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And Then There Were None

And Then There Were None

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And Then There Were None

peringkat:
4.5/5 (533 peringkat)
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302 halaman
4 jam
Penerbit:
Dirilis:
Mar 17, 2009
ISBN:
9780061739255
Format:
Buku

Catatan Editor

Classic Christie…

Arguably the best mystery story ever written. Ten people — all strangers — are lured to a mansion on a private island. Each person has a criminal history. They share their secrets, and one by one, they die.

Deskripsi

A PBS Great American Read Top 100 Pick

One of the most famous and beloved mysteries from the queen of suspense, Agatha Christie!  More than 100 million copies sold and now a Lifetime TV movie.


Ten people, each with something to hide and something to fear, are invited to a isolated mansion on Indian Island by a host who, surprisingly, fails to appear. On the island they are cut off from everything but each other and the inescapable shadows of their own past lives. One by one, the guests share the darkest secrets of their wicked pasts. And one by one, they die…

 

Which among them is the killer and will any of them survive?
Penerbit:
Dirilis:
Mar 17, 2009
ISBN:
9780061739255
Format:
Buku

Tentang penulis

Agatha Christie is the most widely published author of all time, outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare. Her books have sold more than a billion copies in English and another billion in a hundred foreign languages. She died in 1976, after a prolific career spanning six decades.


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And Then There Were None - Agatha Christie

Author’s Note

I had written this book because it was so difficult to do that the idea had fascinated me. Ten people had to die without it becoming ridiculous or the murderer being obvious. I wrote the book after a tremendous amount of planning, and I was pleased with what I had made of it. It was clear, straightforward, baffling, and yet had a perfectly reasonable explanation; in fact it had to have an epilogue in order to explain it. It was well received and reviewed, but the person who was really pleased with it was myself, for I knew better than any critic how difficult it had been.

from An Autobiography

Epigraph

Ten little soldier boys went out to dine;

One choked his little self and then there were Nine.

Nine little soldier boys sat up very late;

One overslept himself and then there were Eight.

Eight little soldier boys travelling in Devon;

One said he’d stay there and then there were Seven.

Seven little soldier boys chopping up sticks;

One chopped himself in halves and then there were Six.

Six little soldier boys playing with a hive;

A bumble bee stung one and then there were Five.

Five little soldier boys going in for law;

One got in Chancery and then there were Four.

Four little soldier boys going out to sea;

A red herring swallowed one and then there were Three.

Three little soldier boys walking in the Zoo;

A big bear hugged one and then there were Two.

Two little soldier boys sitting in the sun;

One got frizzled up and then there was One.

One little soldier boy left all alone;

He went and hanged himself

And then there were None.

Frank Green, 1869

One

I

In the corner of a first-class smoking carriage, Mr. Justice Wargrave, lately retired from the bench, puffed at a cigar and ran an interested eye through the political news in The Times.

He laid the paper down and glanced out of the window. They were running now through Somerset. He glanced at his watch—another two hours to go.

He went over in his mind all that had appeared in the papers about Soldier Island. There had been its original purchase by an American millionaire who was crazy about yachting—and an account of the luxurious modern house he had built on this little island off the Devon coast. The unfortunate fact that the new third wife of the American millionaire was a bad sailor had led to the subsequent putting up of the house and island for sale. Various glowing advertisements of it had appeared in the papers. Then came the first bald statement that it had been bought—by a Mr. Owen. After that the rumours of the gossip writers had started. Soldier Island had really been bought by Miss Gabrielle Turl, the Hollywood film star! She wanted to spend some months there free from all publicity! Busy Bee had hinted delicately that it was to be an abode for Royalty??! Mr. Merryweather had had it whispered to him that it had been bought for a honeymoon—Young Lord L—had surrendered to Cupid at last! Jonas knew for a fact that it had been purchased by the Admiralty with a view to carrying out some very hush-hush experiments!

Definitely, Soldier Island was news!

