Sunday, 15 September 2013

Agatha Christie sleuth Poirot to return in new novel


Poirot set to return in new novel

In the last few years there has been a spate of new stories featuring beloved literary characters brought back to life by modern-day authors, all with the blessing of the original writers' estates. James Bond was the first to be resurrected, by Sebastian Faulks in 2006's Devil May Care and then Jeffery Deaver's Carte Blanche in 2011. Anthony Horowitz was approached by the Conan Doyle estate to write a new Sherlock Holmes novel and he happily obliged with 2011's The House of Silk, with a second sequel story due be published in October 2014. Even the great P.G. Wodehouse's two most famous characters, Jeeves and Bertie Wooster, have not been immune to this latest vogue with the Wodehouse estate officially announcing earlier this year that Sebastian Faulks would be writing a new Jeeves novel for publication in November.

Hercule Poirot:  Belgian sleuth back from the grave in new book

source
Now it seems that the Agatha Christie estate has jumped on the bandwagon by commissioning a new novel featuring everyone's favourite Belgian 'tec Hercule Poirot, to be written by crime novelist Sophie Hannah.  The as-yet-unnamed story will be set in the 1920s (or "vaguely in the 1920s" according to the press blurb - hopefully this just means there won't be much reference to dates or age-defining elements and not some attempt to "bring Poirot into the 21st century" with strange modern influences) and I'm told, sadly, will not feature Captain Hastings (boo! to that, although we have to remember that we have been spoilt by Hugh Fraser's wonderful portrayal of the character in the Poirot TV series and that in actuality Captain Hastings only appeared in eight of the 43 Poirot stories).

Personally I'm rather ambivalent about these modern interpretations - I will probably read all of the above at some point but am in no real hurry to do so.  In most cases there's more than enough of the original author's canon to keep me happy.  Plus I've often found that when reading another writer's interpretation of a beloved literary character no matter how close they promise to be to the original source there will always be an element of their own writing style, their own views on how the protagonist should act, which invariably means that the story feels all the more emulative to me.

Still, good luck to Miss Hannah with her Poirot novel - I hope she does a good job of it.  Likewise Messrs Horowitz and Faulks.  Obviously the main motivator behind these officially-sanctioned books is money - these estates don't run on air, after all - and in the case of this latest Poirot news in particular it is no doubt to keep interest in the character high (especially as the David Suchet Poirot series is about to come to an end this year - boo! again) but anything that ensures such deservedly long-lived fictional heroes remain popular must be good news.

2 comments:

  1. Like you, I'm in two minds about this one. If it comes out cheap on the Kindle I might get it, but when it comes to buying actual books, I'll stick to the Christie volumes.

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  2. I'm pretty horrified really, I wish they would just leave well alone.

    ReplyDelete

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