Read by Agatha Christie Online

على باب غرفة نوم بوارو وقف ذلك الضيف غير المدعو، وكان مغطى بالغبار من قمة رأسه حتى أخمص قدميه. حدق الرجل فيه للحظة ثم انهار على الأرض.من كان هذا الرجل؟ هل يعاني من صدمة أم مجرد إرهاق شديد؟ والأهم من هذا كله مامغزى الرقم أربعة الذي ماانفك يخطه بيده على الورق مراراً وتكراراً؟ لقد وجد بوارو نفسه قد تورط في عالم من المؤامرات الدولية، وعليه أن يخاطر بحياته لكي يكشف حقيقة" الأربعلى باب غرفة نوم بوارو وقف ذلك الضيف غير المدعو، وكان مغطى بالغبار من قمة رأسه حتى أخمص قدميه. حدق الرجل فيه للحظة ثم انهار على الأرض.من كان هذا الرجل؟ هل يعاني من صدمة أم مجرد إرهاق شديد؟ والأهم من هذا كله مامغزى الرقم أربعة الذي ماانفك يخطه بيده على الورق مراراً وتكراراً؟ لقد وجد بوارو نفسه قد تورط في عالم من المؤامرات الدولية، وعليه أن يخاطر بحياته لكي يكشف حقيقة" الأربعة الكبار"....

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ISBN : 5051174
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 312 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Reviews

  • John
    2018-10-25 05:48

    This is a weird one. Apparently (I looked this up, because the book was so weird) Christie wrote a series of short stories about Poirot for some magazine and these stories were mashed together into this book. You can sort of tell that something like this is up, because the mashing didn't work all that well and things still seem a little disjointed. But really, the main problem here is that Poirot is fighting a team of supervillains, and he uses disguises and smoke bombs and has to find their secret underground lair and the whole thing is just...odd. It comes off like Poirot fan fiction. I mean, he's the same character and all that, but the things he is doing are just not what I want Poirot to do. And the supervillains make no sense. They are a Chinese mastermind, a French woman scientist, an American billionaire, and an English master of disguise. How did these people get together? Why are they a team? Do they have any motive to speak of? They just want to take over the world and cause anarchy, for some reason. Sometimes Christie has characters talk of this "big four" wanting to cause world revolution "like in Russia", but that fails to clear things up. Are they communists? Why would the billionaire be a communist? I don't want Poirot to fight supervillains. I want him in little English towns, ferreting out murderers who have motives. I like it when priggish British ladies say things like "What on earth are you on about, you batty little man?! Are you accusing me of murder?" to which Poirot says things like "You have, as they say, caught the bird in the bush, Madame. This is exactly what I accuse you of." And then he and Hastings drink sherry or something.

  • Fiona
    2018-11-10 13:08

    Once upon a time, Agatha Christie stayed up way too late, drank her way through three bottles of Chardonnay and watched a Sean Connery James Bond film. As she was going to bed, some time about 3am, her eyes rested for a moment on her typewriter. I would not be in the least surprised if that was all she remembered about this book. For shame, Agatha. This is exactly the same reason I'm not allowed whisky and Twitter on the same evening any more.

  • Kim
    2018-11-12 08:04

    This is possibly the silliest book Christie ever wrote. It's full of Trilateral Commission conspiracy theories, evil scientists developing powerful beams that can wreak untold damage, and a hidden fortress inside a mountain. Yes, really. The only thing it lacked was sharks with fricking lasers attached to their heads.

