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And Then There Were None Review
I have read very few books in my time. I have tried my best to avoid laying eyes on a piece of text, unless the public school system forced it on me. When I was in fifth grade I was convinced that the best book ever written was Diary of A Wimpy Kid, then in eighth, I swore the Hunger Games deserved a Pulitzer Prize. There were some books I read inbetween those which I liked, but they didn't make me feel compelled to read more. Then came this project, and this book. "And Then There Were None" is hands down, my favorite book I have ever read. One of the best mystery, and best overall books written. I liked the way she wrote the book overall. It had somewhat of a dark tone throughout. The simplest conversation was made with plenty of mystery in it which made no room for a light, or happy moment. I also loved the motive the judge had for the killings. Even though it was twisted and had me jumping with fear, it was a good idea. I praise Agathie Christie on this book because she did what no one else could do. I loved the way she set up the plot, and the way she managed to come up with the perfect crime without having a single flaw. The mystery is kept going to the very end, so the reader has no possible idea until they are finished reading. The characters are all described vividly and all are given the same amount of suspicion. This way the reader cannot cross out any ideas of who the killer is, even if they are dead. Perhaps the most remarkable thing about this novel, is how this all derived from a poem in the 1800's. I could never write a good poem, and I sure as heck couldnt write a novel based off of it. Some of the lines made no sense, this is why I was so amazed to see how Christie would pull it off, or should I say, how the judge pulled it off. Even though the killings were violent, the motive was a good one. Except I am not saying I support how the plot played out, only stating that if there was going to be any type of motive, Agathie picked a perfect one to relate to the character. If there was one thing I did not like about this book, it was that I usually appreciate a happy ending, although with this book it was the exact opposite. Overall, I would give this book a perfect score, 10/10, and a sticker putting it on Oprah's Book Club. And I will definitely read it again.
Cover of the Book
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The start of the book is ten people coming to Soldier Island for certain occassions that different letters promised. All ten characters are breifly described in the opening as well. They are suspicious that none of them know the host, and the fact that the host isn't even there is just as unsettling. By the time the first death comes, and the gramophone speaks all the accusations, everyone knows something is wrong.
After they were all accussed of a wrong doing, Anthony Marston dies. With a death in the house, they wonder if they were brought here to face their deaths for the acts they have done in the past in which the law cannot touch. The judge starts to act like the boss and becomes, well, a judge. The situation begins to be treated like a trial.
The rising action is when they discover the murders are happening along with a poem that has been placed in all of their rooms. "Ten Little Indians". The little china figures on the table start to dissapear one by one along with the murders as they also discover.
There is no resolution as far as I can tell because the end result is ten dead bodies on Soldier Island with an unsolved mystery. In the judge's mind, the resolution would be that justice had been served on the crimes that the law could not touch.
The falling action is when Vera hanged herself even though she could have stayed alive by NOT committing suicide. She let the guilt of her accusation get the best of her. And by doing so, she has completed Wargrave's game and the book ended with a sad ending.
The climax is when the judge staged his own death with the help of Armstrong, but only to turn arund and quietly take out the rest of the house, successfully completing his plan. Although the one thing that was odd about this is that no matter how obvious it was for Vera, and Phillip they still didn't suspect that it wasn't one of them and perhaps it could have been someone else roaming around.
Characterize the Hero
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When I finished this book I thought that it was impossible to pick a hero seeing how everyone died. Although then I thought how the judge could arguably be a so called hero. In my opinion, everyone on that island who was not the judge could be a hero in their own way. Except if I were to pick one, Dr. Armstrong is the closest a character in this book can get to being a hero. The first statements made about Armstrong, on page 11, mention him being a succesful doctor thanks to some wealthy women with connections (to get the ball rolling). With success comes hard work. Which is why it also says he has a busy schedule with little time for liesure. When I read this, I assumed he could not have been the one to organize this "party". I picked Armstrong because as I said above, he is a hero in his own way. He allied with people (big mistake) in order to save himself. Hence, he was his own hero, he just played his cards wrong. I believe the only reason the doctor was there is becase he would be the perfect person to blame! Who else would the reader blame for cyanide poisining, or an axe to the head. After all, he was a doctor! He majored in the human body. If there was anyone who could tell you a thing or two about ways to die it would be Armstrong. Thus creating the perfect person to frame for the crimes. Even though he knew he was innocent, his personality didn't convince people to believe him, and this is one way he fits the plot line. Armstrong is the perfect bait for the killer to use as a decoy. He had a quick wick (a short temper). When someone made a simple suggestion on whether or not the doctor might have overdosed he boiled with rage at the fact someone would say that. One thing I have learned from crime shows is that denying and having a lot of anger doesn't help at all. Armstrong showed he has a lot of pride, or full of himself. After getting upset with his or her accuser, he would state how he couldn't overdose, or he couldn't murder someone just because he was a professional. The judge did make a good point on how anyone can go mad, seeing how it was the judge who did go mad in the end. The one flaw that ruined Armstrong's chance of survival was being too trustworthy. In this scenario, he was probably lonely, scared, or just wanted someone he could trust to get to the end of this little "game" they were in. Except the one person he picked to trust ended up being his killer. Another detail about Armstrong is that he was potrayed as mysterious, like all the other characters. Even though I wanted to convince myself he was innocent, there were times when Agathie would write somethin that threw me off and made me doubt my convictions. This applies to them all. A final trait to summarize Armstrong is honest. When he said he didn't overdose on Rodgers, and when he said he had no clue where his syringe went, he was not lying. He was telling the truth except it was hard to believe him under the cirumstances.
