Tuesday, January 17, 2006
17. Who Killed Roger Ackroyd: The Mystery Behind the Agatha Christie Mystery; Pierre Bayard (176 pages)
Only three times in my life have I disliked...no, hated a book enough that I wanted to harm it.
I'm talking about the urge to take said book and hurl it across the room.
Which, I confess, I've done.
The first time I did this, I found myself getting angry at the book before I was even half-finished. I really did throw it against the wall.
Trouble is, I hated it so much, I blocked it from my mind. I simply can't remember it's name, or most of the plot, to warn others to stay away.
Well, some day I'll come across it in those boxes upstairs. I'll take note, and promptly sell it to McKay's Books.
The second time, well, I'm embarrassed to say this.
It was Like Water for Chocolate.
I mean, it's the book all foodies revere. I had so many food blogging friends recommend it, I just had to get it.
Then, I started reading it.
Oh, I hated it. I got angry at the story, at the characters...I yelled at my book.
And I threw it off the couch.
Which brings me to book three in the abuse files.
I am an Agatha Christie fan. Have been since...I was ten or eleven, I think. I read my way through the public library's collection, I own many of the books myself, and yes, I watch the A&E-produced movies. David Suchet and Joan Hickson rock.
So when I saw this book, I thought 'oh, neat!'. I suppose I didn't really know what it was supposed to be.
What it was...was a load of crap. The author, a French academic, decided that Christie...who wrote the freaking book...got it wrong. Despite creating the story, Bayard concluded that we, the readers, we misled.
So, he went back...and using a great deal of pyscho-babble...re-imagined the entire story, coming out with a completely different killer.
Oh, and he also claimed Poirot was insane.
It's difficult to explain this book. I'm not bashing the novelty, and originality, of the premise. But rather, the method and execution.
It was also quite high-brow, expecting his readers to be the sort who pick up Freud for light reading.
Stupid, stupid, book.
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