  • Ahmad Sharabiani
    2018-10-18 13:42

    The big four (Hercule Poirot #5), 1927, Agatha ChristieThe Big Four is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie, first published in the UK by William Collins & Sons on 27 January 1927 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company later in the same year. It features Hercule Poirot, Arthur Hastings, and Inspector (later, Chief Inspector) Japp. The UK edition retailed at seven shillings and six pence and the US edition at $2.00.تاریخ نخستین خوانش: هجدهم سپتامبر سال 2011 میلادیعنوان: چهار غول بزرگ؛ آگاتا کریستی؛ مترجم: مجتبی عبدالله نژاد؛ تهران، هرمس، کتابهای کارآگاه، 1390؛ در 220 ص، شابک: 9789643637699؛ موضوع: داستانهای کارآگاهی و پلیسی از نویسندگان انگلیسی - قرن 20 ماگر کتاب را خوانده اید و میخواهید بخوانید، ادامه ی این نگاشته را نخوانید. عنوان: چهار قدرت بزرگ؛ را در جاهای دیگر به جای چهار غول بزرگ برگزیده اند؛ یک رمان جنایی اثر بانو آگاتا کریستی ست که در آن هرکول پوآرو و آرتور هستینگز نقش دارند. این کتاب نخستین بار در انگلستان توسط انتشارات ویلیام کولینز و در بیست و هفتم ژآنویه سال 1827 میلادیمنتشر شد و در همان سال در آمریکا. قیمت نسخه انگلیسی آن هفت شلینگ و شش پنی بود. و در آمریکا $2.00. سبک این رمان با دیگر کارهای آگاتا کریتسی متفاوت بوده و چند جنایت که توسط یک سازمان بزرگ روی می‌دهد را روایت می‌کند. داستان از چند قتل تشکیل می‌شود که همگی کار یک سازمان مخوف به نام چهار قدرت بزرگ هستند؛ که چهار شخصیت اصلی دارند: یک چینی، یک زن دانشمند فرانسوی، یک ثروتمند آمریکایی، و یک بازیگر تئاتر؛ که قتل‌ها به عهده اوست. انگار داستان را لو دادم. ا. شربیانی

  • Jokoloyo
    2018-10-29 13:57

    This book is a weird Hercule Poirot story. Not the usual mystery murder of a person from the upper class members of society. More like a thriller or a quicker pace mystery of Sherlock Holmes. What do you think about a story where Hercule Poirot against a crime organisation that aim for worldly power? If that premise is not bothering you, please proceed.I could still give it a three star until the middle part. Alas, the ending is not so satisfying. Without spoiler, that's all I can say for now.Not exactly don't like this novel, but it was pretty close to 1 star. If I am a devout for Van Dine rules, I would give this book 1 star. This novel definitely broke rule number 13.(Yes yes, I know the author broke these rules several times. But usually the author broke the rule beautifully. If you know another novel that broke the rules worse than this novel, please inform me)

  • BrokenTune
    2018-10-23 09:02

    ‘But Poirot— why?’This is possibly the most appropriate quotation I can choose to describe the book. The Big Four has one of the silliest plots of Christie's books which is based on Poirot and Hastings engaging in international crime and espionage - much in the same way that Holmes and Watson do,just in a more believable way. Where Holmes is reserved enough to carry off disguises and under-cover work, Poirot's flamboyance has him stick out like a sore thumb all over the place, and Christie's attempts at making us believe that Hastings, or indeed anyone else, does not recognise him are just ludicrous.The book was written in 1927 and is the first of Christie's novels that show her making an attempt at writing an espionage / crime thriller with an international setting. As ludicrous as this book is, it is still better than some of the other attempts that were to follow (I'm looking at you Passenger to Frankfurt!), but it is surprising that the book did not turn readers off Christie altogether. Not only does the plot not hold any water, the writing is just unbelievably bad - culminating in an ending that is just ... wow, so ridiculous. Apparently, Dame Agatha got stuck and basically just hit the big red button. That is all I'm going to say about that (just in case someone really wants to read the book).For the rest, ... Oh, boy. How many times can Hasting's get knocked out? Or knocked around by Poirot?Seriously, for many parts of the book, I rooted for Hasting's shoving Poirot of a cliff.

  • Poonam
    2018-10-28 09:05

    2.5 starsThis being the 5th book in the Poirot series is very different from any other Poirot book or in fact different to any other Christie book that I have read till date.Instead of a cozy setting of a house, village or hand few of suspicious people with multiple red herrings, this is about an International Gang - Big Four. This famous gang comprises of 4 people and we know the identity of one of the members right away.We come to know the identity of the remaining members as and when the story progresses. There are multiple short stories in this book where Hercule Poirot faces the Big Four in different mind games."I had no suspicion- at least hardly any suspicion. Yes, but for my quick eyes, the eyes of a cat, Hercule Poirot might now be crushed out of existence- a terrible calamity?"As usual we have Hastings as a loyal but sometimes naive, sometimes bumbling side-kick."How marvelous is my friend Hastings! He knows everything- but everything!"This book at the start had very strong Sherlock Holmes- Dr.Watson vibes which turned into Bond movie vibes by the end.Somehow, I am glad that Christie reverted to her cozy mystery in this series rather than continuing on this action packed international thriller as I definitely enjoyed her other books more than this.But I still enjoyed Poirot and his little grey cells!"Poirot has his virtues, but modesty is not one of them."

