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And Then There Were None Book Summary

by Agatha Christie

And Then There Were None

Agatha Christie


Ten strangers, each with a dark secret, are lured to a secluded island mansion by a mysterious host. As they begin to die off one by one, according to the verses of a chilling nursery rhyme, they realize they are trapped in a deadly game. With paranoia and suspicion mounting, the survivors must race against time to uncover the identity of the killer before it’s too late.

Table of contents

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Author & Writing Background

Agatha Christie, the “Queen of Crime”, is renowned for her ingenious mystery novels and short stories. With over two billion copies sold worldwide, she is one of the best-selling authors of all time. Her works are characterized by intricate plots, compelling characters, and surprising twists, often featuring her famous detectives Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple. ‘And Then There Were None’ is considered one of her masterpieces, showcasing her exceptional skill in crafting suspenseful and captivating narratives.

Key Takeaways

Ten Strangers, Ten Secrets

Each guest on Soldier Island arrives with a hidden past and a burden of guilt. As the story unfolds, their secrets are gradually revealed, adding to the mystery and suspicion.

The Nursery Rhyme Prophecy

A framed copy of the nursery rhyme “Ten Little Soldiers” hangs in each room, foreshadowing the gruesome fate that awaits the guests. Each death mirrors a verse of the rhyme, adding a layer of macabre intrigue.

Isolation and Fear

The remote island setting creates a sense of isolation and claustrophobia, heightening the tension and fear as the guests realize they are trapped with a killer.

Justice and Retribution

The killer, driven by a twisted sense of justice, seeks to punish each guest for their past crimes. The novel explores themes of guilt, morality, and the consequences of one’s actions.

Psychological Suspense

Christie masterfully builds suspense through the characters’ growing paranoia, the unraveling of their secrets, and the escalating body count. The reader is kept guessing until the shocking revelation of the killer’s identity.

The Unreliable Narrator

The story is told from the perspective of various characters, each with their own biases and interpretations of events. This unreliable narration adds to the mystery and keeps the reader guessing.

A Closed Circle Mystery

The limited number of suspects and the isolated setting create a classic closed circle mystery, where the killer must be one of the guests on the island.

A Legacy of Influence

’And Then There Were None’ has had a profound impact on the mystery genre, inspiring countless adaptations and influencing generations of writers.

FAQ about And Then There Were None

Is ‘And Then There Were None’ appropriate for young readers?

Due to the novel’s mature themes and violent content, it is generally recommended for older teens and adults.

Has ‘And Then There Were None’ been adapted into films or plays?

Yes, the novel has been adapted numerous times for stage, film, and television, with varying degrees of faithfulness to the original story.

What is the significance of the nursery rhyme in the book?

The nursery rhyme serves as a blueprint for the murders, foreshadowing the fate of each guest and adding a layer of symbolic meaning to the story.

What are some of the themes explored in ‘And Then There Were None’?

The novel delves into themes of guilt, justice, morality, and the consequences of one’s actions.

And Then There Were None Quotes

  • ”Ten little soldier boys went out to dine; One choked his little self and then there were nine."
  • "Be sure thy sin will find thee out."
  • "The old man sat back and smiled. It had all gone according to plan.”