Book Review

Book Reivew: Murder on the Orient Express

I read Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie for the National Novel Reading Month (NaNoReMo for short), hosted by John Wiswell. You’re supposed to that classic you always meant to read, but never got around to actually reading.

Murder on the Orient Express is a mystery classic. I’ve never seen any of the movies or the TV show. But I know the story, which probably indicates just how much of a classic it is.

Before I started the book, I didn’t know this is the ninth in a series. But it was okay. I think there were references in the beginning of the book to past events, but it didn’t affect the rest of the story.

Despite starting late – I completely forgot until the middle of the month! – I finished it quickly. The book is supposed to be around 300 pages, but it didn’t feel that long. It was a quick read. I also didn’t know that detective was Belgian. I suppose I thought he was English or American or something. (I mean, Dame Christie was English so . . . yeah, I assumed.)

The language was a bit formal, but not more than I was expecting. I mean, this book was first written in the 1930’s, and all writing was a lot more formal back then.

It’s written in the third person, and while it’s a fairly strict third person, there is a lot more distance between the reader and the main character than in contemporary third person POV. I think this might be a result of the formality of the language. That makes me wonder, how much of a role does language play in how much distance exists between the main character and the reader in other POVs?

I liked how she divided the suspect interviews into chapters and how she built up each character before the murder even happened. It made the conclusion that much more inevitable. The reveal of how all the characters are connected was slow, almost delicate, and I liked it a lot.

So, I was looking at the characters and how their stories match up. This is what comes of knowing how it ends. 😉 I think, if I didn’t already know the ending, it would be hard to guess. I mean, who would guess that were all in on it!

And the ending! They let everyone go! That, I didn’t know. I am glad I didn’t because it was a surprise. They let the whole train car of murderers go. I mean, the guy who got murdered deserved it. He got justice at the hands of his victims that he never got in the courts. Even so. Still not sure how I feel about it.

reading · Writing

A to Z Challenge Theme Reveal

I’m a lot late doing this. That is, writing an A to Z theme reveal post. I had intended to write it last week, but stuff happened.

Last year, I started the challenge late. I forgot to write posts for the first few letters and quite a few of the middle ones, too. Basically, I left out half the alphabet. I suppose that’s lack of planning, and truthfully, my planning isn’t any better this year. Well, except for actually remembering A to Z challenge in time to sign up for it.

So I’ve never done an A Is For post. I still don’t know what it will be and it’s needs to be ready by Tuesday.

All I do know is that all the posts will follow the blog’s theme: stories, both reading and writing them. It’s even in the name: Story Treasury. Maybe watching a few, too, maybe examining them for . . . things. Maybe. 😉 Maybe actual stories on occasion, most likely on Fridays. (There are four Fridays in April. Using a letter of the alphabet as a prompt is bound to be a challenge.

I’m hoping I’ll do better this year.

General

Friday Flash: Master Piece

This isn’t the flash I intended to write, but this is what came out of my keyboard.

He stood back and inspected the work. His legs trembled and his arms were weak, exhausted from holding a brush for a so long.

It was perfect for this, the world of his birth, and epitome of all that was decadent and thoughtless. They took pleasure in the suffering their thoughtlessness inflicted on others, saying, this was the way of the world. This was what one sacrificed in order to move forward.

Thousands of pages of bleached white paper layered one over another like angular clouds. It was the perfect base, all sharp points and an inviting texture. He’d laced two women on top, blond, bare skin bleached white, and carefully applied his special red lipstick to their lips. The procurer was well worth the price. He’d tied a hundred thousand of his carefully prepared rose buds on top of the paper, a silent exclamation mark.
People would touch, stroke the bodies, brush their fingers over the paper, marvel over the contrast between the deep red roses and pure white paper.

And they would die. The red poison in the lips and roses would infect the world like a firestorm. Here and gone before anyone quite realized what was happening.

He wouldn’t survive it, of course. But he was glad to pay the price and call it cheap. This, the place where he was born, the place that had nurtured him, deserved nothing less than to drown in its own vomit like a cheap drunk. 

reading · Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday: King’s Dragon

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Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser:

Not mine! I carried it inside me, gave birth to it, bled enough blood to cover the fields that surround the village we just passed through! Never mine and never meant to be. Leave me, Henri.

– King’s Dragon by Kate Elliott

General

Friday Flash: Diamond in the Rough

This is short, odd Friday flash. Enjoy.

 

Gigantic diamonds dotted the landscape, as numerous as suns in the galaxy. The cocooning sand, polished to a fine edge by centuries of harsh winds, gleamed in the dawning light.

The grunting, sweating bodies of men swarmed over one especially large gem, six feet tall and three feet wide, tapering to narrow points at the ends. They wrapped it in soft rope and lifted it whole to the back of the truck.

The bottom of the diamond was covered in brown slime. No one paid any attention to it, not even when the muck stuck to the bottom of the workers’ boots. Not even when a tiny crack appeared in the diamond’s shell and a small, black eye peered out.

reading

Forgot National Novel Reading Month

So . . . I forgot about National Novel Reading Month (NaNoReMo), hosted by John.

I forgot because I truly haven’t been online, not on the blog, only randomly and briefly on twitter, and rarely anywhere else. Instead, I have been researching spring 2014 fashions (I dislike crop tops. Why are they making a reappearance? Bah. I wish this particular trend bon voyage.), looking up synonyms for green, and getting reacquainted with my spelling inadequacy.

I recalled NaNoReMo when I saw someone tweet about it.

The idea is to read a classic book this month. I haven’t read a lot of classics, so this is a good time to do it, in the company of so many others.

I chose Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie is a classic, yes? I have never read anything else by Agatha Christie. Until I looked it just yesterday, I didn’t even know this is the ninth book in a series. I am not sure how much previous events in the series will affect the book, but hopefully, not a lot.

I am hopeful I will have time to finish reading it this month.