Friday, March 16, 2012

Book Review - Agatha Christie's Endless Night

Enless Night by Agatha Christie
Published by: UK General Books
Publication Date: October 30th, 1967
Format: Hardcover, 224 Pages
Rating: ★★
To Buy

Every Night and every Morn
Some to Misery are born.
Every Morn and Every Night
Some are born to Sweet Delight,
Some are born to Sweet Delight,
Some are born to Endless Night.
-William Blake

Michael Rogers is a Jack the Lad. Drifting from job to job and never staying in one place long. Yet there is one place he keeps coming back to. Gipsy's Acre. The land has always spoken to him, and not in the cursed way the locals say, but what chance does a guy like him have to live there in the house of his dreams. The dream house being designed by the odd and always ailing Santonix, whom Mike met while chauffeuring around the affluent. Despite the fact that the nicer things speak to him, that he would love a nice pair of shoes from the finest shops, or a painting by some famous artist, or the best watch money can buy, doesn't mean he's ever likely to get it. Till he meets Ellie. They meet in the lane approaching Gipsy's Acre and it's love at first sight. Little does Mike know, but Ellie is a very wealthy woman, answering to many trustees and familial leeches. Ellie doesn't confide any of this to Mike till some time after they meet. With the help of her companion Greta, Mike and Ellie run away together, eventually ending their whirlwind romance at their dream home at Gipsy's Acre.

All Mike's dreams have come true. Everything that he could possibly want. Only now things start to go wrong. Dead birds and thrown rocks. Ellie has an accident and despite all advice to the contrary, Greta moves in and slowly starts to take over the happy couples life. How much longer can the happiness last when danger threatens the newlyweds? When death is a constant spectre on the horizon, though they might not see it yet.

I read a little review for this book in Bas Bleu (that snooty book catalog that has great books but you can never afford their prices so you go to Amazon) that made me hunger to read this book immediately. Let me here post their mini review:

"During a dramatic evening at the Gipsy's Acre estate, Michael Rogers meets American heiress Ellie Guteman. The two embark upon a whirlwind romance that culminates in a secret marriage and the purchase of the seaside estate where they met. They hire eccentric architect Rudolf Santonix to construct their mansion, and the couple hopes to begin a fairy-tale life together, but this notion quickly begins to unravel. A rock thrown, an unfortunate encounter with a gypsy, and a dead bird lead the couple to suspect that their dream life may have otherworldly influences. These events are quickly overshadowed by Ellie's grim murder. Do the rumors of a local curse have merit? Said to rank highest among Dame Agatha's personal favorites, this Gothic, psychological thriller is certainly one of her best. "

This little review led me astray. I was expecting something entirely different and was majorly let down. I take issue with this review firstly because they did NOT meet during a dramatic evening at Gipsy's Acre, which is a plot of land, NOT an estate... it was more a grey afternoon in a dirty lane. Also, "quickly overshadowed by Ellie's grim murder!" If almost 200 pages into a book that is only 220 pages constitutes as quick, then I must really have a bad grasp of time and space. But the lack of a speedy murder and the hundreds of pages of how happy the couple are and all the lovely things they buy for their home is nothing to my major problem. Michael Rogers is my problem. This book is a first person narration by easily the most unlikeable narrator I have ever ever ever read. There can't be enough evers I hate Mike so much. Of course, my hatred of him is a cunning twist that Agatha Christie in her wisdom was counting on. When I got to the final pages I was shaking my fist going "damn you Agatha." She didn't fool me, and in fact gave me the ending I wanted, it was just having to endure all that came before that made me dislike this book. Also, for those Christie aficionados out there, when you read the ending, you'll be like, wait, isn't this really similar to Death on the Nile... the answer to that is, yes it is, only Hercule Poirot did it better.


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