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"In the city of my birth, I had a dream..."
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie 
30th-Sep-2006 10:51 pm
I thought I'd give this most famous of her novels a try, seeing as her books are being reprinted in cheap but attractive new hardcover editions.

Christie, Agatha. 1926. The Murder of Roger Akroyd. New York: Black Dog & Leventhal, 2006.
Summary: Roger Ackroyd is stabbed to death in the night that he discovers his lover, blackmailed by someone who knew that she poisoned her husband, committed suicide. Everyone's a suspect, and it's up to the supposedly retired Hercule Poirot to discover the murderer--who turns out to be Dr. Sheppard, the narrator of the story himself!
Comments: Okay, I must give Agatha Christie credit; I had wondered quite early on if, perhaps, Dr. Sheppard weren't possibly an unreliable narrator and what, by extension, that could mean to the plot...but then I got caught up in the simplistic, unadorned writing style and decided Christie was not up to the challenge. Well, I was wrong--kudos to the author! And I can imagine that such a literary experiment would've really surprised readers at the time. Though I was stunningly underwhelmed by the depiction of women in this novel (fainting spells or inveterate gossiping that ignores what's right in front of the eyes), the male characters, particularly Poirot, were interesting. If you ignore the broken English, Poirot is quite similar to Sherlock Holmes and is very much in that tradition--right down the the bafflingly ambiguous sexuality. (The man yearns for his old partner on more than one occasion in this book.)
Notes: hardcover, 1st printing
Rating: 6/10 - A fun mystery that actually ages quite well...AND an interesting early experiment in unreliable narration in popular fiction.
1st-Oct-2006 03:30 am (UTC)
Review archived.
1st-Oct-2006 02:17 pm (UTC)
My Mom once owned most of her books. I haven't gotten around to reading the majority of them. I must say I've never heard of this one but the premise sounds interesting.
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