Friday, February 17, 2012

Murder on the Orient Express

This is my first Agatha Christie. It’s been interesting, reading the two most important mystery writers of the 20th century, Conan Doyle and then Christie. Stylistically, they are not too removed, but the detectives are dissimilar. Holmes is about facts. Poirot, while relying, of course, on logical deduction, is interested primarily in psychology. Would Holmes have been able to solve the murder on the Orient Express? Undoubtedly. Would he have given the get-out clause provided at the end? Unlikely.

It was an entertaining read, but I was reminded of why I don’t like whodunits very much. I’m an imbecile when it comes to making educated guesses about who committed what crime, so having the rug constantly pulled out from under me just makes me resentful and not wishing to repeat the experience. However, I do have to revise my opinion on the datedness of Christie’s writing; since none of the travelers on the train are what they seem, I would have to read another Poirot in order to confirm that stereotyping is not quite as bald as it appears in this book. It was impossible to see anyone but David Suchet playing Poirot, and I did find myself thinking about the glamour of riding the Orient Express (though I did wonder what the people did all the time while they were stuck in the snow—read books?).

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