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And Then There Were None

by Agatha Christie

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
15,177409249 (4.13)1 / 538
Ten houseguests, trapped on an isolated island, are the prey of a diabolical killer. A famous nursery rhyme is framed and hung in every room of the mansion: Ten little Indian boys went out to dine; One choked his little self and then there were nine--When they realize that murders are occurring as described in the rhyme, terror mounts. Who has choreographed this dastardly scheme? And who will be left to tell the tale?… (more)
Recently added bypatoliadixit, Count_Zero, private library, nicolasg0, KaelynnS, LanettePint, chloec, MissLisaAnn
Legacy LibrariesAyn Rand
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(see all 21 recommendations)

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English (376)  Italian (11)  Swedish (4)  Spanish (4)  Finnish (3)  French (3)  Dutch (2)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  German (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (407)
Showing 1-5 of 376 (next | show all)
It's a little known fact that Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None is a modern day retelling of that popular parable, Ten Green Bottles, Sitting on the Wall. Don't believe me? What if I throw in the word “scientific”, like so: It's a little known scientific fact that Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None is a modern day retelling of that popular parable, Ten Green Bottles, Sitting on the Wall. Now you know it's true, since any assertion that claims to be a scientific fact is necessarily accurate. That's a scientific fact.

The general plot of the original Ten Green Bottles is familiar to many people, even if the fable's intricacies are less well known. There are bottles, ten of them. They are green. And what are they doing? Why nothing more nor less than sitting. On a wall. But what, asks the author in a masterstroke of subtlety rarely matched in the centuries since, what if one of these ten bottles was to fall? Perhaps the fall is accidental, such things happen after all. Why, if such a calamity were to befall the bottles, then we would still be faced with wall and bottles green. But not ten green bottles, no. Now there are only nine of them.

Time passes, the world moves on, the tenth bottle is forgotten. But then, out of nowhere, another bottle falls. “Accidentally”, says the author, letting a little doubt creep in. “Accidentally”, a ghost of a question mark haunting the word. Certainly one can feel the tension amongst the remaining eight bottles. Two of them have fallen… accidentally?

The reader just has time to convince himself that the fall of both bottles really was an uncanny, unfortunate accident. But then that cruel fallacy is smote upon the pavement as yet another bottle falls to its all-too-early doom. Barely has the bottle shattered when another falls, then two more. Now only four bottles stand upon that increasingly lonely wall. The author still sticks to the party line, calling the falls accidental. But the reader knows differently, and so do the remaining bottles: one of them is responsible.

It becomes an exercise in Game Theory, years before John Nash had even invented the field. If one of the four bottles is systematically bumping off the others, then how can the three surviving, innocent bottles figure out who it is? If the bottles keep falling till there are only two remaining then those two will finally know the truth of the matter, but every moment up till then will be fraught.

Like the unexpected hanging paradox, the reader and the bottles now feel safe. Surely the bottles can't keep falling for if we get down to two bottles then the identity of the bottle-pusher will be revealed prematurely. And just like in the aforementioned paradox, the author defies the paradox by pressing on willy-nilly. Bottle after bottle falls. And then, if one green bottle should accidentally fall, there would be no green bottles sitting on the wall.

And Then There Were None is like that, but with people. ( )
  imlee | Jul 7, 2020 |
It's a little known fact that Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None is a modern day retelling of that popular parable, Ten Green Bottles, Sitting on the Wall. Don't believe me? What if I throw in the word “scientific”, like so: It's a little known scientific fact that Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None is a modern day retelling of that popular parable, Ten Green Bottles, Sitting on the Wall. Now you know it's true, since any assertion that claims to be a scientific fact is necessarily accurate. That's a scientific fact.

The general plot of the original Ten Green Bottles is familiar to many people, even if the fable's intricacies are less well known. There are bottles, ten of them. They are green. And what are they doing? Why nothing more nor less than sitting. On a wall. But what, asks the author in a masterstroke of subtlety rarely matched in the centuries since, what if one of these ten bottles was to fall? Perhaps the fall is accidental, such things happen after all. Why, if such a calamity were to befall the bottles, then we would still be faced with wall and bottles green. But not ten green bottles, no. Now there are only nine of them.

Time passes, the world moves on, the tenth bottle is forgotten. But then, out of nowhere, another bottle falls. “Accidentally”, says the author, letting a little doubt creep in. “Accidentally”, a ghost of a question mark haunting the word. Certainly one can feel the tension amongst the remaining eight bottles. Two of them have fallen… accidentally?

The reader just has time to convince himself that the fall of both bottles really was an uncanny, unfortunate accident. But then that cruel fallacy is smote upon the pavement as yet another bottle falls to its all-too-early doom. Barely has the bottle shattered when another falls, then two more. Now only four bottles stand upon that increasingly lonely wall. The author still sticks to the party line, calling the falls accidental. But the reader knows differently, and so do the remaining bottles: one of them is responsible.

It becomes an exercise in Game Theory, years before John Nash had even invented the field. If one of the four bottles is systematically bumping off the others, then how can the three surviving, innocent bottles figure out who it is? If the bottles keep falling till there are only two remaining then those two will finally know the truth of the matter, but every moment up till then will be fraught.

Like the unexpected hanging paradox, the reader and the bottles now feel safe. Surely the bottles can't keep falling for if we get down to two bottles then the identity of the bottle-pusher will be revealed prematurely. And just like in the aforementioned paradox, the author defies the paradox by pressing on willy-nilly. Bottle after bottle falls. And then, if one green bottle should accidentally fall, there would be no green bottles sitting on the wall.

