Friday, January 30, 2009

And Then There Were None...random thoughts

Short and sweet here. Loved this book when I first read it all those many, many years ago when I was in seventh grade. Loved it again this time around.

Annie and I are doing a unit on plays this quarter. We actually read the play "Ten Little Indians" first. And I decided it would be worthwhile to then read the novel, so Annie could get a feel for the differences. This was the first of Christie's novels for which Christie herself wrote the stage version. She had been disappointed in some attempts that had been made by others in turning some of her other novels into plays, feeling that they had tried to stick too closely to the original novel. I found that rather interesting, always assuming that authors would not want their novels "messed with." But of course, Christie was far smarter than I am, and she realized that what works in a book, won't necessarily work on a stage. So while the basic story is similar in both the novel and the play, there are definitely major differences as well. And she brilliantly pulled off both versions.

In the unlikely event that someone doesn't know the basic gist of the story, ten people are "lured" to an island under false pretenses. Each is then accused of committing a murder in their past, and judgment falls upon them one by one.

If pressed, I suppose I would say I enjoyed the novel a bit more. For what is probably the obvious reason...there is simply more depth in the novel. And I do admit, too, that I'm just not as practiced at reading plays.

There is one thing that makes me uncomfortable. There is definitely a pervading racism displayed. And yes, I realize that it is a reflection of the times when it was written. But somehow that fact can never quite take away the sadness it still brings.


For more thoughts:

*Joy at Thoughts of Joy

And if you've got a review you'd like me to add here, just leave a link in the comments. Thanks.


Joy said...

I reread your last paragraph a couple of times because the last book I read made me feel the same way. The good news in that is that at least we (personally) feel that way. Right? We (in general) have come a long way!

I'm so glad you enjoyed this . . . again. :)

Stephanie said...

I haven't read this in years, but I loved it when I did!!

Don't really remember anything racist, but then again, I was probably in school when I read it. I don't think I picked up on stuff like that back then.

Eva said...

I never know how to read plays in the best way.

And as far as the racism goes...a bookstore in Krasnodar, Russia had a small English section, and they carried this one. Except it was called by the original title-I almost had a heart attack when I saw Ten Little N* staring at me from the shelf.

Nymeth said...

Racism aside, I quite like the sound of this! Speaking of racism in older books, I started The Time Machine today, and as much as I'm enjoying it I couldn't help but be a bit put off with the talk of "civilized gentlemen" vs "savages". Not that I hold it against Wells, of course...he was a product of his time.

I finished a book on Racism a few days ago that I'd sure you'd enjoy! But I'll avoid hijacking the comments and tell you all about it later :P

Nymeth said...

er, I didn't mean to capitalized "racism" was just that I was going to write the whole book title at first :P

Trish said...

Oh I really need to read this one! I *only* know the gist of the story--what you wrote is basically it. :) Out of curiosity, when was the book written?

Debi said...

I'm pretty sure it was first published in 1939. I hope you do read it...I think you'd enjoy it. And it's a nice quick read, too, which is sometimes nice. :)

Kerrie said...

You might like to consider submitting your reviews of Agatha Christie to the Agatha Christie Reading Challenge Carnival. See for details