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Hercule Poirot Or Sherlock Holmes?

Rounak Ghosh Rounak Ghosh ✭✭✭
edited December 2013 in Hercule Poirot
Both main characters, Holmes and Poirot, use the powers of intellectual deduction to solve crimes. Both also are attended by assistants whom they underestimate and verbally abuse. Both are also intellectual snobs. Holmes is a cocaine abuser and a scientist, while Poirot is just a natural at deduction. Doyle's novels are set in England, while Christie has her characters traveling wherever crime may be: i.e. Mystery on the Orient Express, Murder in the Mesopotamia and Murder on the Nile. Both authors killed off their serial detectives and wrote books with other characters. Those of Miss Christie's, such as Miss Marple, gained more popularity among readers than Doyle's other books. In literary circles, Doyle is considered an Author with a capital A, while Christie was always thought of as merely a commercially successful writer (female, perhaps?) I personally prefer Christie because her secondary characters are more than just stage dressing for the "great man" to pontificate before.
“Time is the best killer.” 


  • SerourBSerourB Essex, United Kingdom Investigator
    edited January 2014
    For me it's all about Christie , even though Holmes is great , I don't find his character to be interesting as much as Poirot is . Poirot grows as a character and we become attached to him
  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom ✭✭✭✭✭
    Poirot Definitely, the stories are easier to read although I have only read the Novella's and a few short stories, and Poirot has a few Side-kicks where as Holmes only has Dr Watson and the stories are less interesting although Holmes comes first and some Poirot stories are like others
  • SerourBSerourB Essex, United Kingdom Investigator

    Poirot . We have just gotten completely used to him as a character. Also he represents many different changes that occurred in Agatha's time. Acceptance of foreigners , women working , divorce ...

    Quiet honestly , Sherlock holmes is okay , but I don't find him all that. I would prefer reading Agatha Christie s poirot anyday , everyday

  • I haven't read Holmes much..... I go for Christie
  • Poirot, by all means.  He is analytical and deductive, but also emotional, with a sense of humor.  Holmes is arrogant and humorless.  I can't stand him.
  • DeanDean United Kingdom Investigator
    Poirot because he doesn't have to use drugs to find out who the murderer is.
  • @Dean, Holmes uses drugs to wile away ennui; he doesn't need to indulge when on a case, instead smoking shag tobacco. Poirot has his own luxaries and vices. He's fond of good food, fashionable (yet uncomfortable) shoes, and Russian cigarettes.
    It's hard to compare the two on a literary level, because Poirot usually appears in novels, while Holmes generally appears in short stories. In The Hound of... he's more of a side character - appearing in the beginning and the end.
    Personally, I find them both very enjoyable - from both I get a sense of England at their time; language, culture. It's the fact that Poirot cares greatly for the human element, he "studies human nature" that makes his stories perhaps more entertaining. Holmes is brilliant, and a great performer. But he's cold and analytical, with only Watson to throw warmth and feeling into the story and prevent it from just being a puzzle. Whereas both Poirot and Hastings are sympathetic, emotional creatures - not to mention the wonderful cast of characters around them that truly draw us into the story. It ceases to become merely a case, a question, a puzzle to be solved, and becomes instead a human drama.
  • Murali N.Murali N. Investigator
    Poirot, by all means.  He is analytical and deductive, but also emotional, with a sense of humor.  Holmes is arrogant and humorless.  I can't stand him.

    Katherine, if you cal Sherlock Holmes 'arrogant", you have to admit Hercule Poirot is more than arrogant. NO ! I am not playing a tit-for-tat game here. You have to understand that I am saying after reading many SH and many HP books.

    Coming to a broader argument, we are here to debate who is a better DETECTIVE and not who is a better PERSON. If I were to answer that, I would say that SH is better. Let me explain why. I hope I would have no serious objections if I say that the method of investigation used by a detective should be suitable for identifying the perpetrator whoever he is and WHEREVER he is at the moment ! SH easily wins against HP again here. What does SH do ? He first talks in detail to the person bringing the sequence of events wanting explanation, visits the scene of the mystery, looks for any forensic clues, analyses what he finds, traces the ‘unknown / unseen’ characters, puts his findings about their movements to all of them and thus, jolts the guilty into a confession. This is [in a way] trouble-free because you need not rack your brains about conflicting testimonies from different characters. You get to see the truth directly. For only those people who don't understand / appreciate this science of forensics, SH appears as unrealistic and / or HP appears as more realistic ! 

    On the other hand, HP’s way of “reconstructing the crime” is suitable ONLY when the perpetrator is within the confinement of investigation – be it a house, plane, ship, library, railway coach, or anything. If the criminal is an outsider (as is more often the case in SH adventures AND by no means an impossibility in real life), HP would be in a soup for sure !! Notice that whenever HP needs to do something outside the confinement, like doing background check, gathering info, tracing people, there is always someone ready with the objective, reliable and accurate info on a platter for HP.(I OFTEN WONDER HOW AGATHA CHRISTIE FANS NEVER REALISED THIS !!) Whereas SH too uses outside agents to help him but only in situations when when he needs to observe the goings on at more than one place simultaneously. And even then, he tells his agents what exactly to do - meaning it is HIS brains that does the trick ! To ONLY conveniently direct the suspicion back to those inside the confined area, HP asks seemingly “logical” questions like “whose word do we have for it that there was a man in the corridor ? (Mystery of the Blue Train), “what evidence do we have for it that it was left in the draw last Friday ? (The Submarine Plans), etc. In fact, HP’s “logically” suspecting / concluding that ‘the lone testator to anything in the plot is most likely a liar’ itself is [based only on this assumption that / valid in a situation where] no outsider could have been involved in the affair ! And yes ! A detective simply ought to be amidst a lot of travel, action, thrill and adventure. I would say that a person who feels he can 'detect' without visiting crime scenes IS but LAZY ! [But, mind you - this is NOT to say that no mind work need to be involved !]
  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom ✭✭✭✭✭
    Poirot, for me because the stories are better and I find them easier to read
  • I agree with @Tommy_A_Jones‌ poirot's stories are easier to read and his character is very interesting even if he is sometimes irritating. And I like the way he uses tricks to reveal the truth..although I started liking Sherlock Holmes since I re-started watching detective Conan ..BTW does anyone watch detective Conan beside me??
    We shall not hunt together again, my friend. Our first hunt was here — and our last ... They were good days. Yes, they have been good days...
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