The newly established Roux Reads Book Club meets in the Roux Library every other Monday at 6 p.m. Their current group read novels are: “And Then There Were None” by Agatha Christie and “Lolita” by Vladimir Nabokov. They will be reviewing the group read novels every month in “The Southern.”
With over 100 million copies sold in the last 75-years, Agatha Christie’s “And Then There Were None,” is the world’s best-selling mystery novel and one of the best-selling books of all time. Christie’s thrilling novel weaves an intriguing tale of murder and mayhem. With a twisted plot that set the bar for mystery novels for generations to come, does the Queen of Mystery’s master- piece still hold up today?
“And Then There Were None” starts with 10 individuals of differing class and outlook, who have no connections to each other receiving invitations to the mysterious Solider Island. Some are requested to come by an old friend, while others are drawn by the prospect of employment and money. However, things quickly turn strange when a recording by their un- known host is played, and each visitor is accused of a heinous crime.
Suspicions start to fly and, as everyone denies the accusations, the guests began to die one by one, in a pattern following a children’s poem. The fear of heavenly retribution hangs in the air. Is there some- one else on the island orchestrating these crimes, or is the killer among the 10?
The novel introduces a large number of characters and information in the beginning and it might be overwhelming trying to remember them all. Each character is a stereotype of the time, with a mysterious past that is explored throughout the story. You’ll come to know Dr. Edward Arm- strong, a successful doctor, who’s been accused of a botched surgery, the aged General John Macarthur, who mourns the loss of his late wife, the brash, young Anthony Marston, who smiles in the face of danger, and the proper Emily Brent, who is disgusted at how the young ladies of the time hold themselves in society.
“And Then There Were None” is a quick and interesting read that is sadly plagued by an awkward writing style. The constant jumping of perspectives and a large cast of characters to wrap your mind around might pose as a stumbling block at first, but the more you integrate yourself into the world, the easier it becomes. The novel ends with a shocking conclusion that nicely wraps the whole package up.
The only other problem the reader could face is the feeling of déjà vu. “And Then There Were None” has spawned over 12 TV and film adaptations as well as countless other materials that are loosely-based off of or parodies the material. With television spoofs such as “Family Guy’s” “And Then There Were Fewer” and the “Boy Meets World” episode “And Then There Was Shawn,” as well as homages in shows and books such as “CSI and “Case Closed,” no form of media has escaped the touch of Agatha Christie’s crown jewel.
With elements of this novel found so frequently in today’s culture, it’s hard to look at “And Then There Were None” with a fresh mind set, without the nagging feeling that you’ve seen this before.
“And Then There Were None,” is a thrilling, classic mystery, with a plot that manages to stay bizarre and mysterious without becoming too silly and unbelievable. This novel has changed the culture of mystery stories for generations, and it’s great to come back to and read the story that started it all. I would give this book a rating of 7.5/10.
The next meeting of Roux Reads will be March 9. Everyone is welcomed to join.