From his pocket Mr. Justice Wargrave drew out a letter. The handwriting was practically illegible but words here and there stood out with unexpected clarity. Dearest Lawrence … such years since I heard anything of you … must come to Soldier Island … the most enchanting place … so much to talk over … old days … communion with nature … bask in sunshine …12.40 from Paddington … meet you at Oakbridge … and his correspondent signed herself with a flourish his ever Constance Culmington.

Mr. Justice Wargrave cast back in his mind to remember when exactly he had last seen Lady Constance Culmington. It must be seven—no, eight years ago. She had then been going to Italy to bask in the sun and be at one with Nature and the contadini. Later, he had heard, she had proceeded to Syria where she proposed to bask in a yet stronger sun and live at one with Nature and the bedouin.

Constance Culmington, he reflected to himself, was exactly the sort of woman who would buy an island and surround herself with mystery! Nodding his head in gentle approval of his logic, Mr. Justice Wargrave allowed his head to nod….

He slept….

II

Vera Claythorne, in a third-class carriage with five other travellers in it, leaned her head back and shut her eyes. How hot it was travelling by train today! It would be nice to get to the sea! Really a great piece of luck getting this job. When you wanted a holiday post it nearly always meant looking after a swarm of children—secretarial holiday posts were much more difficult to get. Even the agency hadn’t held out much hope.

And then the letter had come.

"I have received your name from the Skilled Women’s Agency together with their recommendation. I understand they know you personally. I shall be glad to pay you the salary you ask and shall expect you to take up your duties on August 8th. The train is the 12.40 from Paddington and you will be met at Oakbridge station. I enclose five £1 notes for expenses.

Yours truly,

Una Nancy Owen."

And at the top was the stamped address, Soldier Island, Sticklehaven, Devon….

Soldier Island! Why, there had been nothing else in the papers lately! All sorts of hints and interesting rumours. Though probably they were mostly untrue. But the house had certainly been built by a millionaire and was said to be absolutely the last word in luxury.

Vera Claythorne, tired by a recent strenuous term at school, thought to herself, "Being a games mistress in a third-class school isn’t much of a catch … If only I could get a job at some decent school."

And then, with a cold feeling round her heart, she thought: "But I’m lucky to have even this. After all, people don’t like a Coroner’s Inquest, even if the Coroner did acquit me of all blame!"

He had even complimented her on her presence of mind and courage, she remembered. For an inquest it couldn’t have gone better. And Mrs. Hamilton had been kindness itself to her—only Hugo—but she wouldn’t think of Hugo!

Suddenly, in spite of the heat in the carriage she shivered and wished she wasn’t going to the sea. A picture rose clearly before her mind. Cyril’s head, bobbing up and down, swimming to the rock … up and down—up and down … and herself, swimming in easy practised strokes after him—cleaving her way through the water but knowing, only too surely, that she wouldn’t be in time….

The sea—its deep warm blue—mornings spent lying out on the sands—Hugo—Hugo who had said he loved her….

She must not think of Hugo….

She opened her eyes and frowned across at the man opposite her. A tall man with a brown face, light eyes set rather close together and an arrogant, almost cruel mouth.

She thought to herself:

I bet he’s been to some interesting parts of the world and seen some interesting things….

III

Philip Lombard, summing up the girl opposite in a mere flash of his quick moving eyes thought to himself:

Quite attractive—a bit schoolmistressy perhaps.

A cool customer, he should imagine—and one who could hold her own—in love or war. He’d rather like to take her on….

He frowned. No, cut out all that kind of stuff. This was business. He’d got to keep his mind on the job.

What exactly was up, he wondered? That little man had been damned mysterious.

Take it or leave it, Captain Lombard.

He had said thoughtfully:

A hundred guineas, eh?

He had said it in a casual way as though a hundred guineas was nothing to him. A hundred guineas when he was literally down to his last square meal! He had fancied, though, that the little man had not been deceived—that was the damnable part, you couldn’t deceive men like that about money—they knew!

