Author ~ Agatha Christie
Pages ~ 173
Memorable Quotes: “Many homicidal lunatics are very quiet, unassuming people. Delightful fellows.”
“Crime is terribly revealing. Try and vary your methods as you will, your tastes, your habits, your attitude of mind, and your soul is revealed by your actions.”
Favorite Character: Phillip Lombard
Summary: First, there were ten – a curious assortment of strangers summoned as weekend guests to a private island off the coast of Devon. Their host, an eccentric millionaire unknown to all of them, is nowhere to be found. All that the guests have in common is a wicked past they’re unwilling to reveal – and a secret that will seal their fate. For each has been marked for murder. One by one they fall prey. Before the weekend is out, there will be none. And only the dead are above suspicion.
(Thanks to Goodreads!)
I Rate It: 5/5 Stars ~*~ My bookshelf would be empty without it!
I will admit right away that this is, so far, the only Agatha Christie book that I have read, though I have a handful of them in my bookcase waiting for me.
This being said, that can’t keep And Then There Were None from being one of my favorites. I’ve re-read it, and would gladly do so probably a million more times! I don’t usually re-read books, as there are just so many to read! It’s absolutely wonderful; very well written and, as in all good mystery books, the ending is unexpected.
As you may be able to tell, this is a murder mystery. It involves ten characters. They are all asked (by someone named Owens) to go to this island, on which is a house. None of those asked to go know each other, except for the married couple that are there as servants when everyone else arrives. Obviously, this is all very queer. But things get even stranger. In all of the bedrooms, there is an old nursery rhyme. You know how there are so many nursery rhymes or “children’s” songs that are really very inappropriate for children (or even adults)? Well, this is one of those things. This is what it says:
Ten little Indian boys went out to dine;
One choked his little self and then there were nine.
Nine little Indian boys sat up very late;
One overslept himself and then there were eight.
Eight little Indian boys traveling in Devon;
One said he’d stay there and then there were seven.
Seven little Indian boys chopping up sticks;
One chopped himself in halves and then there were six.
Six little Indian boys playing with a hive;
A bumblebee stung one and then there were five.
Five little Indian boys going in for law,
One got in Chancery and then there were four.
Four little Indian boys going out to sea;
A red herring swallowed one and then there were three.
Three little Indian boys walking in the Zoo;
A big bear hugged one and then there were two.
Two little Indian boys sitting in the sun;
On got frizzled up and then there was one.
One little Indian boy left all alone;
He went and hanged himself and then there were none.
Downright disturbing, isn’t it? Nonetheless, it is the basis of the entire novel. Also, in this strange house, there is a group of ten ceramic Indian figurines, sitting on a table. As the group gathered for some tea and chatting, there was this strange voice, coming from none knew where. It said the name of each guest, and then told of crimes they had committed (and done a very good job at keeping secret, too). Murders; whether or not they seemed intentional. Of course, everybody panicked. Imagine, hearing something like that in front of a bunch of strangers (of course, being guilty doesn’t help) and then not knowing how the stranger that had invited you to get there in the first place could have begun to learn of it! Very shortly after this, one of the group dies; poisoned by his drink. It appears to be a suicide, even. Sometime after this first death, someone sees that one of the figurines has vanished. And then there were nine. This, of course, repeats itself until there are none.
The gripping thing about this book is that you don’t know who has killed everyone! You simply don’t know until the very end; literally the last couple of pages. It’s not a typical mystery book or show when you can at least guess at it. Well, of course you can guess, and as more die, then fewer choices you have…but even your best guess is wrong. It would be annoying if it wasn’t so brilliant! The book itself isn’t very long, but even if it were, I would have no trouble reading it quickly. I will warn you that, once you start, you can’t stop; but you won’t want to, either, so it’s okay!
It’s really hard to write about this book without giving anything away! 😛 I’ll warn you now: Don’t get attached. You know what’s going to happen in the end, so try to keep your emotional attachment to all of the characters to a minimum. None of them are very likable, though, so it won’t be as difficult as in other novels! xD
Happy reading, fellow bibliophiles!