It’s no wonder that Christie’s plots are so beloved by readers and viewers alike, and so frequently adapted and reinvented for the big and small screens. Christie, like most writers who sell millions of books, is a “story first” writer. Her prose is crisp and elegant and her grasp of human frailties is second to none, but telling the best possible story in the most exciting, unpredictable and ingenious way was always her top priority. As a result, her work must be a dream to adapt. The narrative is as readily graspable as an apple in a fruit bowl. By contrast, some stories are like crab legs – prospective adapters-to-screen might attempt to crack them open but it’s a messy and difficult process, and sometimes it turns out that, after all that effort, there’s a disappointingly small amount of story-meat to be had.
Adaptations seem to be becoming something of a theme on this blog! I watched The Witness for the Prosecution in December, and And Then There Were None the year before.
Thrillers/mysteries aren’t my genre, I’ve watched the occasional film/TV adaptation, but I haven’t read any books by Christie or anyone else. I think this may make for more interesting viewing, I don’t know the story, I don’t know the genre conventions or cliches; what may be obvious to an aficionado, won’t be obvious to me. With The Witness for the Prosecution, I didn’t know if I should expect a happy ending or a final twist – the ending was brilliant and diabolical.
I may have to give Christie’s books a go at some point in the future.