And Then There Were None – Agatha Christie

Ten strangers are lured to a deserted island under false pretenses, each accused of heinous crimes but untouchable by the law. There, they’re murdered one by one. There’s no one else in the house or on the tiny island. Who is murdering them, and how?

And Then There Were None is my first Agatha Christie. I can’t believe I’ve been on this earth 25 years without reading Agatha Christie until now. It brings me back to my Nancy Drew days—boy, I used to love those mysteries. I was a regular Claudia Kishi!

That being said, I’ve sort of grown away from mysteries as I’ve gotten older, drawn more toward thrillers and horror stories. I guess you could probably call a story about 10 people mysteriously getting murdered a thriller, though, so And Then There Were None wasn’t so far off the beaten path for me.

One thing I can absolutely say is that it’s a masterfully written story, and maybe I’m just not the most observant but I had no idea how it was going to turn out. I’m really glad there was an epilogue that explained everything; otherwise, I would have been scouring the internet for spoilers. (Do they count as spoilers after you’ve finished the book?)

Something I really enjoyed was getting some point of view from all of the characters. That made it even harder to figure out who it was—how could it be any of them, when you had some perspective from each? Bouncing back and forth between the dwindling narrators also mirrored the urgency the characters felt as they wondered who would be next. Even as the last few characters got picked off, you’d think it would be clear who the perpetrator was…but it was only more confusing.

The only thing I could say against it—and this is purely due to personal taste and experience—is that it was much more tame than I expected based on what I heard about it. Don’t get me wrong, it was a great story, good and suspenseful, but it wasn’t really…scary. Reading it and expecting it to be scary was sort of like watching the old House on Haunted Hill with Vincent Price as a 20-year-old and expecting to be as terrified as I was when I was 10. But I mean, it was written in 1939—of course it’s going to be tame by today’s standards.

If you want a good mystery, definitely read And Then There Were None. And then come back and tell me if you had any inkling about who the murderer would turn out to be before you read the epilogue, because I’m really wondering whether I’m just dumb or what.

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10 thoughts on “And Then There Were None – Agatha Christie

  1. I agree with you on everything. I read the book when I was in high school, forgot everything about it other than the 10 people thing and the poem. Then, I saw the play in college and it has a different ending, so I had based everything on that play because I remembered it better for some reason. So, when I read it again a few years ago, I was completely surprised because I was expecting the ending of the play. If you get the chance, I definitely recommend the play.

  2. I read this book in school and loved it! I’ve wanted to get into other Christie books, but none of them have grabbed me like this one did. Maybe I should give another one a shot.

    • I’ve heard that this and Murder on the Orient Express are her two best. The store didn’t have Murder on the Orient Express when I went, so I got this one instead! There was a whole shelf of them, though.

  3. I read every Agatha Christie book I could get my hands on as a teenager and was never been able to figure out who-dunnit. I must re-visit these, I’m sure I’ve forgotten most of the stories since then.

    • I won’t feel bad then if you have trouble figuring them out too! 🙂 I think I read too fast to really let most of the “clues” in stories like this sink in.

  4. Hello! I nominated you for a Black Wolf Blogger Award, you can check it out on my homepage, just a little thank you for having such a delightful and interesting blog with terrific writing!

  5. I love this book, though I agree, it really wasn’t very scary. Suspenseful, yes. Scary, no. I’ve liked seeing versions of this book performed on stage, though, since I’ve seen it with alternate endings performed like Jenni (above) has. It makes the whole thing even more suspenseful, since I have no idea how it will end, even though I’ve read the book.

    • Ooh, I love that the stage adaptations you’ve seen all end differently! It’s like in Clue, with Tim Curry, when you can choose your ending (or at least you can on the DVD!).

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