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And Then There Were None Book Summary, Review, Notes

 

“And Then There Were None” by Agatha Christie is a gripping mystery novel revolving around ten strangers who are lured to an isolated island under various pretexts. Upon arrival, they find themselves cut off from the outside world. 

 

A mysterious voice accuses each of them of a terrible crime for which they escaped justice. One by one, they are murdered, in line with a sinister nursery rhyme displayed in each of their rooms, leading to a crescendo of paranoia and a desperate race to uncover the identity of the killer before it’s too late.

 

Book Title: And Then There Were None

Author: Agatha Christie

Date of Reading: November 2023
Rating: 9/10

 

Table of Contents

What Is Being Said In Detail:

 

Chapter 1

 

The novel opens with the introduction of various characters traveling to Indian Island. Each character received an invitation from a person known as U.N. Owen for different reasons. 

Mr. Justice Wargrave, a recently retired judge, is seen reading about Indian Island in a train​​. Vera Claythorne, a secretary, looks forward to her time by the sea, reflecting on her journey in a third-class carriage​​. Miss Emily Brent, a rigid, principled woman, is introduced, displaying her disapproval of the modern generation’s laxness​​.

 

Chapter 2

 

General Macarthur anticipates his visit to the island, though he is unsure about the host, U.N. Owen, and his connection to his acquaintances​​. Dr. Armstrong, a successful doctor, drives to the island, reminiscing about his career and hoping for a relaxing time away from his busy life​​. Tony Marston, a young and carefree character, speeds towards the island, excited about the fun and potential adventures that await him​​.

 

Chapter 3

 

Mr. Blore, a former police officer, travels in a slow train, meticulously noting down the names of the other guests he is expecting to meet on the island. He observes an elderly, sleepy seafaring man in his carriage and reflects on the information he has gathered about the other guests​​.

 

Chapter 4

 

The fourth chapter likely continues to develop the characters’ backgrounds and their journey to the island, building up the sense of mystery and anticipation for their arrival and the events that will unfold there. The characters’ thoughts and actions provide insights into their personalities and set the stage for the ensuing drama.

 

Chapter 5

 

This chapter likely continues to build on the characters’ journeys to Indian Island. Each character’s thoughts and actions reveal more about their personalities and the reasons for their trip to the island. The chapter might also delve into their interactions with each other as they get closer to their destination, hinting at the dynamics that will play out later in the story.

 

Chapter 6

 

Vera Claythorne, asserting her role as Mrs. Owen’s secretary, demonstrates leadership and command when organizing transportation arrangements for the guests arriving at the island. Her assertiveness and clarity in communicating her position are evident​​. This chapter probably elaborates on the arrival of the guests at the island and their initial impressions and interactions, setting the stage for the events to follow.

 

Chapter 7

 

Vera Claythorne discusses her employment with a fellow guest, emphasizing that she has not yet met Mrs. Owen, her employer. This conversation reveals the mysterious nature of the Owens and begins to raise questions about the true nature of the invitation to the island​​. The guests’ growing curiosity and suspicion about their host and the purpose of their visit are likely explored further in this chapter.

 

Chapter 8

 

General Macarthur and other characters approach Indian Island, offering a picturesque description of their arrival. The setting sun illuminating the island provides a dramatic backdrop as the guests get their first glimpse of their destination. This chapter likely captures the guests’ initial reactions to the island and their anticipation of the events to come​​.

 

Chapter 9

 

The guests are transported to the island by boat. Mr. Justice Wargrave expresses concern about the size of the boat, but the owner reassures him that it can carry double their number​​. This chapter likely focuses on the guests’ final journey to the island, heightening the sense of isolation and anticipation as they leave the mainland behind and approach their mysterious destination.

 

Chapter 10

 

The guests arrive at Indian Island and get their first view of the house, which contrasts with the other parts of the island they have seen so far​​. This chapter probably describes the guests’ reactions to the imposing house and their settling in, setting the stage for the unfolding events on the island.

 

Chapter 11

 

The guests learn that their host, Mr. Owen, has been delayed and will not arrive until the next day. They are informed that dinner will be served at 8 o’clock​​. This chapter likely builds suspense and mystery around the absent host, adding to the guests’ unease and curiosity about the true purpose of their invitation to the island.

 

Chapter 12

 

Vera Claythorne interacts with Mrs. Rogers, one of the servants, discussing the logistics of managing large parties on the island. Mrs. Rogers moves through the room quietly, adding to the eerie atmosphere of the house​​. This chapter probably explores the dynamic between the guests and the staff, as well as the guests’ growing apprehension about their situation.

 

Chapter 13

 

This chapter likely introduces the ominous nursery rhyme about ten little Indian boys, which becomes a significant motif throughout the novel. The rhyme details the fates of ten Indian boys, each meeting a tragic end, reducing their number one by one​​. The guests might discover this rhyme displayed in their rooms, adding to the eerie and foreboding atmosphere of the island and their stay.

