So a while ago, my friend really got into Agatha Christie. Okay, maybe it was more than a while ago, but it was only a while ago that I actually decided to listen to her recommendations and check out a few of Agatha Christie’s books. Unfortunately, my library was out of a few of her more popular books like Murder on the Orient Express and And Then There Were None so I decided to get Endless Night instead. The cover itself was actually pretty nice, all black with a pale moon showing, and I had recognized the William Blake poem from which the book derived its title. Intrigued, I picked it up and began my Agatha Christie journey.
Firstly, I think it’s worth mentioning that I’m not the biggest fan of mystery books or thrillers. I often have a really hard time reading mystery/ thriller books chronologically because my curiosity usually overtakes my rational side and causes me to either skip to the end of the book to figure out the mystery or google the book and find out the end. Hence I was actually pretty hesitant to even start the book. But DAMN am I glad I did. In fact, I’d actually rank Endless Night pretty highly, up with a few of my other favourites. That said, let’s get into the semi-spoilery review (I’ll try to refrain from spoiling the book too much because most of the fun from Agatha Christie’s books come from their surprise endings).
So the book begins with us being introduced to the narrator Michael Rogers who lives a pretty chill lifestyle. He’s does odd jobs and can never really seem to hold down one job for a long time. It’s pretty much explicitly implied that the only reason Michael even does the jobs is because he needs the money (he’s a pretty poor fellow) and that his real dream is to own a wonderful house, built by his famous architect friend, Santonix, in a place called Gipsy’s Acre, and just live there forever not doing anything. Gipsy’s Acre is also coincidentally a supposedly cursed and haunted place, albeit overlooking a wonderful view. Luckily for him, he ends up meeting and falling in love with a wealthy, young American heiress (forgot to mention that Michael was English) Ellie and after a whirlwind courtship, they marry, buy Gipsy’s Acre, have Santonix build them a wonderful house, and live there happily. Of course, it wouldn’t be an Agatha Christie novel if everything went as planned and so a lot of shit happens afterwards. But seeing as I don’t want to spoil readers or ruin their fun of reading, I shall refrain from commenting more on the explicit plot.
In terms of writing, I actually found this novel to be written in a very easy-to-read manner. Things were quite clear and understandable and I really enjoyed reading it. While I do enjoy reading descriptive, flowerly language, it can sometimes get a bit grating to read after a while so I was really pleased with how simple Ms. Christie’s writing and language was. And her narrator, Michael was also a pretty likeable person, for the most part. He’s easy to understand and it’s amusing to read his thoughts. Unlike narrators who dgaf about you (LOOKING AT YOU LUCY SNOWE) or narrators who just dgaf in general (hello boring Rose), Michael seemed quite pleasant and welcoming. But to be honest, my favourite part of the entire book was the mystery/ ending. It was just such a WTF moment for me. I was completely shocked after having read the ending and had not anticipated it AT ALL. Although my reaction to finishing this book was not quite on the level I had when I finished Villette, I was still pretty emotional and went around recommending this book to my friends and family members.
Having said that, I think it’s also worth mentioning that there’s definitely some criticism around this book as well, especially in regards to the plot-line. Apparently Agatha Christie reused some characters and plot-lines in this story? So readers who’ve read her previous stories (Murder of Roger Ackroyd and Death on the Nile) perhaps wouldn’t be as surprised with the story/ surprise ending in this book as I was (I haven’t read her previous works at all). And honestly, it was the story/ surprise ending that really elevated the book for me and caused it to become one of my favourites. So I guess read with caution?
My rating: read it and buy it and be prepared to be taken off guard with the ending (aka get used to the Agatha Christie style).