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Slightly too much geekery for my liking
on 16 August 2011
I think the author betrays his complete Christie geekery with this book. While the premise of exploring Christie's notebooks is an extremely interesting one (avid fans will gain a lot of insight into her working methods and how many of her plots developed and changed during the writing process), the book does tip over into "trainspotter" mode quite a lot, becoming unnecessarily detailed and complex. By about half way through, I was beginning to tire and found myself skimming the text quite a lot. There is far too much detail for anyone but the complete Christie anorak here and it all gets very tiresome towards the end.
Curran doesnt feel it necessary to do any pruning for the general reader, assuming everyone will need or want to know Absolutely Everything, which is not the case. The level of detail really does border on the obsessional. And the ending is very odd - no summary, no closing thoughts by the author, no "rounding up" - you come to the end very suddenly - in fact, at the end of a fairly straightforward paragraph, you turn the page to find...... nothing. Thats the end.
The claim of 2 "unpublished" Poirot stories is a bit spurious, to say the least - both were actually published but in slightly altered form to how they appear in this book.
There are no illustrations to leaven what is a very heavy mix. Certainly one for the devoted Christie scholar, but there is far too much information to process and the intrusion into the text of "text boxes" dealing with tangentially related topics to those already in the process of discussion is tiresome.