Ten little Soldier boys went out to dine;
One choked his little self and then there were nine.
Nine little Soldier boys sat up very late;
One overslept himself and then there were eight.
Eight little Soldier boys traveling in Devon;
One said he’d stay there and then there were seven.
Seven little Soldier boys chopping up sticks;
One chopped himself in halves and then there were six.
Six little Soldier boys playing with a hive;
A bumblebee stung one and then there were five.
Five little Soldier boys going in for law;
One got into Chancery and then there were four.
Four little Soldier boys going out to sea;
A red herring swallowed one and then there were three.
Three little Soldier boys walking in the zoo;
A big bear hugged one and then there were two.
Two little Soldier boys playing with a gun;
One shot the other and then there was One.
One little Soldier boy left all alone;
He went out and hanged himself and then there were none.
Yes, I know, reviewing a book from 1939? I’m about 78 years late to the party, but you have to excuse me since I’m not a hardcore fan of Christie’s.
2 days ago, while people were outside partying and doing God knows what, I was having a quiet evening. My wife is out of town and it was already freezing outside. I thought to myself “I need me something good to read” therefore, I went and dusted off some of the old books which I haven’t got time to read, and voila! “And there were none” was sitting there waiting for me to give it a shot.
Despite my busy schedule, I finished this novel in 2 long sits. I usually don’t do that much often, but I have to admit, Christie did a marvelous job to captivate me from start to finish.
As some of you might know, the original title was changed to what it is right now. Initially it was called “Ten Little Niggers”, when it was published in the U.S it was changed to “Ten Little Indians”. For obvious reasons, both titles were changed many years ago to become “And there were none”.
Do you see the poem which I have quoted above? It’s the key to the whole novel. 10 people got invited to spend a week on a private island which was bought by a rich man called “Mr. Owen”. Each one of these ten people received his/her invitation differently, some have received it by a letter from a person they know, some got recruited to do something there.
Our main protagonists arrived to the island, and after a series of introductions, a voice from a hidden record blasted off accusing them of murders they had committed in the past.
Exactly according the poem, people started to get killed one by one. The attendees searched the island but they didn’t find anybody, thus, leading them to the conclusion that the killer is one of them.
Their numbers decrease as the novel progresses, until “and there were none”. No one survived, everyone just died!
After the last death, I turned the page to find the heading of the next chapter is called “Epilogue” I screamed “DON’T DO THIS TO ME, NO PLEASE, NO OPEN ENDING FOR THE LOVE OF GOD”. That’s because until you reach the last chapter, you have no idea who the killer was, how he/she did all the murders, and why everyone died!
Now, if you are planning to spoil the punchline, you can continue reading, or if the above have enticed you to hop on Amazon or your local bookstore to get it, you can do that as well.
In the epilogue, the mystery gets unfolded. The Scotland Yard finds a bottle containing a letter floating in the water later on, no need to say that the killer himself had written it. The killer was actually one of the ten, he faked his own death by deceiving another guest who was a doctor to play along “in order to fool and confuse the real killer, therefore, keeping an eye on him and push him to make a mistake”.
The killer further explains how he killed each one of these people, and how he killed himself later on using a smart trick to put whoever is going to discover the bodies in a quite of a conundrum.
- My personal opinion:
I have found the novel pretty smart, well knitted and it was obvious that the author went into serious planning to devise it. She went to an extent where she mentioned that at the very first page. Apparently, this novel was the pride of her.
Out of 10 I would give it a 9, it’s quite a good rating considering that there’s a reason why I have always stayed away from Christie’s works, due to her style pertaining to jumping around from a scene to another quickly, in addition to the vast amount of characters she introduces; which half of them are not even related to the core progress. But I’m just conveying my personal opinion here, I’m sure that many of her hardcore readers enjoy that or else they wouldn’t be her hardcore readers to begin with!
I wish you all happy holidays!