Wednesday, March 7, 2012

One, Two, Buckle My Shoe by Agatha Christie




Rather than a full book report, this will be a shorter book notes version because I just don't have that much to say about this book.












11. One, Two, Buckle My Shoe - an Hercule Poirot mystery
by Agatha Christie
mystery, 1940
Kindle book, 8
finished, 3/1/12


Though I dearly love this old cover, I did not love the book. That's par for the course when one reads many, many books by an author. Some Agatha books I have loved, others I have liked, some were so-so, and a very few I really didn't care for. This is in the last category.


In fact, I've been putting off writing about it because frankly, I'd just as soon forget it. It wasn't horrible or filled with details that were creepy, but it was a somber story. It was published in 1940 when there was a lot of darkness and fear in the world.

My Agatha Christie Reader's Companion says,


This story does not harken back to a gentler and more settled period but is full of references to current affairs. Although the war itself is unmentioned, there are references to Hitler and Mussolini, to Mosley's Fascists, to the threat of Communism and to the IRA.
There were tiny bits of humor, as in Poirot's fear of his six-month dental checkup, but the story and the characters were not appealing to me.

When I finished, I began Sad Cypress, which was published just before this one, and put it aside, at least for now, because there was that same feeling of despair that came through. I think I'm happier with those books that do 'harken back to a gentler and more settled period.'

22 comments:

  1. When I read, it is usually for entertainment or because I enjoy learning something new (which is a form of entertainment as well). Therefore, I very rarely like books that are dark and describe many many problems and desperate situations. It is bad enough that all those problems exist in the world, I don't want to spend my free time reading fiction about them more than what is sometimes necessary for a good story.

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  2. The older I get, the more precious my time - too many books to read to spend time on one that just doesn't do it for me.

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    1. I may have quit if it had been anyone but my beloved Agatha!

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  3. When you think about it, the early 40s must have been a truly awful time to live through and if you were a writer it would have been very hard not to let the worry affect your writing.

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    1. Yes, I'm sure the times influenced her mood, her writing, her life. It must have been so awful. We know how it turned out, but they didn't know what would happen. It gives me shivers to think of how they were feeling.

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  4. I just finished listening to this one and though it wasn't the best one I've listened to, I did enjoy it.

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    1. On her worst day, Agatha is better than most any other writer! :<)

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  5. Oh dear, I'm sorry to read about your experience with this book. I haven't gotten to this one yet, as I'm still in the mid-1930s. I am, however, burnt out a bit with Hercule Poirot. I've decided to jump ahead and read a Miss Marple story. I will remember your caution when I get closer to 1940.

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    1. I love it that you are reading them in order. I'm never 'burnt out' by him. I so love this character. I can't get enough of him, and miss him in books where he doesn't play so big a part.

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  6. I love the cover, too! I have not read much Agatha Christie, but I want to. Have you listened to the Radiolab episode that features her? It was very, very interesting.
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=127211884

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    1. Thanks so much for the link. I will definitely listen!

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  7. I started reading Agatha Christie books when I was around 13 years old and have read all of them now,some of them several times. I know the story of One,Two, Buckle My Shoe from the David Suchet series but it's so long since I read the book that I can't remember how I felt about it. Sad Cypress I do remember though and it is rather a dark story. My least favourite of all AC's books is Endless Night which I thought was a horrible story. What I really like are the country house murders from the 20s and 30s:)

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    1. I haven't read EN, but I do find Agatha's range to be amazing. She could write in so many ways. I do like those 'country house murders' too!

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  8. I read Sad Cypress a couple of years ago, Nan. I was sick at the time so I thought perhaps that had colored my feeling about the book, but it was indeed sombre. Sometimes that's okay but sometimes I'm just not up to it - and I usually count on Christie to be gentler.

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    1. Not such a cheery book for when you are sick! She is sometimes very 'gentle' but she can pack a wallop when it comes to dark, psychological works as well. She is amazing.

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  9. I haven't read this one. Now I'm curious about it, because I think what I've read of Christie so far has been from the 'gentler period.' Another thing I'd like to look up is if she's published her personal correspondence. I've read a bunch of Orwell's letters and articles written from 1940-1943, and they were gripping; now I'm on the lookout for other writers' views of the world during that time.

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    1. There's an autobiography, but I've not heard of letters.
      Virginia Woolf's diaries and letters might interest you, though of course there's nothing past 1941.

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  10. I've read this several times over the years. It's not my absolute favorite but I enjoyed it. I liked the PBS version with David Suchet in the role of Poirot. This is when they were still being pretty faithful to the original stories.

    SAD CYPRESS, though considered a kind of masterpiece, never impressed me very much.

    I'm looking around for a copy of MURDER IN RETROSPECT which I haven't read in many years. I'm hoping it will live up to my memories.

    Agatha Christie could write wonderful stuff, but she could also write dullsville.

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    1. I did like MIR, or Five Little Pigs, and I'm quite sure you will still be intrigued.

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  11. I love the poster below "In March read the books you've always meant to read"....That's been my goal for a couple of years. But I keep getting distracted by Agatha Christie (I love the old country house ones the best, for sure!)

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    1. I'm so pleased you saw it! I'm not fond of any of the authors on it, but I like the sentiment.

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