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Book of the Month March 2014: And Then There Were None

TuppenceTuppence City of London, United Kingdom admin
This month the AC Book Club is reading And Then There Were None - Agatha Christie's classic masterpiece.

Whether you're re-reading this or picking it up for the first time, leave your comments, thoughts, ideas and questions here.

Was this your first Agatha Christie? How do you think it compares to her other novels? What are your thoughts on the new TV adaptation coming in 2015?
Any questions? Please email [email protected]


  • MissQuinMissQuin ✭✭✭
    edited March 2014
    I read this book after reading around 20 of Agatha Christie's books. I had read that TTWN had rather a shocking end. But I knew nothing else about the book. I'm glad that I didn't know very much, as the whole story was a complete surprise to me.

    This is a strong contender for my absolute favourite Agatha Christie book.  There isn't a single thing about it that I would change. When I began to read it, I became completely engrossed in the story. I became annoyed when I had to put the book down! I just wanted to find out what was going to happen. Who was UN Owen?

     I've written on this forum before, about people's perceptions of Agatha Christie being someone who wrote "cosy crime fiction". I think this book is an example that she was capable of so much more than that. The suspense in the book is electric. I was on the edge of my seat reading it. Even after I'd finished it, I was still stunned. 

    All of the people on the island had secrets. but I found Vera the most interesting. If I'd gone through what she had, I'd have locked myself in my room and not come out- ever! She was brave but always so hardened and unrepentant. 

    As for whodunnit, I didn't guess. Nor  would I have ever have guessed it!. It's too clever.

    I've seen the black and white film And Then There Were None 1945. It's a very good film, it has suspense but also some dark humour. It's a similar vein to Ealing comedies like Kind Hearts And Coronets.  But they must have felt the end had to be altered, to make it less shocking. 

    Ive also seen the Ten Little Indians film made in the 70's.  I liked this film much less than the older version. It had annoying music, it was slow. Some of the acting was a little bland. I don't know why Miss Emily Blunt and other characters were altered.  Also it had the "happier" ending. The desert setting was interesting. But part of it didn't fit the nursery rhyme about the fish i.e sea. 

    So I welcome a re-make. But I hoping that the cast will be chosen very carefully. Also I'd love the film to be set during the time period of the book. Also the book is perfect, so I don't think they need to change anything. 

    "Do not allow evil into your heart. It will make a home there." Poirot -Death On The Nile
  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom ✭✭✭✭✭
    I think this was one of the last Books I read, perhaps because the solution is very well known like Murder On The Orient Express, I can only remember watching 2 versions, the one with Fabian and the one Miss Qin mentions which I watched about two weeks ago for the 2nd time, I wondered why so many Characters were altered but I liked the ending which was used, we are due a remake and expect it will be as good as The Lady Vanishes and The 39 Steps which The BBC have done in recent years, I loved those so I expect I will like this.
  • Surely, this is the most valuable work of the author. She brings a whole killer thriller with amazing touches of drama. It's perfect!
  • ShadiaElabassiShadiaElabassi Investigator
    It's my favorite and I do agree that it's her masterpiece.
    It's that kind of books that you can read it many times and surprise you each time you read it !
    I haven't seen any of the two movies made but I'd love too , and wondering where can I find them ?
  • I love this book though it is not my favourite, that title goes to "Sleeping Murder".

    I read ATTWN while in high school and it still remains a firm favourite.

    I read it late at night and had a bad dream that my dad had to wake me from as I was dreaming that I was Vera locked in my room and someone was outside the door. I remember being terrified and Dad telling me how I was screaming.

    So this book really made an impression on me.

  • StuartBarnettStuartBarnett Connecticut, United States Investigator
    What I find interesting about ATTWN is the meditation on the limits of the law. If these people are guilty--and it certainly seems that they are--then the killing of them is only murder because it is not done by a representative of the law. It is the paradoxical exception the law makes for itself: only it can incarcerate, kill and have others kill. Thus, after a lifetime of "legal murder," Wargrave is utterly logical in concluding that for these killings he must die. It is strangely similar to Curtain. Without any proof or "smoking gun" Poirot is forced to murder. Interestingly, both Poirot and Wargrave end up with the "mark of Cain" bullet wound. 
  • ChristeryChristery Rhode Island, United States ✭✭✭
    I agree with the line - " If you only read one Christie, this is the one." It is just a classic example of a Whodunnit Mystery novel and Christie really outdid herself with this one. She was at the top of her game and you can tell that she put a lot of thought and planning into the whole plot structure and themes of the book. It is used in many High School English classes and rightfully so. I'm sure this one book has hooked many a young or new-to-mystery reader encouraging them to read more. It was not my first Christie ( more like my 7th or 8th), but I do remember the excitement of reading it. As others have said, each chapter seemed to pull you along, raising the tension and edge-of-your-seat excitement until you could not put the book down and would probably stay up all night to continue reading it. And the ending is an out-of-left field stunner that no one can see coming ahead of time! A very classic yet unique book. As far as movie adaptations, I have not seen any of the old ones and look forward eagerly to a new one, as long as, as others have said, they stick very closely to the original plot and setting and don't try to tinker and change it. It's perfect just the way it is!
  • loismeeloismee West Yorkshire, United Kingdom Investigator
    I found this book enthralling at each twist and turn. I actually read the book after seeing it performed by the Agatha Christie Theatre Company, and despite already knowing the solution, the story was so beautifully crafted that I found myself unable to put the book down. 

    I have re-read the book now a number of times, and it remains one of my favourites. 
  • this was the book which leaves a thrill in my mind, through the happenings in the story. because of this, i am now into reading mystery books.  :D i so love it.
  • miss_mysterymiss_mystery Essex, United Kingdom Investigator
    i love this book, it one of my favourites books, with a big twist at the end, keeps you guessing until the end of the book who the killer is. i have seen the movie adaptations of the book they are fine but to me the book is the best thing, but i am looking forward to seeing how the bbc does this book and see how faithful they going to be to the original story. 
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