and then there were none

I have always loved detective stories, from a young age I was reading Anthony Horowitz’s Diamond Brothers series – still one of the best detective series for young people I’ve found – and as I got older I started reading Sherlock Holmes and other such famous detective novels. But something that I never managed to read was Agatha Christie but now that has been rectified.

I bought And Then There Were None from the bookshop and finished it in a single night. I simply could not put it down! The story itself is fascinating and the writing, simply perfect. I fell in love with the fast-paced intellect of it all, rushing ahead to try and solve the mystery before they did… I didn’t manage it but anyone that has read it will probably understand why!

Detective stories are one of the most difficult thing to write because you need to have be able to not only have the motive for the actual culprit but everyone else also needs a valid enough motive to make it feel like there truly is an element of suspense. So I have so much respect and admiration for the people that write them.

But Agatha Christie is the undisputed queen of detective stories. Her characters are phenomenal, the detectives Miss Marple and Hercules Poirot are brilliant and the characters in And Then There Were None are some of the most well-written ones I’ve ever encountered. Vera was excellent, quick-witted and sharp and yet still vulnerable. Philip Lombard, the mercenary with a softer side. The stiff-lipped judge and the dismissive socialite. They all have a place in my heart. As does the great Agatha Christie.

I think that one of the things that I loved the most about And Then There Were None was the use of the poem throughout, it was  interesting and really should have given me the clue that I needed to work it out! But it didn’t because everything else was so cleverly designed.

The crux of the matter is, if you haven’t read this book then give it a try and if you have then let me know if you worked it out before the epilogue!

 

 

 

 

 

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book vs. movie

There is always a sense of trepidation and almost fear when you hear that your favourite novel is being made into a film. Will they get the characters right? Will they cut out something important? Will the casting be good? Or will it just be generally awful?

These were the thoughts flashing through my head when I heard on the grapevine about a film in the works set to come out next year. A film version of my favourite book, like, I really love this book, I’ve read it at least fifty times and have loved it every single time… you could say that my love for this book is ‘like a heartbeat, soft and persistent, underlying everything’ (a beautiful quote from an equally beautiful book). Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertelli is an excellent book that will make an equally as excellent film… as long as it is done right.

Simon is not a perfect hero that knows all, in fact, there are so many things he doesn’t know that I’m surprised he actually manages to work anything out! But perhaps worse – but also what made me love him so much the first time I read it – he thinks that he knows a lot more than he does, he thinks that he has worked out the answer before he’s even had any clues and it is this lovable optimism that makes this character so great.

But anyway, this was not a post for me to wax lyrical about this book – though if you haven’t read it, you definitely should – but in fact to discuss the idea of turning books into films.

Some books to films are brilliant, like personally, I think that the Harry Potter films are excellent and very close to the books, that’s not to say that they’re perfect (I too have an issue with their loose idea of the word ‘calmly’ and the fact that Ron’s character was reduced to mere comic relief) but they are still a lot better than some attempts!

Attempts like the absolute disasters of the Percy Jackson films… which as films go aren’t awful but as films of the books? They were an absolute catastrophe!

Not only was the casting some of the worse I’ve ever seen, the ages and appearances were completely wrong and some characters were just omitted completely, but the plot was also changed drastically – and not for the better! Basically, when even the writer of the books that you’re butchering tells you to stop… you should probably stop.

Drop your favourite (and least favourite!) movie adaptations in the comments and tell me why!