Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Perfect Library Update - Agatha Christie - "Miss Marple and Mystery: The Complete Short Stories"

So I've got an update (ish) from my Perfect Library challenge which you can read about here.

The next book that I randomly selected off my list was "Miss Marple and Mystery: The Complete Stories"
I love Agatha Christie, she is an absolute legend and I don't think any other mystery writer can come close to her in terms of achievement. She created Hercule Poirot, she wrote the world's longest running play and her books amongst the most published in the world, third only to The Bible and Shakespeare.

That said, I've been struggling to get her "Miss Marple and Mystery" book finished. There's several reasons for this and none of them are the fault of dear old Agatha. Firstly, it is massive, it is literally the size of a brick and a hell of a large brick at that.

Any book that size is going to take a while to finish, especially when the font also happens to be minuscule. That alone wouldn't put me off, I have ploughed my way through many large books but I think the book being comprised of short stories (over 50 of them) is what's really making it a slow process.

It's just hard to get into a book where you know the characters you're trying to care about are going to be gone in a few pages. (Because the story is done, not in a Game of Thrones kind of way)

Another reason is because I kind of don't want to spoil reading mystery novels for myself. I think you can become dangerously genre savy when you read a lot of one kind of book, and in recent years I've found myself able to predict a lot of "twist" endings. I'm actually not predicting much in this book, which is good and hats off to Agatha for being a genius, but I'm worried that reading, say, 30 short stories in one sitting might get me to the point where I'm no longer surprised by anything.

I feel like I should say that the short stories themselves are actually excellent and I am enjoying it, just not in a frantically-turning-the-pages-can't- get-enough type of way. However there's another Agatha Christie book on the list, a regular one, so I'm looking forward to that.

If anyone has any book recommendations in the meantime please let me know in the comments! Have The Town

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