Least-Favourite Novels

EllesseEllesse Vancouver, Canada
I started reading Christie approximately a year ago.  I've read perhaps 30 of her works, to date.  I suppose I could have started a discussion focussing on "Favourite Novels", but the difference between "favourites" and "least favourites" is similar to the idea expressed in the first line of Anna Karenina: "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way."  It is so rare that I am truly bewildered and disappointed at the end of a Christie book, that I want to bring attention to this unique experience.

My least favourite Christie book is "Passenger to Frankfurt".  

It seemed that 80% of the book was taken-up in repeating the same tirade, again and again: about terrorists trying to bring-about a "new world order".  The problem is not with the theme: I thoroughly enjoyed "The Big Four", which has a similar theme.  The problem is that I actually had the instinct to skip complete paragraphs and even complete pages, because I knew exactly what they would contain: another long description of the horrors about to befall us, should our heroes not solve the mystery at-hand.  But although my patience was stretched to breaking-point, I did NOT skip any paragraphs: I stuck with the book, hoping for a reward, in the end.  When it was all over, however... I was still disappointed.  "Bewildered", as I say, is a better description.  I revere Christie, but really don't know what the "point" of this novel was.

Many of her novels and stories have a "solution" at the end which could be (perhaps only after you've read 30 of them, in quick succession?) described as anti-climactic: the murderer is not someone we cared about very much; they're a minor character; the many mysteries which have been niggling at us throughout the book don't come-together in one brilliant flash: but I still ENJOYED THE BOOK.  This is the main reason I name "Passenger to Frankfurt" as my least-favourite of her books: it was both anti-climactic, and also incredibly laboursome to get through.


  • Against the Anna Kareninna precedent, I agree with you - Passenger to Frankfurt just didn't click for me - I couldn't relate to a narrative. Just bits and pieces. I wonder why she wrote it like that - was it so important to her to get the message about the world take-over? Well, groups like Boko Haram and ISIS are trying to do just that. But the book doesn't tell a story.
  • CrookedQuinCrookedQuin California, United States
    I don't remember anything about 'Passenger to Frankfurt' which I suppose is the reason why I didn't like it in the first place. It's forgettable in the wide array of great Agatha Christie novels. 
  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
    I remember I enjoyed Passenger to Frankfurt until Stafford got off the Aeroplane, from there it wasn't long before I started Hating it, but I persevered and read it from Cover to Cover without Grasping what it was about, It needed a Recognisable Plot and a recurring Character might have helped but I sincerely doubt it, I will never read it again.
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