And Then There Were None is like that, but with people. ( )
  leezeebee | Jul 6, 2020 |
Eight people, all total strangers to each other, are invited to a small, isolated island off the coast of Devon, England, by a Mr. and Mrs. Owen. Once there they settle in at a mansion tended by two newly-hired servants, Thomas and Ethel Rogers, but their hosts don't seem to be there. When the guests sit down to dinner they notice the centerpiece, ten figurines of soldiers in a circle. After dinner, the manservant, Mr. Rogers, puts on a gramophone record from which a strange voice accuses them all of murder.

The guests decide to leave but Rogers informs them that the boat will not return to the island for three more days. Shortly after one party member dies of cyanide poisoning. When the guests look at the table setting they notice that one of the ten toy soldiers is missing.

This will be the first death of many during their stay. A pattern soon emerges as each murder begins to resemble the lyrics of a children’s nursery rhyme posted in each guest’s bedroom. As the guests are picked off one by one, the list of suspects shrinks. With no way on or off the island it must be one of the members of the party, but who? Alliances are formed and the accusations fly.

And Then There Were None is widely considered the world’s best selling mystery novel. It's a masterpiece and I am sure almost everyone would love it. Throughout the novel, there was a constant tension and question of who (if anyone) was the murderer. The whole mesmerizing story kept me guessing until the end. I can’t recommend it enough. If you are going to read only one Christie novel, choose this one.





1285 ( )
  Olivermagnus | Jul 2, 2020 |
Is this the best Christie? I don't know. Some people will argue. But I can say that this, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, and Murder on the Orient Express are in my top favorite of Christie's works.

"And Then There Were None" is a classic for a reason. Besides getting some locked room mysteries, you get a who dun it when 10 people who are brought to a island are picked off one by one. All seems tied to a poem that takes on dark connotations. As you continue through the story, you will keep changing your mind about who did what and who the bad guy is. If you somehow manage to guess it, I applaud you. When I first read this book years ago I remember being astounded by the ending. But even though I love this book, I can now say that the ending is a bit of a letdown. I think it would have been better to leave things unexplained. You could have another "The Turn of the Screw" and wonder if everyone involved is truly mad or just one person.

What I like the most about this story is that Christie slowly reveals things bit by bit about these 10 people brought to Soldier Island and you can definitely see that there is good and evil in anyone. And it leaves me with a question of if a person does a bad thing once, does that leave them evil forevermore? No chance for redemption?

As I sat drinking my tea last night I had further thoughts about this book and just really enjoyed revisiting this again. ( )
  ObsidianBlue | Jul 1, 2020 |
Just wanted to see if I could finish the book in a day - and I did! ( )
  carrotchimera | Jun 29, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 376 (next | show all)
It is the most baffling mystery that Agatha Christie has ever written, and if any other writer has ever surpassed it for sheer puzzlement the name escapes our memory. We are referring, of course, to mysteries that have logical explanations, as this one has. It is a tall story, to be sure, but it could have happened.
 
The mystery is foolproof. The solution is fair. It all fits together at the end.
added by Shortride | editThe New York Times, Charles Poore (pay site) (Feb 23, 1940)
 

» Add other authors (18 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Christie, Agathaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Alonso, José LuisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Alves, IsabelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Autiovuori, PekkaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Autiovuori, PekkaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Barrs, NormanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chergé, Gérard deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chrząstowski, RomanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Civís i Pol, JordiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Deitmer, SabineTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Della Frattina, BeataTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Enqvist, EeroNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Falzon, Alex R.Forewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fraser, HughNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gaïl, UrsulaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Horovitch, DavidNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kaljuste, MariIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lewik, WłodzimierzTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Llorens, OrestesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lupton, DavidIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Malling, LivTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Postif, LouisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rehmann, Anna KatharinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rivière, FrançoisAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sánchez, Encarnasecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stevens, DanReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thermænius, EinarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thole, KarelIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vallandro, LeonelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Varho, HelkaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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[None]
Dedication
To

Carlo and Mary,

this is their book,

dedicated to them with much affection.
First words
In the corner of a first-class smoking carriage, Mr. Justice Wargrave, lately retired from the bench, puffed at a cigar and ran an interested eye through the political news in the Times.
Quotations
'Don't you see? We're the Zoo .... Last night, we were hardly human any more. We're the Zoo ....'
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This is a novel, and as such should NOT be combined with the play of the same title, nor with any of the various film adaptations.
Note that LibraryThing's "canonical title" is intended for the most common title, not the original or "accurate" one. Although the novel was originally titled Ten Little Niggers, far more have read it as And Then There Were None. Please also distinguish Agatha Christie's Work from Sherman Alexie's anthology, Ten Little Indians: Stories (2003). Thank you.
ISBN 0008125163 is for Perfect by Cecelia Ahern
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Book description
First, there were ten—a curious assortment of strangers summoned as weekend guests to a little 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. A famous nursery rhyme is framed and hung in every room of the mansion:

"Ten little boys went out to dine; One choked his little self and then there were nine. Nine little boys sat up very late; One overslept himself and then there were eight. Eight little boys traveling in Devon; One said he'd stay there then there were seven. Seven little boys chopping up sticks; One chopped himself in half and then there were six. Six little boys playing with a hive; A bumblebee stung one and then there were five. Five little boys going in for law; One got in Chancery and then there were four. Four little boys going out to sea; A red herring swallowed one and then there were three. Three little boys walking in the zoo; A big bear hugged one and then there were two. Two little boys sitting in the sun; One got frizzled up and then there was one. One little boy left all alone; He went out and hanged himself and then there were none."

When they realize that murders are occurring as described in the rhyme, terror mounts. One by one they fall prey. Before the weekend is out, there will be none. Who has choreographed this dastardly scheme? And who will be left to tell the tale? Only the dead are above suspicion.
Haiku summary
Ten nine eight till none
Methodically they died
Three clues to killer
(hardboiled)

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