The Big Four Hardcover – 3 Dec 2007
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“The acknowledged queen of detective fiction.”
About the Author
Agatha Christie was born in Torquay in 1890 and became, quite simply, the best-selling novelist in history. Her first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, written towards the end of the First World War, introduced us to Hercule Poirot, who was to become the most popular detective in crime fiction since Sherlock Holmes. She is known throughout the world as the Queen of Crime. Her books have sold over a billion copies in the English language and another billion in 100 foreign countries. She is the author of 80 crime novels and short story collections, 20 plays, and six novels under the name of Mary Westmacott.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
The plot is threadbare ... it lurches into science fiction for a time, it nowhere achieves any credibility. Ian Fleming can contrive international conspiracies, Agatha Christie cannot. Removed from her world of cosy mysteries, she's all at sea. Her suggestion that Trotsky and Lenin were simply pawns in the hands of this criminal conspiracy demonstrated the infantile level of her political awareness. The narrative allows a few desultory comments about foreigners, demonstrates her detachment from and lack of understanding of working people and the working classes. In places the book is virtually unreadable ... except, of course, that Christie does write with extraordinary fluidity and the quality of her word-crafting keeps you plodding along. Nevertheless, it is the most put-down-able book of hers that I've come across.
Christie's strengths are in the writing of mysteries. She actually has limited understanding of crime and of human psychology (and is very definitely politically myopic), but she writes astonishingly good mysteries using a limited psychological and criminological palette. In "The Big Four" she is completely adrift, and her story wallows in its own mire. Perhaps, however, its weaknesses can be excused ... or at least explained.
Written in 1927, this novel betrays all the hallmarks of the hastily assembled prefabrication it is.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Not one of Christie's best. Cassette arrived well packed and on time. thank you.Published 17 months ago by Amazon Customer
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 morePublished on 10 Jan. 2012 by Dr. Manfred Ottow
I suppose it sounded like a good idea at the time, reducing a novel to a couple of hundred words and illustrating it with not particularly interesting art work in a bid to grab a... Read morePublished on 12 Oct. 2008 by David Spanswick