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Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha…
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Murder on the Orient Express (original 1934; edition 1995)

by Agatha Christie

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10,415273395 (4.05)597
Member:whitefantom
Title:Murder on the Orient Express
Authors:Agatha Christie
Info:Collins (1995), Edition: New Ed, Paperback, 224 pages
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Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie (1934)

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English (259)  Dutch (3)  Swedish (3)  Spanish (2)  Piratical (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Danish (1)  German (1)  Italian (1)  French (1)  All languages (273)
Showing 1-5 of 259 (next | show all)
Colonel Mustard in the library with a dagger... ( )
1 vote LivingReflections | Dec 2, 2018 |
The passengers on the Calais Coach wake to find themselves trapped by a snowdrift… and something far worse.

Returning home from the Middle East, Hercule Poirot – by sheer coincidence and his connections – manages to get the last berth on the Calais Coach of the Orient Express, wherein he is quickly approached by a wealthy passenger, Mr. Ratchett who wants Poirot to keep watch for people who may be trying to kill him. Poirot refuses the commission and, to his dismay, learns the next morning that Ratchett has been killed in cold blood. With the train trapped due to a snowblock, Poirot and his assistants, Monsieur Bouc and Dr. Constantine, must gather the clues and untangle a web of deceit which has ensnared the thirteen suspects on board the train.

Murder on the Orient Express is quintessential Christie, make no mistake. The closed-off location, the multitude of suspects, the straightforward analytical way in which Poirot is able to handle the matter. (Indeed, due to the circumstances of the crime, he must surely have relished this, as rarely does he get to be so methodical). Within this format, Christie has the perfect outlet for her contrivances, for the red herrings and mistaken identities, for the lies and suspicions and paranoia that flow from the initial murder. In fact, Murder on the Orient Express reads somewhat like an amalgam of other great Christies. Like Death in the Clouds, we have a limited number of suspects, and a crime which somehow was not witnessed. Like Ordeal by Innocence, we’re aware of the increasing paranoia and the shortened length of time in which the crime must be solved. And structurally, the novel couldn’t be better: the set-up is clean and simple, the murder endlessly complex, and the interviews methodical yet fascinating. And it all leads up to a devastating denouement in which Poirot gathers the passengers to give them not one, but two solutions, and must make a moral decision unique in the books – at least until he made a far greater one in his final case, Curtain.

There isn’t a line out of place in this novel. The endless array of clues – smudges on passports, mysterious handkerchiefs, disappearing women in kimonos and buttons belonging to nobody – are all perfectly explained, and each raises a question: legitimate clue, accidental red herring or deliberate red herring? Not everyone will enjoy the way that Dame Agatha twists and tailors the plot to her needs, but helpless Poirot fans like myself are rendered inert by the sheer technical perfection of the way things are carried out. All plotting, after all, is contrivance, by its very nature. What makes some work better than others is in not letting the strings show. And just when you’re about to complain about one plot element ringing false, Christie goes and makes it part of the plot all along!

Okay, to be honest, there may be one tiny niggling weakness: a couple of the suspects are very sketchily drawn, appearing mainly to shore up the numbers in the train (which has to be full for one element of the story to work). This becomes equally notable in both the major film adaptations, but – given how many of the characters do come across strongly – I’ll let it slide. Miraculously, every character comes across as more than just an archetype; there are no stodgy vicars, cruel matriarchs or the like here. Instead, even the most stereotypical characters transcend their tropes, with backgrounds and motivations far beyond what we expect, given how common the ‘stock characters stuck together become suspects of murder’ formula is.

Orient Express is a lovely example of a book that fully deserves its notoriety. It is the finest of Christie’s detective stories, taking a basic plot device that was already hoary in 1934, and somehow being both classical and innovative. There’s just no wonder that Poirot’s investigative methods are the stuff of legend, and that nearly any murder mystery is now compared to this novel. It’s a quintessential piece of the ‘Golden Age’: in that the plan comes together perfectly and only Poirot’s presence can reveal the murderers’ devious scheme (the 2010 film’s greatest strength is how it does a modern spin on this, by making the scheme much more haphazard, and allowing Poirot to come off as something far more human).

Poirot ranking: 2nd of 38 ( )
  therebelprince | Oct 30, 2018 |
Classic mystery, in impeccable Agatha Christie fashion. Besides the mystery itself, I enjoyed the glimpse into how travel on the train was in the mid thirties, where first class sleeping cars were used by the rich. ( )
  Gezemice | Oct 29, 2018 |
This was great! My first experience with Christie's work. I like Poirot and his subtle sense of humor. Is it weird to describe a murder mystery as cute? Because that's how this felt (much like the Wells & Wong MG series by Robin Stevens). I flew through this over the course of a couple days and now I want to start at the beginning so I can learn more about Poirot. The ending was surprising too! I don't try hard to solve the mystery because I enjoy being surprised, but it wasn't until he began explaining everything that I started to piece it together - I never would have guessed! ( )
  MillieHennessy | Oct 13, 2018 |
Fun and classic. There was definitely no way I was going to figure it out, but it was satisfying to reach the end and see what happened. ( )
  jrogoff | Sep 22, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 259 (next | show all)
The book is filled with entertaining and descriptive events that will leave readers anticipating more.
 
