30 November 2009

And Then There Were None

"Literature by Women" scheduled Agatha Christie's murder-mystery, set on an isolated island, for November 2009 (meaning I scheduled it after the group voted because I'm the moderator).  This wasn't the first read-through the novel for me; I read it in high school when we did Ten Little Indians in the play adaptation and I've read it a few times since then.  And Then There Were None is truly a masterwork in the mystery/thriller/crime genre.

Without spoiling too much of the plot I can say that I always puzzle over how the reader is supposed to figure out the identity of the murderer before the end of the story (and before the epilogue starts).  The prose is very spare and Christie does not allow the omniscient narrator to get inside the murderer's head.  On this read through, actually, it was the final flip-through before returning the book to the shelf until next time, I think I might have caught onto Christie's very small clue.  I think the ability of the reader to solve the puzzle rests on the amount and type of internal dialogue made available to the reader.  How one is supposed to catch it on a first read (or second or third, for that matter) I don't know but I would need to read through the book again specifically to take note of the internal dialogue.

Project for next time.  Haha.

Clear Off Your Shelves Challenge Count: 16/20

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