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Endless Night by Agatha Christie
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Endless Night (original 1967; edition 2002)

by Agatha Christie

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1,438305,225 (3.53)68
Member:ApresMoiLeDeluge
Title:Endless Night
Authors:Agatha Christie
Info:Minotaur Books (2002), Mass Market Paperback, 288 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:mystery

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Endless Night by Agatha Christie (1967)

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Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
One of the most genuiniely creepy mysteries I have ever read, I got very tense for the last 30 or so pages and I really couldn't put it down.
  amyem58 | Jul 15, 2014 |
Reading through the opening chapters of this mystery, I had to double check the author's name on the cover. I love Christie, and this book seemed so different from every other work I had read from her before. Not in a bad way, simply different. The story is about a boy meeting a girl, falling in love, and building their dream home ... supposedly. Michael is a charming dilettante, unwilling to stick at any job for long but loving his roving life. He stumbles upon Gypsy's Acre, and is intrigued. Later, he meets legendary architect Rudolf Santonix, and begins to fantasize about the perfect house he could build to replace the dilapidated building on Gypsy's Acre. Within a few months, he happens to be back in the same village, and he meets Ellie, a young American heiress. From the moment they see each other, they are madly in love.

The reason I was surprised I was reading an Agatha Christie novel is because these events - the meeting between Michael and Ellie, their romance and eventual marriage despite protests from both families, and the building of their dream home on Gypsy's acre - occupy at least half the novel. I was used to Christie's more usual format of introducing the characters and setting up a murder right away. Not that the change was a bad one; I found the story engaging from the beginning, and was eager to keep reading, even without any mystery in sight. The story is told in a first person point of view, from Michael's perspective, and his voice was compelling. The book just didn't seem like a mystery. However, from the start ominous notes present themselves, beginning with the notorious background of Gypsy Acre, the name of both the home and the land around it, and the frantic warnings of a gypsy woman.

As the romance between Michael and Ellie deepens, and they marry and move into their home, the darker elements start to bubble up more frequently. Certainly events are headed to a bad end. Someone throws a rock through their window the first night they stay in the house, and a shard of glass cuts Ellie's cheek. Ellie sprains her ankle. The gypsy woman returns, with more dire warnings, and Ellie is frightened. Even so, I wondered if the novel would end as a tragedy, rather than a mystery. And then, one of them is killed.

Even after the death, the normal mystery formula is not followed. Although some of the characters are suspicious, and interesting possibilities for foul play are presented, most people accept the official verdict that the death was accidental. No detectives people these pages; instead, the reader is the detective, trying to sort through the various lies and deceptions to find the awful truth buried in this tale of love. At the end, the truth is revealed, in a surprising way, and the reader is made to reevaluate everything she had read before. In this aspect, the novel remains faithful to Christie's other work, in that the ending has several surprises, and makes the reader realize that the clues were there from the beginning, they just needed organizing with the right interpretation. The story is a fast read, and cleverly evokes a creepy atmosphere the permeates even the brightest moments in the narrative. While some Christie novels are a bit too unhappy at the end for me, I have yet to read one that wasn't taut and compelling. This book is no exception, and even with the grim ending, I found it a highly entertaining read. ( )
1 vote nmhale | May 25, 2014 |
Well-written but quite different from Christie's typical mysteries. ( )
  leslie.98 | Apr 17, 2014 |
More Poe than Agatha Christie in atmosphere. Definitely not a cozy mystery. It was okay, but nothing more. ( )
  njcur | Mar 23, 2014 |
This is one of the Christie titles that I really don't think I have read before. I've certainly seen at least one TV or film version, even the one that recently introduced Miss Marple as an extra character. I thought poor Miss Marple was put in extraordinary danger and had her physical powers fully tested in that one. As a general rule I don't like these plot modifications.
ENDLESS NIGHT was however written as a stand-alone and in it Agatha Christie returns to the writing exercises of the unreliable narrator, and exploring the mind of the psychotic killer.
The author does not really play fair with the reader, because we don't ever get the full picture all at once. Little bits are left unexplained. Ellie's American relatives are portrayed to us by the narrator, Ellie's husband Michael Rogers, as predatory and untrustworthy, and there are characters like Michael's mother, who could have explained so much, who remain elusive and shadowy, because Michael does not want us to meet them.
Divided into four books, the novel takes quite a long time to build up to Ellie's death, and then the events that follow. There is an almost Gothic quality to the story: American heiress, quick marriage in defiance of her advisor's wishes, cursed land, gypsy woman who tries to scare the heiress.
An enjoyable read, part of my quest to complete the Agatha Christie Reading Challenge. ( )
  smik | Mar 21, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Agatha Christieprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Laine, Anna-LiisaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Every Night and every Morn
Some to Misery are born.
Every Morn and every Night
Some are born to Sweet Delight.
Some are born to Sweet Delight,
Some are born to Endless Night.


William Blake
Auguries of Innocence
Dedication
To Nora Prichard, from whom I first heard the legend of Gipsy's Acre
First words
In my end is my beginning ... That's a quotation I've often heard people say.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312981384, Mass Market Paperback)

Strapped by a chauffeur's wages, Michael Rogers' want of a better life seems out of reach. Especially elusive is a magnificent piece of property in Kingston Bishop--unil a chance meeting with a beautiful heiress makes his dreams possible. Marrying her is the first step. Building the perfect home is the next. Unfortunately, Michael ignored the local warnings about the deadly curse buried in the tract of land, and living out his dreams may exact a higher price than he ever imagined. Praised as one of Agatha Christie's most unusual forays into gothic, psychological suspense, this novel of fate, chance, and the nature of evil was a personal favorite of the author's as well.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:30:58 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Michael Rogers and Ellie Guteman, a wealthy American oil heiress, meet at Gipsy Acres and marry, despite the warnings of a fortuneteller.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 13 descriptions

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