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Murder on the Orient Express: A Hercule Poirot Mystery (Hercule Poirot Mysteries, 10) Paperback – January 18, 2011
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THE MOST WIDELY READ MYSTERY OF ALL TIME—NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE DIRECTED BY KENNETH BRANAGH AND PRODUCED BY RIDLEY SCOTT!
“The murderer is with us—on the train now . . .”
Just after midnight, the famous Orient Express is stopped in its tracks by a snowdrift. By morning, the millionaire Samuel Edward Ratchett lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside. Without a shred of doubt, one of his fellow passengers is the murderer.
Isolated by the storm, detective Hercule Poirot must find the killer among a dozen of the dead man’s enemies, before the murderer decides to strike again.
“What more . . . can a mystery addict desire?” — New York Times
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“A brilliantly ingenious story.” — Dorothy L. Sayers, Daily Herald (UK)
“It’s tempting to say that Agatha Christie is a genius and let it go at that, but the world’s had plenty of geniuses. Agatha Christie is something special.” — Lawrence Block, New York Times bestselling author
“[Moves] smoothly and entertainingly to its surprise conclusion.” — Chicago Daily Tribune
“Nothing short of swell. [Christie] is probably the best suspicion scatterer and diverter in the business.” — New York Herald Tribune
“Need it be said—the little grey cells solve once more the seemingly insoluble. Mrs Christie makes an improbable tale very real, and keeps her readers enthralled and guessing to the end.” — Times Literary Supplement (London)
“What more…can a mystery addict desire?” — New York Times
“Agatha Christie’s books are both wonderful crime novels and studies in contrast and duality, and I adore them still. Underestimate them at your peril.” — Louise Penny, #1 New York Times-bestselling author of the Inspector Gamache novels
“Reading a perfectly plotted Agatha Christie is like crunching into a perfect apple: that pure, crisp, absolute satisfaction.” — Tana French, New York Times-bestselling author of the Dublin Murder Squad novels
“Agatha Christie taught me many important lessons about the inner workings of the mystery novel before it ever occurred to me that I might one day be writing mysteries myself.” — Sue Grafton, #1 New York Times-bestselling author of the Kinsey Millhone novels
“Any mystery writer who wants to learn how to plot should spend a few days reading Agatha Christie. She’ll show you everything you want to know.” — Donna Leon, New York Times-bestselling author of the Commissario Brunetti novels
“I always wanted to be Agatha Christie when I grew up. I still do.” — J. A. Jance, New York Times-bestselling author of the Joanna Brady and J. P. Beaumont novels
“Agatha Christie’s indelibly etched characters have entertained millions across the years and a love of her work has brough together generations of readers—a singular achievement for any author and an inspiration to writers across the literary landscape.” — Jacqueline Winspear, New York Times-bestselling author of the Maisie Dobbs novels
From the Back Cover
Just after midnight, the famous Orient Express is stopped in its tracks by a snowdrift. By morning, the millionaire Samuel Edward Ratchett lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside. One of his fellow passengers must be the murderer.
Isolated by the storm, detective Hercule Poirot must find the killer among a dozen of the dead man's enemies, before the murderer decides to strike again.
- Publisher : William Morrow Paperbacks; Reissue edition (January 18, 2011)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 288 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0062073494
- ISBN-13 : 978-0062073495
- Lexile measure : 640L
- Item Weight : 7.8 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.31 x 0.65 x 8 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #4,651 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Reviewed in the United States on November 20, 2017
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If you’ve never read it before, you’re missing a truly exceptional mystery set in the early 1920’s.
I love the 1974 Murder on the Orient Express movie and have watched it several times over the years on TV and DVD. I've only recently read the book for the first time on Kindle, and was frankly quite amazed to see how faithful the movie was to Christie's novel of the same title written in 1934. Since most of the story takes place on a train, it was relatively easy for producers to keep the movie closely aligned to the book even in many small details, and I'm grateful that they did. After reading the book and seeing how Christie portrayed Poirot as being a more quiet and low key personality, I can appreciate that some criticize the selection and performance of Albert Finney as Poirot because he is often quite emotional and demonstrative, as well as physically different than the Poirot Christie described. This is the only major difference between the 1974 movie and the book, though it can be a crucial difference for Christie fans.
Christie's story is loosely based on the actual kidnapping of aviator Charles Lindbergh's 20-month-old son in 1932. A $50,000 ransom was paid but the baby was murdered and his body was found two months later. A household servant who was suspected by the police of playing a part in the kidnapping did commit suicide.
In Christie's story, Hercule Poirot is returning to England aboard the Orient Express. The train is halted at night because of heavy snow and a passenger is found murdered in his bed the following morning. A doctor happens to be on board and tells Poirot that there are twelve stab wounds in the body. Everyone in the coach is a suspect, but what was the motive? Poirot must wade through the maze of contradictory clues and apparent impossibilities, some of which make him recall a child kidnapping/murder that happened a few years previously.