He said in the same casual tone:

And you can’t give me any further information?

Mr. Isaac Morris had shaken his little bald head very positively.

No, Captain Lombard, the matter rests there. It is understood by my client that your reputation is that of a good man in a tight place. I am empowered to hand you one hundred guineas in return for which you will travel to Sticklehaven, Devon. The nearest station is Oakbridge, you will be met there and motored to Sticklehaven where a motor launch will convey you to Soldier Island. There you will hold yourself at the disposal of my client.

Lombard had said abruptly:

For how long?

Not longer than a week at most.

Fingering his small moustache, Captain Lombard said:

You understand I can’t undertake anything—illegal?

He had darted a very sharp glance at the other as he had spoken. There had been a very faint smile on the lips of Mr. Morris as he answered gravely:

If anything illegal is proposed, you will, of course, be at perfect liberty to withdraw.

Damn the smooth little brute, he had smiled! It was as though he knew very well that in Lombard’s past actions legality had not always been a sine qua non….

Lombard’s own lips parted in a grin.

By Jove, he’d sailed pretty near the wind once or twice! But he’d always got away with it! There wasn’t much he drew the line at really….

No, there wasn’t much he’d draw the line at. He fancied that he was going to enjoy himself at Soldier Island….

IV

In a non-smoking carriage Miss Emily Brent sat very upright as was her custom. She was sixty-five and she did not approve of lounging. Her father, a Colonel of the old school, had been particular about deportment.

The present generation was shamelessly lax—in their carriage, and in every other way….

Enveloped in an aura of righteousness and unyielding principles, Miss Brent sat in her crowded third-class carriage and triumphed over its discomfort and its heat. Everyone made such a fuss over things nowadays! They wanted injections before they had teeth pulled—they took drugs if they couldn’t sleep—they wanted easy chairs and cushions and the girls allowed their figures to slop about anyhow and lay about half naked on the beaches in summer.

Miss Brent’s lips set closely. She would like to make an example of certain people.

She remembered last year’s summer holiday. This year, however, it would be quite different. Soldier Island….

Mentally she re-read the letter which she had already read so many times.

"Dear Miss Brent,

I do hope you remember me? We were together at Belhaven Guest House in August some years ago, and we seemed to have so much in common.

I am starting a guest house of my own on an island off the coast of Devon. I think there is really an opening for a place where there is good plain cooking and a nice old-fashioned type of person. None of this nudity and gramophones half the night. I shall be very glad if you could see your way to spending your summer holiday on Soldier Island—quite free—as my guest. Would early in August suit you? Perhaps the 8th.

Yours sincerely,

U.N.O—."

What was the name? The signature was rather difficult to read. Emily Brent thought impatiently: So many people write their signatures quite illegibly.

She let her mind run back over the people at Belhaven. She had been there two summers running. There had been that nice middle-aged woman—Miss—Miss—now what was her name?—her father had been a Canon. And there had been a Mrs. Olton—Ormen—No, surely it was Oliver! Yes—Oliver.

Soldier Island! There had been things in the paper about Soldier Island—something about a film star—or was it an American millionaire?

Of course often those places went very cheap—islands didn’t suit everybody. They thought the idea was romantic but when they came to live there they realized the disadvantages and were only too glad to sell.

Emily Brent thought to herself: I shall be getting a free holiday at any rate.

With her income so much reduced and so many dividends not being paid, that was indeed something to take into consideration. If only she could remember a little more about Mrs.—or was it Miss—Oliver?

V

General Macarthur looked out of the carriage window. The train was just coming into Exeter, where he had to change. Damnable, these slow branch line trains! This place, Soldier Island, was really no distance at all as the crow flies.

He hadn’t got it clear who this fellow Owen was. A friend of Spoof Leggard’s, apparently—and of Johnnie Dyer’s.

—One or two of your old cronies are coming—would like to have a talk over old times.

