Stand alone to date
"First, there were ten - a curious assortment of strangers summoned as weekend guests to a private island off the coast of Devon. Their host, an eccentric millionaire unknown to all of them, is nowhere to be found. All that the guests have in common is a wicked past they're unwilling to reveal - and a secret that will seal their fate. For each has been marked for murder. One by one they fall prey. Before the weekend is out, there will be none. And only the dead are above suspicion."
This was a reread of this book because the first time I read it, I didn't write anything down to make a review out of! So here we go!
Overall, I really liked the mystery aspect and how Agatha Christie incorporates the Ten Little Indians poem. It kept me wondering right up until the end and I was totally surprised at the end! I even went back and looked for clues that suggested such a conclusion. It's kind of terrible how obvious it is looking back on it but going forward I had no idea!
I also really liked the diverse selection of characters and how the idea of exacting justice where the law had failed was interwoven. It's such an interesting idea and one that definitely still applies in our lives.
Back to the ending again, I really liked the letter at the end that served as an epilogue. It wrapped everything up so nicely and was the perfect amount of devious planning.
The one thing that could have been slightly better was the POV. It was an all-seeing POV (3rd person if I'm remembering right) which was good for seeing the big picture but sometimes the fear and stress of the situation was lost on me (weird, right?). Of course, it also helped out with making it a story.
The Final Verdict:
This is such a genius set up and I loved every minute of suspense. The diverse selection of characters as well as the intriguing use of the Ten Little Indians poem sets this murder novel apart from the rest.
“ Fear, what a strange thing fear was...”
“When the sea goes down, there will come from the mainland boats and men. And they will find ten dead bodies and an unsolved problem on Indian Island.”
“I don't know. I don't know at all. And that's what's frightening the life out of me. To have no idea....”
“Crime is terribly revealing. Try and vary your methods as you will, your tastes, your habits, your attitude of mind, and your soul is revealed by your actions.”
“One of us in this very room is in fact the murderer.”
“It had come about exactly in the way things happened in books.”
“In the midst of life, we are in death.”
“And then there were none.”
"Ten people are invited to an isolated island, only to find that an unseen person is killing them one by one. Could one of them be the killer?"
I really did like the interpretation of the book into the movie. I loved the cast selections. I thought they were perfect for their roles and I actually did like the few changes they made in terms of the people that were selected to go onto the island. They made a nice twist that worked well with the plot.
I also really liked the twist on the poem. Instead of a framed poem in each of their rooms, there was a Ten Little Indians song on the piano that different characters played at different parts of the movie. It really added musical eeriness that contributed to the overall atmosphere.
The setting for the movie was also spectacular. They filmed it in a mansion that was perched on a cold rock that juts out of the ocean. It fit the movie and the mood perfectly.
The one thing that I really didn't like about the adaptation was the ending. There's no way to be vague about this so I'll just put it out there and block it off. Just highlight the blue to see the text. The ending of the book was that everyone dies (with the last person committing suicide) and the police are left to figure out the mystery. In the movie, two of the characters, Lombard and Vera, fall in love and out-smart Dr. Armstrong (the one behind it all) and they skip happily ever after in the sunset because the guy who brings the boat to the island just magically shows up right when the Doctor dies. Like WHAT THE HECK? The whole point of the book was that everyone dies and it's such a mystery to the police. And here they just skip away, not thinking at all about the consequences. It was cool that the doctor was out-smarted at the end but really?
The Final Verdict:
A lovely adaptation with a genius plot, casting, and setting. The way the director interpreted and changed the ending really irked me, however.