  • zahra haji
    2018-11-08 05:50

    يعود هيستنغز إلى بريطانيا بعد غياب طويل ليفاجأ عند وصوله باستعداد بوارو للسفر إلى البرازيل بمهمة سيجني من ورائها ثروة طائلة إلا أن وصول هارب من مصح عقلي بحالة عجيبة يحول دون إتمام السفر وتغيير الخطة لتتحول جهود بوارو وخلاياه الرمادية لحل لغز منظمة خطيرة متعددة الجنسيات تحاول الهيمنةعلى العالم وتقف وراء العديد من الجرائم وتستمر محاولات بوارو للإيقاع بالمنظمة شهور عديدة بمساعدة هيستنغز والمفتش جاب غرور بوارو وسخريته من صديقه بأعلى الدرجات هنا.. أما أسلوب الرواية والأحداث والحبكة العجيبة توحي وكأن بوارو بالعشرين وأن أجاثا كتبت الرواية على عجل فرتم الرواية سريع بشكل خيالي ومزعج وشعرت ببعض الخللبالانتقال بين الفصول ليتبين لي بعد البحث أن الرواية كانت عبارة عن مجموعات قصصية نشرتها أجاثا لصالح إحدى المجلات ثم جمعت فيما بعد ونشرت على شكل رواية فجاءت ركيكة وغير مترابطة خالية من التشويق.. أحداث ونهاية بقمة السذاجة أما الترجمة فتعيسة ومليئة بالأخطاء القاتلة لم تعجبني بتاتا 1.5 نصيحة لمن لم يقرأ لأجاثا بعد فليؤجل هذه الرواية وإلا قد لا تعاود التجربة ثانية

  • Erin
    2018-11-05 10:59

    2.75 stars Book #4 in my Agatha Christie Challenge Disclaimer: My local library had a very old copy of this title and so I spent a lot of time trying to find the exact cover, so this edition while not exactly the cover of my copy is the correct publishing company and amount of pages. Prior to beginning this read, I couldn't help but notice that several readers were less than thrilled about Hercule Poiriot in this conspiracy theory type mystery. Although I agree that it is far from the masterpieces that are And Then There Were None OR Murder on the Orient Express, it wasn't as terrible as I anticipated. If anything, the book didn't keep me as riveted to my seat as my previous three reads( the two aforementioned novels and a short story).

  • Laurel Young
    2018-10-22 11:53

    I love the fact that Agatha Christie was always experimenting with new ways of writing mysteries, rather than resting on her considerable laurels. By 1927 she had already written such masterpieces as The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, so I have no doubt that The Big Four was an intentional departure from her previous work. Unfortunately, it is not one of her more successful efforts. An adventure story doesn't play to her strengths at all. The Big Four is one cliche after another, with Poirot and Hastings constantly cheating death at the hands of one or the other of the nefarious super-villains bent on world domination. The Big Four even have a super-secret underground villains' lair! It's just *silly*, a word I would never associate with Dame Agatha. Perhaps she meant it to be light-hearted fun, but, if so, this does not come through--one usually knows when she is being light-hearted, as with Partners in Crime.It's ironic to me that Agatha keeps me spellbound with her more cerebral, less "active" novels, such as Cards on the Table, but bores me silly when she goes for derring-do. She usually outwits me and I have no problem admitting it, but here I was always a step ahead of the plot. Perhaps this just isn't my cup of tea and The Big Four would be an enjoyable novel for a fan of the adventure genre. I simply am not such a fan.

