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October's Book of the Month - The Pale Horse



  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom ✭✭✭✭✭
    I do like the 1997 version but, POILER ALERT! I do wish we could have a Proper version with Ariadne, Rev and Dane Calthorpe and Rhoda and her Husband
  • GKCfanGKCfan Wisconsin, United States mod
    I agree with you, @Tommy_A_Jones, although it wouldn't have quite the same impact if we didn't see those characters appear in adaptations of Moving FingerCards on the Table, and some of Mrs. Oliver's adventures before Pale Horse was filmed.
  • Did anyone think that The Pale Horse (the book) would have been suited better if Christie wrote it in the 30's and 40's when she was very prolific and at her peak or at the time she wrote it during the 60's? 

    “People in the dark are quite different, aren’t they?”  ― A Murder Is Announced 
  • CrookedQuinCrookedQuin California, United States ✭✭✭
    @ChristieFanForLife If the Pale Horse was written at Agatha Christie's peak, it would have been much different. I believe the supernatural element would have been stripped away, and the clues in the story would be more abundant. The solution would have been just as ingenious, but I believe more suspects would be added, and the twist involving the murderer would be changed, possibly to match the profound ones of And Then There Were None and Murder On the Orient Express. I still love the novel for what it is, but like you I wonder what her lesser novels would'be been like if they were written at a different point in her career, and even for her better novels I contemplate the changes made if they were made in the 20s when she was beginning, the 40s when she was at her strongest, or in the 60s where her stories were volatile in tone. It is a subject matter that is very intriguing. 
  • ChristieFanForLife ChristieFanForLife ✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2016
    @CrookedQuin, a lot of the later Christie's had a much darker tone, touching on subject matters and tones that relate to the times. If Christie was still alive today, I don't think she would have a problem touching on today's themes and subjects and I believe her stories would be just as dark as they were in the 60's and 70's but I don't think she would have a problem returning to the pure whodunit form. I read an article in which it said, "And that’s what Agatha Christie was. Fun. She was a superb entertainer. Many writers since have taken the conventions of the mystery genre and done more with them – Ross Macdonald immediately comes to mind – by working in social commentary and psychological insights." Many say that Ruth Rendell and P.D. James' books are psychological and get into the heart of the criminal mind but before they came onto the scene Agatha Christie did this as well. She was a hell of a lot more than one who wrote "whodunits". Agatha Christie covered a variety of subgenres within the mystery genre: whodunits, thrillers, and psychological. She was able to describe human nature so thoroughly in her books and was able to get into the criminal mind and dig out the darkness that resides. She wrote about criminals who killed not based on planning and scheming but those who took the opportunity to kill out of fear such as 

    for one, Letitia Blacklock who killed her friend Dora Bunner, Amy Murgatroyd and attempted to kill Mitzi. 

    Agatha Christie wrote stories in her prime that involved the supernatural but the tone of it was different and not as dark as it was in The Pale Horse so it's possible that if this story was written at an earlier point in time the supernatural aspect would have been lighter, perhaps? 

    “People in the dark are quite different, aren’t they?”  ― A Murder Is Announced 
  • TuppenceTuppence City of London, United Kingdom admin

    Do you like Mrs. Oliver being in a book without Poirot?

    Any questions? Please email [email protected]
  • CrookedQuinCrookedQuin California, United States ✭✭✭
    You mentioned the novels based on supernatural events earlier in her carrier. 

    I suppose I forgot about the Sittaford Mystery's supernatural element. I really like that novel, as well, and there are a plethora of suspects, from what I gather of reading it. I suppose it is different from the Pale Horse as the wonder and the mysticism of the supernatural in the former novel is not apparent in the Pale Horse, as Christie seems to view it in this novel negatively instead of fun you could have at a dinner party. Some of the characters in the Pale Horse believe it is fun and games, but eventually those characters are the most at danger later in the novel. And in the real world in that time, the 1960s, People didn't palm read as much, but it was popular in the 20s and 30s. By the 60s, people were more invested in horoscopes I believe.

    If the Pale Horse was written earlier in her career, even if it was her plan to make the Pale Horse itself (spoiler) with evil intentions (end spoiler), they may more have been seen as games, perhaps, and everyone underestimated them and thought it was unreal and played with fate, unlike how in the actual novel characters are taking it seriously. 

    I still ill love the novel the way it is though!
  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom ✭✭✭✭✭
    GKCfan, I know it might sound petty but when referring to me can you not put @ first, I think it looks pretentious, I am sure David Suchet doesn't wantt say (For instance) David Suchet is very well and I think it is just like that, I have never put @ before my username so I don't wish others to Thank you, if others want to be addressed like that Fine, but I don't., Thank you, No offence meant.
  • GKCfanGKCfan Wisconsin, United States mod
    edited October 2016
    Thanks for explaining your feelings, Tommy_A_Jones, I appreciate your candor.  I also meant no offense.  The only reason why I put @ before user names (and ask people to put a @ before using my name if they want a response) is not out of pretentiousness, but because it's a tag.  When you put the "@ sign immediately before a name, it's a signal to send a  message to your alerts (the icon at the top of the page).  When someone uses the @ before GKCfan," it immediately sends a note to my inbox telling me that someone has sent me a message.  When I have to sort through twenty or thirty new threads, I sometimes miss a question that somebody asks me, which is why I ask to be alerted with a "@" so I can go directly to the question being asked of me and respond as soon as possible.

    I'll make a point of remembering to avoid the "@" with you or anybody else who asks me not to use it.  Thanks again for writing– I want to make sure that everybody is treated respectfully on these boards.
  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom ✭✭✭✭✭

    I know no offence was meant and I appreciate the fact you apologise although I can't honestly say I understand your reason, I would myself respond to anyone who wrote something if I felt I could bring something to the party as it were and wouldn't need them to put @ before my post, Would you like me to put @ before all posts where I put your name? I will either try remember to or try not to address my posts to you.

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