Classics fatigue

GullFinishing La Vita Nuova I suddenly felt that I had read too many heavy classics during 2018. That is demonstrably not true, my reading statistics tells me that out of the eleven books I’ve read this year only La Vita Nuova was a challenging read and five were children’s books but apparently that was enough.

However, it was clearly time for a change of pace and as light page-turners do not linger unread long on my bookshelves what I found was an Agatha Christie where I had conveniently forgotten who the murderer was. Cat Among The Pigeons takes place at a private girls school and involve a coup in a fictional country, missing jewels and secret agents. It is technically a Poirot novel but Poirot only plays a very peripheral role in it. I really enjoy the Christie stories that edge into adventure stories territory. They may be even less realistic than her standard crime novels but they are usually a lot of fun.

Agatha Christie x 3

The secret adversary: This one is a wild and improbable story full of secret agents. More importantly it is the first book to feature Tommy and Tuppence which I find to be some of Christie’s best characters. Great fun!

The Pale Horse: The creepiest Christie I’ve read so far and one of her best. Neither Poirot nor miss Marple makes an appearance which is a good thing, not because I don’t like those characters, I do, but because it is harder to guess where the novel is going when they are absent.

Towards zero: This one is more of a standard Christie mystery but a very good one. Once again without Poirot or miss Marple.

I count Cat Among The Pigeons, published in 1959, as my classic crime story for the Back to the classics reading challenge.

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13 thoughts on “Classics fatigue

    1. I love Christie’s novels, they are some of the most relaxing novels I know. I know I’m in safe hands whenever I read one, she’s just so good at what she does, I’ve almost never been disappointed in the plot or the writing. They may not be the novels I remember the longest but I find them very entertaining.

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    1. It has worked very well, after two weeks of reading mostly crime novels I feel inspired by the heavier books on my TBR pile again. I guess I got a bit competitive with my reading challenges and forgot to mix-up my reading properly.

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  1. I know you just said you are experiencing classics fatigue, but I was super excited to see you had read La Vita Nuova! I find that one challenging, as well, but always interesting. Because Dante is kind of a weird person when you get down to it. But I also understand the need for something lighter afterward! I’ve been reading a lot of YA and MG lately, taking a bit of a classics break myself.

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    1. Fortunately the classics fatigue seems to have been rather brief, three crime novels later and I’m once again tempted by all the shiny classics in my TBR-pile. But I probably should be better at mixing in some light reading in-between.

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  2. I find Agatha Christie re-reads are the perfect antidote to classic fatigue. I’ve been listening to several of them on audio recently and enjoying all the great narrators of them – Hugh Fraser, Joan Hickson, David Suchet…

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