The Clocks (Poirot) Paperback – 1 Jul 2008
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‘Deliberately fantastic.’ Times Literary Supplement
‘Superlative Christie… extremely ingenious.’ The Bookman
‘A sure-fire attention-gripper naturally.’ Saturday Review
‘Here is the grand-manner detective story in all its glory.’ New York Times
From the Back Cover
'Agatha Christe' '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.'--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Wilbraham Crescent certainly seems an interesting place to live!
As other reviews have said, the denoument is a let down, since it doesn't really tie up any of the mysterious ends - just disposes of them in a deux ex machina fashion. The dual narrative was a bit irritating too, and the minor role played by Poirot.
Having said all that, it's still one of those books that will hook you and not let go till you reach the end - perfect for a dull tube journey!
Christie was in her 70s when she wrote this, and obviously sick of Poirot - he doesn't make much contribution until the "action" is almost over. However, the main problem here is that the puzzle is unbelievable, and therefore, logically unsolvable. The culprit has some knowledge that they couldn't possibly have and the reason for the initial killing, and the circumstances surrounding it are, in my view, ridiculous and involve some irrational behaviour that is totally unexplained. There is also at least one error in the run-up to Poirot's summing-up - but this is sloppy, not fundamental - and, as I said, Christie was in her 70s.
Almost to the presentation of the solution, this is an excellent novel - well-written, good characters, and an interesting plot - let down in the home straight. The feeling I get is that Christie lost interest when it came to explaining the tangled web she wove! One almost gets the feeling that, as she aged, she could have developed a second career as a writer of excellent "straight" novels - she certainly had the insight and the technical ability. As I said in the title, mostly worth reading.
It is only a short time since I read my previous umpteenth Agatha Christie book and it won't be long before I'm back, I'm sure.
Even though the style is rather twee these days, there is no doubt that Christie's it kept me spellbound. I don't say this lightly: I realised about half of the way through the book that we hadn't seen a huge amount of action but I was reading and happy to carry on reading. Although there is blood and gore in a murder by stabbing, as was the primary event in this book, it doesn't dominate the story in an Agatha Christie book. There is no Hollywood style overkill (no pun intended) here.
The detectives are unassuming people. The other characters are often unassuming people. Even Hercule Poirot is unassuming; and he is the centre of this story by many measures, although he didn't appear in this story until it was almost half way through.
Of course, it is impossible to beat Poirot to the chase, as it is impossible to beat Miss Marple to the chase. I was determined, by the way, to pay attention and get there first this time; but of course I didn't. It's not possible! There are many red herrings in these books, together with information that the reader just cannot get to. Christie made her career out of red herrings and information underload; and we thrive on it don't we?: otherwise a murder mystery would simply become something like: man gets murdered, someone investigates the murder, the murderer is found. No need for Poirot, no need for Marple, no need to read the book.
The majority of the book hardly involves Poirot at all until the end when he unravels the mystery behind all the murders. The plot is woven by the investigations of Detective Inspector Dick Hardcastle and his unofficial investigator/spy friend - Colin Lamb with occasional consultations by Lamb to Poirot for advice along the way.
This story reminds me of Agatha's Miss Marple book - 4:50 from Paddington - where Marple investigates the murder of the dead woman in a large mansion by proxy through an acquaintance - Lucy Eyelesbarrow. Marple solves the whole mystery at the end without direct involvement. Poirot does the same here in 'The Clocks' and whenever Agatha does this in her books, to me at least, the pacing slows down as the Police fumble through the investigation and the plot becomes confusing and sometimes tiring to read.
I think Agatha did this in 'The Clocks' as she found it hard to find a reason to place Poirot at the scene of the crime without the permission of an official personage - such as Chief Inspector Japp in other Poirot stories. Another reason could be the section in 'The Clocks' where Poirot is at home in London reading many other murder mysteries and commenting on the detectives in question. In particular, Poirot (Agatha Christie) has an affection for Sherlock Holmes books - not for the plotting, but for the characters.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Agatha Christie's The Clocks continues the theme of Poirot novels without really featuring the character for most of the narrative, as if the author head by this point become... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Jim J-R
Very enjoyable mystery solved by the fascinating character of Hercule poirot with much input from his good friend Colin lamb.Published 5 months ago by Miss Marple