Well, he’d enjoy a chat about old times. He’d had a fancy lately that fellows were rather fighting shy of him. All owing to that damned rumour! By God, it was pretty hard—nearly thirty years ago now! Armitage had talked, he supposed. Damned young pup! What did he know about it? Oh, well, no good brooding about these things! One fancied things sometimes—fancied a fellow was looking at you queerly.

This Soldier Island, now, he’d be interested to see it. A lot of gossip flying about. Looked as though there might be something in the rumour that the Admiralty or the War Office or the Air Force had got hold of it….

Young Elmer Robson, the American millionaire, had actually built the place. Spent thousands on it, so it was said. Every mortal luxury….

Exeter! And an hour to wait! And he didn’t want to wait. He wanted to get on….

VI

Dr. Armstrong was driving his Morris across Salisbury Plain. He was very tired … Success had its penalties. There had been a time when he had sat in his consulting room in Harley Street, correctly apparelled, surrounded with the most up to date appliances and the most luxurious furnishings and waited—waited through the empty days for his venture to succeed or fail….

Well, it had succeeded! He’d been lucky! Lucky and skilful of course. He was a good man at his job—but that wasn’t enough for success. You had to have luck as well. And he’d had it! An accurate diagnosis, a couple of grateful women patients—women with money and position—and word had got about. "You ought to try Armstrong—quite a young man—but so clever—Pam had been to all sorts of people for years and he put his finger on the trouble at once!" The ball had started rolling.

And now Dr. Armstrong had definitely arrived. His days were full. He had little leisure. And so, on this August morning, he was glad that he was leaving London and going to be for some days on an island off the Devon coast. Not that it was exactly a holiday. The letter he had received had been rather vague in its terms, but there was nothing vague about the accompanying cheque. A whacking fee. These Owens must be rolling in money. Some little difficulty, it seemed, a husband who was worried about his wife’s health and wanted a report on it without her being alarmed. She wouldn’t hear of seeing a doctor. Her nerves—

Nerves! The doctor’s eyebrows went up. These women and their nerves! Well, it was good for business after all. Half the women who consulted him had nothing the matter with them but boredom, but they wouldn’t thank you for telling them so! And one could usually find something.

A slightly uncommon condition of the (some long word) nothing at all serious—but it needs just putting right. A simple treatment.

Well, medicine was mostly faith-healing when it came to it. And he had a good manner—he could inspire hope and belief.

Lucky that he’d managed to pull himself together in time after that business ten—no, fifteen years ago. It had been a near thing, that! He’d been going to pieces. The shock had pulled him together. He’d cut out drink altogether. By Jove, it had been a near thing, though….

With a devastating ear-splitting blast on the horn an enormous Super-Sports Dalmain car rushed past him at eighty miles an hour. Dr. Armstrong nearly went into the hedge. One of these young fools who tore round the country. He hated them. That had been a near shave, too. Damned young fool!

VII

Tony Marston, roaring down into Mere, thought to himself:

"The amount of cars crawling about the roads is frightful. Always something blocking your way. And they will drive in the middle of the road! Pretty hopeless driving in England, anyway…. Not like France where you really could let out…."

Should he stop here for a drink, or push on? Heaps of time! Only another hundred miles and a bit to go. He’d have a gin and ginger beer. Fizzing hot day!

This island place ought to be rather good fun—if the weather lasted. Who were these Owens, he wondered? Rich and stinking, probably. Badger was rather good at nosing people like that out. Of course, he had to, poor old chap, with no money of his own….

Hope they’d do one well in drinks. Never knew with these fellows who’d made their money and weren’t born to it. Pity that story about Gabrielle Turl having bought Soldier Island wasn’t true. He’d like to have been in with that film star crowd.

Oh, well, he supposed there’d be a few girls there….

Coming out of the hotel, he stretched himself, yawned, looked up at the blue sky and climbed into the Dalmain.

Several young women looked at him admiringly—his six feet of well-proportioned body, his crisp hair, tanned face, and intensely blue eyes.

