Friday 24 November 2017

Mini-reviews: Murder on the Orient Express and The Big Sleep

Murder on the Orient Express (Hercule Poirot, #10)Everyone knows Agatha Christie - the queen of crime fiction, and that is exactly why I'm reading Murder on the Orient Express, for the Crime part of my MA. This was my first Christie, and despite knowing the gist of what her stories entailed, it still surprised me. I really liked this, Poirot is a bit full of himself but a good detective - methodical and logical, especially in the face of a strange case like this. A lot of you have probably seen the movie by now (although I haven't) so the story, and maybe even the murder, isn't a surprise but I adored it. A very good introduction to Christie and the Golden Age of Detectives.

The Big Sleep (Philip Marlowe, #1)My tutor said in this week's seminar that Chandler is to American crime fiction that Christie is to British. And I can certainly see that! Admittedly, a lot went over my head, maybe that was just the way I read it, but I loved the old gang warfare, the guns and the racketeers - maybe not the way women are portrayed as basically sluts and/or things but Marlowe had a surprisingly strong moral compass (for a PI!). The plot itself is pretty convoluted, with a series of killings to cover up the previous secret, and two sisters who run around this town as if its their playground. A very different style of crime fiction to Christie but just as iconic.

As you can tell, I've been reading these as part of my course and so have been analysing them critically as literature in history, rather than just as a good story. I've been really enjoying reading these different types of stories, genres and styles I wouldn't normally pick up. Let me know if you like this classic crime sort of books or if you've watched/liked the Murder on the Orient Express movie!

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