... by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand - The Velveteen Rabbit
by Margery Williams.
The fifth and therefore officially the last book to be read for my Holiday Reading Challenge 2010 (click HERE for details and HERE to post reviews) but hopefully I have yet another book to read and review.
Hercule Poirot's Christmas was also read by ANNE @ Learning To Juggle
Christmas Eve and the Lee family's reunion is shattered by a deafening crash of furniture, and a high-pitched wailing scream. Upstairs, the tyrannical Simeon Lee lies in a pool of blood; his throat slashed.
When Hercule Poirot offers to assist, he finds an atmosphere not of mourning but of mutual suspicion. It seems everyone had their own reason to hate the old man.
...... from the outer back cover.
FIRST SENTENCE: Stephen pulled up the collar of his coat as he walked briskly along the platform.
MEMORABLE MOMENT: You have said that Christmas is a season of good cheer. That means, does it not, a lot of eating and drinking? It means, in fact, the overeating! And with the overeating there comes the indigestion! And with the indigestion there comes the irritability!
Hands up all those who have yet to read any Agatha Christie. Up until now this would have included me - hard to believe but true.
My first impressions? For such a world renowned author, isn't this book badly written. Akin to something I would expect of an o'level student aged 16 or so, I could not believe how badly constructed this was and, though in no way Christie's fault, the number of spelling mistakes and misprints in this (2001) edition was unbelievable. Not at all what I expected.
As for the story itself? I think dated is the word I would use. In an inscription to her brother-in-law in the first few pages, Christie writes
".......... You yearned for a 'good violent murder with lots of blood' A murder where there was no doubt about it being a murder."
Oh dear, I don't particularly like mention of too much blood but I'm afraid that this 'violent' murder with lots of blood may well have been cutting-edge when it was first published in 1938 but by today's standards is very tame.
A good, old fashioned whodunit set in far more genteel times. Personally I prefer my crime novels to be a bit more gritty and, preferably, solved by forensics rather than a dapper little Austrian men with great observational skills.
Hercule Poirot's Christmas was a library book read.