And Then There Were Wags
Posted by Ceithen on Apr 21, 2014
And Then There Were None was the very first Agatha Christie book I read, back when I was in high school. I had heard about the premise from my cousin some years before, and was curious to see how it would play out. I was very pleasantly surprised, and I finished the book in one night; it also got me addicted to Agatha Christie, and before I left for college five years later, I had read every single one of her novels and short stories. While there are many of her books I feel have more interesting characters and plots, And Then There Were None is a great starting point for anyone curious about one of the most prolific mystery writers in history.
The basis is simple: Ten people are invited to an island by a mysterious host, only to be accused of murder, and sentenced to death. Trapped by a storm, the guests begin to die, with the killer’s intention to leave none alive. Tension rises as more bodies appear, and paranoia turns the guests against one another once they realize one of them has to be the killer. Each character is developed nicely, and in some cases, disturbingly. The denouement is genuinely surprising, and wraps up the story excellently.
More than anything, the reason why this book has stuck with me for so long, is because it first introduced the concept of psychological horror to me. As opposed to a slasher film that relies on gore and jump scares, And Then There Were None ramps up the atmosphere to an captivating level, and it becomes difficult to put down because you want to know what happens next, but are scared out of your wits. Fairly innocent things early on become downright sinister, and it all comes together in a horribly wonderful way in the end.
My desire to write was awakened by this book, as well as my desire to shock and surprise the reader, and keep them reading. And Then There Were None holds a very special place in my heart for this, as well as Agatha Christie herself. I would love to grow into the kind of author who can surprise their audience, and keep surprising them for years to come. As a gamer, And Then There Were None sparked my interest in horror titles, especially the Silent Hill series, and many other games in the horror genre. Indeed, I love games with great horror stories that rely on subtlety and atmosphere more than violence and gore. There is something about it that speaks to me, something that cannot be explained.
I can go on for hours about how much I like the horror genre and Agatha Christie, as an author and a person. If you enjoy And Then There Were None and want to know what to read next from Agatha Christie, I heartily recommend The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, a controversial mystery back when it was first released, and Murder on the Orient Express, one of her most famous works. As for atmospheric horror, definitely check out Misery by Stephen King, and House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski. I honestly hope you find And Then There Were None as thrilling as I have, and it piques your interest in classic mystery.
You can purchase And Then There Were None here.
Ceithen Bloomsford is a flailing death machine bulverine (that’s a bull-wolverine, of course), English major, and friend of Bookmarfs! You can find him on FurAffinity or on Twitter at @Ceithen.