Reviews for Black Coffee, by Charles Osborne, Agatha Christie

CoveredInRust's review
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  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters centre-stage? It's complicated


ZanyAnomaly's review
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Tantalizing mystery with a twisted end

pseudowoodo's review
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I can see how this would have worked as a play, but it doesn’t translate well into a novel, especially since it basically reveals who did it as it happens

astudyofemma's review
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I actually really enjoyed this book. After reading the reviews on here, I started this book with a lot of apprehension. It was only at the beginning that it sounded less like Christie and over time I became engrossed. I read it in an evening and I think it's better than it's given credit for here. As the plot was written by Christie and it was novelised from Christie, I still think it is a good book and that it has sparks of Christie in it. All in all, it may not be your favourite but I would recommend it all the same.

Nnecatrix's review
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Book #1 for 2017
GenreLand: Fiction
Better World Books Tasks:
- A book with a color in the title
- A book under 200 pages
- A book by a female writer
- A book that's been adapted into a movie
Read Harder Task: A book published between 1900 and 1950
PopSugar Tasks (max 3):
- A book by an author who uses a pseudonym
- A book written by someone you admire
- A book with an eccentric character
Book Bingo Square: A Book from the Library
Legendary Book Club of Habitica's Ultimate Reading Challenge Task: A script or screenplay
Follow the Clues Challenge: Chain 1, Clue 1

This, Christie's first foray into writing for the stage, usually appears on bibliographies with a 1934 date. That was when it was first published, but it was first produced in 1930. Christie had always been fascinated by the theatre, and this had been evident in her stories, so it's not surprising that she would explore the play form herself instead of leaving it to other writers. This is not an adaptation of an already published story, but an original Poirot piece, later adapted to the big screen and also novelized.

I have read the Osborne novelization, probably not long after it first came out. I don't really remember much about it, but of course it's likely that I did subconsciously remember some of the elements of the plot, which might be why this puzzle seemed rather simple to me. It's also possible that Christie meant for the solution to be a bit obvious to the audience so that Poirot, arriving on scene later and putting it all together without the benefit of having actually witnessed certain things, would seem just that much more brilliant.

I regret that I'm not familiar enough with early 20th-century plays to know if this script was particularly notable or innovative in any way. The contemporary reviews I've glanced through seem to be mixed but generally favorable. I think it's extremely interesting that Christie was writing about atomic weapons in 1930 -- and I found the ending particularly satisfying in this regard -- but that's something many reviewers seem to ignore. I'm not sure why.

As I continue in my "completist Christie challenge," I'm looking forward to watching Christie's development as a playwright as well as a novelist. I would recommend this to Christie readers and theatre fans in general, but I will warn you that it's full of typos -- in three different languages, no less. I'm not sure if that's normal for a play that's been around for nearly 90 years, but some readers may find this too annoying to bother with.

margo666's review
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Based on one of Christies plays. Probably the least interesting of her books that I've read to date - and I've read most of them!

This one didn't put in reading dates for me, I'm not sure why, so I'm backdating it.

AliciaMae's review
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Dialogue-heavy, although that makes sense considering that this is an adaptation/novelization of one of Agatha Christie's plays.

Natalea's review
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Had better. Maybe bacause it is a play adaptation? Meh.

JadeAlmeida's review
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Un peu de recherche m'a confirmé que ce n'est pas un roman écrit par Agatha Christie mais une novélisation d'une de ses pièces de théâtre. Et cela transpire royalement à la lecture. Ce roman est moyen. Mais vraiment sans plus. Tirant légèrement sur le caricatural de Poirot. Donc bon, plutôt sympathique à se mettre sous la dent quand on a quasiment tout lu de Christie et donc qu'on peut faire la différence. Mais attention à ne pas se laisser prendre à lire ce volume comme première oeuvre d'Agatha et juger son style par cet erzast.

astrangerhere's review
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Read in a single afternoon due to it being disablingly hot outside. I thought to read all of Agatha Christie last year but ran into a wall not being able to find this book at my library. Now I have every scrap Lady Agatha has ever written on my Nook and am ready to dive in again :)


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