Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Murder On The Orient Express

So a little while ago I confessed that I had never read any Agatha Christie. Yes, yes, it's shocking. But there are only so many hours in a day, my friend, and soon most of those will be spent writing my own season finales to various television shows affected by the writers' strike, which I will then act out alone in my apartment with assorted puppets.

But somehow I managed to find the time to read "Murder on the Orient Express" this weekend, which is *kind of* impressive considering I was drinking one alcoholic beverage every two hours for three days ... (note to self: write to publisher and let them know that some of the paragraphs are kind of blurry). In between sips of Crown Royal I was swept away by the intriguing entanglements of Poirot and Co., thoroughly charmed by the casual old-world racism ("Italians stab! British people do not stab ..."), and the conspiratorial ending.

Since you can read Christie's books, drunk, in about a day, I'll probably read them all. They're extremely fun, and I've wanted to read "A Pocket Full of Rye" ever since I was a kid and my sister left an old paperback edition of it lying around that had a lurid purple cover.



Levi Stahl said...

I read about 70% of Christie's novels when I was in high school, and loved nearly all of them. I remember really liking And Then There Were None (which is well-known for having carried an offensive title on original publication), if you're interested in reading a non-Poirot novel.

I haven't had much interest in going back and looking at her novels again as an adult, though the combination of your drunk reading suggestion and a convincingly enthusiastic essay by Michael Dirda singing Christie's praises in his newest collection may convince me.

Spinster Aunt said...

Yeah, I never had much interest in them as an adult either, obviously (and as a teenager I was too busy snottily reading Nabokov) because I thought, oh they're shallow and silly and old fashioned puzzles, but I was surprised at how genuinely fun this book was.

Plus, a girl needs an easy read to keep her entertained during 3 a.m. subway rides to the outer boroughs. They're also very good around Christmas time, when I do virtually everything in a pleasant alcoholic haze.

Levi Stahl said...

Something you might enjoy: I just learned from a piece about the new Agatha Christie biography that her publisher, Collins, in the 1950s used the slogan, "A Christie for Christmas"!