View Full Version : Agatha Christie


Lone Wolf
Mar 05, 2010, 11:53 PM
She's the best-selling writer of books. Only the Bible outsells her. What can be the reason for such popularity? She's obviously not Shakespeare or something.

It's interesting to know that she, apparently, is being much more appreciated across the Channel then in her own homeland - Christie's books sell four times as many copies in France as in Britain these days and French critics tend to pay more respect to her then English ones.

I admit I belong to the circle of her fans, too, though I like only 1/3 of her books (mostly pre 50-ies ones, though there are a couple of exceptions) - she is quite uneven to me. Still, that's enough for me to feel gratitude to her for brightening my life.

I always read her in English, in Russian I find her ureadable. I much prefer the Poirot books, despite my avatar - though I like Marple as a character and as a literary creation a bit more, I find the Marple plots inferior.

Her characterisation in books I like is roughly on par with Dickens' characterization (about which enough had been said in the High Literature thread). Occasionally it's more subtle then her usual (see Five Little Pigs or The Hollow). The Five Little Pigs film in the Suchet Poirot series did a great job with the book, despite changing a couple of things (what does anyone think about that series, btw?)

Kyriakos
Mar 06, 2010, 02:34 AM
I thought, you being russian, that this would be about the band with that name :)

I haven't read any AC, although i saw some movies of her work. I have mixed opinnions of them.

Lone Wolf
Mar 06, 2010, 04:13 AM
I thought, you being russian, that this would be about the band with that nameI'd think that my avatar would give you ideas...


I haven't read any AC, although i saw some movies of her work. I have mixed opinnions of them. As said, AC was an uneven writer herself - sometimes fresh and poignant, sometimes rather uninspired and cliched. And considering that, at least, with the Poirot series, each movie is done by its own creative team, it's no surprise that things will feel mixed. Even the degree of staying true to the original plot varies from the episode to the episode, through in 90% of them they are staying true to the basic plotline at least. Sometimes the changes work nicely, sometimes they just add some cheap sensationalism.

Lord Baal
Mar 06, 2010, 06:52 AM
I've only read a few of Christie's works, but I found them to be stunningly good mysteries. Her characterisations are one-dimensional, but she tells such bloody good stories...

... It's like how the Classic Star Wars Trilogy films are great to watch, even though the plot is mind-boggingly simplistic and the acting - with the exception of Harrison Ford - is bloody awful all throughout. George Lucas found such a good story - many would say by reading Dune :mischief: - that it transcended its myriad bad qualities. Christie, at least in the few books of hers - all Miss Marple stories - accomplished much the same thing. As a budding writer myself, I wish to god I could figure out how.

As a side question, has anyone here read any of her romances? She wrote them under a pseudonym, concurrently with her mysteries. Be interesting to see if she duplicated this quality of hers in a different genre.

Lone Wolf
Mar 06, 2010, 07:08 AM
Her characterisations are one-dimensional, but she tells such bloody good stories...


There are some exceptions with subtler characterization, though (I've named two in the OP). And some of her more flat character types are quite entertaining.

Christie, at least in the few books of hers - all Miss Marple stories - accomplished much the same thing.

Strangely, I find the plotting in Marple stories inferior to most Poirot ones. Most (barring 2-3) of Christie's works I like were written in 30-40's, while most Marple works had been written later then that. Her later novels often meander around, suffering from a plethora of reduntant dialogue that adds nothing to the plot or characterization.

As a side question, has anyone here read any of her romances?

No. I'd like to read Absent in Spring, though, because the premise sounds intriguing.

Does anyone watch the Poirot TV series with Suchet?

Lord Baal
Mar 06, 2010, 07:28 AM
I made a terrible typo in my above post, which I'll mention here instead of editing since you've already responded. I meant to say that all the Agatha Christie books I'd read were Miss Marple books, not that the Marple stories were superior to the Poirot ones. I wouldn't know, I haven't read any of them.

I tried to get into the Poirot series, but it aired opposite something else I already enjoyed, so I didn't get to watch it.