All Poirot novels
The Monogram Murders - New Poirot Mystery
California, United States
I read Curtains a long time ago, and afterwards I felt rather low about Poirot actually dying. But since the series was going strong, I did not affect me. But now that series has ended, it changes things a bit. But it's good that AC took full possession/control of her character before anyone else did. If she hadn't killed him, I would not be surprised if a TV show was made about him going to Mars or something equally as ridiculous. That's what usually happens to characters when the author dies before the character does.
Somehow I just can not see Kenneth Brannagh as Hercule Poirot. Does anyone agree with me? He will be directing and starring as the Belgian sleuth in the classic Murder on the Orient Express. I read that this new production team are planning 33 new Poirot stories.
I'm not sure about Brannagh. I'd rather have an intelligent actor interpret Poirot's thought processes with skill, and suggest the degree of his emotional involvement in crimes, than a close lookalike give a bargain basement David Suchet performance. I would have said that Brannagh with his creative energy might be able to solve the dilemma of how to do something new, without placing anachronistic modern psychological interpretations on to situations which belonged to another time and another world. If he could do this, he might be able to set a useful trend for subsequent producers to follow. If he fails, what will happen to the further 33 productions; they will be tarnished by the failure, unless he, and they, can learn from the mistakes. I wonder what I would do to make a Poirot story different to the ITV series, or, even, if I had to do a Pride and Predjudice by Jane Austen differently to Andrew Davies's version, but commendabley. We've discussed on the forum what we would do with Murder on the Orient Express - maybe skillful use of flashbacks for each SPOILER ALERT murderer, but not showing relevance until later; and we discussed difficulty because the story is so well known, not many audiences won't know about this famous because so intriguing plot. If it were me directing, I would make more of SPOILER ALERT Miss Debenham, since she is supposed to be the brains of the scheme. Equally the male secretary is a bit of a mastermind behind it, so I'd make more of him.. I liked the suggestion coming through the novel that the plotters had that very special affection for one another born not of friendship, but of being in a similar situation at work, and sharing values. I like the idea of the class differences and personal differences being as nothing as they bond over their shared emotions. I guess I'd just try to do the key moments which reveal character really well - like the ladies maid letting slip that her ladies say she is a good cook, and the chauffeur getting the light in his eyes and crying.
Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
I would rather have an Actor who looks like my idea of Poirot, Granted Ustinov didn't but he had the Mannerisms and voice Branagh should be playing The Doctor or Bouc, someone whose appearance is not important.
Rhode Island, United States
David Suchet so brilliantly nailed the most perfect definitive portrayal of Hercule Poirot that it has just totally spoiled us to have anyone else attempt the role! Obviously in the future other actors will have to strive mightily to portray our favorite little Belgian, but all I can say is "Good Luck!" to them ( and feel sorry for them!).
Rhode Island, United States
By the way, regarding the Monogram Murders - I was only able to get halfway through it then abandoned it! It was too unlike a Christie book and Poirot was too unlike the Poirot I've known and loved. Unlike TommyAJones, I don't feel that it is a sacrilige to make a new Poirot book ( although having Christie's name larger on the cover than actual author Hannah's stuck in my craw!) It just strayed too far from a Christie Poirot book. First of all, Christie always immediately introduced you to 7 or 8 characters who could be possible suspects. I was halfway thru the new book and still no real suspects yet. The murder plot itself was so tortuously convoluted and senseless that I couldn't care less about the murder victims or who did it. And then Poirot's assistant has the dead bodies left overnight in place in a huge city hotel ( this could never happen in real life and looking back was, I think, the straw that broke the whole thing for me!) Poirot does very "unPoirotlike" things like leave his house to hide out in shabby surroundings ( with a roommate!) and "dine" at a dirty greasy spoon diner joint ( the true Poirot would rather be murdered!) There was only one area that I could possibly give Hannah the thumbs up for - I did enjoy the bantering between Poirot and Catchpool that did ring true to the way Poirot and Hastings would always antagonize and drive each other crazy ( like Poirot would say something like "Of course you realize the significance of the broken matchstick." and Hastings would say "What are you talking about?! How in the world could that be important?!") Hannah DID capture that funny banter aspect. But sadly that was about it. I hope that any more "new" Poirots can better capture the illusive feel of the books.
Hi Christery, I liked your analysis. I had thought of giving the Hannah books a go, but you have explained very clearly the problems, and I feel happy in not bothering.
Just found the audio book on Scribd- all set for my next road trip!
United States of America
I just reviewed The Monogram Murders by Sophie Hannah at
. It may help some decide whether they want to give it a chance or not.