Book Review: Murder On The Orient Express

Hi there! I got this book for Christmas. I haven’t seen any of the film adaptations yet (not even the ones from the 70s) because I wanted to read it first. Honestly, I would’ve prefered the regular cover featuring the train, but given that the film came out recently, it was the only one available at local bookstores.

Anyway, this is the first Agatha Christie novel that I read. I had always heard about her, but for some reason I was never into reading crime or mystery. Until I realized that if I enjoy crime related TV shows and movies, I might as well give the books a try too. “Murder On The Orient Express” is part of a series starring detective Hercule Poirot. The novels don’t have a sequence, so you can start reading any of them at any given time. I chose to begin with the most ‘famous’ one — Murder On The Orient Express.

It was a quick read, I would have finished it sooner but I went away on a small road trip to the beach for New Year’s and then I returned back to work. At the beginning I was a bit confused, I hadn’t done any previous research (mostly because I was afraid of encountering spoilers) so I didn’t grasp that Poirot was the main character until the end of the first chapter.

I loved the way Christie broke the novel into three great sections (“The Facts”, “The Declarations”, and “Hercule Poirot rests and reflects”). There was even a small blueprint of the train wagon to help the reader get the picture. I did find, however, the recurrent use of clichés, such as ‘the extroverted Americans’ and ‘the reserved Englishmen’. I’m not sure if those were stereotypes the author believed in or whether she simply wanted the characters to have those perspectives on purpose. Aside from that, I enjoyed reading the novel. The language was simple, with occasional French frases which I had to look up. Most of it was dialogue. And even though it’s written in third person, the information given is mostly based on what Poirot knows and speculates.

Christie has a way for unexpected finales. Poirot had an optimistic attitude throughout the entire book, he was certain he’d solve the case even though everything indicated otherwise. Indeed, he unravels it all and you won’t be able to guess who the murderer really is until the very end. However, I would have liked the story to develop a bit further. I feel like it ended a too abruptly, but that’s just my opinion.

Overall rating: 3.5/5.

Book Review: Persuasion

La Luna Vita

I started off the year reading Persuasion by Jane Austen. It’s the second book of hers that I read, the first one was Pride & Prejudice, which I greatly enjoyed. How could you not possibly end up loving Mr. Darcy? The reason why I decided to read Persuasion was because they mentioned it repeatedly in the movie The Lake House. While watching it with my mom for like the fifth time, I became persuaded to read such a captivating romance novel.

My book reviews are always quite general, I do not like to spoil it for anyone, so don’t worry! Let’s go straight to the point: do I recommend it? Absolutely. It’s the type of book that you need to read, period. While love and relationships in the 1800s had a very different dynamic than today’s, human feelings will always remain same. What I personally enjoyed the most was the way in which the context and characters were portrayed. With Jane Austen’s writings, you can get real insights into how the common/everyday life was back then. People spoke so eloquently and politely. It’s a shame we as a society have lost that.

Persuasion’s main characters are Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth. They had met several years ago and had fallen deeply in love. However, they were too young, naive and easily influenced by others so they went separate ways. Fast forward to the present (or rather the date were the novel takes place), and due to external circumstances –or destiny, whatever you wanna call it — they meet again. Will they continue where they left off? Or will the broken hearts be unable to mend?

I won’t tell, you’ll have to find out on your own 🙂