Thursday, January 19, 2017

While the Light Lasts by Agatha Christie

This is another one of the books I bought during the new year! Being an Agatha Christie fan, I couldn't pass up a chance to read a collection of her short stories. There are nine in this collection, each with an afterward that talks a little about them. The stories are:

The House of Dreams: about a guy that dreams about a beautiful house, and then meets a girl that refuses to marry him. Very sad and a bit creepy.

The Actress: I really enjoyed this one, which is about how a girl decides to outsmart her blackmailer. She remade herself into an actress, and nothing will make her fall. Normally, she'll be the villain but in this case, she's the hero.

The Edge: I've either read this before or Agatha Christie's used it for one of her novels. A woman discovers that the wife of the man she loves is having an affair. But she has to do the moral thing, which is to...

Christmas Adventure: the BBC made this into a radio drama under one of its other names "The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding". I'm not sure if this is the rewritten version since the structure is different (but the resolution and case the same), but it stars Hercule Poirot which makes it enjoyable (even if Christie wanted to kill him).

The Lonely God: this is a very strange romance, because while it has a Happily Ever After, it doesn't have a lot of what I associate with the romance genre. It could very well lead to a murder mystery, that's the kind of atmosphere the story had.

Manx Gold: I dare say that if I was alive when this was part of a treasure hunt I would have loved it, but reading it now, I just felt confused. Plus I wasn't a fan of the protagonists, who were modelled after Tommy and Tuppence.

With a Wall: Possibly my favourite story of the collection, even with (or perhaps because) of its ambiguous ending. About the relationship between artist, his wife, and the muse he doesn't realise is his muse.

The Mystery of the Baghdad Chest: I feel like I've read it, but I guess it's because it's a Poirot and I've read quite a lot of stories featuring him. It's an entertaining mystery where me trying to summarise it will only spoil it, so I shan't.

While the Light Lasts: Apparently this was inspiration for her Mary Westmacott books, which I'm very interested in reading now. A wife discovers that the love of her life wasn't killed in war. But can she give up her creature comforts for love? (Not a mystery though)

Overall, I really enjoyed this and I'd recommend it to anyone who's a fan of Agatha Christie. It shows that she doesn't just write mysteries.

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