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Portable Magic

Reading, for me, is entertainment and an escape from the real world. But it can also inform and stretch the boundaries of the life I live.

Currently reading

The Bungalow Mystery
P.M. Carlson, Russell H. Tandy, Carolyn Keene
The Remains of the Day
Kazuo Ishiguro, Simon Prebble
Duel of Eagles: The Mexican and U.S. Fight for the Alamo
Jeff Long
Progress: 11/431 pages
The Secret of Shadow Ranch
Carolyn Keene
I am No One You Know
Joyce Carol Oates
The Return of the King
J.R.R. Tolkien, Rob Inglis
Progress: 13 %

Add'l notes on Murder on the Orient Express

Side note to my review: I was amused and a little appalled by the fervent bigotry displayed by many of the characters in this book. The Italian was suspected, because "Italians use the knife, and they are great liars" and "what about the psychology? Do not the Italians stab?" But no, this was not a crime of passion indicative of a "Latin brain". It must be one of the English, because it was a "cool, calculating" crime, indicative of the "Anglo-Saxon brain". No, wait, it must be one of the Americans, because one of the clues is a luxury item, and Americans don't care what they pay for things. Hang on, it can't be one of the English, because "they do not stab" and the English are too cold for such a crime. And it can't be this Italian because he's "a very gentle creature, not like those nasty murdering Italians one reads about." There was also something in there about the Germans, but I didn't bookmark it so I can't remember exactly what was said about them. 


Most of these remarks did not come from Poirot, so I wondered... Is the author poking fun at the bigotry, by having Poirot debunk them - at times he seems to even be trying not to laugh at these assertions, but he is still occasionally guilty of them, himself. Or does this simply reflect the social mores of the 1930's, when this was written? Do modern-day French and English carry these sort of odd prejudices about each other and about other Western Europeans?