Is Ariadne Oliver similar to Agatha Christie?



  • edited August 2016
    Griselda said:
    I think that it is nice to hear, as it were, Dame Agatha's voice, and to feel the movement of her imagination, as you can when a great writer is the one in question. I would always prefer a less satisfying Christie than a pastiche, e.g., The Closed Casket, which I won't be reading. 
    I did enjoy the novelizations that Charles Osborne did of Spider's Web, Black Coffee and The Unexpected Guest. I think I liked them because they were from Agatha Christie -- the plots were originally from her. And Osborne did a good job being faithful and respectful to the material. Unlike a pastiche which is just another writer coming up with an idea of a story using her characters and slapping her name on the front cover as if she had anything to do with it. They may use her characters but they can't come up with the kind of plots that she did. And even the characters won't be 100% the way Christie wrote them because......she write them! She knows these characters far more personally than all of us who are even devoted fans of hers. I said this before, I would much rather read a recently discovered Christie mystery out there than read a pastiche. Maybe one day I'll read The Monogram Murders and The Closed Casket but as of now there are some A.C. stories I haven't read yet and some mysteries on my list I would rather give my attention to. 
  • Madame_Doyle said:

    Agatha Christie at her worst is still better than PD James on any day.

    You might like Postern of Fate better if you could try appreciating the cleverness of the mystery, which is unlike any others.  It's an original story and not a retelling, as some of them are.  There could have been more suspicion focused on some of the innocent characters.  She missed the chance to be extra clever with the solution, but the unfolding mystery is well executed.

    I'm surprised with your comments on Postern Of Fate because every time I hear about that book there are always negative comments about it. I haven't read the book yet so please don't spoil it for me! 

    Have you read any P.D. James books? 
  • Yes, of course I have read PD James or I wouldn't be able to express an opinion of her.  She doesn't demonstrate the creativity or technical writing skills of Agatha Christie; she comes across as a poor imitator of Christie's style.  She reminds me of Ruth Rendall trying to be Agatha Christie and failing. If she had found her own style, maybe she would be better.   I view PD James fans as similar to those who read Georgette Heyer because they like Jane Austen and are willing to settle. 
  • edited August 2016
    Madame Doyle, I disagree with the swipe against Georgette Heyer. Maybe you've only read or come across her romances, but her mystery stories are marvelous. I'd best describe them as a combination of Ingenuity similar to Agatha Christie, and characterization that foreshadows Charlotte Macleod. I especially liked "They found him dead" and it's sequel, "Duplicate Death".  (Though each can be read separately). Though probably the best is "Envious Casca" - simply brilliant!
  • @taliavishay-arbel - Georgette Heyer is my favorite author!  I have read all of her work numerous times and agree completely with your assessment, but there is some validity in the claim that many Heyer readers initially are looking for the next best thing to Austen.   Whether or not they become fans goes either way quickly; she is not like Austen, despite the many claims that she is.  Heyer's detective stories are not as clever as Agatha Christie's but she was a better writer.  Envious Casca is my favorite, as well.  

  • Madame_Doyle, I see what you mean about "looking for Jane Austen" in Heyer's books. But you are right, they are definitely not the same - while both have irony and humour, aside from JA being a deeper writer, I think GH is more kindly. There is something almost cruel sometimes in JA.
  • MohanMohan Chennai
    I have always felt that Ariadne Oliver was definitely NOT modelled on Christie herself.  Mrs. Oliver is WAY too much of a caricature.  I think Christie deliberately made her represent the stereotypical ''authoress'' kind of thing.  Especially, when she relates to Rhoda Dawes in Cards on the Table about not having enough words and because of that, having to ''throw in another murder'' and ''get the heroine kidnapped all over again'' and finishes it off by saying, ''it's all very boring''.  Going by whatever has been written about Christie and her personality, she definitely does NOT fit into the mould of Ariadne Oliver, however caricatured the latter might be!
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