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Customer Review

181 of 194 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic Thriller!, March 31, 2002
This review is from: And Then There Were None (Mass Market Paperback)
Agatha Christie's AND THEN THERE WERE NONE should be very close to the top of any mystery fan's "must read list." The novel concerns a group of ten previously unacquainted people who are lured via various pretexts to Indian Island, a resort home off the coast of Devon--and are promptly accused by their unseen host of having escaped punishment for past crimes. Cut off from the world and fighting rising panic, they scramble to unmask the killer even as their number is reduced in macabre accordance with the "Ten Little Indians" nursey rhyme displayed in rooms throughout the house.

Agatha Christie was already famous when AND THEN THERE WERE NONE (also known under the title TEN LITTLE INDIANS) was published--but this book put her career well over the top: nothing like it had seen before, it proved a sensation, and writers and film-makers continue to use Christie's basic idea to this very day. Some critics argue the novel is mechanical rather than organic, but I say if this is mechanical, let's have more of it! It is truly a can't-put-it-down, non-stop read, a spectacular turn by the genre's single most celebrated author.

The success of the novel inspired Christie to adapt it for the stage, where it was a tremendous success, and there have been several film versions (most notably the 1940s Rene Clair-directed AND THEN THERE WERE NONE) over the years. If you know the story only from stage and film versions, however, you are in for a surprise. Christie felt the novel's conclusion did not translate well to the stage, so she re-wrote it--and most film versions follow the stage script, not the novel. But whether you've seen the play and films or not, get ready for a shock!

GFT, Amazon Reviewer
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Showing 1-10 of 14 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 3, 2009 9:58:51 PM PDT
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 3, 2009 10:15:38 PM PDT
What an odd comment.
Best wishes,
GFT

Posted on Dec 8, 2013 9:16:51 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 8, 2013 9:17:33 AM PST
Meme says:
I tried to post the original title of the book and got this message: "Your message will not be posted. Please see our Guidelines regarding objectionable content." The PC crowd only admits racial slurs when they are against WASP's! (And so many believe the US is full of White supremacists, we are all racists... Yeah!)

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 8, 2013 11:33:41 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 8, 2013 11:51:20 AM PST
Yes, I think most people are aware that the novel was originally titled TEN LITTLE NI--ERS. That was also the name of the nursery rhyme.

In British English, the word arises from the word niggardly, which means stingy, mean, petty and such. So the use of the word ni--er had a somewhat different meaning for British readers when the novel was first published. In the United States, of course, the word is very specifically a racist slur, and over time it has come to be regarded so in Britian as well, but that was not specifically the case when Christie wrote the novel.

Not to excuse Christie entirely. If you read her early works, you will find that they have a strongly anti-semtic streak, and it isn't until World War II that this disappears from her works; presumably the war taught her a lot on that particular point. Christie is hardly alone. Dorothy Sayers novels are often anti-semitic in a patronizing way. Interestingly, Christie and Sayers occasionally created characters that are implied to be gay and lesbian, and treated them sympathetically. Ngiao Marsh was racially inclusive in her writings, but she is horrendously homophobic, and at least one of her novels has a plot that essentially turns on her detective's rabid dislike of homosexuals.

Gary

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 8, 2013 11:59:03 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 8, 2013 11:59:54 AM PST
Meme says:
According to the dictionary niggardly has nothing to do withe the nig(blip)er word. As far as I know--English not being my mother tongue--the nursery rime was about little indians. I remember Christie creating homosexual characters and making unsympathetic remarks. By the way, I simply cannot stand this idiotic word, homophobic! Why should people be afraid of homosexuals?! (PS: I love your kitty's picture!)

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 8, 2013 3:02:47 PM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Dec 8, 2013 10:42:44 PM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 9, 2013 10:27:32 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 9, 2013 10:28:38 AM PST
Meme says:
Gery, it seems you offended the Amazon.com PC very deeply: they deleted your post! ROFLMAO! They are ever vigilant, I know that for a fact. Anyway, I speak 4 Romance languages, one being my mother tongue, and some English (as my husband likes to joke). As far as I researched, niggardly has a different root--I believe that's the word in English--different from the word "nig(blip)er. I am fascinated by languages and studied French, English, Portuguese, Italian, Spanish, Greek and Latin, and also Linguistics in college.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 9, 2013 3:48:10 PM PST
Can't imagine why they were offended. I thought I was well within the guidelines. Likely response: an over zealous new hire. Ho-hum.

Gary

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 10, 2013 7:27:35 PM PST
Meme says:
Oh, you might be new around here. They have a very strong PC police at Amazon.com. And there's no redressing, no matter how much you try to reason, they won't go back on their censoring! So much for "freedom of speech"...

Posted on Mar 19, 2015 10:47:29 AM PDT
nerdfighter says:
Is it possible I have read in paperback form, the stage or film version instead of this version of the book? I had an old copy of "Ten Little Indians" which I read many times but no longer own. Re-reading this classic now, I kept asking myself if I was totally mistaken on the changes I remembered. I didn't realize it had been changed, and I'm still questioning my memory - have you any idea if the film version was released as a novel?
Also, thank you for your insightful reviews.
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Review Details

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Gary F. Taylor
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Location: Biloxi, MS USA

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