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Elephants Can Remember [Paperback]

Agatha Christie
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
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Book Description

2 Jun 2008

Hercule Poirot is determined to solve an old husband and wife double murder that is still an open verdict…

Hercule Poirot stood on the cliff-top. Here, many years earlier, there had been a tragic accident. This was followed by the grisly discovery of two more bodies – a husband and wife – shot dead.

But who had killed whom? Was it a suicide pact? A crime of passion? Or cold-blooded murder? Poirot delves back into the past and discovers that ‘old sin leave long shadows’.

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Elephants Can Remember + Curtain: Poirot's Last Case (Poirot) + Dead Man's Folly (Poirot)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; Masterpiece edition edition (2 Jun 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 000712080X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007120802
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 116,658 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born in Torquay in 1890, Agatha Christie began writing during the First World War and wrote over 100 novels, plays and short story collections. She was still writing to great acclaim until her death, and her books have now sold over a billion copies in English and another billion in over 100 foreign languages. Yet Agatha Christie was always a very private person, and though Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple became household names, the Queen of Crime was a complete enigma to all but her closest friends.

Product Description


‘Splendid… she tells us all we want to know and nothing that is irrelevant.’ THE TIMES

From the Back Cover

Hercule Poirot stood on the cliff-top. Here, many years earlier, there had been a tragic accident. This was followed by the grisly discovery of two more bodies – a husband and wife – shot dead.

But who had killed whom? Was it a suicide pact? A crime of passion? Or cold-blooded murder?

Poirot delves back into the past and discovers that ‘old sin leave long shadows’.

Agatha Christie was born in Torquay in 1890 and became, quite simply, the best-selling novelist in history. She wrote 80 crime mysteries and collections, and saw her work translated into more languages than Shakespeare. Her enduring success, enhanced by many film and TV adaptations, is a tribute to the timeless appeal of her characters and the unequalled ingenuity of her plots.

‘Splendid… she tells us all we want to know and nothing that is irrelevant.’

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
I first must say that as I write this review I have only read five Christie books. Those were 'The Murder of Roger Ackroyd', 'The ABC Murders', 'One, Two, Buckle my shoe', 'After the Funeral' and 'Elephants Can Remember'. I must say firstly how much I have enjoyed reading these five books and how much I look forward to reading a sixth.

Elephants can remember has to be appreciated by all due to the age of the author at this point. I must say, that for all of the ideas Christie has put to paper, she still has some good ones even after almost eighty books.

Poirot is indeed and interesting and enjoyable character but I think that this is a book that belongs the Mrs. Oliver. She is another great detctive idea- not quite Japp or Hastings- but still good.

Elephants is all about remembering and I must say that it is pulled off well here. Despite his age, Poirot is charming right to the end of the series and here he continues in this trend.

All in all, I enjoyed Elephants very much. Christie seems to get all the details and always has a great twish in there somewhere. Elephants isn't quite The ABC Murders, but like all of the five, its still absolutely brilliant. As I write this, the book is currently only three stars. Thats just far to underated!

Finally, you can't fail to admire the closing line in the novel made by Mrs. Oliver.

Great stuff as always!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars elephants can remember (poirot) 12 Oct 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed reading a Poirot that hasn't been filmed yet, though I still saw David Suchet and Zoe Wannamaker in my imagination. This is an excelent Agatha Christie, full of twists and turns.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Elephants Can Remember 17 Aug 2009
By imla
I have read a handful of Agatha Christie novels and watched many more on television and therefore feel I know a little of how these books work, what they are about, their structure.

My favourite ones have been where a murder has happened in a big house and Poirot/Miss Marple solve the case. Elephants Can Remember wasn't like that. It was about Poirot solving a mystery from years ago - a strange case where a married couple, for unknown reasons, went for a walk along the cliff top and committed suicide. Or at least - this is what people think. Can Poirot really get to the truth?

Of course he can. What a rubbish book if he couldn't! I enjoyed this book in the same way I enjoy all Agatha Christie novels. They are short, easy to read novels. You are in competition with Agatha Christie to solve the murder before the final denoument.

There were things I disliked in the book. It took a while to get the story started, there were a lot of talking about possible things that happened and rumours (led by Ariadne Oliver) which really didn't add much to the plot of the story.

