Saturday, March 29, 2014

Agatha Christie - Murder on the Orient Express

Murder on the Orient Express (Hercule Poirot, #10)Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have read a fair number of Agatha Christie mysteries during my mid-teens.  Reading these books was an important rite of passage, to show that I had graduated from the kiddie Enid Blyton books and was ready for more adult fare.

I did not read Murder on the Orient Express, though I did see the 1974 version of the movie long back starring all those stalwart actors.  Upon being prompted by a friend, I picked up this book up from the Library for a read.

Dame Christie's prose is a delight. Her sentences are simple and elegant.  She keeps to her subject without seeming to harp on anything. The way she handles a mystery is ingenious. She first presents a problem as practically unsolvable.  A man has been murdered on a train.  The co-passengers are all genteel folk who would not harm a fly.  The violent crime could have been committed by an outsider, who entered the train, killed the man, shed his clothes and left.  But the problem is, the train is halted due to a snowdrift and no one could have exited the train.

After the unsolvable crime has been presented, we are slowly acquainted with evidence which is usually very muddling.  It is left to M. Hercule Poirot to smooth out the knots and present the picture.

It is without doubt, a magnificent book which should be read by every book lover.  I am going to lay my hands on as many Agatha Christie books I can find and read her extensively once again.  She is totally worth my time.

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Monday, March 03, 2014

Kazuo Ishiguro - When we were Orphans

When We Were OrphansWhen We Were Orphans by Kazuo Ishiguro
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The book started beautifully. Christopher Banks is planning to launch his career as a private detective. He has been preparing for this moment all his life. Ever since he was sent to London from Shanghai, after his parents disappeared within weeks from each other.

He becomes a renowned detective. He finds himself compelled to go back to China to solve the mystery of the disappearance of his parents.

It is here that the novel unravels. Christopher goes on a wild goose chase, following flimsy leads. The denouement was supposed to be horrific, but it just seemed rather far-fetched.

I had loved Kazuo Ishiguro's other book "Never Let me Go". This one is a not a patch on it.

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