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Old 12-15-2012, 03:08 AM   #1
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Agatha Christie

I've been tempted to read something by Agatha Christie. Especially "And then there were none". I have this stupid question though. Would this be readable for me, since English is not my native language, and all I speak is "modern" English.
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Old 12-15-2012, 04:19 AM   #2
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Would this be readable for me, since English is not my native language, and all I speak is "modern" English.
Absolutely! English is not my native language either and I'm currently reading And Then There Were None, the language is not that archaic. Very interesting plot with a lot of twists.
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Old 12-15-2012, 04:23 AM   #3
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Absolutely! English is not my native language either and I'm currently reading And Then There Were None, the language is not that archaic. Very interesting plot with a lot of twists.
Ok, thank you so much. And since I still have some money on my amazon account, it's off to the kindle-store then
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Old 12-15-2012, 04:30 AM   #4
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Ok, thank you so much. And since I still have some money on my amazon account, it's off to the kindle-store then
Great! Interested to know what you think of it once you read it.
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Old 12-15-2012, 04:47 AM   #5
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Great! Interested to know what you think of it once you read it.
I will let you know for sure. I first have to finish my current book (John Grisham's The Racketeer) though. Agatha will be next in line.
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Old 12-15-2012, 10:07 AM   #6
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Agatha Christie is always good. Though her books are (mostly) set in the start of the last century (pre-WWII) the language hasn't changed that much to render it hard to read them. Shakespeare on the other hand requires a glossary for even us native English speakers to properly understand everything.
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Old 12-15-2012, 10:20 AM   #7
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And Then There Were None is a great Christie to start with! And it's an all-time mystery classic. It's without a doubt, far and away, my favourite of the books I've read by her. That book is also a "first" in a few ways, but I won't tell you what so as not to spoil anything.

ETA - And yes, you should be fine reading it. Her language is simple and pretty modern compared to some of her contemporaries. She may use a few more upper-crust early 20th century words, but that's good for you to learn from. On the whole though it should be an easy read.

Last edited by sun surfer; 12-15-2012 at 10:24 AM.
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Old 12-15-2012, 10:21 AM   #8
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Agatha Christie is always good. Though her books are (mostly) set in the start of the last century (pre-WWII) the language hasn't changed that much to render it hard to read them. Shakespeare on the other hand requires a glossary for even us native English speakers to properly understand everything.
And thanks to you too Crich. I'm looking forward to start reading her books.
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Old 12-15-2012, 10:25 AM   #9
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And Then There Were None is a great Christie to start with! And it's an all-time mystery classic. It's without a doubt, far and away, my favourite of the books I've read by her. That book is also a "first" in a few ways, but I won't tell you what so as not to spoil anything.

ETA - And yes, you should be fine reading it. Her language is simple and pretty modern compared to some of her contemporaries. She may use a few more upper-crust early 20th century words, but that's good for you to learn from. On the whole though it should be an easy read.
Thanks for not spoiling
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Old 12-15-2012, 11:37 AM   #10
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Though her books are (mostly) set in the start of the last century (pre-WWII) the language hasn't changed that much to render it hard to read them.
Actually, around half her full-length novels are post-World War II (especially the Miss Marples series, which goes right into the 1970s). And most of the others date from the 30s and 40s.

But, yes, you're right that the language hasn't changed much. She uses a very straightforward form of English, and it should hold no special difficulties for non-native English speakers.

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Old 12-15-2012, 11:43 AM   #11
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Just to digress a moment ....

Victoria Coren was recently interviewing Charles Higson on her BBC TV show, Only Connect. Higson is the author of several novels featuring a young James Bond. Coren then mentioned that she was working on a similar project for Agatha Christie's characters. In her books, Miss Marple is only 70.

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Old 12-15-2012, 12:38 PM   #12
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Actually, around half her full-length novels are post-World War II (especially the Miss Marples series, which goes right into the 1970s). And most of the others date from the 30s and 40s.

But, yes, you're right that the language hasn't changed much. She uses a very straightforward form of English, and it should hold no special difficulties for non-native English speakers.

Mike
Interesting. I know she wrote some in other historical periods (based I'm sure on her travels with her 2nd husband Max) but I always thought they were pretty much set in the early 20th century.
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Old 12-16-2012, 03:06 AM   #13
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Christie only wrote one novel not set in the 20th century: "Death Comes As the End", which is set in ancient Egypt.
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Old 12-16-2012, 04:43 AM   #14
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Interesting. I know she wrote some in other historical periods (based I'm sure on her travels with her 2nd husband Max) but I always thought they were pretty much set in the early 20th century.
A lot of people don't realise that many of her works are set relatively late in the 20th Century. This is partly the fault of many recent cinema and TV adaptations that always show her world as that of the 1920s and 1930s - presumably because flappers, jazz, art deco architecture and steam trains are all more photogenic than their modern equivalents.

One thing I find annoying is when we see Marple and Poirot travelling around southern England in steam trains. TV and cinema love to show steam trains, even though the railways in question were actually electric from the late 1920s.

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Old 12-16-2012, 05:07 AM   #15
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That's actually one fascinating thing I've discovered thanks to having an e-reader and old public domain books - English has not really changed at all in the last 100 years or so.

Even a lot of the slang words are the same, a lot of them were originally coined in the 1920s.

But I think the reason that they use period costumes and such for her novels is that though they were set in the year she wrote it in (from 1920 to 1970s), her main characters never really aged, with the notable exception of Tommy and Tuppence.

Hercule Poirot was very old when he was introduced, Miss Marple, too. Yet 50 years later he's still alive, and so was she 40 years later.

It's kind of strange, especially in the Marple books, you saw her describe how England had changed over the years, but she's always an old lady.
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