Estambul, pleno invierno. Poirot decide tomar el Orient Express que en esta época suele hacer su recorrido prácticamente vacío. Pero aquel día, el tren va lleno y sólo gracias a una buena amiga consigue una litera en el coche-cama. A la mañana siguiente se despierta, descubre que una tormenta de nieve ha obligado a detener el tren y que un americano, llamado Ratcher, ha sido apuñalado salvajemente. Aparentemente nadie ha entrado ni ha salido del coche-cama. El asesino, sin duda, es alguno de los ocupantes entre los que se encuentra una altiva princesa rusa y una institutriz inglesa.
added by Pakoniet | editLecturalia
 

» Add other authors (74 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Christie, Agathaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Del Buono, OresteContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Karro, LeenaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nordberg, NilsAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pitta, AlfredoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Postif, LouisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Seeberg, Axel S.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stevens, DanReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Suchet, DavidReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Is contained in

Death on the Nile / Murder on the Orient Express / The A.B.C. Murders / Cards on the Table / Thirteen at Dinner by Agatha Christie

Hercule Poirotin johtolangat : viisi kuulua mysteeriä by Agatha Christie

Poirot: The Perfect Murders: The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, Murder on the Orient Express, Murder in the News, Hercule Poirot's Christmas by Agatha Christie

Murder on the Orient Express [and] 4:50 From Paddington by Agatha Christie

A Treasury of Great Mysteries [Volume 1] by Howard Haycraft

Um Crime no Expresso do Oriente / O Mistério de Listerdale by Agatha Christie

A Murder is Announced [and] Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie Mystery Collection: Three Mysteries plus Companion Guide by Agatha Christie

Murder on the Orient Express / The Secret Adversary / The Big Four by Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie Collection by Agatha Christie

Murder on the Orient Express [and] The Hollow by Agatha Christie

Murder on the Orient Express / The Mysterious Affair at Styles / Dumb Witness by Agatha Christie

The Mysterious Affair at Styles / Murder on the Orient Express / The A.B.C. Murders / Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie Crime Collection: Murder on the Orient Express / Death in the Clouds / Why Didn't They Ask Evans? by Agatha Christie

After the Funeral / Death in the Clouds / Murder on the Orient Express / Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? by Agatha Christie

Murders to Die For by Agatha Christie

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd [and] Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd / Murder on the Orient Express / Thirteen at Dinner by Agatha Christie

Murder on the Orient Express / Death on the Nile / The Mirror Cracked / The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (Agatha Christie Boxed Set) by Agatha Christie

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. Murder on the Orient Express [In Russian Language] Ten Little Niggers. At Bertram's Hotel. Pieces by Agatha Christie

The World's Favourite by Agatha Christie

Lord Edgware Dies [and] Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

Dame Agatha Abroad: Murder on the Orient Express / Murder in Mesopotamia / They Came to Bagdad by Agatha Christie

Four Novels: Murder on the Orient Express, Cards on the Table, Five Little Pigs, Hercule Poirot's Christmas by Agatha Christie

The Best of Poirot: Murder on the Orient Express, Cards on the Table, Hercule Poirot's Christmas, Five Little Pigs, The Labours of Hercules by Agatha Christie

The Agatha Christie Collection: The Mirror Crack'd / Death on the Nile / Murder on the Orient Express / Endless Night by Agatha Christie

Murder on the Orient Express [and] Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie

Hickory Dickory Death / Murder on the Orient Express / The Mystery of the Blue Train / A Pocket Full of Rye by Agatha Christie

Murder on the Orient Express and Other Hercule Poirot Mysteries (Barnes & Noble Collectible Editions) by Agatha Christie

Murder in the Calais Coach [and] Cat Among the Pigeons by Agatha Christie

Murder on the Orient Express [and] The Secret of Chimneys by Agatha Christie

Murder on the Orient Express and Other Destinations: 75th Anniversary Edition by Agatha Christie

Moord in de Oriënt-expres / De moordenaar heet Fox by Agatha Christie

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Epigraph
Dedication
To
M.E.L.M.
Arpachiyah, 1933
First words
It was five o'clock on a winter's morning in Syria.
Quotations
"Colonel Arbuthnot smokes a pipe," he said. "In the compartment of Mr. Ratchett I found a pipe-cleaner. Mr. Ratchett smoked only cigars."....
Poirot shook his head violently. "That is just it...it is impossible—quite impossible—that an honourable, slightly stupid, upright Englishman should stab an enemy twelve times with a knife! Do you not feel, my friends, how impossible it is? "That is the psychology." said M. Bouc. "And one must respect the psychology. This crime has a signature, and it is certainly not the signature of Colonel Arbuthnot." (p. 121,122).
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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aka Murder in the Calais Coach
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Everyone did it,
Or maybe just one person,
Or no one at all.
(SandSing7)

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0425200450, Mass Market Paperback)

Agatha Christie's most famous murder mystery, reissued with a striking new cover designed to appeal to the latest generation of Agatha Christie fans and book lovers. Just after midnight, a snowdrift stops the Orient Express in its tracks. The luxurious train is surprisingly full for the time of the year, but by the morning it is one passenger fewer. An American tycoon lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside. Isolated and with a killer in their midst, detective Hercule Poirot must identify the murderer - in case he or she decides to strike again.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:36 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Just after midnight, a snowdrift stopped the Orient Express in its tracks. The luxurious train was surprisingly full for the time of year, but by the morning there was one passenger fewer. An American lay dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside. With tension mounting, detective Hercule Poirot comes up with not one, but two solutions to the crime.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 29 descriptions

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