Title: And Then There Were None
Author: Agatha Christie
Genre: Classic Mysteries
Number of Pages: 264
And Then There Were None is a classic novel that I’d been meaning to read for a long time, and I’m pleased to say it lived up to my expectations. I don’t read a lot of mysteries (in fact mysteries are probably one of my least-read genres) but I was impressed by how well Agatha Christie put this story together. This book (arguably her most famous work) starts out with ten seemingly random people being invited to an island for different manufactured reasons. The owner of the home where they’re invited is rich and most of them aren’t the kind of ‘upper-crust’ people usually seen on the island.
Once they’ve arrived an unseen force begins killing them off in accordance with a macabre rhyme hung up on the walls of their bedrooms. None of these people are likable- at least, I didn’t like any of them much. Part of the reason why I didn’t like them is that they’ve all done horrible things; things that their host is set on punishing them for. Some of them are worse than others (one killed a child she was an au pair for!) and their crimes are not always what you would expect.
A lot of the book consists of long sections of dialogue consisting of the main characters trying to figure out who the murderer is. Despite their fear they’re more casual than you might expect and some of them just kind of hang out and get to know each other while they try to figure out what to do next. Despite not caring about what happened to the characters I found this story utterly compelling and even though I couldn’t figure out who was who at first, I quickly got caught up on the characters and the roles they played in the mystery.
Even though people usually think of classic literature as slow and difficult to read, this was fast-paced and a very quick read. It felt quite contemporary in a way, I guess because of the pacing. I will not spoil the ending for you (because I’m not a heartless monster) but I thought it was very well-done. This is the first book I’ve read by Agatha Christie and I would like to read more, and I’d also like to read more mysteries in general. She was a ridiculously prolific writer! I seriously don’t know how she was able to write so many books in her lifetime but it’s obvious she had a wonderful imagination and loads of talent. This book might motivate me to read more classics that have been on my ‘to-read’ list for ages that I’ve been putting off.