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The Big Four (Poirot) Hardcover – Facsimile, 6 Nov 2006


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; Facsimile edition edition (6 Nov. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007234511
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007234516
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 2.7 x 19 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 457,976 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

“The acknowledged queen of detective fiction.”
Observer

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

Framed in the doorway of Poirot's bedroom stood an uninvited guest, coated from head to foot in dust. The man's gaunt face stared for a moment, then he swayed and fell.

Who was he? Was he suffering from shock or just exhaustion? Above all, what was the significance of the figure 4, scribbled over and over again on a sheet of paper? Poirot finds himself plunged into a world of international intrigue, risking his life to uncover the truth about 'Number Four'.

'The acknowledged queen of detective fiction.'
OBSERVER

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

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By NJ Harrison on 1 April 2007
Format: Audio CD
This is not your typical Poirot with a limited number of suspects, close ties and fine deductions leading to the solution of the case. Instead it focuses on individual mysteries which link together to form the over all plot. The story is also more action based than your standard Poirot plot with Poirot and Hastings regularly subjected to deadly peril and narrow escapes possibly more suited to a comic book. Indeed at times the story is more like an experiment to see how many times the author can knock poor Hastings unconcious without becoming rediculose.

I don't want to convey a totally negative impression, however, I actually quite enjoyed the story, I just personally prefer stories like 'Hickory Dickory Dock' which have slightly more thought and a little less thrill seeking. 'The Big Four' would particularly suit anyone who is a fan of the abrupt action in the Paul Temple detective stories or who just wants an entertaining story to listen to. It sould not ,however, necessarily be dismissed by those who want a more traditional Agatha Christe, it has flashes of the charm of some of the more famous Poirot stories even if it lacks the depth.

As always with these particular complete and unabridged tales you do have the pleasure of the entire story masterly performed by Hugh Fraser who brings the book to life in the best possible style.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Roman Clodia TOP 100 REVIEWER on 17 Dec. 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is a slightly odd Poirot, where Christie moves away from her trademark 'cosy' murder mystery and into the world of international espionage and camp villains who want to take over the world... It's still enjoyable, especially the wonderful Hastings who is even more out of his depth here than ever, but I expect you have to be a real Christie/Poirot/Hastings fan to really enjoy this one.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By I AM ME on 11 Sept. 2007
Format: Paperback
The Big Four is one of Agatha Christies very unusual books, it is a great one and if you have read a lot of her regular books, then you should definitely read this because it is completely different from anything else that she has ever written. I found it difficult to put down because it is very intriguing.

The book is about a group called the Big Four, and they are trying to gain world domination ( it's a bit far-fetched but it doesn't really seem too unlikely when you are reading it ). In the group, there is a Chinaman, an American Millionaire, a Frenchwoman scientist, and a man, known as the Destroyer. A lot of murders occur and as a result of Poirot and Hastings investigation, the group are desperate to kill them both. It involves a lot of action scenes aswell, with Poirot and Hastings in near death experiences.

There are very few clues in the book because Poirot is trying to discover the Big Fours methods and he is trying to show very few of his own, along the way. There are however questions like, how some of the complicated murders are done? Who number four is? What is the significance of Poirots twin brother, to the case? etc.

I highly reccomend this book but it might not appeal to some people. If you are looking for some good Agatha Christie books, read, And Then There Were None, Crooked House, Murder On The Orient Express, Death On The Nile, A Pocket Full Of Rye and A Murder Is Announced, and many more.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jim J-R on 14 May 2010
Format: Paperback
This is a departure from the Poirot norm for Christie, which I don't think really worked. Rather than a whodunit, it's more of a thriller akin to James Bond (though they came later) complete with megalomanic baddies and a secret mountain hideaway.

Poirot is on the trail of 'The Big Four' a master criminal gang intent on taking over the world. Through a number of individual encounters Poirot tracks the four down and plots their downfall, assisted by the inept narrator, Captain Hastings.

The plot is structured almost as a series of short-stories, each building slightly upon the last and gradually leading towards the conclussion. As such it doesn't really fit together as a novel, and unlike the usual Poirot books there is no mystery for the reader to attempt to solve along with Poirot - we are just left to follow Hastings as he bumbles along, oblivious to Poirot's plans. This makes it quite a frustrating read as sometimes you are deliberately left in the dark, and at others it's so obvious what's going on that you want to kick Hastings for not falling in.

So overall it's only a mildly entertaining read, and certainly not one that demands a great deal of brain power. I hope this was a one off and we get back to the Christie cliché of 'murder at the manor'.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. A. L. Maddocks on 22 Sept. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
When I first read this book, I couldn't understand the plot or anything else in this story. Having read it a few times I now understand it a bit more. If you are new to Christie's Poirot then don't read this as your first novel, as you might feel put off as it is certainly different from any Poirot novels Christie has written before. There is plenty of murder involved, but this is on a more grand scale. This is an international story written about prominent people within the world who instill terror by stealth, and Poirot happens to be aware of what they are about and decides to go on the chase and catch these people. Has Poirot finally met his match or can he and his sidekick Hastings conquer the world of espionage and manipulation?

This book is an acquired taste, but I would certainly recommend it.
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