Exclusive extract from Closed Casket by Sophie Hannah

mppeacockmppeacock UK Investigator
From Chapter One published in today's Guardian:

‘Now, about my will … ’

She returned to her chair by the window and arranged herself in it. ‘I want you to make a new one for me.’

More: http://gu.com/p/4tz93?

«1

Comments

  • As I was reading it, I didn't feel like I was reading a Poirot book. I know Agatha Christie didn't write this book but it didn't feel very Agatha Christie-like if that makes sense. Another thing that I'm not a fan of are the ways Sophie Hannah names her characters.....Lady Playford? I think she could have came up with a better name than that!


    “People in the dark are quite different, aren’t they?”  ― A Murder Is Announced 
  • As I was reading it, I didn't feel like I was reading a Poirot book. I know Agatha Christie didn't write this book but it didn't feel very Agatha Christie-like if that makes sense. Another thing that I'm not a fan of are the ways Sophie Hannah names her characters.....Lady Playford? I think she could have came up with a better name than that!
    Totally agree with you...I think the idea it itself is nonsense. Did they (Miss Hanna, her editors, etc...) really think it would have been great idea? If so, I'm sorry but they don't have the slightest idea of who this great woman, writer and mind was ! 
  • GriseldaGriselda ✭✭✭✭
    I think there is still more fascination to be excavated ( Mallowan-inspired pun!)  in the novels themselves, their era, and, if these could be collected, more background stories. I don't think we have so exhausted all things pertaining to Christie that we have to start on copy-cat works. If somebody wishes to write them, ok, but I don't think there can be a realistic expectation, although such has been expressed, that enthusiasts will be excited about a new Hannah novel. She might discover, on a second attempt, that she can't quite get Poirot right after all, and beyond a superficial impression, she can't get at what Christie saw in the man and drew on to make him tick. Writing a pastiche is easy for a while, but gets harder when you come up against your own inner buried writer's prejudices and attitudes and have to try to synthesize these with what you feel your chosen author has been getting at and feeling. You can't develop anything, because the temptation will be to put  your own ideas in there - well if you are sincere as an artist. I don't see how you can mature as a writer if you're in the business of doing copies. Better spend your time, I'd say re-reading the books, and then doing a screen play. From what I've read, a number of directors don't actually read the novel (singular) until they are asked to make the film - let alone read all of them. What a good film you might get if some of the people who worked on it were very au fait with the novels and the era.  

  • I would much rather they dig up any new works that has never been discovered before by Agatha Christie rather than having a writer take one of her characters and write her own series with him in it. Anyways, I remember the three plays Black Coffee, The Unexpected Guest, and Spider's Web were adapted into plays first which then were written into books by Charles Osborne in the late 90's into 2000, but that's a bit different because Osborne didn't take the characters and put them into plots of his own. I think those 3 books maintain their integrity more than the books that Sophie Hannah is writing. After all, those 3 books that Osborne wrote still contained Christie's storylines. What he did was recraft those plays as a book, meant to be read rather than seen on the stage. Those 3 books I think were respectful, loyal, faithful to the original plays as to both plot and character. And what he also did was take the dialogue and stage directions from the plays and wove them together in paragraph form. Sure, if Agatha Christie wrote those books she would have wrote them differently and her writing style would have been better but as to the story itself, I don't think she would have dramatically change them. As to Black Coffee, in her autobiography, Christie said that the play was "a conventional spy thriller ... full of cliches, it was, I think, not at all bad." I think she would have rooted out the cliches that she found in the play but as I said before, she wouldn't have changed the story. Usually when she adapted some of her books into plays she never changed the storyline.....she only tinkered with certain things in the story here and there.


    “People in the dark are quite different, aren’t they?”  ― A Murder Is Announced 
  • So why doen't she just "invent" her own detective ???
  • @diletta.fraizzoli, I think Sophie Hannah should just stay away from working at any more Poirot books. I'm sure that those plots that she wove into these books are not anything up to the ingeniousness that Christie had created. The Monogram Murders and The Closed Casket will never reach to the level of The Murder Of Roger Ackroyd, Murder On The Orient Express, Death On The Nile and even the later Poirot books in which some fans are pretty critical about such as Elephants Can Remember or even The Clocks!


    “People in the dark are quite different, aren’t they?”  ― A Murder Is Announced 
  • GriseldaGriselda ✭✭✭✭
    If Miss Hannah invented her own sleuth, she could still say that he is based or or inspired by Poirot, but it would be more genuine.
  • edited May 2016
    Griselda said:
    If Miss Hannah invented her own sleuth, she could still say that he is based or or inspired by Poirot, but it would be more genuine.
    And I would sure be okay with that <span>:smile:</span> Even Agatha Christie was inspired by previous detective fiction and sleuths that she read which in turn lead to her creation of Poirot. But I think to take someone else's creation and try to make your own series of books out of them is a risky move and in order to attempt it successfully you have to feast on Christie's books. But the thing is Poirot killed off Poirot and there must have been some reason that she did that. Even in her lifetime as she wrote Poirot, there were times in which she was getting sick and tired of him! I know that in the Lord Peter Wimsey series, Jill Paton Walsh is taking over the series and I don't know if the objections to her doing that are as strong as Sophie Hannah with the Poirot books. Has anyone read the Wimsey books that Paton Walsh has wrote by any chance? 


    “People in the dark are quite different, aren’t they?”  ― A Murder Is Announced 
  • GriseldaGriselda ✭✭✭✭
    I haven't read the ones you mention ChristieFanFor Life, but I have to say that I am such a Christie fan (as you are yourself!) that I probably would think it more risky to do a Christie pastiche than anyone else, because she is so flawlessly talented. I don't even like the Father Brown books compared to Christie's ones: I think the GK Chesterton characters are flat, the scenes don't come to life, and the plots are stupid compared to Christie's psychologically driven murders. So maybe you could even improve on Dorothy Sayers and GK ...., but never get near Christie. In all fairness to Miss Hannah, all tribute to her for attempting a difficult feat when asked to do so. It must be difficult.
  • tudestudes Rio de Janeiro, Brazil ✭✭✭✭
    So why doen't she just "invent" her own detective ???
    Yeah! And writes her own book. Her detective story about her own detective instead of "writting" A.C. stories! It seems this nightmare will never end!
«1
Sign In or Register to comment.