  • David Schaafsma
    2018-10-31 13:05

    If you are looking into reading one Christie/Poirot book to check out what they are like, you can't choose this one. This has to be one of Christie's worst efforts, a "departure," though only her fifth Poirot book. Maybe calling it an experiment wold work, though that would be generous. I looked into background about the book and I learned that in this year Christie's mother died and she discovered her husband was having an affair, so their marriage was ending. She was as a result strapped for cash, and her brother suggested she mash-up twelve stories she had written somehow into one novel. This is the result:*Many forgettable characters, too many to keep track of. Bad idea.*Four principal evil villains. Instead of one. It's not a series, it's a single novel. Bad idea.*A complicated plot with a twist ending, of course, but it's too complicated to care about, confusing, actually, and not that much of a surprise when it all works out.*It's an international thriller, a world stage, versus the small intimate settings Poirot usually works in. Bad idea.*The dreaded Hastings returns, alas. Bad idea.*We get to entertain these questions: Is Poirot dead?! Does he have a twin? Bad ideas.I would say this is a pretty bad book, for her or anyone, but I would also say that she is still early in her career, and she is trying out different things, she's experimenting, and she is good enough even when off her game to get this published. Many of those things she tries in the book didn't work but she is still working on that Poirot character and getting him down and that is worth the effort.

  • Raghad
    2018-10-31 07:03

    ليس هناك كلمة تعبر عن مدى روعة هذه الرواية..لا يحتاج ان اصف كم هي رائعة اساسا لاننا جميعا نعرف اذا كانت اجاثا كريستي هي صاحبة الكتاب فلن يندم احد على قرائته

  • Evgeny
    2018-11-02 06:54

    Before the review I just want to ask a couple of questions. What was The Queen of Mystery smoking? It this stuff still available in 21st century? On to the review: the only reason I can justify the existence of this abomination is that it is a parody (I hope it is) of Sherlock Holmes vs. Prof. Moriarty duel of wits. Basically, there is an international crime cartel led by 4 people the last of whom is a ruthless killer whose identity is unknown. It is up to Poirot and Hastings to track him down. It is a collection of seemingly unrelated cases with guy #4 being the culprit. I also need to mention that the most part of the last case is taken almost word-by-word from first half of Sherlock Holmes' The Final Problem with substitution by names. While the original is a very tragic story, this one reads as a buffoonery. The book is a disgrace of Hercule Poirot. I am a big fan of him, and the next worst Poirot story gets solid 4 stars from me, but try as I might I cannot bring myself to give this one more than 1 star. Avoid it if you have not read it before, even if you are a die-hard fan.

  • أَحْمَد
    2018-11-09 11:57

    مجموعة غامضة من اربعة اشخاص تخطط لفرض سيطرتها على العالم ..." الاول هو لى شاينج مى قائد صينى عبقرى فى الاجرام (العقل) ... الثانى هو ملياردير امريكى ( المال) ..الثالث :. امرأة فرنسية , عالمة فى مجال ال ذرة (العلم) .... الرابع هو رجل انجليزى ..ممثل بريطانى معتزل محترف فى التخفى والقتل ( المدمر ) ...م"تبدو هذه المجموعة الغامضة جيدة لنسج قصة بوليسية ممتعة .حولها....فهل كانت الرواية كذلك ؟.الحق ان هذه الرواية هى الاضعف من بين السلسلة الشهيرة التى ابهرت بها اجاثا العالم كله على مدار قرن كاملالرواية تحتوى على عدة قصص مصغرة 11 قصة تقريبا.. ربما تبدو كل منها رائعة لكن ان كانت بمفردها ..من الواضح ان السيدة اجاثا فبركت علاقة ما بين هذه القصص لإعطاء السيد 4 قدرة خرافية ..من ينظر إلى الرواية بشكل جيد سيعلم.انه ليست هناك ثمة علاقة بين هذه القصص جميعاً ...العلاقة بينها مفبركة تماماً .تبدو ان هذه القصص القصيرة قد كتبتها اجاثا منفردة ثم عمدت إليها بعد ذلك فقامت بتغيير البداية و النهاية لكل قصة لجعلها تبدو بعد ضمها الى بعضها البعض كرواية مترابطة كاى رواية اخرى الشىء الاكثر تميزا فى الرواية ان اجاثا كريستى كتبت هذه الرواية سنة 1927 تقريبا سبقت ابان فليمنج ' جيمس بوند الشهير' بسنوات عديدة.. فمن الواضح ان فليمنج لم يكن الاول فى المؤلفين الغربيين الذى كتب عن المؤامرات الدولية والدسائس العابرة للقارات لكن رغماً عن ذلك اعتقد ان اجاثا تأثرت فى هذه الراوية بقصص ارثر كونان .. بقصص شارلوك هولمزالنهاية كانت سخيفة ومفتعلة...كذلك العلاقات بين الاشخاص فى الرواية كانت غير مبررة وغير مفهومة على الاطلاق خاصة بين المتامرين الكبار ...كيف تكونت هذه المجموعة ؟...ايه إللى لم الشامى على المغربى ؟ثم اذا كانت هذه المجموعة تمتلك تلك القدرة الهائلة على نشر الشر فى العالم كاحداث الثورات واضرابات العمال والحوادث العالمية ..كيف لهذ المجموعة الا تحاول قتل السيد بواور وصديقه خلال سنة كاملة ؟..

