And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
Genres: Mystery, Fiction
Maturity Rating: 2
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Ten people, each with something to hide and something to fear, are invited to a lonely mansion on Soldier Island by a host who, surprisingly, fails to appear. On the island they are cut off from everything but each other and the inescapable shadows of their own past lives. One by one, the guests share the darkest secrets of their wicked pasts. And one by one, they die…
WHY DID I PUT OFF READING THIS BOOK FOR SO LONG?!?!?!?!?!
You guys, And Then There Were None was, hands down, the best mystery novel I have ever read. I was expecting to enjoy Agatha Christie, but I wasn’t expecting to gush every time I set the book down to whoever was in the room.
I just couldn’t get over the sheer brilliance of it. Not just the concept, which I was already familiar with and very intrigued by, but everything about the novel. The characters were unique and dynamic. The story kept me on the edge of my seat, and every time I thought I had a guess I turned out to be WRONG. It was kind of dark and creepy without actually being frightening. And even with that poem at the beginning basically TELLING you how people were going to die, each death always took me by surprise. I know this is news to nobody, but Agatha Christie was a freaking genius.
AND THE ENDING! She says in her notes in the introduction that she needed an answer that was simple and elegant, and boy was it simple. How did I not see it? Brilliant.
One of the things that took me by surprise was the changing point-of-view. I kind of expected this story to be told by an omniscient narrator, which it kind of was. But mostly it would focus on one character’s POV, and then switch off at the end of the section to somebody new. This gave insight into what the characters were thinking, their personality, their past, in a more interesting way than an omniscient narrator. It also added to the general atmosphere of fear and uncertainty.
If you haven’t read Agatha Christie before, even if you think you don’t like mysteries, I STRONGLY recommend And Then There Were None. It’s a standalone and it’s short, so it’s a good place to test the waters if you aren’t sure about mystery. But guys, it’s so freaking brilliant. Go read it.