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Scariest book by Agatha Christie, IMO? "And Then There Were None".

(106 Posts)
Jacksmama Thu 27-Aug-09 04:27:14

I love Agatha Christie. Have read nearly every one of her books and am currently working my way through the ones I'd missed. I love the suspense in her stories, and also the fact that nothing she writes (at least, that I have read) is ever over-the-top gruesome or horrific (a la Stephen King, for example - and I just want to mention that before I had DS, I was a huge SK fan).

There was a short story in "Surprise, Surprise" that I read recently which gave me chills as I was reading it, and I was lad to finish it and go on to something else that was a little less, well, really frightening. I'm not used to reading AG in bed at night and being afraid to turn out the light!!

"And Then There Were None" was like that for me. It was like a train wreck - I couldn't not look - had to keep reading, and last night, when I finished it around midnight I was so frightened by how the narrative at the end of the story where the murderer confesses to the deeds and how he did it, I couldn't sleep for hours!! I had to get DS and snuggle him in bed with me, with the light on, before I could doze off.

Anybody else find that story particularly disturbing?

Jacksmama Thu 27-Aug-09 04:27:53

"glad to finish it", even blush

savoycabbage Thu 27-Aug-09 05:38:25

I LOVE it but you are right, it is terrifying.

LadyStealthPolarBear Thu 27-Aug-09 06:58:00

I can't remember the details of that one but ikwym about AC books - I love them because they're not gory and all of the clues mean something - they all lead to the killer

tillyfernackerpants Thu 27-Aug-09 07:28:59

Yep agree it was scary, one of her best ones I think

Jacksmama Thu 27-Aug-09 16:02:32

So - Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple? smile

Personally, I prefer Miss Marple.

ZZZenAgain Thu 27-Aug-09 16:05:24

don't think I've read that one but Sleeping Murder gives me the heebie jeebies. The one where this woman from NZ marries and comes to the UK, buys a house and find it weird she knows where everything is and then gets a flashback as she goes downstairs seeing a woman being strangled and it turns out she lived there as a dc for a year or two.

TheFallenMadonna Thu 27-Aug-09 16:06:50

I'm reading "By the pricking of my thumbs" at the moment, and it is rather eerie.

Jacksmama Thu 27-Aug-09 16:07:53

Oh god yes - I remember that one!! That was up there with And Then There Were None. I recently found Sleeping Murder and thought I hadn't read it, started it and got this creepy feeling like "I do remember this, no, don't need to read this again!"

GreensleevesFlouncedLikeAKnob Thu 27-Aug-09 16:10:28

I couldn't choose between Marple and Poirot, they're good in such different ways

Sleeping Murder really makes me shudder, it's wonderfully eerie

but....Nemesis is the one that really scared me

steamedtreaclesponge Thu 27-Aug-09 16:13:42

I think By the Pricking of my Thumbs is definitely one of the creepiest, because it's so unexpected and there's just this sense of things lurking beneath the surface (don't worry Madonna, not going to give away the plot!)

But Ten Little Niggers and Sleeping Murder are both spooky as well. So many of her murder mysteries, despite the subject, are actually quite cosy or humorous, that it can be quite a surprise when you read one that gives you the chills!

Nemesis is the other one that freaks me out - again, it's because everyone seems so nice but then you have this evil lurking underneath <scared emoticon>

Jacksmama Thu 27-Aug-09 16:17:34

I can't recall if I've read Nemesis. Will have to pick it up and see.

I'm guessing "And Then There Were None" was originally published as "Ten Little Niggers"? I'd never heard that.

I agree with you steamed - about the cosiness and humour in AC's books - funny to think of a murder mystery that way but they are. Makes me wonder what was going on in AC's life when she wrote the dark creepy ones.

TheFallenMadonna Thu 27-Aug-09 16:18:59

I haven't read Nemesis. I saw both the Joan Hickson and Geraldine McEwan versions on the telly. They were very different hmm

Jacksmama Thu 27-Aug-09 16:26:03

Which did you like better? My MIL is addicted to PBS and always watches Miss Marple shows - she prefers Joan Hickson, says Geraldine McEwan is too fluffy.

TheFallenMadonna Thu 27-Aug-09 16:29:35

I love Joan Hickson. I enjoy the Geraldine McEwan one for the sheer panto value, but they take liberties with the, which is fine if you don't know them, but disconcerting if you do.

steamedtreaclesponge Thu 27-Aug-09 17:19:50

I hate the Geraldine McEwan ones for the same reason! Changing who the murderers were, FGS!

And whoever adapted them obviously had a thing about lesbians...

ZZZenAgain Thu 27-Aug-09 17:20:49

don't remember what By the Pricking of My Thumbs is about now.

So are the Miss Marples gneerally creepier than the Poirot ones?

ZZZenAgain Thu 27-Aug-09 17:22:44

yes I agree, they shouldn't change them too drastically, the cosiness is what they're all about. Nice cosy murders. Strange really how that works

I agree with you Jacksmama that I don't like all the graphic detail in a lot of more modern crime fiction

steamedtreaclesponge Thu 27-Aug-09 17:26:25

Generally I think the Marples are a bit creepier than the Poirot books. Maybe it's because Poirot is a slightly more comedic character, and Hastings even more so.

MrsWobble Thu 27-Aug-09 17:36:21

i remember finding The Murder of Roger Akroyd very disturbing when I first read it as a teenager. i understand why, but don't want to say here as it might spoil it if you've not already read it.

tillyfernackerpants Thu 27-Aug-09 17:37:45

I've always preferred Miss Marple too, agree she's very different in the books to the GE version. Though I did like the GE version blush, I can't remember any murderers being changed?

I think Sleeping Murder was my first AC book I read, hooked me completely!

ZZZenAgain Thu 27-Aug-09 17:43:39

What's the setting for By the Pricking of my Thumbs? How does it start? It would probably come back to me.

I remember reading an AG yonks back when I was about 17 I think and finding it all light-hearted. Then I went into the bathroom before going to bed and suddenly felt TERRIFIED at the thought of looking at myself in the mirror. Must have been scarier than I thought then. Was a bit weird. It was Murder is Easy.

hocuspontas Thu 27-Aug-09 17:48:24

I'm interested as well - which murderers were changed?

Preferred Joan Hickson myself.

hocuspontas Thu 27-Aug-09 17:50:36

I could never warm to Tommy and Tuppence or Mr. Quinn. And as for Ariadne Oliver! Presumably she was based on someone AC knew. Insufferable!

OP - is that the one on the island where they keep disappearing? That was very scary. I much prefer Miss Marple to Poirot.

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