Monday, October 26, 2015

#Collaboreads: And Then There Were None

Boo! #Collaboreads has snuck back up on us once again! And this month we're tackling thrillers and horror (or mysteries) that were published before 2010. I mean, there's some serious random criteria for you! 

If you missed what #Collaboreads is, you can familiarize yourself here. Short version: Rachel and I pick a random criteria for the book (i.e. Takes Place in Summertime). You pick your book and read it. Then the last Monday of the month we meet up and talk about our choices. There's a R.E.A.D.S. review format that we've shared for suggestion's sake (shared in this post), but feel free to review however you're comfortable!

This month I decided to throw it way back and grab a classic mystery from the queen of mystery herself: Agatha Christie. 

This book was tricky for me because I'd heard so much about it. It was originally published in 1939 and has run it's course through a half dozen different titles due to changing norms of political correctness and language. The history of the book might be what was, in fact, the most fascinating part to me, especially as I look at the way we as a nation and culture are redefining the appropriateness and usage of particular words. 

It's important to mention that the beginning of this book is confusing. There are ten characters, all who are introduced to you right off the bat, and it can be nearly impossible to tell them all apart in as they're being rattled off in the first chapter. But, they come into focus and develop into distinct people as the plot of the novel gets started. Don't be discouraged, please don't be discouraged.

I found myself relating, most heavily, to the attitude in the house as members are slowly murdered (I mean, this isn't a spoiler by this point, right?). There's a swing of emotions from shocked to angry to concerned to paranoid and, well, I think the swing is similar to the way I felt upon my dad's diagnosis. There's a sort of unknown hunter in life (our cause of death) and so it is the same in the novel. I guess this is a beautiful example of a microcosm, but it just didn't go complete Lord of the Flies for me. 

All I could think the entire time was how much the movie reminded me of Rat Race. Total throwback to my childhood movie selections. But the premise was so familiar. Of course, And Then There Were None doesn't end in quite the same way Rat Race does, but the similarities are not lost on me.

I also felt parts of the novel were so reminiscient of Twelve Angry Men. The arguing and logic and clashing of each person's particular past all while in the pressure cooker of a particular setting (in one a jury room, in the other on an island) were obvious connections.

The cover didn't do a whole lot for me, but it's Agatha Christie the queen of mystery! I wanted to love it, really I did, but just couldn't, didn't, won't.

The book was good, but not great. It was interesting, but not as nuanced as I was excitedly expecting. There was a little quippy rhyme in the beginning that ended up foreshadowing in the most obvious way the entire plot line and, well, I enjoy some surprise.

And now, you talk about all the words you read: 

Next month we're meeting on
November 30th!
And we're reading

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