Over all I did enjoy this book however I would recommend reading many other of her novels before venturing onto this one.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not one of Christie's best but still readable 19 Jan 2006
Poirot is a fantastic character and through his adventures Agatha Christie has transported millions of readers into a world of mystery and intrigue. However, in 'Elephants Can Remember' we are less transported and more dragged along on a whimsical trip down memory lane.
After being informed of a 12 year old double suicide by an old friend Poirot decides to discover what really happened on that cliff so many years ago. As the evidence is not new enough Poirot uses a tactic different from most of his books and that is to interview those that may have known the people all those years ago. From the evidence gathered he has to determine whose memories are nearest and what really happened.
Poirot is not in large sections of this book so it lacks the humour of his earlier books. Also it seems to lack direction and coherence that a more a traditional story would have.
One for Agatha Christie completeists and not to be used as an introduction to her books.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quite a good read 20 May 2005
By Miguel M. Santos VINE VOICE
For the third time in Poirot's career, and this time with the help of Mrs Oliver, he finds himself dealing with a case that has happened many years ago. In this case the deaths of a retired general and his wife who seem to have died in a strange suicide pact - only there was no reason for it.
This was the last Poirot novel Agatha Christie wrote, since "Curtain" been written many years before. And it feels like an eulogy to memory and to things past. It's not her best novel or even one which surprised me, since I guessed what had happened (and felt really happy because of it). But nevertheless is quite a good read, and I am sure other people will enjoy it as well.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Review of the BBC version 18 Sep 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Disappointing, even with the lovely John Moffatt (RIP) who was such a perfect Poirot. Julia McKenzie was a not-bad Miss Marple, but as Ariadne Oliver she's way over the top and makes her sound slightly pixillated at all times. (Stephanie Cole does an excellent Ariadne. And so does Hugh Fraser!) And the adaptation brings in alcoholic drinks whenever the plot sags. "Have another sherry, inspector!" "I don't mind if I do!" I'm sorry, this is not witty dialogue. Ariadne (like Agatha) doesn't drink, and says so. Frequently. Mentions of alcohol, and people being a bit squiffy, are not funny. This is a late Christie, and sadly it shows. The plot is thin, and relies on effects Christie had used many times before (better). The interesting thing about the book (must reread) is the way events are garbled in people's memories. The adaptation has junked the "long, rambling reminiscences", but as I recall these are what make the book. Another point is that in the days of Empire, middle class English people used to spend most of their lives in a far-off, very different country. Back home, friends and family heard distorted rumours of scandalous goings-on. The solution, when it comes, is melodramatic and rather Victorian.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Ariadne Oliver stars
'Elephants Can Remember' was published in 1972 and features Hercule Poirot and Ariadne Oliver. It is the final Christie's novel to feature either of them, although 'Curtain:... Read more
Published 8 days ago by Aletheuon
5.0 out of 5 stars Good iteem
True to the Agatha Christie style; this is an excellent book and makes for compulsive reading from start to finish.
Published 3 months ago by Joan Herdman
5.0 out of 5 stars elephants
as usual Agatha Christie at her most compelling would recommend to any thriller buffs suspense is kept going always throughout
Published 5 months ago by Alan Bradwell
5.0 out of 5 stars Poirot
Thought that I had all of Agatha Christie books so was delighted to find this. Really enjoy her books and to be able to now put them on my Kindle is good news.
Published 11 months ago by Joan
3.0 out of 5 stars good story but set in wrong timeline
The storyline was well presented in the Agatha Christie style but lacked impetus or true meaning as it was set in more modern times than Poirot is accustomed to and for me this... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Ian
3.0 out of 5 stars Elephants Can Remember - Kindle edition
I am enjoying reading this book, perhaps now with greater appreciation than I did many years ago when I read it for the first time and found it disappointing. Read more
Published 13 months ago by C. A. Bean
1.0 out of 5 stars Oh dear!
I haven't read an Agatha Christie for years and I was prepared for it to be a little simply written compared to my usual reading, but oh my word - this is dreadful! Read more
Published 19 months ago by folkfan
3.0 out of 5 stars Complaint
This book was fine, in good condition and as I expected in quality. However it was marketed as being part of The Agatha Christie "Greenway Edition". Read more
Published 23 months ago by Woody
4.0 out of 5 stars Well written yarn, and an interesting puzzle
This is one of Christie's better efforts in terms of characterisation and plot development. As with all studies of a crime that occurred long ago, pace is necessarily sacrificed in... Read more
Published on 26 May 2012 by Thomas Holt
5.0 out of 5 stars 'A ladie's whim
My dear wife had come so far in the list of books written by this extraordinary Lady Agatha Christie - or was it Miss Marple - that now she wanted all that where still missing. Read more
Published on 10 Jan 2012 by Dr. Manfred Ottow
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