Comments (8)Add a Comment
This is the 33rd and final Hercule Poirot full length novel that was first published in 1975 but was written by Agatha Christie in the early 1940s. This is the perfect mystery to end the series. The story is told by Captain Hastings and we are able to feel the emotion as he reflects on his friendship with Poirot over the years. I think if the reader had read some of the earlier stories where the two investigated mysteries together before reading this one, the reader will appreciate more the deep feelings that Captain Hastings have for Poirot and vice versa. Captain Hastings appeared in seven earlier novels with Poirot and they were all written before 1940.
This last Poirot mystery is a very clever mystery. In this story it's about preventing a murder. We can match wits with Captain Hastings as he is challenged by Poirot to investigate the potential murder. Poirot is now old and in poor health so Hastings is his eyes and ears. This is also a story about Captain Hastings and his relationship with his youngest daughter. Since the reader is given the same information as Captain Hastings, can the reader see beyond what Captain Hastings cannot see? That is part of the mystery offered by Agatha Christie. I think Curtain is one of Christie's best!
Poirot’s suicide by omission (not commission) is still a mortal sin according to Catholic rules, and it doesn’t sit well with Christie’s portrayal of him as a fastidious Catholic, persistently following all the rules and disapproving of murder. (Did he ever go to Mass on Sunday? Ah, more mortal sins for poor Poirot...)
Why the terrible contrivance of Poirot pretending to be bound to a wheelchair? Seems totally unnecessary.
Poor Hastings. A bumbling nice guy, foggy brained and without insight or goals for himself.
Judith is a nasty little piece. Trust her? For heaven sake, why?
It seems to me that Agatha indeed was fed up with her miserable little Poirot and thoroughly despised him. She threw every insult at him!
Christie wrote this book sometime in the 40s - good thing - by the 1950s she was deep into dementia. Have you read “An Elephant Can Remember?” Horrible little piece, total nonsense. There was an analysis of it and even simple things such as breadth of vocabulary and sentence length were all markedly decreased from her usual writing.
So Agatha lowered the boom on Poirot in the 40s, and her publisher wouldn’t publish it until 1975. That in itself is quite a story, eh?
In spite of the conundrums of the wheelchair and nasty Judith and inexplicable suicide, I loved the story. Loved it.
“In a review titled "The last labour of Hercules", Matthew Coady in The Guardian, on 9 October 1975, wrote that the book was both "a curiosity and a triumph". He repeated the tale of the book being written some thirty years before and then stated that, "through it, Dame Agatha, whose recent work has shown a decline, is seen once more at the peak of her ingenuity." Coady called Captain Hastings the "densest of Dr Watsons [but]... never has the stupidity of the faithful companion-chronicler been so cunningly exploited as it is here." Coady summarised the absolute basics of the plot and the questions raised within it and then said,” wikipedia, “Curtain”
Christie at her best, she brings Hercule Poirot' life full circle, but the ending is not what I expected and its a bit uncomfortable. But I want to find the 2013 movie adatation.
And so passes Hercule Poirot. So Sad. This was a lovely read and had all the suspense and surprises Agatha Christie is known for. I found the characters a particularly interesting mix of the many who have populated her books over the years.
Despite the sadness of this being the end of Poirot, the work is fine, fine vintage Christie that creates an interesting mystery tale, and deconstructs the genre. Poirot + the villain are the mystery writer and Hastings the mystery reader. Christie apparently came to really dislike Poirot but was always fair to her readers in writing Christie did not like Poirot, thought he was "an egotistical little creep" and she lets it all out in Poirot's final, rather nasty, missive to Hastings.
Great ending to the Poirot series. Definatey another Christie gem. Really deep and mind boggling. Quick read.
A fantastic read, and a fantastic ending for M. Poirot in his last and most stunning case. Dame Christie really did save the best for last, and this one is a shocker.