Letter Essay #8 – Theodore Albano


One of the many covers for “And Then There Were None.”

Recently, I have read a book call “And Then There Were None” by author Agatha Christie. The book is 272 pages and the genres include; mystery, crime, and psychological thriller. “And Then There Were None” constantly had me at the end of my seat wanting to read more. The whole story itself is really interesting too and the way it is written makes it seem like non fiction.

It originally came out the 6th of November 1939.  It is Agatha Christie’s best selling novel will over 100 million copies sold. That also makes it the sixth-best-selling single-volume book of all time. Because of this book’s climb to fame, in 1945 a film was made inspired by the book under it’s original name “Ten Little Niggers”. The name “Ten Little Niggers” was later changed for the book and the movie to “Ten Little Indians” as the the times changed. Eventually, it became it’s current title “And Then There Were None.” And even 70 years later the book is still popular. In 2015 a British television program was created inspired by the book. Although it came out so long after the book, the film still got a lot of attention, even from non-British viewers. The list of interesting facts and achievements “And Then There Were None” has could go on forever, but what is the book about?

The movie adaptation.

The setting of “And Then There Were None” starts off with the main characters going about their everyday life when they discover a letter from a “friend they knew a long time ago.” The main characters names include; Anthony Marston, Ethel Rogers, John Macarthur, Thomas Rogers, Emily Brent, Edward Armstrong, William Blore, Philip Lombard, Vera Claythorne, Lawrence Wargrave, Isaac Morris, Fred Narracott, Thomas Legge and finally, Inspector Maine. Ten of which are the “ten little indians”, the others are side characters filling the roles of lawyers, boatmen, etc. When the characters follow were the letter leads them, they find the boatman, Fred Narracott. Fred gathers all of the indians into his boat where he brings them to an island owned by the sender of the letters. The guests settle and begin to get comfortable and befriend each other, however some still have suspicions of others as they are still unsure about their purpose on the island. They are eventually lured into a dining room were they listen to a gramophone recording of why they are all there. The similarity between the seemingly random people was shocking, they are all murderers that never faced any repercussions from their crimes. They also find a short poem with unclear relation to the island. The poem reads;

Ten little Soldier Boys went out to dine;

One choked his little self and then there were nine.

Nine little Soldier Boys sat up very late;

One overslept himself and then there were eight.

Eight little Soldier Boys travelling in Devon;

One said he’d stay there and then there were seven.

Seven little Soldier Boys chopping up sticks;

One chopped himself in halves and then there were six.

Six little Soldier Boys playing with a hive;

A bumblebee stung one and then there were five.

Five little Soldier Boys going in for law;

One got in Chancery and then there were four.

Four little Soldier Boys going out to sea;

A red herring swallowed one and then there were three.

Three little Soldier Boys walking in the zoo;

A big bear hugged one and then there were two.

Two little Soldier Boys sitting in the sun;

One got frizzled up and then there was one.

One little Soldier Boy left all alone;

He went out and hanged himself and then there were none.

It is eerie how Agatha Christie wrote it almost as if she is psychotic. The guests must have thought the same as they begin to get worried about the scenario and go on high alert(watching their own backs). They soon realize they are possibly caught up in something much different than a peaceful vacation on an island resort. They were set off when Anthony Marston died while they listened to the gramophone due to cyanide in his drink. Overtime more and more guests meet a fate of their own and eventually catch on the the deaths are related to the poem. The rest of the story(without giving spoilers) is about the remaining characters trying to predict how the next death will occur so they can stop it before it happens. They take multiple steps such as enforcing the buddy system, locking doors, etc. When nothing seems to work and they can’t find the killer the book keeps dragging you as the reader along an emotional roller coaster full of plot twists and overly dramatic death scenes.

The story “And Then There Were None” is an amazing book overall and definitely worth reading if you haven’t already. I’m still surprised how deep the story gets into sensitive topics like harassment, depression, and others. The one thing I didn’t really like about the book was how serious the tone was, but the ending was almost comedic. Other than that, the book is still good even to reread. If I were to rate it I would give it a 8/10 or a 9/10. It isn’t the single most greatest book of all time, and it has a lot of little things that could be better, but it is deserving of a high rating. If you haven’t already read “And Then There Were None”(despite it having sales close to books like “The Hobbit” and “Harry Potter(single books not the whole series combined)” then I highly suggest you read it.


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1 thought on “Letter Essay #8 – Theodore Albano

  1. Hi Theo,

    I really liked your letter essay. You gave a lot of information about the book. You may want to work on adding in some more evidence from the text to support your ideas. This book sounds very interesting and I think I would enjoy reading it.


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