  • Andrei Bădică
    2018-10-13 07:43

    Continui să citesc cărți scrise de Agatha.Îmi plac!

  • Rishabh
    2018-11-05 06:50

    2.5 stars

  • An Odd1
    2018-11-06 13:51

    Decided disappointment - or meant to be taken in fun? The plot shapes up like an impossible farce. The conspirators plan to rule the world. "Number One" is the unseen brains, Chinese Li Chang Yen. "Two" is multimillionaire American Soap King Abe Ryland. "Three" is idolized brilliant Parisian chemist Mme Olivier. Their assassin "Number Four" is young actor Claud Darell. Or is he? are they? The elusive Four litters the landscape with corpses as an author's device to add yet another disguise. Captain Hastings contentedly (?) leaves his wife of two years ("2 year itch" rather than 7?) in the Argentine to narrate this year July-July with detective pal Poirot, replaced by identical twin. (Like fictional TARDIS time-traveler alien Doctor Who, I cry in shock, "What! .. What!") Dying words (repeatedly, improbably) provide key clues. The unlikely climax does not even follow the usual formula. The full guilty team do not assemble together and incriminate themselves. Crucially, Poirot has a soft spot for a flamboyant Russian Countess - Rossakoff, who also appears in the deservedly unpublished Poirot short Capture of Cerebrus http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/... . (view spoiler)[ His susceptibility here is key to saving the day / world.(hide spoiler)]. If you do like this kind of undercover conspiracy tale, maybe try #33 The Adventurous Exploit of the Cave of Ali Baba 1928 by Dorothy L. Sayers 1893-1957. A secret society of hooded numbered strangers, all known only to the "One" on top, thrive on passwords and rituals, until dandy Lord Peter Wimsey intervenes. http://aneyespy.blogspot.ca/2013/01/g...Too much like Sherlock Holmes, including the faked death, cannot be believed or taken seriously. Each chapter adds another murder, another disguised Four, more dying words, another clue. The talented versatility of Agatha Christie murder methods reminds me of prolific Erle Stanley Gardner http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/.... The "fate of the whole world" finale is like comic books aka (politically correct) graphic (I always think "explicit") novels.(view spoiler)[ The secret lair of the Nazi super villain lies under the mountain and ends with a big bang explosion in many movies - and even in my decades-later latest reviews http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/....The accumulated succession of clues overwhelms. Re-appeared secret agent Mayerling is suffocated. Throat of sailor Whalley is slit. Paynter has jasmine-paralysed face-in-fire. Chessmaster who opposes recluse Savaronoff is electrocuted. Peroxide actress Flossie is run over by an auto. Last comes the Chinese servant of British agent Ingles, thrown overboard. Or is that versa vice?Why must a two-month old scar hide under fake mustaches? What if Poirot had not found the Countess' long-lost son, the leverage for their safe escape? "Four" is unrecognizable with their head blown off, Li suicides ... really?(hide spoiler)]

  • Mmyoung
    2018-10-15 10:56

    A great disappointment after the skillful and inventive The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. The Big Four barely holds together as a book. Indeed it may not be said to have a plot at all. Instead it is a series of vignettes that are tied together with the loosest of bindings. I presume what Christie was aiming for was a romp such as she had provided in several of her earlier books but this time with Poirot and Hastings at the center of the story. But instead of a romp she delivered a book that lacks both insight and joy with cardboard cutouts rather than characters.In many ways the most interesting thing about this book is the insight it gives into how precarious the world of the privileged middle-class seemed in the late 20s even before the stock market crash. Without doubt this book has no pretensions to realism yet at the same time it wouldn't have worked had it not played on the barely unconscious fears of the relatively monied that their world was tottering on the edge of something very frightening. All around they looked and they saw labour unrest and the overthrow of governments and they cannot believe that such things could hapen without some mastermind behind the scenes. Not, I think, because they thought that the workers had no reason to complain about anything but more because they really didn't believe that ordinary workers were capable of organizing themselves. And this book reflects the dream that if only the heads of those dread organizations could be cut off then the workers would subside back into their previous state of continual but safe discontent.

