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And Then There Were None (1940)

by Agatha Christie, BBC Radio

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
17,834471224 (4.14)1 / 629
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)
  1. 233
    The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie (lahochstetler, eclt83)
    lahochstetler: Two of Christie's best plot twists
  2. 160
    A Study in Scarlet / The Sign of Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Patangel)
  3. 140
    Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie (Ludi_Ling)
    Ludi_Ling: Both Christie classics, where no-one and everyone could have done the murder.
  4. 40
    Agatha Christie: A Reader's Companion by Vanessa Innes- Wagstaff (OwenGriffiths)
  5. 41
    Partners in Crime by Agatha Christie (MarcusBrutus)
  6. 10
    The List of Adrian Messenger by Philip MacDonald (SomeGuyInVirginia)
    SomeGuyInVirginia: Killer working on a selected group, and with a high body count.
  7. 10
    The Ninth Guest by Gwen Bristow (SomeGuyInVirginia, Litrvixen)
    SomeGuyInVirginia: Invited guests murdered one-by-one by their host.
    Litrvixen: This book shares many similiarities with Christies book.
  8. 00
    The Riddle of Sphinx Island by R. T. Raichev (TheRavenking)
  9. 00
    Nine Man's Murder by Eric Keith (TheRavenking)
  10. 00
    Choice Cuts by Boileau-Narcejac (TheRavenking)
  11. 00
    Process of Elimination by George Baxt (SomeGuyInVirginia)
    SomeGuyInVirginia: Unknown killer and a high body count.
  12. 00
    The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin (lottpoet)
    lottpoet: I thought the mystery had a similar tone to the setup of this one.
  13. 00
    Puzzle for Wantons by Patrick Quentin (TheRavenking)
  14. 00
    Bertie and the Seven Bodies by Peter Lovesey (TheRavenking)
  15. 00
    The Possessors by John Christopher (SomeGuyInVirginia)
  16. 00
    I Know What You Did Last Wednesday by Anthony Horowitz (TheRavenking)
  17. 00
    A Maze of Death by Philip K. Dick (TheRavenking)
  18. 00
    The Frankenstein Factory by Edward D. Hoch (TheRavenking)
  19. 00
    R.I.P. by Philip MacDonald (Anonymous user)
  20. 01
    Stableford by Rob Reef (TheRavenking)

(see all 22 recommendations)

Elevenses (169)
Read (58)
1930s (10)
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» See also 629 mentions

English (437)  Italian (12)  Spanish (5)  Swedish (4)  Finnish (3)  French (3)  Dutch (2)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  German (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (470)
Showing 1-5 of 437 (next | show all)
"And Then There Were None" by Agatha Christy is a mystery thriller that remains one of the best selling books of all time with an iconic set-up about ten characters lured by a mysterious host to an island; that has been repeated in official and unofficial adaptations in the eighty plus years since it was originally published in 1939. The ten characters believe they have been brought to the island for either a job or a holiday until an unseen voice calls out accusations for each of them for different crimes they are charged with enacting and then escaping justice for. Some believe it is just a prank until people start to die in a manner coincident with the order of the ten stanzas in the rhyme. Accusations and tensions build as each time another death happens another one of the ten figures on the dinning table is removed. It was considered by its author her most difficult book to write plus it was equally difficult for publishers and those producing adaptations of the book as its original title in the United Kingdom involved the n-word as well as the word's presence in the rhyme at the center of the story. In the USA the book was originally published as "And Then There Were None" while the word Indian was originally substituted in the rhyme plus it has been used as an alternate publishing title "Ten Little Indians" . Today "And Then There Were None" is the official title and the rhyme itself has alternatively used soldier and sailor although one can argue that some of these changes go too far in removing a theme about darkness in the British character especially in regards to the treatment of those from other races and classes. In addition to the publishing changes to the title and the rhyme in the many adaptations for stage, film, radio, and television there have been further changes to characters and the outcome of the story which is quite dark. Agatha Christie herself rewrote the story for the first stage adaptation which was then used as the basis for the first film adaptation in 1945 directed by Rene Clair for 20th Century Fox in Hollywood which is the most enjoyable version for my money. At one point the international wheeler dealer producer Harry Allan Towers secured the rights and produced three adaptations over 25 years usually taking place at an exotic isolated hotel location and star actors being lured much like their characters with promises of money and a holiday. I recently saw the second he produced in 1974 in the wake of hit film version of "Murder on the Orient Express" and labeled "Ten Little Indians" on the DVD I watched. It wastes a clever use of Indian laborers as the figures, an intriguing location in a hotel in the Iranian desert beside some historic ruins, a good cast including Oliver Reed, Richard Attenborough, Gert Frobe, Elke Sommer among others who where clearly brought in based on helping to pre-sell the film to various international markets. More recently there was a high quality adaptation as a three part mini-series distributed by the BBC featuring Charles Dance, Sam Neil, and Miranda Richardson and having recently viewed it I found it a bit mixed as the acting fantastic and while it was very well made I found that the adaptation seemed to miss the point by eliminating the race aspect, the idea that most of the characters initially have no guilt over their crimes, and amp up the violence of those crimes in a way that makes this feel more like assembling the crew of criminals in the Dirty Dozen. Agatha Christie successfully broke the rules with her dark story "And Then There Were None" that has no assured detective like Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple to solve the mystery and foil the crime leaving readers to contemplate the darkness and self-deception present in people in all times and places. ( )
  ralphcoviello | Jun 26, 2022 |
It kept me wondering right to the end. ( )
  troymcc | May 26, 2022 |
Agatha Christie is the best! I hadn't read any of her stuff in a very long time and this was fantastic. Why are the best murder mystery writers little old ladies? I have no idea but they are deliciously wicked. Very well-thought out plot and great imperfect characters. I found the recent mini-series and will watch it too! Too bad Hoopla doesn't have more of her books in audio right now... ( )
  BarbF410 | May 22, 2022 |
Read for a challenge and oh my what fun! Ten strangers marooned on an island, each knowing their host more or less, treated to hospitality . . . and honesty! From early, early on we meet the strangers as they make their way to their holiday setting the stage for their character in a very innovative way.

And after supper we find out why they have been invited to this coastal island: a recording played on a gramophone lists each guest and what death they caused. So then we are taken into the mind of each guest, the denial, the shrug, followed by each meeting his or her fate by someone on the island. ( )
  threadnsong | May 21, 2022 |
This is another excellent Agatha Christie novel, and a particularly dark one. Ten people are invited out to an isolated island under various pretenses. They soon learn that they are each accused of having caused a death (or deaths) and been unpunished, and then they start dying. A search of the small and barren island and the house turns up no one except the ten of them. So who is the killer? And who will die next? This is some top-notch suspense with a satisfying ending and excellent characterization. It digs into the psychology of the characters and pushes the reader along with clue after clue and death after death. Originally published as Ten little (N-words), the title and the children's rhyme guiding the action were later changed to Ten Little Indians and then Ten Little Soldiers . Offensive title history aside, this is classic Christie and definitely worth a read. ( )
  kristykay22 | Apr 8, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 437 (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 (16 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Christie, Agathaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
BBC Radiomain authorall editionsconfirmed
Alonso, José LuisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Alves, IsabelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Autiovuori, PekkaTranslatorsecondary 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
Lupton, DavidIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Malling, LivTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McBean, AngusPhotographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Postif, LouisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rehmann, Anna KatharinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rivière, FrançoisAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sánchez, Encarnasecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stevens, DanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thermænius, EinarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thole, KarelIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vallandro, LeonelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Varho, HelkaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
[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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Wikipedia in English (2)

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?

No library descriptions found.

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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