Fiction Analysis: And Then There Were None, Agatha Christie

Before reading The Custer Conspiracy by Dennis Koller, I hadn’t read a mystery novel in over four years. In a way, Koller helped vitalize my interest in the mystery genre. Then, in a display of serendipity, another colleague lent me two Agatha Christie books: And Then There Were None, and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. I started with the former.

And Then There Were None astonished me. There’s no better way explain it. I was going in with minimal expectations and this book, this peculiar little novel, complete surpassed them. I was mystified by both themes and symbols Christie implements but then the mystery aspect was equally captivating. I find And Then There Were None to be an inspiring piece of fiction.

*Disclaimer: I am choosing, despite my boisterous complaints while reading, to ignore the extraordinarily racist phrase “N-word in the woodpile“. I nearly quit reading the novel on reading it, but I persisted. (For those who didn’t click the link, it means that some is suspicious — essentially.*

I found it difficult with this novel, to select a quote I enjoyed that didn’t give much of the plot away. So I’ll pick a single quote to serve as an example and it also happens earliest of the quotes I chose.

There was a silence—a comfortable replete silence. Into that silence came The Voice. Without warning, inhuman, penetrating . . . “Ladies and gentlemen! Silence, please! . . . You are charged with the following indictments.”

First, to admit a lack in my vocabulary. I didn’t know what “replete” meant until looking it up while reading this. For those who might be like me: “Replete: abundantly supplied or provided; filled OR stuffed or gorged with food and drink.“. The silence was complete and not a thing bothered, the guests had also just had food and drink. There is high functionality to the word in this context and I enjoyed the usage. The Voice, naming it like that, gave the voice a human form, that’s what I pictured. The Voice characteristically eerie, inhuman and penetrating. This brings to mind something perhaps mechanical, or otherwise other-humanly. There is then, a paradox of imagination here with having named The Voice and the inhuman way which it’s characterized which makes it creepy.

I could go on about And Then There Were None but I’ve decided I wouldn’t spoil any book I review to those who read my posts. My hope is that you, my readers, would eventually read the book and make an opinion for yourselves.

If you have a book you want me to review, comment below and I’ll add it to my Goodreads list


11 thoughts on “Fiction Analysis: And Then There Were None, Agatha Christie”

  1. The book was retitled, it used to be titled ten little and the racist N word. How times have changed, thankfully. This is definitely one of her best.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for not spoiling the end in your review. I am a huge Agatha Christie fan, and I know this is one of her most popular books, but I don’t care for it. To me, it has a darker overtone than her other books. It is clever, but it’s less representative of her style. Just my opinion. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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