed to me with sympathy for liberal ideas and she changes her social expressions and ideas along with the decades. After all, her books span the decades of 1920’s to 1970’s. I got the impression she was a liberal, but she lived in a primarily racist white society which was rigidly class conscious. I wonder, too, if she had anything to do with the title or if the publisher selected it.

Several other Christie mysteries I picked up (used) had two or three different titles, but they all were the same story from a different publishing batch (for example, one copy may have been published in 1926, then another reissue published in 1976). Plus, her books often had a title for her English audience and another title for us Americans, and then maybe a later reissue used another new title occasionally if her book was made into a movie!


Cheryl is busier irl atm. (cherylllr) | 985 comments Wow, that's all interesting. Makes it hard to be a true fan, I'd imagine, both in keeping track of titles and keeping up with the attitude shifts etc.


Joanna Loves Reading (joannalovesreading) | 1109 comments This is the July 2019 BOTM catch-up selection. Welcome readers!


Clarissa (clarissalarissa) | 5 comments I have never read this book but have wanted to for awhile. I enjoy Agatha Christie and have challenged myself to read every one of her novels in order for each series she has. This will be the first that I’ve participated in a group read (I am also participating in another group read this month, too, Perfume: The Story if a Murderer).


Melinda | 117 comments I'm looking forward to reading this BOTM. I know very little about it and the author so I hope to be pleasantly suprised.


Shaneka Knight | 99 comments My first Christie read was with this group and I didn't like it so much. Let us see how this one goes :)


Caramell | 45 comments I won't join this time because I read it some months ago but I will follow the comments because I really enjoyed the book. I hope you all like it as much as me :)


Betsy | 839 comments Mod
Exciting to see the different reactions and experiences you've had with this author/book already!
I have admittedly watched the BBC series and will be reading along this month (but damn, those actors have such memorable faces! It's hard to erase them...)


Eunice | 42 comments Agatha Christie. I’m already excited to read this!


Lensey | 65 comments This will be my first Agatha Christie to read. I'm so excited it was chosen for this month!


message 47: by Jana (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jana Lin | 21 comments Starting this book today. Agatha Christie is one of my favorite authors, possibly my very favorite, she's in an eternal battle with Terry Pratchett and Jane Austen for the #1 spot. I've read every book she's written, and almost all of them multiple times. This is the only one that was only ever read once, more than 20 years ago as a teenager. I remember it scared me, both during the read and after, and as I don't do scary, I never had a desire to read it again. But it seems kind of wrong not to pick it up again, and I'm looking forward to the adult me reading it, and seeing if it will go into my normal AC reread rotation, or if the 2nd time will be the last time for this book.


PattyMacDotComma I read this a little while ago and really enjoyed it. She is the "locked-room" wizard!


Sydney (fayesr) | 1 comments Hi all! Just joined the group, and I've had this sitting on my shelf for a while, but haven't ever read it! Definitely going to get started on this tonight so that I can discuss with everyone!


message 50: by Jenna (new)

Jenna | 47 comments Marcos wrote: "Yes, Rachel, that's it, a lot of history and culture. They're well known and as all books from many years ago, it should be read in context. You made an excellent brief of the issues that may arise..."
That’s why the title has been changed. Originally it was titled 10 little n....
Which was offensive
But they retitled it 10 little Indians
Which became also offensive, so when it was done in play format, it was titled then there were none
Meanwhile, it’s still one of her most known books and is still extremely popular regardless of its titles history.


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