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The Labours of Hercules: Complete Short Stories: Complete & Unabridged [Audiobook, CD, Unabridged] [Audio CD]

Agatha Christie , Hugh Fraser
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Jan 2007

Hercule Poirot takes on his final cases, all of which will resemble the require Herculean feats in order to succeed. But whereas the Greek hero was blessed with gargantuan strength, Poirot’s only weapon against these monsters will be his brilliant powers of deduction.
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In appearance Hercule Poirot hardly resembled an ancient Greek hero. Yet – reasoned the detective – like Hercules he had been responsible for ridding society of some of its most unpleasant monsters.

So, in the period leading up to his retirement, Poirot made up his mind to accept just twelve more cases: his self-imposed ‘Labours’. Each would go down in the annals of crime as a heroic feat of deduction.


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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; Unabridged edition edition (1 Jan 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007212895
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007212897
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 13.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 248,177 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

Review

‘Twelve little masterpieces of detection. Poirot and Agatha Christie at their inimitable best’
Sunday Express

‘I have often thought that Mrs Christie was not so much the best as the only living writer of the true of classic detective story’
Margery Allingham

‘A finely shaped book, richly devious and quite brilliant – by far the best volume of Poirot shorts’
San Francisco Chronicle

From the Back Cover

In appearance Hercule Poirot hardly resembled an ancient Greek hero. Yet – reasoned the detective – like Hercules he had been resposible for ridding society of some of its most unpleasant monsters.

So, in the period before he retired, Poirot made up his mind to accept just twelve more cases: his self imposed 'Labours'. Each would go down in the annals of crime as a heroic feat of deduction.

'Poirot and Agatha Christie at their inimitable best'
SUNDAY EXPRESS

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

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Great 16 Aug 2007
Format:Paperback
This is a collection of Hercule Poirot short stories.
Hercule Poirot has decided to retire from detective work, but before he does so he wants to massage is ego one last time, by matching the feat of the mythological Hercules.
As Hercules had to embark on 12 seemingly impossible tasks, so too will Poirot by handpicking 12 final cases.
If you are an Agatha Christie fan, this is one of her best.
If you are new to Christie then this book is a good place to start.
Highly Recommended
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great stories, superbly read 29 April 2009
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Christie drew on Greek mythology for Poirot's "last" 12 cases. She enjoyed herself finding plots that fitted the fables, and also using her wit and social imagination. These stories are more "psychological" than usual, and involve clever scams and fake religions rather than straight murders and thefts. Nobody is quite who they seem. Poirot is reunited with his Irene Adler, "Countess" Vera Rosakoff, who still radiates warmth and charm despite the ravages of time, makeup and hair dye.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and imaginative 26 May 2011
By Jamie B
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I don't always enjoy Agatha Christie's short stories. For obvious reasons, they lack the range and complexity of her novels, and the culprit is easily spotted. Sometimes they are even practice runs for her longer novels. ('The Case of the Caretaker' from 'Miss Marple's Final Cases' becomes the brilliant 'Endless Night' for example. Endless Night (Agatha Christie Collection) by Christie, Agatha Masterpiece Edition (2007))

But I have no such reservations about 'The Labours of Hercules'. Ms. Christie obviously felt herself invigorated, just as much as Poirot, by this self-imposed labour. The writing is fresh and sparkling. There is plenty of crisp humour, and wry social comment, much of it just as relevant today. The range of stories is very different, encompassing not just the usual murder, but fraud, extortion, blackmail, theft, and drugs. Some of the tales are quite gruesome, the creepy and atmospheric 'The Erymanthian Boar', is a fine example of this.

I would love to see some of these tales dramatised with Suchet, but I suspect the production company have forgotten about this little gem, along with 'The Big Four'.

Nov 2013: I should note that since I originally wrote my review, the Poirot team have indeed remembered both The Labours of Hercules and The Big Four for the final series of 'Poirot'. Agatha Christie's Poirot - Collection 9 [DVD] Elements of 'The Capture of Cerberus', 'The Arcadian Deer', 'The Girdle of Hyppolita', 'The Stymphalean Birds' and 'The Erymanthian Boar' have all confusingly found their way into Guy Andrews' single episode screenplay.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book 19 Jan 2011
Format:Audio CD
This is one of my favourite Poirot books and as an audiobook is well read by the character who plays Hastings. Poirot decides to emulate the 12 Labours of the classical hero Hercules and does so cleverly with use of metaphor and current day situations to represent the mythical labours. There are 7 discs of these short stories. Good to pick up and listen to in small chunks.