He let in the clutch with a roar and leapt up the narrow street. Old men and errand boys jumped for safety. The latter looked after the car admiringly.

Anthony Marston proceeded on his triumphal progress.

VIII

Mr. Blore was in the slow train from Plymouth. There was only one other person in his carriage, an elderly seafaring gentleman with a bleary eye. At the present moment he had dropped off to sleep.

Mr. Blore was writing carefully in a little notebook.

That’s the lot, he muttered to himself. Emily Brent, Vera Claythorne, Dr. Armstrong, Anthony Marston, old Justice Wargrave, Philip Lombard, General Macarthur, C.M.G., D.S.O. Manservant and wife: Mr. and Mrs. Rogers.

He closed the notebook

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  • "Agatha Christie is the most widely published author of all time, outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare," according to PBS's "The Great American Read" website. It's no surprise, then, that one of the novels from the Queen of Crime ended up on the list.

    Scribd Editors

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  • (4/5)
    I really loved this book and would recommend this to almost anyone. There were a lot of twists and everything fits together so well even if you don't see it until the end. It's a book worth reading for a second time.
  • (5/5)
    Started and finished in a day! Just as good as the first time I heard the story and, because I couldn’t remember who the murderer was, it kept me in suspense until the end. It was a fast and easy read. So glad I finally picked this one up!
  • (4/5)
    I had such high expectations after Murder on the Orient Express that I was looking forward to another unconventional whodunnit. Most other reviewers, and perhaps most of its 100 million readers, disagree. They enjoy it for the ingenuity of the plot, or the moral questions raised about how one can dispense justice. On the first point, as I could not connect with any of the characters, I lacked any interest in identifying the murderer. On the second point, the moral question arose in my mind as more of a brief afterthought than a deep analysis.

