Monday, January 10, 2011

The Mirror Crack'd

The Mirror Crack'd
by Agatha Christie

One of my favorite columns at The Onion's AV Club is the genius Better Late Than Never where pop culture writers read or watch or listen to segments of culture they somehow missed along the way. I am flabbergasted when I see writers who have somehow missed Tron or Bill Hicks or the Breakfast Club (is that even possible!?!?!). But then I think about myself. Hell, until last week I'd never once seen Rear Window. There's all sorts of stuff I've missed over the years. And despite my love of reading, I haven't read everything.

While I do feel like I've read a good cross-section of everything from the Bible to Hunter S. Thompson to Thomas Pynchon, there still come moments when someone asks me whether I have read a book written by so-and-so and I respond in the negative.

Invariably eyebrows are raised and incredulity is expressed: "How have you not read _________ yet? Put everything down and read him/her next!"

Come to think of it, there are glaring holes in my reading. I've never read anything by Ernest Hemingway nor have I read Herman Melville. I've never finished a book written by J.R.R. Tolkien (and in this case, nor shall I ever). I've never read Lolita or Crime and Punishment or The Grapes of Wrath or Dune. I've never read H.P. Lovecraft, Edith Wharton or Ian Mcewan or Carson McCullers.

As a Canadian I've never read Hugh McLennan or Farley Mowat. Imagine that. I suspect a few Canucks out there would be screaming bloody murder for my citizenship to be rescinded.

I've not read Thornton Wilder or V.S. Naipaul or Jack London.

And until this book I had never once read Agatha Christie.

I'm not a huge fan of mysteries. I enjoy them when I read them, but I never actively search them out. I'm not the sort to try and figure out who the murderer was before the main character. I fall for red herrings and always tend to suspect the butler or the spouse. When the reveal comes, I'm always surprised.

So, for me, The Mirror Crack'd did its job. It had me guessing until the very end, and isn't that all one expects from a good murder mystery? Aside from the dated writing (and who can blame Ms. Christie for her writing style?) I was pleased with the Agatha Christie experience. I will not hesitate to go back to this well in the future.


P.S. The butler didn't do it.


Jen Jellybean said...

what were some of the red herrings you encountered? i thought it was mr badcock for the longest time...

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