Murder on the Orient Express

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

It's end-of-the-week-count time.

For the week -


PAGES: 2,146


PAGES: 87,150

Today's book, "Thundering along on it's three-day journey across Europe, the famous Orient Express suddenly came to a stop in the night. Snowdrifts blocked the line. Surrounded by the silent Balkan hills, the passengers slept on unheeding. But Hercule Poirot had not slept well. He awoke in the small hours, wondering at the silence and immobility of the train. He was startled by a loud groan, which seemed to come from the next compartment. At the same moment the ping of a bell sounded sharply. Footsteps came along the corridor - there was a tap on a door. Then someone said, "It was nothing, a mistake. . . " Hercule Poirot heard no more and after a while dazed off uneasily. But in the morning the man in the next compartment lay dead; stabbed, viciously and frenziedly, over and over again - and the murderer was still on the train . . . since the snow outside was unbroken."

Mysterious thoughts:

  • I have always wanted to read an Agathie Christie novel - ever since that episode of Full House when the grandmothers showed up (not exactly a lofty reason for wanting to read something, but it's a reason that I'm sure will not shock any of you.) Back then reading an Agathie Christie novel sounded so grown-up and sophisticated. But I was too busy reading trashy novels and pretending to be Laura Ingalls Wilder back then to take time out of my hectic schedule to read one. So today I decided to cross one more thing off of my childhood "Things I'm Going to Do When I'm a Grown-Up" list and actually tackle reading one. I'm so glad that I decided to read today's book, because it definitely lived up to expectation. It's rare that anything I thought would be fun as a child actually turns out to be fun, so I'm pleasantly surprised.

  • Favorite sentences, "He produced on me an unpleasant impression." - It doesn't get right to the point quite as well as saying that someone is annoying as sin, but it still gets the job done, and in a much more elegant way. I'm always a big fan of saying something mean in a really pleasant way.

  • Favorite passage, "At a small table, sitting very upright, was one of the ugliest old ladies he had ever seen. It was an ugliness of distinction - it fascinated rather than repelled." - I see we have now dispensed with saying mean things in a pleasant way and gone straight to saying mean things in a mean way. Another important option.

I would definitely recommend today's book to anyone who loves a good mystery - or to anyone who has watched the Rugrats version of this story and wants to compare the two.