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Tony Grist

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Agatha Christie- Anarchist [Dec. 20th, 2004|09:41 am]
Tony Grist
ITV is screening a new set of Miss Marple dramatizations, starring Geraldine McEwan.

We've seen a couple now. I always found Christie a dull read, but she works fabulously on the small screen.

Murder At The Vicarage spent a leisurely three quarters of an hour establishing the 1950s rural idyll that is St Mary Mead and then tore it to
shreds as it was revealed that all these prosperous, respectable middle-Englander stereotypes are in fact murderers, adulterers, thieves, embezelers and traitors.

In her own way Christie is as subversive as Bunuel. Something like Murder At The Vicarage is really just The Discreet Charm Of The Bourgeoisie by other means.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2004-12-20 10:56 am (UTC)
I like the Miss Marple stories--they are oddly cozy: Miss Marple with her pastel sweaters and cherry wood fires.

But I've always wondered why the police wouldn't begin to suspect Miss Marple, who seems to always be around when a murder takes place.

We have an old copy of Murder for Christmas, most un-saccharine holiday reading!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2004-12-20 11:37 am (UTC)
This new TV series undermines the coziness just a little.

For one thing it gives her- gasp- "a past"; she was in love with a married man who died in the First World War. That is why she is so understanding of all the adulterous couples and raffish artists who pass beneath her twinkling gaze.
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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2004-12-20 11:42 am (UTC)
...was in love with a married man who died in the First World War.

I'm glad to hear it. Poor old thing--spending her life watching everyone else's dramas! At least she had this one moment.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2004-12-20 12:19 pm (UTC)
I felt that too.

The first dramatization offended purists by turning the murderers into a lesbian couple. My view is that these aren't sacred texts and tweaking them a bit is a way of keeping them alive.
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[User Picture]From: karenkay
2004-12-20 01:14 pm (UTC)
Oh my gosh! You don't think her life was unfulfilling, do you?!
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[User Picture]From: karenkay
2004-12-20 01:14 pm (UTC)
That was in the books, I'm pretty sure.

I happen to like Agatha Christie. When I lived in Japan, the only English books I could find were Penguins--American books were too expensive. So I read every Agatha Christie book in print at the time. And all of Somerset Maugham. I can't reread either of those any more; I think I OD'd.

In any case, I do like your view of her, and I think that's very much how she was, desirous of oh-so-subtly stirring up trouble...
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2004-12-20 02:05 pm (UTC)
I read a lot of detective stories in my twenties. Christie never really did it for me. My favourites were the all-but-forgotten Margery Allingham and John Dickson Carr.
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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2004-12-20 12:14 pm (UTC)
...And how about a new poem for us, for a Christmas present?

Please and thank you!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2004-12-20 12:20 pm (UTC)
O golly gosh....

Let me think about it......
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[User Picture]From: craftyailz
2004-12-20 12:35 pm (UTC)
Yes please, it's about time we had a new poem!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2004-12-20 12:40 pm (UTC)
I'm thinking...I'm thinking....
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[User Picture]From: arielstarshadow
2004-12-20 02:15 pm (UTC)
I always preferred Hercule Poirot, for some reason. You are right, though, in that ofttimes, her books were never as exciting as I hoped they'd be. It is almost as if I was in love with the idea of Agatha Christie's novels more than the actual novels themselves. You are also right in that they do translate wonderfully to the small screen; I've enjoyed all of the Christie television movies I've ever seen.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2004-12-20 02:22 pm (UTC)
I'm very fond of Poirot- especially as played by David Suchet. I think Suchet puts all other interpretations in the shade.

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[User Picture]From: ibid
2004-12-20 02:59 pm (UTC)
No I'm a Ustinov woman!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2004-12-20 04:40 pm (UTC)
Ustinov is too laid-back for my taste. I like the vanity and touchiness of Suchet's Poirot.
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