The 1974 movie was stylishly done with great performances by an all star cast, and the music is also wonderful. Wikipedia lists these awards and Cast members:
Academy Award: Best Supporting Actress, Ingrid Bergman
Academy Award Nomination: Best Actor in a Leading Role, Albert Finney
Academy Award Nomination: Best Cinematography, Geoffrey Unsworth
Academy Award Nomination: Best Costume Design, Tony Walton
Academy Award Nomination: Best Music, Original Dramatic Score, Richard Rodney Bennett
Academy Award Nomination: Best Writing, Screenplay Adapted from Other Material, Paul Dehn
Albert Finney ... Hercule Poirot
Lauren Bacall ... Mrs. Harriet Belinda Hubbard
Sean Connery ... Colonel Arbuthnott
Ingrid Bergman ... Greta Ohlsson
Michael York ... Count Rudolf Andrenyi
Vanessa Redgrave ... Mary Debenham
Jacqueline Bisset ... Countess Elena Andrenyi
Richard Widmark ... Mr. Ratchett
John Gielgud ... Edward Henry Masterman
Anthony Perkins ... Hector McQueen
Martin Balsam ... Bianchi
Rachel Roberts ... Hildegarde Schmidt
Wendy Hiller ... Princess Dragomiroff
Denis Quilley ... Antonio (Tony) Foscarelli
Colin Blakely (as Colin Blankey) ... Cyrus B. "Dick" Hardman
Jean-Pierre Cassel ... Pierre Michel
George Coulouris ... Dr. Constantine
The 2004 DVD has good video & audio quality, and it plus the nicely formatted Kindle book or printed books will make great gifts for mystery lovers. I enjoyed reading the Kindle book and often replay the DVD because the movie is that great. I hope you will enjoy them also.
Top reviews from other countries
It’s a simple plot. Poirot is travelling home across Europe on the Orient Express. The train is stopped by snow on the track and then a murder is discovered. The suspects are all in the same carriage and nobody can get on or leave without leaving footprints in the snow. Poirot has no contact with the outside world and needs to find the killer amongst them by using only his powers of deduction.
This novel is largely confined to events in a railway carriage and is structured more like a crime report than the inspired work of crime fiction it truly is. The first section covers events leading up to Poirot finding himself in the fateful carriage. The second deals with him gathering evidence by questioning the suspects. And the third is where Poirot works it all out and presents his conclusions.
The first impression of the initial print run in the UK was relatively small for a new Agatha Christie novel. Perhaps the publishers weren’t convinced by the reaction in the USA to the 1933 serialisation? But this is peak Christie. The writing is superb. The characters feel real and you tend to forget how unlikely the circumstances are.
The finale was no doubt a work of genius back in 1934. But, unlike Agatha’s hugely successful and long running play, The Mousetrap, the ending has not been kept so successfully secret. Which is a shame. It’s still a brilliant read. Just for different reasons to most other Poirot novels.
It was an interesting read. Having never seen Murder on the Orient Express I had no idea whodunnit and so the whole case was a mystery to me. I enjoyed the way Agatha Christie wove the tale, creating links between characters slowly until the ending - which was a surprise, and I'm still not sure if I'm happy with it.
The writing was easy to follow, which was a surprise to me considering it was written in 1934, it reads like present day language! The only clues you have that it's an older book are countries mentioned that no longer exist, e.g. Yugoslavia. It was very easy to read and overall a very enjoyable novel.
I'd recommend it to people who like watching shows like Sherlock and Jonathan Creek, you know the type of shows - where links only become apparent when the main character explains why they're apparent - you wouldn't have thought it a link otherwise.
It's a good book to get lost in for a few hours, and I'll be looking at getting other Agatha Christie novels in the future. This one has definitely stood the test of time.
The pace of the story is way too slow for my liking. I like my crime novels to be fast paced and exciting, and this just wasn’t it. I found myself losing interest. I appreciate Poirot’s process and methods to cracking a case, but they’re just not that enjoyable to read. It’s all so long winded.
We were given so much information about ALL of the characters, but even then, I felt no connection with any of them. I didn’t particularly like or dislike any of them, I simply didn’t care about them. I do quite like Poirot’s character though, I enjoy his no care attitude, and the fact that he doesn’t tolerate any bullshit.
The only reason I really continued with the story is because I actually wanted to find out who did it, but even that was a let down. It was so anti-climatic, and to me it felt like Christie had just thrown something together without much thought for the who done it.
I had such high expectations for this book, considering how well loved it is, but ultimately I was let down. It has made me unsure as to whether to even bother reading any more of Agatha Christie’s books.
I give Murder on The Orient Express a 2 star rating, and that’s probably being generous.