  • Moira Fogarty
    2018-11-13 07:57

    I hesitate to use the word "awful" in association with the Queen of Crime, but this is a bad egg. Penned (some say ghost-written) during Dame Agatha's worst year: In 1926, her mother died and her husband told her he was in love with another woman and wanted a divorce. No wonder she was off her game, poor dear.Originally published in serial format, this cluster of overblown spy adventures should never have featured portly, inactive Poirot & clueless Hastings as the heroes. They just don't fit. James Bond and Tintin would have been better choices for the roles.Moving away from subtle clues and hidden motives, Christie seems to have written a movie script for Michael Bay to direct. There are poisoned blow darts disguised as cigarettes, evil Russian countesses, underground lairs, ninja smoke bombs, mountain fortresses... it's absurdly OTT.Oh, and the racism. Yikes! Asian people, I apologize for this woeful bag of stereotyped, insulting nonsense. Fu Manchu looks good next to Li Chang Yen and Ah Ling. So embarrassing. As Christie would say, "I welly sorry." *cringe*Leave this one on the shelf, and go read one of Christie's slow-paced village mysteries; they're so much better. If you're desperate for an international spy thriller by her, try 'The Man in the Brown Suit' instead.

  • 3houd
    2018-10-25 11:00

    رواية بمنتهى السخافة, أسوء قصص أغاثا على الإطلاق.من خلال بحثي قرأت أن هذه الرواية في الأصل كانت مكتوبة على شكل قصص مغامرات مسلسلة في إحدى المجلات, و في وقت لاحق تم تجميعها في كتاب واحد فأنتجت هذه المهزلة البوليسية.

  • حسام خليل
    2018-10-16 05:52

    أكثر ما أعجبني فيها هو أن الأحداث تشرح نفسها بطريقة جميلة جداً، لا تحتاج للكثير من التفكير من قبل القارئ وفي نفس الوقت لن تجدها مباشرة أمامك فـ أحياناً قد تضطر لقراءة أحد الفصول مرة أخرى . يعيبها أن بعض التفاصيل الدقيقة غير قابلة للتصديق بسهولة، لكن بالنهاية هذه رواية ومستحيل أن يكون جميع ما ذُكر فيها صحيحاً وواقعياً 100% . يعيبها أيضاً أن النهاية لم تكن على مستوى إثارة الأحداث التي مرت بها الرواية النهاية سريعة جداً ورغم انها ليست نهاية مفتوحة لكنها لم تشفي غليلي للأسف .في النهاية هي مناسبة لمن ليس لديه خلفية عن الروايات البوليسية أو الأفلام أيضاً مثلي، يستطيع أن يقرأها ويفهمها ويتخيل تفاصيلها دون أي مشكلة ..