    What saves this novel, for me, is the surprise ending. The problem is I don't read novels solely for their endings.
  • (5/5)
    It's been seven years since I last read this and I somehow forgot who did this and it drove me nuts until I got to the end! It's a real windinger of a mystery that you have to be a genius to even begin to solve. Ten strangers are invited to Indian island under "murky" circumstances, they soon found out that their mysterious host Mr. U N Owen (unknown) hasn't bothered to show. Too late they realize that something is afoot and the guests begin to die off one at a time. Whose behind it? Is there someone else on the island? Is it one of them? The deaths get more and more outlandish and they all start to crack. Who would do such a thing? It's dark, deep, and one hell of a mystery. A classic that will never go out of style!
  • (5/5)
    What a wonderful piece of writing! So simple, yet so complex a plot which kept me guessing and second guessing right to the end. A writer at the very top of her game. I just wonder why I waited so long to read this. Bravo Agatha!
  • (3/5)
    Well-plotted mystery but the writing can be awkward and annoying - especially when the author reveals what the characters are thinking.
  • (5/5)
    I remember reading this a few years back and thinking this was the best mystery novel I've ever read. It still is! Agatha Christie really knew how to write a mystery novel of the ages. You're kept guessing even after the end. And Then There Were None(or previously published as Ten Little Indians) is clever, fun, and creepy. 5/5 would definitely recommend to others.
  • (5/5)
    My absolute favorite Christie novel. Skillfully woven in the surest of hands, this mystery will keep you guessing.
  • (4/5)
    Another one I read a long time ago -- my grandmother introduced me to Agatha Christie and I probably first read this while in high school. Around the time this edition was published there was a movie version, and so I probably read it again at that time. Lots of suspense and the typical complicated Christie plot. Recommended.
  • (5/5)
    Fresh and entertaining as if written yesterday. Funny and exciting.
  • (5/5)
    how do i give this book 1000 stars because it is honest to god the best book i've ever read and agatha christie is my favourite author now. she's just. an absolute genius. and this book is the epitome of mindfuckery. now i understand why this is her most popular work. i don't even have words. i read this the way i read every agatha christie book: suspicions changing every 3 seconds all the while waiting to see how wrong i was. and boy was i wrong. i've never been this wrong.
    it was quite morbid in my opinion but for some reason i didn't really mind, and it was also beautiful in a really twisted way. she just has this unique way of writing that i haven't encountered before, it's what makes me love her books so much. and also the emotions she manages to make me feel?? which really shouldn't be a thing because this is mystery. but still it made me emotional. and then it left me speechless.
    now my only question is: is every mystery book like this or is this just her? and also do people ever correctly guess the ending. is that a thing. i mean there must be hints in the book?? i think?? but i just can't imagine how smart you have to be in order to guess it.
    in conclusion, this is my favourite book and i don't think anything will ever top this. and i would urge everyone to read agatha christie like. right now.
  • (5/5)
    Agatha Christie is defininetly one of the best mystery authors out there, and I enjoyed And Then There Were None immensely. The characters, setting, and most importantly the plot were absolutely amazing! I don't know if I would have been able to figure out the murderer was, but I was too captivated by the story to even try, but it was most definitely one fo the most mysterious and captivating novels I've ever read!
  • (4/5)
    Being a book lover and an avid reader, I've obviously heard of Agatha Christie many times. For whatever reason, I was scared to pick up a book from her and read it, but i'm really glad I did. While I didn't love this book, I still really enjoyed it, esp. the concept of the book. I knew once hearing about Gretchen McNeil's retelling of this story, that I needed to read this classic first, to get a full understanding of the re-telling., which I will be reading very shortly to see the similarities and the differences between the two authors, and their different writing styles. Agatha Christie def. has a great writing style, and the characters and the writing were both addictive. I know Agatha is known to be the Queen of Mystery and I guess I wanted more mystery from this story, instead, the ending kinda felt left open and not having a consise and solid answer, but more of a :take what you will" from it kind of resolution, and I had expected and wanted more. I felt like I saw all the twists and turns coming which in my opinion a great mystery makes you think something's going to happen, but then takes you in the complete and opposite direction.I definitely want to read more from Agatha Christie, and like I said, I did enjoy the book, and It was a quick read, I just amped it up to be something that fell a bit short for me in the end.
  • (4/5)
    One of Christie's best. While reading it, I could not help but think it would make an excellent movie directed by the Coen Brothers.
  • (4/5)
    Seeing the stage production of Ten Little Indians back when I was in Jr. High was my introduction to the whodunit genre, and this story has stuck with me ever since. The book doesn't have the same impact as the play, the writing seems very dated and stodgy, but the intricacy of the plot still shines through.
  • (5/5)
    This book is quintessentially vintage Agatha Christie. It's nearly impossible to guess who the killer is until the very end and the method of choice (how the murders are done) are very original. It can be a little bit difficult to keep up with all of the characters especially as there isn't much development. I actually read the book twice back-to-back and that really helped me make more sense of everything the second time through. It's definitely a good enough read that you won't be bored going back over it again a second time. It's almost even more interesting the second time around once you know what's happening. I don't how she is able to keep the tension so palpable throughout the entire book but keep it she does. It's nearly impossible to put the book down once you've started and I'd challenge anyone to solve the mystery before the final page.
  • (3/5)
    I found the book contrived and inelegant. We know nothing about the characters who gather on an island for a variety of reasons, some pretty far-fetched. The tension is well maintained, but I don't care about any of the characters. I guess I'm too used to more modern mysteries that develop the characters as they go and give us more motivation.
  • (5/5)
    'And Then There Were None' is one of Agatha Christie's best books, and definitely one of the best in her collection. The mysterious and suspenseful plot of the novel draws the readers in without a doubt, with Christie's extremely well portrayed characters, and vivid imagery. The chilling atmosphere of this novel will definitely send shivers down your spine, as you become engrossed in this exquisite murder mystery, whilst desperately trying to figure out 'whodunnit'.'And Then There Were None' by the famous Agatha Christie is one of the world's best murder mystery novel of all time. The beautiful yet suspenseful story will keep the reader on the edge all the time. Each character's true personality is shown little by little as they try to hide their stained past and find the culprit hidden among the group of ten guests, stuck on a mansion on a isolated island, chosen by the mysterious U.N. Owen. Agatha with her wild imagination uses the nursery rhyme 'Ten Little Indians' beautifully in this novel. A true connoisseur of mystery novels will definitely become engrossed by this book.
  • (5/5)
    A couple of friends of mine like to read the ending lines of any novel just for fun before they start reading it. I dare you to do the same with this novel.*

