Book of the Week #2:

The Clocks,

by Agatha Christie

I looked at her. Sheila was my girl—the girl I wanted—and wanted for keeps. But it wasn’t any use having illusions about her.

Of all the Agatha Christie books I have owned, and there have been many, this was the very first one. And after much consideration and deliberation, I decided that this would be the first one of her books that I speak about. And I can say with quite some certainty that this will not be the last.

For all aspiring writers, I will say, this book is a must read. Not for its intriguing plot-line or its fascinating setting, but simply for its unusual, yet exceptional style of narrative. The Clocks was the first book I read that employed ‘partial first-person narration’, and one can clearly see the benefits of both first-person and third-person narrative.

This book also introduced to me the man who is perhaps the second-most famous fictional detective, M. Hercule Poirot. And while there have been many comparisons between him and Sherlock Holmes, I just feel that the warmth and the depth of character Poirot exhibits makes him the more likeable one. But then again, Holmes was always meant to be admired, not liked…

In the reviews that I later read, most seemed to complain about the fact that Poirot hardly features in the book, instead of driving the entire plot. However, considering that he was a retired old man, enjoying, or at least trying to enjoy, the mundanity of his retired life, one should really not be surprised.

Another complaint readers, including my sister, tend to have with Agatha Christie is that she often withholds vital information regarding the case, making it impossible for the reader to deduce the outcome. But hey, life is unfair… Deal with it…

Perhaps the most winning aspect of this book is, apart from the narrator, and the chemistry he shares with other protagonists, the setting of post-war England… The Victorian houses, the Tube, the quintessential coffee and scones, and the scores of war veterans… It just seems like a fascinating time… And when you add to that the looming presence of the Cold War, and palpable tension and paranoia that accompanied it… Très romantique!

Now, I really cannot say much more, without revealing the plot… That is perhaps what happens when one tries to discuss a mystery…

For all those who haven’t read it yet, you can find it here, though this one is not available for free, okay:

That is all for today.

Thank you.

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Published by

Yashas Mahajan

Author of Arrkaya: Origins, now available online... Increasingly being referred to as The Writer Guy...

3 thoughts on “Book of the Week #2:”

  1. What do you read a mystery for? Figuring out the plot before the writer explains is like outwitting the writer. I LIKE outwitting the writer. LOVE IT. I bet many readers do; and some don’t; and some never figure out the plot… So (maybe you should wait for the movie to come out, yes?)

    Ah! It must be in our blood, the rants don’t stop!

    Coming to the point, when you are reading like a reader, Agatha Christie does not let you get ahead of her. But when you are reading like a writer, she shows you how it’s done…

    “Sparkling Cyanide” was the first from her writings that I have read and I haven’t read many. “The Clocks” was shoved in my face many times, it also mysteriously appeared in front of my computer screen or under my pillow or on my chair many times. But, I have not read it, yet.

    Then again, this might just be another of your attempts to get me to read it, and like it… But, I am not a writer… yet.

    Like

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