Audiobook review: And Then There Were None

30th June 2011

*You can purchase the audio from Audible or the print version from Indiebound.

Ten little Indian boys went out to dine;

One choked his little self and then there were nine.

Nine little Indian boys sat up very late;
One overslept himself and then there were eight.
Eight little Indian boys travelling in Devon;
One said he’d stay there and then there were seven.
Seven little Indian boys chopping up sticks;
One chopped himself in half and then there were six.
Six little Indian boys playing with a hive;
A bumblebee stung one and then there were five.
Five little Indian boys going in for law;
One got in Chancery and then there were four.
Four little Indian boys going out to sea;
A red herring swallowed one and then there were three.
Three little Indian boys walking in the zoo;
A big bear hugged one and then there were two.
Two Little Indian boys sitting in the sun;
One got frizzled up and then there was one.

One little Indian boy left all alone;

He went out and hanged himself and then there were none.

Ah, folk songs and nursery rhymes. So sweet. So simple. So nice to fall asleep to… Wait, no they’re actually not. Ten people die in the one above – and pretty nastily, might I add. Jack and Jill and Humpty Dumpty – well, we know what happens to them. Rough stuff, peeps. Best not to think about it.

Agatha Christie, though, oh ho, she thought about it, and the rhyme above now scares the pants off me, thankyouverymuch. You see, ten people, introduced in the first chapters of the book, are all heading to Indian Island, under very different pretenses. Invitations to see old friends, offers of employ, and free vacations to check out a new place have all been issued to lure these particular guests. Yet, when all the guests arrive at the house on Indian Island, no hosts are present. Instead, each guest has a room with the above nursery rhyme hung on the wall, and there are ten little china Indian figurines centered on the dining room table…until they begin disappearing as rapidly as the guests die off.

And that, my friends, is how to set the scene. No one else is on the island, and there is no hope of getting off it, leaving the ten people to think about just what they did to land themselves in such a deadly predicament, each hoping against hope he or she will be the one to survive. [insert scary echoing laugh here.]

I listened to this on audiobook as a way to get myself to the gym. Not only did I go to the gym, I stayed on the machine much longer than normal then decided to return to lay out by the pool and listen. I have read a lot of mysteries in my time, so I kept waiting for the moment when I would figure out the identity of the murderer. Not gonna happen. Not only did I not guess, but I was blown away by the ending of this book and listened to it a couple of times in disbelief that my mystery-genius-ness failed me. And Hugh Fraser? He was excellent in keeping the characters separate without driving me crazy with different pitches. It’s difficult to describe, but he gave each character a slightly unique inflection while still not disrupting the flow of the reading. I have already added some of Hugh Fraser’s other narrations to my wish list on Audible.com.

I know some of you out there are big Agatha Christie fans. I read several in high school, but it was a pretty (cough cough) long time ago. Any recommendations on which I just have to read next? And have audiobooks made you do anything out of character recently? After all, it’s the last day of June, which IS Audiobook Month…

jenn aka the picky girl

 

 

 

  • Marlene

    Ahhhh….so at LONG last, you, too, have fallen in love with Agatha!!! Isn’t she sublime?! Love, love my some AC. My first was The Man in the Brown Suit….it somehow found it’s way into my basket of reading, waaaaay back when we lived on 12th street…and you, my darlin’, were just a teeny little thing I carried around everywhere! I didn’t buy it, and dad certainly didn’t …..yet there it was! A mystery unto itself! I thought…hmmm….I’ve HEARD of Agatha Christie…wonder if she’s any good???? I was shortly thereafter struck dumb in amazement, and had a ‘new love’ to add to my life, beyond you and your daddy. I couldn’t put down TMITBS….after that, it was Murder on the Links….try ’em both…I guarantee you’ll love them! My favorites are a toss up between the Miss Marples….love that Jane….and the Tommy and Tuppence team…very much like The Thin Man. You’d love them! Give ’em a whirl….and let us ALL know what you think! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Eva

    I just finished reading this via audiobook yesterday! Creepy! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    My fave Christies:
    The 4:50 From Paddington
    A Murder is Announced
    The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
    Death on the Nile
    Elephants Can Remember
    The Postern of Fate

    Also, Masterpiece Mystery is currently airing some Poirot adaptations (and only one Miss Marple *sob* I love the new Miss Marple series) that you can watch on their website!

    • Eva

      I lied! Scratch out Postern of Fate and replace it with By the Pricking of My Thumbs. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • pickygirl

      Too weird. Great minds think alike.

      I will definitely look into each of those. I watched all the old Miss Marples in the fall through Netflix – so fun! Thanks for the tips, Eva!

  • Love love love Christie. I think my favorite (after And Then There Were None which is 1st place) would be Murder on the Orient Express; also love all the Poirot’s.

    • pickygirl

      I have that one at home! Yea! And dang – I read the best one first. It really was such a great, great read.

  • I have yet to read an Agatha Christie. I’m going to make an effort to pick up a title or two to read in fall/around Halloween. This one sounds awesome!

    • pickygirl

      It really is fantastic. I think you’d like her writing style, and listening to it actually did enhance the experience.

  • I know I read this in highschool and yet I have no memory of it whatsoever. My notoriously bad book memory really comes in handy when it comes to mysteries, since I can read them again and again and never know what’s going to happen!

    • pickygirl

      I know! I love that. Until I want to remember a character’s name in a book I read two days ago… ๐Ÿ™‚

      This one was really fantastic. As a long-time mystery reader, I have to say it’s one of my new favorites.

  • Now that I’ve fallen in love with audiobooks, I might consider picking this one up. I read it last year and fell madly in love with the creepy story, but it does seem like something that I really should listen to as well.

    • pickygirl

      Oh you should. Remember the name – Hugh Fraser – fantastic narrator.

  • I have this exact same version – I love Hugh Fraser’s soothing voice as he reads about murder and mayhem. This is a classic for a reason, but I admit I read it and ALL the Christies many MANY years ago. But that doesn’t stop me re-reading and re-listening. Another good audio version is David Suchet reading MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS.

    Hugh Fraser, also, of course, plays Hastings to David Suchet’s Poirot in several of the BBC Mystery adaptations. The older ones. (Which are really the better ones since they actually keep to the books and don’t make major changes. The newer ones – GAK!)

    My favorite Christies?

    Oh, so many, so many….

    SECRET OF CHIMNEYS
    THE MAN IN THE BROWN SUIT
    THEY CAME TO BAGHDAD
    THE ABC MURDERS
    HALLOWEEN PARTY
    THE CLOCKS
    4:50 FROM PADDINGTON
    DEATH ON THE NILE
    MURDER IN MESOPOTAMIA
    DEATH IN THE CLOUDS

    and so on and so on…!

    • pickygirl

      This is a fantastic list! Thank you so much for it and for the audio recommendations. Yes, I’m still in the stage of audio listening where I’m surprised by how much listening can enhance the experience, particularly with Christie. Can’t wait to get to some more.

  • Jimi

    A Cat Amongst the Pigeons is one of my favorites. My grandmother grew up in England the same time as AC and was always a huge fan so we read these together when I was a youngster so she has always been much more than an author to me. You did read the best book first but don’t fret, they are all good reads. A Murder is Announced is another of my favorites. She is just do darn clever.

    • pickygirl

      Jimi – Thanks so much for stopping by and for the recommendation. What a wonderful memory. My family read several books out loud each summer, and I still love those books so much.

      Have a great day!