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What's The Last Book You Read?


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Ah... Agatha Christie. I began a collection few years ago... bought 25-30 books of her... but after reading 5 or 6, I saw a "pattern" of writing, and I stopped suddently.

 

"Did you get your new Agatha Christie for Christmas?" The poor old woman wrote at least a book by year.

 

Anyway, I always loved much more Poirot than Marple, because generally the choice of investigator, goes with the subject of the novel... Maybe one day, I will continue to read them.

 

But generally, I disliked the idea that when a woman wears a dressing gown, it Inevitability leaves strands of fabrics on a door handle... and Poirot will find it and take it as a proof.

 

1930... 2017... It's not always "CSI" level. Some plots aged not so well ;)

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22 hours ago, BloodBoal said:

The Murder Of Roger Ackroyd - Agatha Christie (1926)

 

To be honest, it was years ago that I read the Christie mysteries, and a lot of them sort of flow together for me. I do remember that I enjoyed the language in them immensely,and I always recommend them to non-English speakers looking to improve their English. They're actually incredibly popular in the former Soviet states for that reason.

 

I wouldn't try to make too much of the chronology except in a general sense...though you're quite right to read them in chronological order. It is cool that Christie was thinking about some kind of continuity between the books before most writers were. She was ahead of her time on a lot of things.

 

If you get a chance (and if audiobooks are you thing), listen to one of the Poirot audiobooks with David Suchet or Hugh Fraser reading. Both do a fantastic jobs. 

 

There was a really interesting documentary a while back on BBC or ITV called The Agatha Christie Code that used a computer to analyse every word she ever wrote. The determined that there was actually a scientific reason her books are so addictive...

 

 

Quote

Agatha Christie believed that economy of wording was particularly important in detective stories; that the reader did not want to heard the same thing repeated three or four times.

 

She also uses very simple everyday language, and repeats it, rather than trying to introduce new words and phrases. She also relies heavily on dialogue throughout her books. In addition, the solution often depends upon the reader’s interpretation of something that a character says. Therefore by keeping her dialogue very simple and straightforward, and not challenging the reader with the vocabulary, she leaves us free to focus on the plot.

 

The research team also analysed each of Christie's books for its word length, frequency and sentence structure. They found that all of her books are very similar in style, using the same number of letters in a word on average, and approximately same number of words in a sentence. This is true for books written at the beginning of her career as well as books at the end of her career; it was as if she found a successful formula which captivated her readers and stuck with it.

 

The researchers also found that there was a level of repetition of key concepts in her words within a small space. When Agatha is getting a concept across, she repeats key words and words which are similar in meaning in rapid succession and in a condensed space. This theory is also backed up by believers of neurolinguistic programming, which is how language affects the mind and how the words can have an affect on how we think and feel. By repeating words at least 3 times in a paragraph, it enables the reader to become convinced about something.

 

In addition, the programme claims that a person’s conscious mind has a very limited focus, and can only focus on between five and nine things at one time. Once there are more than nine things to focus on, the conscious mind can’t continue to track them all, and so the person literally goes into a hypnotic trance. The Agatha Christie Code claims that Agatha often uses this by using more than nine characters, and by having more than nine plot lines taking place at any one time. As the reader’s mind gets overloaded, they start to begin really experiencing the book, feeling the book, and getting lost in it. And because feelings are infinitely more memorable than thoughts, people associate the feelings with Agatha Christie’s name and also with her novels.

 

Finally, the research team discovered that Agatha Christie very precisely controls the speed at which we read her books, by changing the level of descriptive passages. There are more descriptive passages at the beginning of her book than at the end, which has the effect that we read more quickly towards the end of her books... literally we are rushing towards the end to see who did it!

 

 

Read on brother!

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As far as I know, the plot twist at the end of The Murder Of Roger Ackroyd was the first of its kind at the time, so I wouldn't be too hard on it.

 

Also, the thoughts, for example about Poirot wondering why the chair was moved, isn't irritating at all for me because it reveals a flaw in the murderer's thought process, namely that he didn't think of it when he planned and executed the crime. The murderer is wondering about it because he is curious if that could lead a trail to him, or more generally speaking, if and why it was that helpful to Poirot.

 

It's like in those old Columbo episodes, when Columbo walks up to the murderer and goes "there is just one thing that's been bothering me all day", and after explaining the most petty detail, the murderer goes "well, why the hell should that be of any significance?"

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20 hours ago, Nick1066 said:

To be honest, it was years ago that I read the Christie mysteries, and a lot of them sort of flow together for me. I do remember that I enjoyed the language in them immensely,and I always recommend them to non-English speakers looking to improve their English.

 

I'm actually considering that, now. Probably will do that when I'll revisit some of them.

 

20 hours ago, Nick1066 said:

If you get a chance (and if audiobooks are you thing), listen to one of the Poirot audiobooks with David Suchet or Hugh Fraser reading. Both do a fantastic jobs. 

 

Audiobooks... Ugh!

 

20 hours ago, Nick1066 said:

There was a really interesting documentary a while back on BBC or ITV called The Agatha Christie Code that used a computer to analyse every word she ever wrote. The determined that there was actually a scientific reason her books are so addictive...

 

Some interesting comments. Thanks for sharing!

 

32 minutes ago, gkgyver said:

Also, the thoughts, for example about Poirot wondering why the chair was moved, isn't irritating at all for me because it reveals a flaw in the murderer's thought process, namely that he didn't think of it when he planned and executed the crime. The murderer is wondering about it because he is curious if that could lead a trail to him, or more generally speaking, if and why it was that helpful to Poirot.

 

Good point. I guess I can buy that.

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2 minutes ago, BloodBoal said:

Just because you accept any half-arsed twist just like because you don't want to think about it doesn't mean that everyone should! You über duper twit of a fuck. Or some insult like that.

 

Christie would be most proud of this discourse.

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49 minutes ago, BloodBoal said:

Audiobooks... Ugh!

 

You can't read a book on a bike! I usually have two books going at any given time, one I'm reading and one I'm listening to while biking, walking, etc.

 

I'm actually surprised this thread isn't more popular, I didn't even know it existed.  Do so few of us here read!?

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1 hour ago, BloodBoal said:

 

So, what about you, my friend? Have you read any Christie books?

 

The ABC MurdersMurder on the Orient ExpressAnd Then There None and Death on the Nile.

 

I'm not a Christie scholar or completist, but I did grow up with Poirot. I'd like to revisit and delve more into her work though. Any recommendations?

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1 hour ago, Nick1066 said:

You can't read a book on a bike!

 

While would you want to read a book on a bike? You're not making any sense

 

45 minutes ago, KK said:

Any recommendations?

 

Well, I've only just recently started reading her works, chronologically. So far, I'd recommend The Mysterious Affair At Styles (the first Poirot novel and Christie's first novel, too), The Secret Adversary, Poirot Investigates (collection of short stories, so if you're looking for quick, easy reads, this is perfect), and The Murder Of Roger Ackroyd (even I didn't love it, hey, it's supposed to be a classic, so you should read it).

 

Talking about Ackroyd, I'm a bit surprised that, even though it's one of Christie's most famous novels, there was only one adaptation of it (unlike, say, Murder On The Orient Express). I'm guessing this has to do with that twist and how you can (or cannot) work with that on a screen adaptation.

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On 2.1.2018 at 7:32 PM, Richard said:

I read GREAT EXPECTATIONS, the other d-  oh, fuck it.

I actually finished the book just before Christmas. I quite liked it apart from Dickens' penchant for writing out local dialect for some of the dialogue which sometimes took a bit of deciphering.

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