Decor on the Nile

Having written of the pleasures of reading one of Agatha Christie’s novels in the space of an evening, the academic part of my brain – yeah yeah Ph.D. blah blah blah – feels it should say a few words about the authoress and her work. It wants to be terribly smart and dismiss Mrs. Christie’s novels, not only as mere entertainment literature (nay: as mere entertainment writing), but also as writing which is as inferior technically as it is artistically.Read more

Pleasures of the Orient Express

I recently discovered a considerable, if old-fashioned, pleasure: spending an evening reading an entire Agatha Christie novel. I’d always heard that Murder on the Orient Express had been intended as a single evening’s entertainment, but I’d always read Mrs. Christie (somehow that suits her more than “Dame Agatha”) the way I suppose most people read her: a few chapters here, a few chapters there…and you’re done with the book in a week or so. It’s rather a different experience toRead more