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And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
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And Then There Were None (edition 2011)

by Agatha Christie

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11,706302226 (4.11)366
Member:ahsreads
Title:And Then There Were None
Authors:Agatha Christie
Info:Harper (2011), Edition: Reprint, Mass Market Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Wishlist
Rating:***1/2
Tags:mystery, murders, crimes, punished, island, nursery rhyme, kill, death, deaths, suspense, poison, mansion, irony, plot, noose, stranded, action-packed

Work details

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

Recently added byphoibee, private library, BenHobbes, nams55, scbarton, sherlock101, dwkenefick
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» See also 366 mentions

English (275)  Italian (9)  Spanish (4)  French (3)  Swedish (3)  Finnish (3)  Dutch (2)  All (1)  German (1)  All (1)  Danish (1)  All (303)
Showing 1-5 of 275 (next | show all)
Purely amazing, it was always my favourite Christie novel and the first I will recommend. ( )
  likecymbeline | Apr 1, 2017 |
Summary: Ten strangers are invited to an island by a mysterious U.N. Owen, accused by murder, and one by one are murdered following a rhyme found in each of their rooms, Ten Little Soldier Boys.

This is an unusual work by Christie. No Poirot or Miss Marple. One of the most difficult mysteries for Christie to write. A book that went under several other titles before its current one -- Ten Little Indians, Ten Little N****** (the "N" word, it always was published under the current title in the U.S. because of the racial offensiveness of the other titles).

Ten people unknown to each other are invited to an island getaway on Soldier Island by a mysterious U. N. Owen, who is absent from the proceedings but has provided comfortable accommodations and good food.

In each room, there was a children's poem, "Ten Little Soldier Boys":

Ten little Soldier Boys went out to dine;
One choked his little self and then there were nine.

Nine little Soldier Boys sat up very late;
One overslept himself and then there were eight.

Eight little Soldier Boys travelling in Devon;
One said he'd stay there and then there were seven.

Seven little Soldier Boys chopping up sticks;
One chopped himself in halves and then there were six.

Six little Soldier Boys playing with a hive;
A bumblebee stung one and then there were five.

Five little Soldier Boys going in for law;
One got in Chancery and then there were four.

Four little Soldier Boys going out to sea;
A red herring swallowed one and then there were three.

Three little Soldier Boys walking in the zoo;
A big bear hugged one and then there were two.

Two little Soldier Boys sitting in the sun;
One got frizzled up and then there was one.

One little Soldier Boy left all alone;
He went out and hanged himself and then there were none.

A dinner is laid out for them on a table with ten little crystal soldiers down the middle. After dinner, they suddenly hear a voice which proceeds to charge each of the guests with murders of the sort that would never come to trial--a death after a medical operation, a child drowning, and so forth. The voice was from a recording that Rogers, the butler had been instructed to play after dinner. All present deny the charges. Then Marston, the reckless young man who had killed two children driving, chokes on his drink and falls dead. It was later determined he died of cyanide poisoning.

He is followed the next morning by cook/housekeeper Mrs. Rogers, who does not waken from her sleep, dying of a chloral hydrate overdose. Later that day, General John Gordon Macarthur, who had sent an underling, who had had an affair with his wife, to his death in battle, is bludgeoned to death sitting on the shore.

The deaths are following the nursery rhyme. A search of the island is made and it is determined no one is there but the guests themselves--and they are stranded because the boat from the mainland failed to show up. The awful reality sets in -- the murderer is in their midst!

The murders continue, and when someone finally comes from the mainland, all ten guests are found dead, with the mysterious circumstance that one, who they determine was the last to die (as in the rhyme), was found hung, but the chair that the person had stood upon and kicked away had mysteriously been put in its place!

Because the murders take so long to narrate, for the Scotland Yard inspectors to unravel it would have made for a lengthy novel. Christie resolves that by resorting to an unusual plot device, a confession in a bottle, thrown out to sea, that just happens to be recovered by a fishing trawler.

An ingenious plot indeed and I can see how it would have been difficult to figure out how they would all end up dead without an outside "murderer." More chilling yet when the lives of all depend on figuring out who the murderer is among them--a most cunning murderer indeed, who has tracked down their stories and arranges their murders to fit the rhyme.

Many consider this Christie's best work. It was adapted for both stage and screen. I did wonder why she narrates the murders serially only to resolve this for the authorities with a message in a bottle. Why not let the authorities unravel it and figure out who was the killer. In the end I concluded that this would be a much duller way to tell the story, and that the message from the killer was the best way to help us understand the mind and motive of the murderer. I think Christie got this one very right! ( )
  BobonBooks | Jan 29, 2017 |
Must be one of my favorite books of all time. I was reading it ( now don't do that it's not safe ) at red light stops I was so into it. ( )
  bookandsword | Jan 9, 2017 |
Fresh and entertaining as if written yesterday. Funny and exciting. ( )
  stef7sa | Jan 5, 2017 |
A quick intriguing read. Like all of Christie's, the plot's the thing. The characters are not deep, nor is there much real complexity to the plot. Not the author's best. ( )
  kaitanya64 | Jan 3, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 275 (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

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Christie, Agathaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Alonso, José LuisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Alves, IsabelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Autiovuori, PekkaNarratorsecondary 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
Malling, LivTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Postif, LouisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rehmann, Anna KatharinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rivière, FrançoisAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sánchez, Encarnasecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thermænius, EinarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thole, KarelIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vallandro, LeonelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Varho, HelkaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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. Thus, that is the appropriate canonical title, if it requires a canonical title, which it appears not to. Don't add one just for the hell of it.
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Haiku summary
Ten nine eight till none
Methodically they died
Three clues to killer
(hardboiled)

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0312330871, Paperback)

Considered the best mystery novel ever written by many readers, And Then There Were None is the story of 10 strangers, each lured to Indian Island by a mysterious host. Once his guests have arrived, the host accuses each person of murder. Unable to leave the island, the guests begin to share their darkest secrets--until they begin to die.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:36 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

Ten strangers, each with a dark secret, are gathereed together on an isolated island by a mysterious host. One by one, they die, and before the weekend is out, there will be none.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 18 descriptions

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