    *Disclaimer - Don't blame me afterwards.
  • (4/5)
    I'm a big lover of Agatha Christie, she has written some fantastic murder mysteries and her stories never get tiring. But this is the one that just comes out on top every time.

    It partly, and quite amusingly, reminds me of that old American murder mystery in Sunset Beach. Basically, they're the only ones on this island and someone is killing them off one by one in accordance with the Ten Little Indians rhyme . And I swear I never saw it coming, and I'm usually very good at it. It's just a very clever novel, full of mystery and suspense and easily quite frightening at times.

    I like how Agatha Christie doesn't have to write a 500 page novel with a massive back story, her mysteries are very simply put together but always clever and hard to decipher. I would recommend this book to everyone.
  • (4/5)
    Fun little mystery to read in between my usual heavy stuff. Despite being emulated hundreds of times by other authors, the original still packs a formidable punch.
  • (5/5)
    Wow, it's been quite a while since I've read any Agatha Christie, and now I'm wondering why! I thoroughly enjoyed And Then There Were None. The plot moved quickly, and the story was suspenseful from beginning to end. I didn't expect the book to end the way it did, but loved the ending!
  • (3/5)
    i've read so many agatha christie books that it's difficult to remember all the titles and convoluted plots. however, this one in particular i listened to on cd while walking in the woods. i decided to go "off trail." so...lost in the woods when it was dreary and rainy with murder streaming into the ol' ears equals brilliant.
  • (5/5)
    Can anything be said about this book that hasn't already been said a thousand times? It's a classic and it's been given every accolade possible for a mystery novel. It set standards that are almost impossible for other mystery writers to reach. But those kinds of comments can make it seem stuffy and inaccessible. The exact opposite would be true. It's extremely readable, pulls you into it's world immediately and is hugely satisfying in it's conclusion.In case anyone has somehow missed the plot of this book, it's set on a island off the coast of Devon. 10 strangers are invited or hired to be there and when they arrive, their mysterious host in nowhere to be found. Weather prevents them from returning to the mainland and one by one they are murdered until there is no one left. Since everyone is dead, who can possibly be the murderer? This was my first introduction to Agatha Christie. I read it when I was in 5th grade. I bought it through the Scholastic Book program and it is still on my shelf to this day 40 years later. It's the scariest Agatha Christie and it left me scared to walk down the hall in my house when I first read it. I remember my mom calling me to supper when I was in the middle of reading this book and running down the hall to get to the dinner table because I was so spooked by what I had been reading. I've read it at least 10 times since then and I still find myself looking over my shoulder when I do even though I know whodunnit!Whether you're a mystery lover or just a lover of good writing, you have to give this one a try. In my world, it truly is the standard by which all other mysteries are judged.
  • (5/5)
    Wow! Just when I thought Agatha Christie couldn't get any better, I read this! I'm truly in awe with the mystery master :) It's a good thing I read the epilogue and the end note; I admit I don't always do with books, but now I definitely will. Great read!
  • (5/5)
    Ten people who don't know each other are invited by a Mr. Owen to spend their holidays on an island where there is nothing but a big mansion. After dinner a recording say them that in fact they are there to pay fot crimes they did in the past. The accusations are well-founded and unable to leave the house, the guests are being killed off one by one in mysterious murder.
  • (5/5)
    Everyone has heard of Agatha Christie, yet I had never read her. Of course I saw the movie "Murder on the Orient Express" and I think there was another one when I was in high school. But mostly I remember a movie based on a period in Agatha Christie's life when she disappeared. The movie, called "Agatha", starred Vanessa Redgrave and Dustin Hoffman. In the movie, she plans her own suicide in such a way as to look like her husband's mistress had killed her. Wow, now that's cunning. So I wanted something short, but would hold my interest for reading on the treadmill. This looked like just the thing.10 people are invited to an island for a stay at the lone mansion. None know each other (except for the two servants who are married and are hired to cater to the other 8), but soon find that they have something in common: they have all gotten away with murder. One by one they are killed off until no one remained alive. How was it done, and by whom? This is my first Agatha Christie novel, and I loved it. Her characters are intriguing, but not outlandish. The pacing of the novel was perfect. By the end you are racing to find out how it was all done, and whether you have figured it out. Though the novel takes place in the 30s, it did not seem too dated, except for an expression that I could not decipher. The expression was used twice and, to our ears, sounds racist. My interpretation of it based on how it was used was that it meant that something is out of place--though this was just a guess. The expression is: A nigger in the woodpile. Wikipedia says it is an expression meaning "some fact of considerable importance that is not disclosed—something suspicious or wrong" and refers to fugitive slaves escaping by hiding in piles of firewood or wood planks being transported by train. Apparently, Christie's original title for the novel was "Ten Little Niggers." Despite this awkward saying, the novel is well worth reading.
  • (3/5)
    interesting book. a mix of Clue and Who Is Kyser Sose.
  • (4/5)
    I don't read mysteries very often, but perhaps I should pick them up more frequently. And Agatha Christie is definitely one of the masters of the mystery writing craft.

