Saturday, January 23, 2016

Book or film - Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie

So, which is better, the book or the film. Personally, I love them both. I love reading Agatha Christie's books. She had four series - Miss Marple, Hercule Poirot, Tommy and Tuppence, and the stories with no leading person. Agatha Christie is such an amazing person besides being such a creative author. She lead a very exciting life, learning to surf, accompanying her husband on archaeological digs, and she shares her experiences in her books. She is total genius, and it is so interesting reading her books through her whole history of writing, because you can see the changes in time and lifestyle, the decadence of the twenties, through the austerity of wartime, followed by the new freedoms discovered in the 50s. And her ideas for murder, so creative, and while the Poirot and Miss Marple, have a certain light-heartedness, the ones without a leading character, are altogether rather sinister, and sometimes quite macabre.

I have seen five films, and I like all of them, although The Mirror Crack'd with Elizabeth Burton, Rock Hudson, and Tony Curtis, was a bit too showy for me. I think I like the films, because they introduce me to a time which I will never experience. Death on the Nile and Murder on the Orient Express are both so decadent, and beautifully shot. I cannot imagine travelling through Egypt or Europe at such an elegant pace, drinking cocktails, admiring the scenery without the crowds, and experiencing it all without social media. I do love my gadgets, but I would also like to travel in a slower world. And the actors chosen for the roles are superb. Peter Ustinov and Albert Finney as Poirot, Bette Davies as a cantankerous old spinster, and Angela Lansbury in several different roles...just divine. I find that often, films with many famous actors, can detract from the story, but the casting choices hugely enhance these productions.

The story told in Death on the Nile is just fabulous, and only slightly different in the film, which loses three of the book's characters, or rather integrates them with the remaining ones. Nothing is lost. It is almost as though the book is being read to you, enhanced by the most beautiful scenery following alongside. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about a couple on their honeymoon, being tormented by a former lover. The plot is laid as each character's juicy background and potential motive, is described and you just get engrossed in all the connections and scandal, and the varying characters of all the people participating in this exotic trip. And, while we know there will be a murder, it doesn't actually occur until almost half way through the book. I won't spoil it, but it is a jolly fine read, and quite unputdownable!

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