Thursday, March 13, 2014

Endless Night: Review

Two years ago (just about a week shy of exactly to the day) Steve (aka The Puzzle Doctor) reviewed Agatha Christie's Endless Night and got me interested in reading the book again--just to see if my less-than-stellar two-star rating from twenty-some years ago would still hold true (and fall pretty much in line with his reading of the book) or if I might like it better now. My paperback copy is buried somewhere in storage, so when I came across a nice 1967 British Book Club hardcover I snatched it up and put it on the TBR pile for this year.

And, Steve, I'm with you and Patrick and am sticking with my two-star rating.  This book is just not my idea of the best of Agatha Christie. I'm pretty picky about the suspense novels I read.  There are definitely authors in that genre that appeal to me. Christie writing suspense isn't one of them. Give me her good old fashioned Golden Age style books any day. Like Steve, I also do not care for the way she recycled a certain plot device. I thought it clever the first time I encountered it, but even though I had forgotten that it was employed here it didn't make me like it any better this time around. It's difficult to discuss this one in any great detail without addressing the plot point in question--and I hate to spoil the book for anyone who might like to read it. But, please, don't let my lack of enthusiasm dissuade you from picking it up--there are plenty of people who consider this one of Christie's best novels from her later years. You might like it as well--especially if suspense is your favorite genre.

Let me just give you a synopsis of the plot: Michael Rogers is our narrator. He is a working class man with a strong streak of wanderlust. He rarely stays with a job long and feels like he is in search of something...or someone. He meets Fenella "Ellie" Guteman, the rich daughter of an incredibly wealthy American. Ellie has been protected and sheltered all of her life by relatives and trustees and she longs to break away and just be able to do what she wants to do. Ellie and Michael fall in love and get married as soon as Ellie is of age. They met on the grounds of house called Gipsy Acres--a house associated with a curse. But they love the location and decide to flout local legend and pull down the dilapidated old house and build a dream home of their own. Unfortunately, ignoring the stories of the curse and living out their dreams prove more costly than they can possibly anticipate.

This counts for the "Read an Author You've Read Before" square on the Silver Vintage Bingo card.


Anonymous said...

Sorry you didn't like this one better Bev - I've always rated it quite highly among her later books.

Bev Hankins said...

I know you do, Sergio. (I almost mentioned you specifically. :-) ) I just don't like Christie doing this kind of suspense. I don't think it was her forte. I do, however, rate the suspenseful Ten Little Indians/And Then There Were None highly.

srivalli said...

This is one of my favourite books. But then I love all Christie books ;)

fredamans said...

If you gave it a two twice, I think I'd pass. I'd need to hear something more positive the second time around to get me interested.
Fab review!

neer said...

I too re-read it recently. Didn't work for me at all. Even two stars are two too many.

Phinnea said...

Haven't read this one yet, but agree suspense was not Christie's forte. I'll probably read it regardless, but not twice!