Murder on the Orient Express – Agatha Christie

Yes, I am one of the many reading this classic Christie to coincide with the release of the movie (hey, it was a perfect choice for book club this month). Murder on the Orient Express is the tenth novel in the Hercule Poirot series by crime fiction queen Agatha Christie. The Orient Express, unusually full for the time of year, has been halted by a snow drift late a night. By morning the mysterious millionaire Mr Ratchett is dead in his compartment, stabbed twelve times. One of the passengers is responsible, it is up to Poirot to determine who is the mystery killer.

 

This was a nice easy read, the perfect length for an evening. In fact I was quite please with myself leaving myself enough time to read it in a single sitting and then top it off by watching the movie two nights later. The pace of the novel was consistent and kept me engaged. I particularly enjoyed the breakdown of the novel: the facts, the evidence and, of course, Hercule Poirot sits back and thinks. The ending was a perfect surprise, I would have never surmised it myself. A tad whimsical but is perfectly reflects the time it was written in – entertaining and exciting. This lead me to wonder if this kind of crime fiction would fly these days when we prize plausibility and reality much more than abstract mysteries.

 

There was not a huge depth to the characters but they were all vivid and unique, I’m very much looking forward to the visual representation on the screen. In all honesty this book is perfect for a movie adaptation. I do know I would like to try more Poirot in the future. Overall this was an enjoyable and fun read and I would recommend definitely making time to try at least one Agatha Christie in your lifetime and Murder on the Orient Express was a great choice.

 

 

4 thoughts on “Murder on the Orient Express – Agatha Christie

  1. The part where you said “This lead me to wonder if this kind of crime fiction would fly these days when we prize plausibility and reality much more than abstract mysteries” is SO true. When my friends and I watched the movie they were so hung up on the small details and facts and how likely it would be for this to take place. They could not get over how and why they would all pretend to not know each other so well and for such a long time. They couldn’t just sit back and be entertained by the story!

    That being said, what did you think of the movie?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I actually think I enjoyed it more than the book! It was more dramatic and a bit more nuanced. It was interesting to note the subtle difference that speak in volumes about our time. For example, the issue of race – instead of stereotyping every single nationality (with Italians taking the brunt of it in the book I believe) the movie only brought up the racial issue of skin with Arbuthnot’s character. Both Ratchett and Bouc were younger and a LOT more good looking than expected – actually, all of them were when compared to their character descriptions – and I think it speaks to our shallowness as consumers (not complaining though, love me some Depp and Bateman). And instead of saying a small dark man with a womanish voice they changed it to a small man with a high-pitched voice (I’m guessing to avoid all the gender debates taking place in our current climate).

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    1. Those are some really great points I hadn’t consciously noticed about the movie! I noticed the book was quite racist at times but considering the time period it was written in it didn’t surprise me too much. Overall I enjoyed them both and thought the movie did a great job portaging the story.

      Liked by 1 person

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