Welcome

If you’re new to the site and would like to get involved please click on one of the buttons in the box below.

June's Book of the Month: A Murder is Announced

17891113

Comments

  • tudestudes Rio de Janeiro, Brazil ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2015
    I agree with you, @taliavishay-arbel. I think this book has a dark athmosphere. Except for Sophie and, perharps Edith, it seems that everybody in this family is always regretting something or whining. It seems that nobody really grown up. But, despite of the unsympathetic characters, it's undeniable that they're very real, very human, maybe, as you wrote, some are exaggerated (for instance, Lawrence). Although, this book is fantastic and the ending is shocking, but, on the other hand, it fits perfectly the whole story.
    And Sophie, Edith and Charles are very nice characters.
  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom ✭✭✭✭✭
    The Book is very Chilling and when I first read it I felt very uncomfortable, I still read it but it is not one to gladden the heart more to educate and inform and make you think.
  • GriseldaGriselda ✭✭✭✭
    I have liked it more on re-reading. I think the characters are convincing representations of real people Agatha Christie has known. I notice the wife in Elephants Can Remember was rumoured to have had a poetic type of admirer of a type like the tutor in Crooked House..I think Charles is a good, solid, reliable person who brings a safe note to proceedings. I think that AC is fascinated by the notion of the family all dependent on one energetic and inspired genius. The theme was in Taken at the Flood, and Pocket Full of Rye, and Hercule Poirot's Christmas. In a way, Agatha herself was this driving force of creative and productive energy whom other family members would, I'm sure, always struggle to understand,awe struck by the force and shining brightness, and looking in vain for pale reflections of that brilliance in themselves or their children. She is certainly fascinated by heredity, and also, I believe, seeks to have good triumph over evil in her novels. I think it might have been an American novelist of recent times who has said that every novelist seeks to define good and evil, and I think she does, and also really evokes the sense of real evil which has, in the past, made we not want to have the book in my room, so penetrating is that sense of evil.
  • taliavishay-arbeltaliavishay-arbel ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2015
    Griselda, I think you have a good point about AC's fascination with the situation of a whole family dominated by one person - it appears in several other books, in addition to the ones you mentioned - Ordeal by innocence (which is a favourite of mine) and Appointment with death, as well as Death comes as the end. This situation seems to be a concern of other mystery writers of the period - e.g. Margery Allingham's "Police at the funeral" and Ngaio Marsh's "Final curtain. In all of these books, the dominance of the central character is instrumental in stunting the development of the next generation, several of whom are weak, resentful or blustering and lacking common sense.Interestingly, in most of these books,(apart from Allingham's book) the dominant character is the one to be murdered. Beyond the dramatic sense that this makes (a lot of people have a motive) It makes me wonder whether AC is not repeating a characterisation of a real person she knew, and perhaps even venting her frustration at that person through the books.
  • GriseldaGriselda ✭✭✭✭
    Yes, you express the whole dynamic exactly as it must have been felt by AC, I feel. It seems to me, that in the earliest novels, the form of the Edwardian novel, eg Sherlock Holmes, is adhered to, and then the psychology of the individual is more prominent in the 1930s and 40s: in this period AC keeps her own perceptions under check, and let's the narrator's preconceptions take over - or Miss Marple's or Poirot's. Only later, with Third Girl, Carribbean Mystery, At Bertram's Hotel, Elephants Can Remember, do I feel AC's own sentiments really being directly expressed. It is, perhaps, that in older age the author was more weary, or less in charge of her powers to keep the various narratives going. The later works give a fascinating insight into Christie's own thoughts. I think you can get a feel for her, and track back through earlier novels to pick up references to things like the dominant family member and see little hints of what she really thought. I guess if I read the biography it would be even easier to see what she was like and what sort of views she had. Tali, what do they call it when a novel is written in the third person, but the thoughts of one of the characters show through, as the author uses the style of their speech in some passages? It is something narrative, I think.
  • tudestudes Rio de Janeiro, Brazil ✭✭✭✭
    @Griselda, I agree. Besides, I think from laters 20 and 30, for instance, they're full of adventure, youth characters and none (or almost) about the author and through the years her books are full of her own thoughts and feelings, mainly about ageing or how she sees and feels a world so different from it used to be, with so many changes.
  • GriseldaGriselda ✭✭✭✭
    Yes, Tudes, I think the 30s and 40s and just in to the 50s were great times for the novels. Agatha Christie really knew the people she wrote about.
  • GriseldaGriselda ✭✭✭✭
    Every Agatha Christie novel has a unique atmosphere and strain of tension, and what adds to it in The Crooked House, I think, is that Charles can't know for sure that his fiancée hasn't committed the deadly deed.
  • Griselda, about your question - I'm not sure. (the question was what is the genre of a book written from one person's perspective, in third person). When I studied literature in highschool (that was 50 years ago), the distinction was made, but since I learned in Hebrew (I lived and still live in Jerusalem, Israel) the terms were different. I guess it might be "third person point of view" (from what found on the internet). Can anyone help us here?
  • GriseldaGriselda ✭✭✭✭
    Thank you, Tali. It is particularly when the third person narrator slips in to the style and phrasing of one particular character. AC does it a lot with Ariadne Oliver.
Sign In or Register to comment.