Wednesday, 6 July 2011
Agatha Christie - Adèle Geras
When I was growing up, if you liked reading, you went straight on from Enid Blyton to Agatha Christie without drawing breath.
Nowadays,with dozens of detectives (including Poirot) vying for our attention in print and on the television screen, it’s hard to imagine a world where this wasn’t the case. Agatha Christie writes simply, briefly and her mysteries are most cunningly put together. She’s the perfect writer for young people and millions of teenagers of my generation (I’m 67) devoured her complete works with enormous pleasure.
I haven’t read Christie recently but I retain a strong memory of what her books gave me….the plots have long ago disappeared, though I do recall the more startling ones, such as Murder on the Orient Express.
The one I’ve chosen to highlight here is a book called The Murder of Roger Ackroyd.
It has a very startling plot twist, which I won’t give away, but apart from that, it’s a good one to begin with because it has all her main characteristics as a writer, so that if you like this one, you’ll love the others too.
Christie’s plots are like clockwork. That’s to say: they work. If you read her novels twice, you can see how every single thing she mentions is relevant to the unravelling of the puzzle. She is a genius and one who’s often dismissed by the literary establishment, but you can’t quarrel with sales like Dame Agatha’s.
There are good reasons why only the Bible outsells her books. Read her!