Monday, January 30, 2012

Censorship and how the times change

Since I have been reading many suspense and thriller novels, I figured I should read one of the classics by the grand dame of them all - Agatha Christie.

I am not sure what is more interesting - this book, or the evolutions that this book has gone through in print. I didn't know it started out life as "Ten Little N-". Deemed politically incorrect, the title and associated poem turned in to "Ten Little Indians". Again, times changed, and the title turned in to "And then there were None" with the poem that novel is framed around changed to "Ten Little Soldiers" on Soldier Island to be even more inoffensive. This tells a tale of the times - how opinions have shifted, and how much more culturally sensitive we can be at this time.

The story itself is a fast-paced read in which ten strangers are brought to an island to face a form of justice for crimes that were beyond the law when committed, and each individual has a different feeling of guilt associated with the murder(s) they are attributed to. As a novel, it is quick and lively, and the the postscript from the killer is an interesting piece. I think it is folly many of us fall in to, thinking that we must be smarter than the people that came before us because we live in the present, and they lived in the past. This is a smart novel, that hits upon some behavioural and criminal psychology that is still being explored and investigated today. Was it the best written crime novel ever written? No, but it is important for it's historical notes, and it is a decent read. Did I also mention, FAST? I think I will read a few more Christie's along the way... they are a decent diversion.

No comments: