Customer Reviews for

The Big Four (Hercule Poirot Series)

Average Rating 3.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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posted by Anonymous on April 8, 2014

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

The Big Four by Agatha Christie

Hercule Poirot has had his share of intruders-yet none more peculiar than the emaciated stranger covered in mud who stumbles into the detective's apartment, shout half-crazed warnings about "the Big Four," and dies. But not before plunging Poirot into a crazy netherworl...
Hercule Poirot has had his share of intruders-yet none more peculiar than the emaciated stranger covered in mud who stumbles into the detective's apartment, shout half-crazed warnings about "the Big Four," and dies. But not before plunging Poirot into a crazy netherworld of international intrigue, secret weapons, kidnapped physicists, underground laboratories, hairbreadth escapes, and an employee from a local insane asylum who's all too eager to let the baffles Belgian in on the sinister secret of "the Big Four".

To be honest when I started this book, that is only 198 pages long, I thought it would be a quick read. Unfortunately it took me two days to get through it, simply because I didn't like it.

You already know I'm a huge Christie fan, hence the whole reading all her books in order, so I'm always a little sad when I come across one that I could do without. As you can tell from the synopsis this one had too much going on for such a short book. Each chapter felt more like a short story that was rewritten to go with a bunch of other short stories. The main threat of "the Big Four" which was the sole continuing thread throughout the book just didn't come off as credible. The Big Four are a quartet of super genius criminals bent on world domination. The only problem was that they were boring and one dimensional. It almost reminded me of a rejected plot for a old Charlie Chan movie.

The only redeeming quality for me was the return of Hastings, our narrator from the first few Hercule Poirot books. He always paints Poirot in a light I find more agreeable. Poirot still comes across as egotistical, but somehow Hastings softens that image and makes Poirot more human to me. For this reason alone I'm glad I read the book, I just wouldn't recommend it to anyone else.

posted by Ryan_G on January 4, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2014

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    YOLO

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 4, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    The Big Four by Agatha Christie

    Hercule Poirot has had his share of intruders-yet none more peculiar than the emaciated stranger covered in mud who stumbles into the detective's apartment, shout half-crazed warnings about "the Big Four," and dies. But not before plunging Poirot into a crazy netherworld of international intrigue, secret weapons, kidnapped physicists, underground laboratories, hairbreadth escapes, and an employee from a local insane asylum who's all too eager to let the baffles Belgian in on the sinister secret of "the Big Four".

    To be honest when I started this book, that is only 198 pages long, I thought it would be a quick read. Unfortunately it took me two days to get through it, simply because I didn't like it.

    You already know I'm a huge Christie fan, hence the whole reading all her books in order, so I'm always a little sad when I come across one that I could do without. As you can tell from the synopsis this one had too much going on for such a short book. Each chapter felt more like a short story that was rewritten to go with a bunch of other short stories. The main threat of "the Big Four" which was the sole continuing thread throughout the book just didn't come off as credible. The Big Four are a quartet of super genius criminals bent on world domination. The only problem was that they were boring and one dimensional. It almost reminded me of a rejected plot for a old Charlie Chan movie.

    The only redeeming quality for me was the return of Hastings, our narrator from the first few Hercule Poirot books. He always paints Poirot in a light I find more agreeable. Poirot still comes across as egotistical, but somehow Hastings softens that image and makes Poirot more human to me. For this reason alone I'm glad I read the book, I just wouldn't recommend it to anyone else.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 18, 2013

    Recommend

    It's not Agatha Christie's best. Too many words, not enough action. Also, for her, the unseen-hand plays too large a role in the twists and turns of the puzzle. However, Hastings is in fine form while narrating the exploits of his beloved friend Hercule Poirot.

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  • Posted January 11, 2013

    Brilliant Hercule Poirot Deductions

    I have read all of Agatha Christie's books multiple times. To me, Agatha Christie was the quintessential mystery writer. This collection of short stories is different from many others because the stories are connected by the four villians. The stories are well done, like all of her stories. Love her descriptions and intricate mysteries. No matter how many times I read these, I am intrigued from beginning to end.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2012

    Hastings' idea of an interesting mystery.

    The plot was very dramatic and far-fetched, but it was AWESOME to read if you like melodramatic kind of spy-like things...
    Great sacrifices (well, one amazingly humungous and intensely mind-blowing one is what I can remember) shall be made, and murders shall be committed.
    It's basically Mister Hastings' vision of the most interesting murder ever, which is...well, interesting!
    I reccomend it very much!

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  • Posted September 14, 2011

    Not my favorite Poirot book

    I usually read these books quickly but this seems almost disjointed so it is not dragging me in. The characters are a little flat.

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  • Posted December 28, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    My Fav. book

    This was the first book I ever read from Agatha Christie, and I,m really glad I read it. To me the plot was outstanding and so intriguing. I feel like people are comparing this to Agatha's other writings when it should be in its own Category even compared to other books I've read....this book sticks out in a great way.

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  • Posted January 5, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Christie's Belgian Giant Solves Another Mystery

    Dame Christie rejoins us with our favorite egg-head armchair detective, Hercule Poirot, assisted by his great friend, Captain Hastings. Each little problem is as a pebble in the shoe for the great Poirot, of no great consequence and easily dealt with. However, when the connection to dastardly gang of genius super-villains, The Big Four, is discovered in each event, Poirot dwells on the deeper complexities of the cases with his "little gray cells" until he is eventually able to ensnare all four foul masters of evil.

    This novel, really a collection of simple tales, isn't one of the strongest in the Christie magnum opus. In fact, it is sort of out of character for Poirot to be so blatantly active in his pursuits. Where's the armchair? The one immensely entertaining moment is the introduction of Poirot's twin brother. I'll say no more on that topic!

    A noteworthy quality missing from the usual brilliance of Christie's stories is the chance to develop a relationship with any of the characters in a meaningful way. I would recommend the following novels ahead of this one. Enjoy!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2008

    Not a Typical Christie

    Very good, but not a regular case. I was intrigued by the problem and how it was solved

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2008

    Page turner, fo sho.

    Great book! Starts fast & keeps the pace. Enjoyable. Trying to figure out what happened before Poirot does makes you feel like part of the story! Can't say it gets much better than this, happy endings too!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2002

    the best mystery novel ever

    this is by far the best book i ever read. you are on the edge of your seet until the end, wich is a complete shocker. i garentee if you like mysteries even a little you'll love this.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2001

    Too Far-Fetched

    I love Christie and Poirot, but this plot bounced around a little too much for me, and the story was a bit too fantastic as well. Still, Christie's writing style and familiar characters made it an enjoyable read nonetheless.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2000

    Height of Agatha Christie's Talent!

    This book, along with some of her others like 'Murder on the Orient Express' and 'And Then There Were None' shows that mystery novels can be works of literature. 'The Big Four' is a dynamic, sleek, and instantly absorbing novel. All of the characters are among the most vibrant and life-like of any of Christie's works, and Hercule absolutely sparkles! I must-read for any Agatha Christie or Mystery fan!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2000

    poirot excells

    poirot & hastings battles wits with the 'big four. death,intrigue disguises cannot stop hercule from the truth

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2000

    TWISTS AND TURNS

    This book is great because the e nding is'nt obvious. I love the charactors! I could not put it down! Hercule Poirot is fantastic!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2000

    Hi mister

    I liked this book because it was not too long and not too short.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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