I just finished listening to The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie. I’ve not read Christie for some time. Hercule Poirot annoys me. The Restless Teacher thinks I’ve deeply misunderstood Poirot as she enjoys his exploits. What got me this time was the thick narrator. Are Christie’s narrators always so stupid? This guy thought he knew what was going on, but Poirot ran rings around him, insulted him to his face without his realizing it, and generally made a fool of him. It felt like Christie was mocking the English gentleman. I’d never noticed this before. I will watch out for it when I revisit Murder on the Orient Express which I will do when I’ve finished Passage to India.
Speaking of Passage to India here is a great description from that book. I feel like Forster is trying a little to hard to find felicitous phrases, but then this one pops up and I thought — there it is, that is what he’s trying to do but not quite making it most of the time.
They [the English] exchanged the usual drinks, but everything tasted different and then they looked out at the palisade of cactuses stabbing the purple throat of the sky; they realized they were thousands of miles from any scenery that they understood.
“The palisade of cactuses stabbing the purple throat of the sky.” Got it that time E.M. Forster.