Dr.Armstrong in the 1945 film.
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One concept I found confusing was annotating. I understood how to use DIDLS and what it was, although I was still unsure about what I was even doing. I am not the kind of person who tries to go "underneath" whats written to find a deeper meaning, and I am no good at connecting the book to self, or to world. Although I challenged myself to try the ways I did not like, but in the end I found a certain way of doing so. I wrote my thoughts, or whatever came to mind while reading. Sometimes it was silly, random things in my mind, while at other times I was more serious and tried to see what was hidden in the text. I was proud of myself, seeing how confused I was in the start, then comparing to my final product (the book and annotations).
One concept/skill I will devote more study and practice to is learning how to slow down, and understand what I am reading. I am the type of person who "skim reads" by looking at a page and reads what looks important, so I can get the gist of it. It may come off as lazy, but I realize it's a bad habit. With this book, And Then There Were None, I knew ahead of time I needed to pay attention and made sure I knew what I was reading seeing how it's an Agathie Christie book, and only one of the best selling mysterys of all time. Some pages I read a few times, and others I read once without a problem. Even though it took longer with a bit more effort, it was worth it. I have to say that this was the best book ever written. If I had skimmed, I would have missed multiple details. I am not quite sure this is something I could "study" to improve, but practice is what will help next time I pick up an Agathie Christie book.
The last action I took to overcome a learning obstacle, which was go to Google, was not successful because anything can be put on there whether it is right or wrong. When I would come home after a long day of school, the last thing I want to do is go through all my notes to do my homework, or write a paper, or make a website. Previously, my solution was to go to Google, find something I liked, and use it. Although this has backfired a few diferent times and resulted in a bad grade. I finally understood that there is no easy way to success and I have to do some hard work in order to have a decent pay off. Next time if I am confused about something I would ask a friend, or talk to the teaacher instead of going to the internet.
I managed my time by cutting down my time to use electronics. Usually when I get home, I make up for all the time I missed out on a social life thanks to school, that can last about five hours. Except with this project, I knew I didn't have time to waste. I gave myself a half hour to unwind and then I got straight to work. Instead of watching TV, I read my book and did my website. This way I could be done faster and not rush like some people will be doing. I also recharged with ten minute breaks every now and then. If I were to better manage my time starting today, I would take a piece of paper and actually write my night schedule and have my parents help me stay on that time limit whether it's work time, dinner time, or break time. Perhaps I could still find ways to cut back on technology time that way i could be done even faster.
One action I will take to overcome my most signifacant learning obstacle is to get plenty of sleep, no matter how much work I have. If I were to stay up all night reading, or working then my brain will be out of whack for the next day. In order to "be alive" at school I especially require at least 8 hours of sleep or I feel off schedule. In order to do so I have to waste no time while I have it. This does mean sacrifice, but the payoff is worth it. If I can get a master plan by the time college comes around, I'll be all set and ready to go.
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Christie, Agatha. And Then There Were None. New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 1939 https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&client=safari&tbo=d&biw=320&bih=504&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=clock&oq=clock&gs_l=mobile-gws-serp.3..0l5.8628.10046.0.10322.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.338.2j2.4.0...0.0...1ac.1.aNf84lxm9no#i=9 https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&client=safari&tbo=d&biw=320&bih=504&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=and+then+there+were+none+dr+armstrong&oq=and+then+there+were+none+dr+&gs_l=mobile-gws-serp.1.0.0i24l2.7134.9462.0.105188.8.131.52.184.108.40.2068.1180.4j2j5-1.7.0...0.0...1ac.1.wIO-Mf8z7dY#i=0