Saturday, May 7, 2016

Curtain - by Agatha Christie (released in 1975)


I've just finished reading this book and I felt the pleasing suspense, a sense of complecancy, a high admiration for this book. I started it with high expectation, knowing that it is the last case of Hercule Poirot (although I found it out later that it was actually had been finished written three decades before publication). I did expect it to be something very impressive. And this book didn't let me down.

The interesting prologue, a total different kind of mystery case, the loneliness and the feeling of helplessness of elderlies, a nostalgic feeling of the place and people (although to be honest I haven't read the very first book: The Mysterious Affair at Styles yet). Yes it was all started and ended at the same place, an inn in Styles.

I haven't read all Christie's books, but from a little bit I've read (about fifteen books by now), I realized that she exploited so much feelings in many of her books, and in this one is very strong. Love, hatred, psychosis, powerlessness, anxiety, all can be found here, together with logical way of thinking, lead me to enjoy reading this book very much.

Some parts were predictable, yes, but the final conclusion was exceptional. And it was a great ending of a great man named Hercule Poirot.

Because the title is Curtain and this song has a word 'curtain' in it, I imagined My Way (a song popularized by Frank Sinatra releazed in 1969) will be a perfect soundtrack of this final case of Hercule Poirot.

'And now, the end is near, and so I face the final curtain. My friend, I'll say it clear, I'll state my case, of which I'm certain.'

And yes he did it his way.

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What's written next might be a SPOILER so for those who haven't read Curtain and don't want to miss the excitement, you'd better STOP here ^^.

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Personally I don't agree with the way Poirot murdered Norton by himself and then ended his life by commiting suicide. Yes, law can't punish Norton for he didn't do all the murders with his own hands but tongue, and in fact no matter how hard Norton provoked his prey to murder somebody, just if the person was strong and sane enough, the murder might be avoided, just like Hasting's and Mr. Luttrel's cases. In this case, Norton was more like the serpent in Genesis, he was the one who provoked Eve to eat the fruit. But (again, just) if Eve ignored his idea, she would stood a chance not to eat the fruit. 

Poirot's justification was he did that (murdering Norton) to prevent Norton to do the same thing again and to protect the innocents. And he thought he was the law. In emergency, law of wars is allowed and such things. But in the end, sorry to say, it was a great story, yes, extraordinary ending, no doubt, but still, no matter how I adore him (Poirot), I don't agree with what he did in the last pages of final chapter of his life.

But then again, we lived in different era and place. I am living in peaceful era in peaceful city, I may never see a firing gun directly, but he went through both World War I and II and everything was of course different. So I'll finish this review with what Poirot also said (crap I read in Indonesian and I can't find the original English texts but approximately), 'but now I humbly say like a little child, I don't know.'


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