 

Chapter 14

 

Dr. Armstrong arrives at Indian Island as the sun sets. He attempts to glean information about the owners of the island from the local boatman, Narracott, but finds him either poorly informed or unwilling to share details. This lack of information heightens the mystery surrounding the island and its owners​​. The guests are likely settling in, with growing unease and curiosity about their situation.

 

Chapter 15

 

Dr. Armstrong expresses his intention to meet the hosts, unaware that they are not present on the island. Mr. Justice Wargrave remains passive, displaying a reptilian-like demeanor​​. This chapter probably delves into the guests’ initial interactions and their attempts to understand the nature of their invitation and their absent hosts.

 

Chapter 16

 

A character reflects on the framed nursery rhyme, recognizing it from his childhood and pondering his current circumstances on the island. This introspection and the mention of the rhyme over the mantelpiece suggest a growing awareness among the guests of the strange and possibly sinister nature of their situation​​.

 

Epilogue

 

The mystery of the murders on Indian Island is unraveled. Blore, one of the characters, is confronted about his role on the island. He reveals that he was hired by the mysterious Mr. Owen to join the house party under the guise of a guest. 

 

His task was to observe the other guests. Blore, an ex-C.I.D. man who runs a detective agency in Plymouth, defends his actions by stating that he was simply following instructions and had been paid handsomely for the job. 

 

This revelation adds another layer to the complex plot, as it shows that there was a deliberate plan in place to bring all the guests to the island and to keep an eye on them, hinting at the meticulous planning behind the events that unfolded​​.

 

Agatha Christie Quote

Most important keywords, sentences, quotes:

 

“In the midst of life, we are in death.”

“But no artist, I now realize, can be satisfied with art alone. There is a natural craving for recognition which cannot be gain-said.”

 

“Crime is terribly revealing. Try and vary your methods as you will, your tastes, your habits, your attitude of mind, and your soul is revealed by your actions.”

 

“Ten little Indian boys went out to dine; One choked his little self and then there were nine.

Nine little Indian boys sat up very late; One overslept himself and then there were eight.

Eight little Indian boys travelling in Devon; One said he’d stay there and then there were seven.

Seven little Indian boys chopping up sticks; One chopped himself in halves and then there were six.

Six little Indian boys playing with a hive; A bumblebee stung one and then there were five.

Five little Indian boys going in for law; One got in Chancery and then there were four.

Four little Indian boys going out to sea; A red herring swallowed one and then there were three.

Three little Indian boys walking in the Zoo; A big bear hugged one and then there were two.

Two little Indian boys sitting in the sun; One got frizzled up and then there was one.

One little Indian boy left all alone; He went and hanged himself and then there were none.”

 

“Be sure thy sin will find thee out.”

 

“When a man’s neck’s in danger, he doesn’t stop to think too much about sentiment.”

 

“I don’t know. I don’t know at all. And that’s what’s frightening the life out of me. To have no idea….”

 

“You’re very young…you haven’t got to that yet. But it does come! The blessed relief when you know that you’ve done with it all – that you haven’t got to carry the burden any longer. You’ll feel that too someday…”

 

Agatha Christie Quote 2

Book Review (Personal Opinion):

 

“And Then There Were None” is a masterclass in suspense and mystery. Christie’s skillful narrative weaves an intricate web of intrigue, with each character’s dark past gradually coming to light. The atmosphere of paranoia and impending doom is palpable, making the book impossible to put down. 

 

The twist ending is both shocking and satisfying, cementing this novel as one of Christie’s best works. It’s a thrilling ride from start to finish, perfect for fans of classic whodunnits.

 

Rating: 9/10

 

This book is for (recommend):

 

  • Mystery and crime novel enthusiasts.
  • Readers who enjoy complex plots with unexpected twists.
  • Fans of classic literature and iconic authors.

 

Agatha Christie Quote 3

If you want to learn more

 

To delve deeper into Agatha Christie’s style and storytelling techniques, exploring her other works, such as “Murder on the Orient Express” and “The Murder of Roger Ackroyd”, is recommended. Additionally, biographies about Christie can provide insight into how her life experiences influenced her writing.

 

How I’ve implemented the ideas from the book

 

The central theme of justice in “And Then There Were None” reminds us of the importance of confronting and rectifying past wrongdoings. In my personal life, this translates to an effort to address unresolved issues, seek forgiveness where needed, and strive for transparency and honesty in my interactions.

 

One small actionable step you can do

 

Reflect on any past actions or decisions that you may regret or feel unresolved about. Consider reaching out to those involved to make amends or simply to express your current thoughts and feelings on the matter. This small step towards resolution can be both liberating and healing.