Monday, December 29, 2008

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

Works by the renowned Agatha Christie never fail to intrigue me. Despite being rendered somewhat blase by overenthusiastic consumption of her works (Admission of guilt: that would be no one's fault but my own. Christie is a prolific author with more than 80 novels and story collections to her name, and, imbecile that I am, I would insist on systematically devouring every Christie book that comes my way ;P), every once in a while, a gem of a twist ending will crop up and jar this particular reader out of her smug apathy. 

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is that gem.

I admit that I'd cast a somewhat jaundiced eye over the cover when I picked up this paperback at the local library. Published in 1926, this Hercule Poirot mystery was declared "one of Christie's best known and most controversial novels".


(A/N: I dislike Poirot. Arrogant, with an almost comically inflated opinion of his abilities, M. Poirot always seems to be a tad egocentric. My preference runs more to reserved, but keen-eyed spinsters - Miss Marple for example. Her "Victorian modesty" (though old-fashioned) is more amusing and far more tolerable than Poirot's bombast.

But then, I guess I'm being harsh. Poirot does have a plausible reason for his pompousity. "The little grey cells" have admirable ways of proving themselves. *grudging respect*)

Most Hercule Poirot mysteries tend to have the same sort of style (unlike Miss Marple mysteries which have more variations in fashion).  The story usually takes place either in the third-person narrative or from the personal narrative of Captain Hastings (Poirot's companion - he is to Poirot what Watson is to Holmes). A scarce amount of clues are found in the crime scene. An inordinate amount of seemingly irrelevant morsels of information are provided. Poirot makes the occasional enigmatic comment throughout the investigations, and in the end assembles all the suspects together and promulgates the identity of the culprit.

Rather predictable.

2 much work

But The Murder of Roger Ackroyd diverges from the mode in two distinct ways:

(Spoiler alert!

(1) The story is not told from a third-person narrative or even from the personal narrative of Hastings. It is told from the personal narrative of a Dr. James Sheppard - a country doctor who is the very embodiment of discretion and reticence. All the same, though, the detective casually reflects that Sheppard shares some similarities with Hastings; M. Poirot duly engages the doctor as a colleague. 

(2) The ending. As I said before, it is a gem of a twist ending. I do not want to disclose more: it might ruin the book for others.

(A/N: Woe betide those who spread major spoilers far and wide (and without warning!). I hate that sort of people. E.g.: OMG!! GUYS!!! THE BUTLER DID IT!!!! OMG!!! (*ahem* That's a spoiler for another book ¬_¬) When I receive a spoiler of that caliber, I feel like shaking the spoiler-bearer. Hard >:(


Grr... So, no more spoilers :P)

Anyways, this is a must-read book for any fan of the Queen of Crime (ie: Agatha Christie ;) Do read it, people. Ciao! ;D

(A/N: Comments/criticisms welcome.)


  1. the return of the linkFebruary 12, 2009 at 1:29 AM

    hmm.....I'm reading the mirror crack'd from side to side and it's really cool..very "intriguing"...this book seems it available in dalat???

  2. Yep. Mirror Crack'd - been there, done that ;D
    One of the best Miss Marple books, oh yeah.
    Do read Ackroyd next, 'kay? :P

    Thanks for commenting ^_^

  3. THIS IS EUGENE......LOL...not my sis....heheheheh.I just typed "the return of the link" for know. Sure..i'll read Ackroyd.

    P.S. When I say lame(in reference to mystery books, I mean not as brilliant...hhehehhehe