by Agatha Christie
narrated by John Moffat
6.90 recorded hours
BBC Audiobooks America
The Yahoo! Group Sounds Like a Mystery (S.L.A.M.) is sponsoring another little mini-challenge, the S.L.A.M. Holiday Challenge, wherein participants pick four audiobooks, preferably mysteries that have a holiday theme. The first book I chose for this challenge was Hallowe’en Party and I scored a copy from the Jackson County Library System which serves Southern Oregon.
In this later Poirot mystery (1969,) Poirot himself is an older gentleman who must negotiate the changing mores of the times and, their influence on the crime as much as he must be able to discern the facts of the case. The case involves the drowning of a 13-year-old girl at a Hallowe’en Party and overall, the plot is a bit thin and incredible; but does underscore the social commentary that Agatha Christie, clearly an older woman herself dismayed at the changing world, has embedded in this tale. Though a listener may argue that the story remains relevant to present times, it does get a bit tiresome after a while.
The narrator, John Moffat starts off reading rather quickly and I was, at first, afraid I was going to have trouble keeping up; but he either settles down or I got used to him because I ended up not having any trouble at all. His character delineations were excellent, to the point that, though it sounds cliche, there were times I wondered if I was listening to a single narrator!
It was all rather interesting to compare this work with the first Hercule Poirot story, THE AFFAIR AT STYLES. HALLOWE’EN PARTY was simpler, heavier on the social commentary and slower in pace. “Styles” was more dynamic in style, pace, characters and setting; but there is something to be said about an author who exercises her right to truly develop her characters over the arc of a series and enable them to respond to the changing times.
UPDATE: THIS POST WAS EDITED ON 02/10/2011 TO REMOVE THE AUDIOBOOK REVIEW OF THE MYSTERIOUS AFFAIR AT STYLES (BY AGATHA CHRISTIE; NARRATED BY NADIA MAY) AND, THE COMMENTARY ABOUT THE DVD, POIROT – THE MYSTERIOUS AFFAIR AT STYLES (STARRING DAVID SUCHET AND HUGH FRASER.) THE MATERIAL HAS BEEN MOVED TO ITS OWN POST: “THE MYSTERIOUS AFFAIR AT STYLES” AS A FLASHBACK_FRIDAY FEATURE (10/14/2011.)