    I could not put this book down. I just had to know what came next. I was even a bit confused after finishing the epilogue and still not knowing for sure who had orchestrated the elaborate scenario that resulted in ten murders and one suicide. But like nearly all serial killers, the murderer craved recognition and left us a message in a bottle.

    Ten people stranded on an island a mile off the coast all of whom have skeletons in their closets. A nursery rhyme rewritten as a prophecy (self-fulfilling in more than one case) of doom. Mix the ingredients and let it bake in the August sun for two to three days and wallah! No survivors and many unanswered questions.

    Definitely a must read for any mystery aficionado.
  • (4/5)
    I originally read this book when I was in sixth grade, and at the time I followed along with what my mom always did when she'd start reading a book—she'd read the last chapter first. I'm not sure why she did that, though she's long since passed, so I can't ask. But this is the book that finally broke me of the habit. That's because, like most Agatha Christie novels, the entire plot and whodunit is revealed in the last chapter. Kinda kills the mystery when you know what's going to happen.

    Fast Forward to a few weeks ago. I decided to read this again as I had completely forgotten the specifics over the years. So I figured that I'd finally have a chance to be surprised by Ms. Christie, which I was. Amazingly, though I sometimes watch various versions of her books on film or tv, I haven't seen a

    She certainly loves to toss in a red herring to throw the whole thing off, and this one actually surprised me, though I love how twisted the killer is, in the end. *mini spoiler* I found the first person account of the murders at the end absolutely delicious; much more entertaining than how it was presented in the rest of the book. I think it was how she captured the villain's voice so well and gave the murderer such a complex yet realistic deviousness that I was enthralled.

    Sadly, while I enjoyed the mystery, her writing style isn't something that pulls me in—except for that last chapter. So it gets four stars because her plots and mysteries far outshine most mystery writers today or possibly ever, but I just couldn't get into the writing itself as much as I'd hoped. Perhaps one of her Poirot or Miss Marple stories would be a better fit. Or I'm happy to enjoy her work in the numerous television or film renditions of her work.

    *For those wondering what about her style I didn't connect with, it was the dialogue, and especially dialogue tags that killed me. Plus, the omniscient narrator had us hopping around eight or so different heads, which kills the intimacy readers usually get when it's just one or two characters that we're following closely. But it is the mystery for which Christie is known and what she excels at, so I'll give her a pass. ;)