(One small thing for ipod users if you try to load on your ipod ITUNES doesnt recognise so you have to name each track or simply find the tracks as track 1 track 2 etc)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Varied And Enjoyable 9 Dec 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Hercule Poirot decides to take on twelve cases, each of which relate to one of the labours of Hercules of the Ancient Greek Myths. Although they are short, the stories are very varied and enjoyable. Some of these were incorporated into the penultimate television episode with David Suchet.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Poriot Best 23 April 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am a great fan of Agatha Christie and enjoyed this book immensly. Each of the short storys was intresting and had me hooked, trying to guess who had done "it".
With some short stories you can feel a lack of character develepment, but this was not a problem, Poirot is a well know character, and even if you had not heard of him before, you quickly become familiar with his egotistical, but lovable ways.

The foreword is a bit confusing. Due to a jump to the first chapter by my kindle I only read it several days later when i went back to the beginning, It can very well be skipped with out losing any sense of the story, though it is an interesting discussion on names I suppose, and has Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes mentioned too, an interesting merging of fictional "worlds".

So I would definately encourage you to read it, the storys are light and interesting and the characters are all Christies best work
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3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good, very good characterization 2 Feb 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is a pretty good book. It introduced some new characters that I liked, for example, Amy Carnaby, who I wished would be in more of Poirot's books, and brought up old characters, like Vera Rossakoff, and Japp. The physcology and characterization was very good, although it's not one of her best books. I loved the many different settings and enjoyed the way each story related to each labour of the legendary Hercules. I recommend it for those who like short stories and see England of the 1930's.
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5.0 out of 5 stars 12 wonderful short-story murder mysteries 8 April 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I liked this book because while it's a collection of short stories, it is also a long story featuring Herclue Poirot. These 12 stories are almost more fun to read then a long murder mystery, because you can put down the book for a long time and then pick it up again without having to try to remember who all the characters are. One of my favorite Agatha Christie mysteries, I'd recommend it to all of her other fans.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Review
Enjoyed book
Published 1 month ago by dg
4.0 out of 5 stars Read the book
If you saw the TV version of this book and thought " what a load of codswollop " , buy the book and enjoy a better experience . Read more
Published 4 months ago by JohnMD
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic
From a great author we have as we'd expect a great story built around an almost cult figure of Poirot. Read more
Published 5 months ago by gordon davison
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read
Good stories which I first read thirty five years ago, I was prompted to buy after watching Poirot on TV, the stories were changed and confusing. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Julie
5.0 out of 5 stars Poirot
I thought I'd read this before the TV version. I enjoyed the book but I don't know that it will translete to TV that well. Poirot at his most versatile
Published 9 months ago by K. Taylor
4.0 out of 5 stars The Labours of Hercules (Poirot)
Anyone who likes Agatha Christie and Poirot should enjoy this book, one of those you pick up and cant put down.
Published 11 months ago by Phil
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book to read when you're short of time
The book consists of a series of 12 short stories starring Agatha Christie's famous little Belgian Detective, all of which are "loosely" related to the title. Read more
Published 13 months ago by mel74
4.0 out of 5 stars Agatha Christie - The Labours of Hercules | Review
Agatha Christie deserves her title as the Queen of Crime - this book is a masterfully-written collection of short stories about the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, arguably the... Read more
Published 14 months ago by SocialBookshelves.com
5.0 out of 5 stars The Labours of Hercules: Complete Short Stories: Complete & Unabridged
Excellent, Hugh Fraser's reading is very good in this and it is most enjoyable to listen to whilst relaxing or preparing for sleep.
Published 17 months ago by Big Ron
5.0 out of 5 stars Never fails
Christie never fails to please. The Labours of Hercules, a classic and is hard to put down. Kindle readers get on the wagon and enjoy Christie, you can't go wrong.
Published 19 months ago by gary c atkins
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