Posted by: Bruce | June 30, 2015

Agatha Christie’s Taken at the Flood – a BBH review.

Agatha Christie - Taken at the FloodIt’s probably more of a question or two about the author and authors in general, than a review of this book.

First published in 1948 and featuring the character, Belgian sleuth Hercule Poirot, the novel is another in the series of crime fiction by Agatha Christie. I enjoy some of these books more than others, but all so far are usually a good yarn that put it together at the end.

I like the characters and particularly the conversations that are perhaps reflective of the period. Despite a theme of murder, the characters, including the baddies, usually remain impeccably polite and handy with words. Humour in characters is often subtle but there all the same.

Toward the end of Taken at the Flood I was surprised to see a happy ending between a couple, Rowley and Lynn. Earlier, the character Rowley, in a rage of possessiveness, almost kills Lynn by strangulation. Another minute or less and she was a goner. Hercule Poirot arrives and politely interrupts with a cough.

Rowley the strangler

Oddly, I think, Mr Poirot dismisses the almost fatal attack as does Lynn a few pages on.

After Rowley’s attempt to prevent her (kill her) from being with anyone else, Lynn ‘knew she was his woman’. Wedding bells were planned, love balloons prevailed, no red flags fluttering.

Lynn's his woman

The strange acceptance of the violence by Rowley, is singularly how I will remember this book. Perhaps, for readers, it was cool and romantic at the time, the caveman approach.

Now my questions: Does an author express their own opinion and attitude through their fiction? Did M/s Christie accept and dismiss the explosive Rowley as did Mr Poirot and Lynn?

Words for today:     Fact or fiction?

More to come;     same blog time, same blog channel

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Responses

  1. Being capable of a momentary madness that has a person killing another is not a person to trust your future happiness to. Still, I can’t help thinking that it wasn’t so long ago that the community actually believed that family violence while not ‘nice’, was none of our business. Agatha Christie belonged to another era. Her elderly aunties were Victorian, or the tail end of it.
    I keep saying that nothing comes naturally. Children aren’t the only ones who have to be taught.

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    • So in this case Mary, you think the author was expressing her view through the characters?

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      • Authors generally do, one way or another.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks Mary.

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  2. That is such a sweet smile, Bruce. I really like your new photo.

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    • Now I’m blushing Mary but think I must have failed with my photo. I never considered a sweet smile to be within my non-existent armoury of charms.
      The photo is intended to temper serious with not so serious. The previous photo did this I thought, but it was not readily apparent.
      I might have to photoshop this one with some tough guy stuff like chains and barbed wire to show the other side of my smile. I am glad you like it though.

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  3. I was extremely disappointed by the end of the book, and I’m actually glad to find someone who wrote something about that haha. I love Agatha Christie, but I felt like giving this book away after I finished it. It supports the idea that a woman (who was ever so brave and adventurous) found her new “adventure” by living with a man – not in spite of the fact – but BECAUSE he tried to kill her! To me it seems like she chose him to live the “thrill” of abuse and domestic violence. That sounds absurd to me and I do believe that a lot of women were ahead of their times during the era, but unfortunately we cannot assume that all of our favourite authors were like that back then. I think that ending reflected her views as a regular woman who was part of the society of her time. Summarizing: Disappointed, but not surprised.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for reading and taking the time to leave your thoughts and opinion. Like you, I will only remember this book because of its strange ending. A happy couple, composed of a man who attempted to kill the woman he loved if he couldn’t have her, seems to be approved as acceptable passion. I really like your summary. Regards, Bruce.

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