Raise your hand if you’ve been to the movie theater to watch Agatha Christie’s film adaptation of Murder On The Orient Express. Also, raise your other hand if you’ve actually read her bestselling novel. I know I did and I really quite enjoyed the experience. I must admit that I had never read any Agatha Christie novel before the Murder On The Orient Express. I don’t know why, but I’ve known a gazillion Agatha Christie fans, but I was just not into it. I had that ignorant impression thinking she might just be that other Nancy Drew kind of author. Boy oh boy, I was wrong, and mind you, the story of this Murder On The Orient Express will blow you away. That is, of course, for those who haven’t read or seen it yet. But I bet my bottom dollar that you all have read the novel and knew the story already. But anyway, here’s my two cents.
The Story (No spoilers, don’t worry)
The Murder On The Orient Express is part of Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot Mysteries. As one of her most beloved character, Mr. Poirot is a seasoned detective and he embarked on a prompt return to London boarding on the Orient Express. There he met a rich and shady American, Mr. Ratchett. Mr. Ratchett tried to hire Detective Poirot as his private detective because he believes that his life is in danger. However, Mr. Poirot refused the offer. The next night, Mr. Ratchett was found dead and was believed to be murdered. There goes Mr. Poirot’s specialty-to investigate who killed Mr. Ratchett? which is actually Mr. Cassetti in real life. Upon Mr. Poirot’s deduction, he realized that the killer must still be on the train. But who? Which of the passengers? How about the crews? and Why? Not to mention that the train suddenly got stuck in the middle of nowhere. All that and the spellbinding mysteries to find out who the real killer is.
The book is thrilling and extremely gripping. You wouldn’t wanna stop reading because every page you turn will lead you to one mystery after another. It’s a fast-paced mysterious atmosphere that will leave you on the edge of your seat. I like the way the book was written. Even though it’s classic, it’s still very timely and the story is unique. It’s unlike any other crime novel mysteries I’ve ever read. I like how each character of the book is well-planned and well-developed. They all seemed very credible and very convincing in their alibis, up to the point that you don’t know who did who. Also, the plot will really set you on an exotic train somewhere in the middle east and the thought of it being stuck with the potential killer roaming around is just scary. Overall, I’ve read the book in 2 days and I was really impressed with its clever writing style, plus the fact that it’s not overly thick yet the story remained concise and riveting.
The movie adaptation was released recently and some movie theaters might still be playing them. While there are several alterations to the original story of the book, (even right at the beginning of the movie) still I find the film to be as convincing and moving as in the book. The acting was good and the overall atmosphere was as mysterious and gloomy as in the novel. Mr. Ratchett/Cassetti was played by Johnny Depp, while Mr. Poirot was portrayed by Kenneth Branagh. A few characters were omitted or changed in terms of their ethnicity and names, but still, the storyline is there and the ultimate mystery and revelation are also there. I do feel like some scenes of the movie might be kinda boring for some, but that was part of the thrill, in the sense that Mr. Poirot was trying to find out who the real killer is by studying and observing each passenger on the train. Soon, it will all unravel.
To sum it all up, this has been a very good first-time Agatha Christie novel for me, and her writing style and story flow is superb. I am now a convert and will look forward to reading more of her novels, as well as hopefully seeing more of her book being adapted for movie in the near future.
The Murder On The Orient Express Novel is available at amazon.com
The audiobook is available HERE
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