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Sunday, October 25, 2015

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie


☆☆☆☆This review contains spoilers☆☆☆☆

Hercule Poirot solves yet another murder that flourishes in his general vicinity, an occurrence that happens quite frequently. Should authorities engage in the deliverance of Poirot to an abandoned island to save the humanity around him?
Certain individuals may attract the dark side in unsuspecting humans, forcing their minds with a murderer's logic to kill, though the "certain individuals" appear guiltless of their power.
This brings to mind, Stephen King's television show called Haven--a town of people who innocently have "The Troubles," which harm others around them in a myriad of ways.
Poirot would not hesitate in adjusting his address to a remote location if murders occurred from his continued existence amid the populace. Though, when a challenging murder case hasn't presented itself for him to solve, boredom steps in for Poirot, as he has a need to continually exercise his little gray cells. He lives in a paradoxical world--detesting the actual deed that conveys contentment to his brain using order, method and psychology.

Traveling on the Orient Express, through the snowy night from Istanbul towards its long trek across Europe, officials wake Poirot to impart the news concerning a fellow  passenger's murder. His famous gray cells embark on a journey of truth as he delves into an investigation.
The Perp left twelve stab wounds on the Vic (wrong time period), implicating specific passengers. Delving further in pursuit, Poirot inserts additional people in the guilty spotlight, until the number of suspects match the twelve marks on the body. Poirot imparts two outcomes, one sets the group free and the second delivers the twelve to the gallows.

Netflix contains twelve seasons of Agatha's Poirot, displaying several of her short stories and an occasional novel.  It's impossible for each episode to follow a strict formula capturing the exact story line, and the episode of Murder on the Orient Express fails on all levels.
Poirot appears without a human soul, exclusively empty of empathy or compassion. This horrid human being, watching a woman stoned to death for adultery (this scene in Istanbul doesn't appear in the book), states nonchalantly she knew the consequences for such actions, therefore the fault belongs to her alone.
Poirot's anger at the end lacks intelligence or wisdom, and the script writer's delivery to the back lot for a beat down would bring a smile to the heart of a multitude (or a few) of Christie's fans.

Christie's opinion toward Poirot emanates puzzling reflections--she states he's a "detestable, bombastic, tiresome, ego-centric little creep."
Arrogance depicts his extreme personality fault, and forced to stay in his near proximity on a daily basis, might prove tiresome, yet a creep--it's not in his job description.
It's understandable that an author's capacity of exhausting a continuing story line might possibly assert feelings of animosity which taxes her soul. Killing the beast wasn't an option, and remarkably she kept trudging along for her fans close to sixty years.

A recurring character, named Ariadne Oliver, appears in several books with Poirot. Oliver, who personifies Christie, writes a series of books which feature a Finnish detective named Sven Hjerson.
Oliver detests her creation, and she repeatedly complains of writing situations which generate enormous difficulties for Hjerson in concluding his cases.
Christie's apathy for Poirot mirrors Oliver's loathing of Hjerson, and declaring her emotions through an imaginary identity is brilliant.


Even though this isn't my favorite book starring Poirot, it's still interesting enough to continue rereading every couple of years.


The Orient Express existed in reality as well as fiction. The train line operated continuously for over one hundred years. Various  revisions of travel destinations altered over time, though significantly the route started or ended in Istanbul.
The train offered high-class rooms, food and service. The thought of eating in the dining car, sleeping in a little room with a bed that a porter sets up every night and sightseeing through countries still largely untouched by western influences impresses the need for time travel.
I would still love to travel with Poirot in the 1930's, though there may appear a temptation  to shave off his little friend (mustache). Would his face appear in public until it grew out?
Of course, his wrath could consume me and I would be exiled from his life--my plans to shave it off would change to appearing in my daydreams.