  • Tim
    2018-10-25 05:51

    What the hell did I just read?See that rating? That's a one star rating. Had you asked me a week ago I would have said that Christie did not write one star books. Sure some are of much lesser quality, but one star seems rather much. Had this book been written by some other author with some other character it would have possibly been entertainingly bad enough to receive two stars. Here it is an insult to the characters and a bit of a train wreck.This is bad... like so bad that if feels like it was written by someone with a vague notion of the Poirot cast of characters, but unfamiliar with what the books were actually like. The plot follows Hercule Poirot as he deals with a group of super-criminals hellbent on world domination and using super-science (not to mention a master of disguise). These super-criminals known as the Big Four are even fronted by a Chinese Mastermind.To say this book is a product of its time is both an understatement and also baffling as it is so utterly bizarre that it doesn't really feel appropriate for any time save for possibly an alternate timeline where Poirot was perhaps a comic book character.Seriously, there is a line in the book, and I am quoting here, that goes: "Yes, you are both in the trap - the trap of the Big Four!" This is not Christie dialogue, this is bad comic book dialogue. You know it's bad when Hastings' makes more sense than any of the other characters with his initial disbelief of the situation. Hell, my usual issues with Hastings were mostly dismissed as not only did he seem completely natural in this bizzaro world we were presented, but he also came off as a borderline voice of reason at times.This is just such a surreal book. It reminded me somewhat of those old RKO serial films like Flash Gordon and Zombies of the Stratosphere (Yes, that last one is real, and featured Leonard Nimoy in an early role) where the characters are always placed in a ridiculous situation that they manage to get out of just in the nick of time, with increasingly silly plots that become tiresome to keep track of from a logical standpoint. This is what Poirot would have been like as adapted in such a format. This is a book with over 30 named characters who come and go in a matter of pages. As for the mysteries (and yes, there are many in here) I kept feeling like I was missing clues as Poirot would make sudden announcements and logic leaps. As I continued reading, I began to suspect that poor plotting was the real culprit. A theory I stand by now that it is all over. This book is so mind-bogglingly bad that I had to do some research, trying to find why it even exists, as in the well ordered world of Hercule Poirot, this book has no place. From what I could gather from a couple of different websites, Christie was in desperate need of money after her divorce. Espionage stories were "in" at the time and the novel was created from a reworked collection of short stories. Christie was apparently of much the same opinion about the book as I was as she is quoted to have referred to it as “that rotten book,” of which I must say she is far too kind. An abysmal 1/5 stars. Not recommended to anyone save those trying to read all of Christie's novels or perhaps those who want to read what would happen if Ed Wood had tried his hand at Poirot.

  • Ashley Bogner
    2018-10-18 06:47

    I usually love Agatha Christie's Poirot novels. They are fun, quick mystery reads with clever end twists. The Big Four, however, is one of the most disappointing Christie books I have read.The problem? This plot was way too over-the-top for a Poirot story. Had it been a different genre, I wouldn't have minded. But this almost ridiculous mystery of uncovering the identity of a master criminal behind all of the world's political problems? It was so different from what I've come to expect from Poirot. Besides the unrealistic premise, I didn't think this was the best Christie novel. Poirot comes to many conclusions in solving the mystery, but how he reaches those conclusions are barely explained. The plot relies way too much on coincidences. There's too many subplots and characters to keep track of.As always, I love the banter between Hastings and Poirot. And Japp makes an appearance, which is always fun. This was definitely an exciting book. It just didn't fit with the other Poirot books, both in terms of premise and writing.

  • Amy
    2018-11-03 07:06

    This was not the best Poirot novel. It's storyline was far too grand and epic in scope to be covered in less than 200 pages. Instead of charming, it just seemed baffling. Poirot is good, but this book made him out to be clairvoyant in his ability to guess EVERYTHING correctly. It wasn't a horrible book, but I hope this isn't an indication of how the stories will continue!

  • Richard Derus
    2018-10-18 06:45

    Rating: 2* of fiveMiddling-at-best early 20th century spy fiction short stories.A melodramatic and ghastly filmed version.One and only one reason to watch the filmed version is the reunion of Miss Lemon, Japp, Hastings, and Poirot. But get tipsy first because your common sense is about to be done a violence.

  • Susan
    2018-10-18 12:50

    2.75*Possibly the worst Agatha Christie I’ve ever read.It started out ok, but went downhill quickly.....very disappointing.

  • Alaina Meserole
    2018-11-03 13:55

    I honestly have no idea how to write this review without adding spoilers, so be prepared people.(view spoiler)[The Big Four begins with Poirot setting off for South America to earn a huge payday from a "soap king" american millionaire, Abe Ryland. From there Poirot learns about the big four, which are four master criminals: 1 - Li Chang Yen, who is a Chinese political figure and the mastermind2 - an American, who has finance the gang3 - a Frenchwoman4 - "the destroyer"Sounds like the four best friends that any could ever have right? Then this book kind of takes a turn into being a James Bond movie. Because you meet Poirot's win brother, Achilles - who is really Hercule Poirot. Once he arrives then Poirot has a suspicious timely death. I don't really know what else to talk about .. but this wasn't my favorite book within this series. I don't really get why Poirot had to fake his own death and I'm not happy about it at all. I wish this book was way better than it was. I really hope that the next book will be better. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Pallavi Sharma
    2018-11-09 09:43

    ****2.0*****_______________Re-Read in 2017****3.5****Fifth in Poirot series, perhaps the least favorite of mine. But re-read has surely increased my ratings.Plots opens up when a mysterious man is found in Poirot's bedroom. The man is covered up with mud from top to bottom. Poirot and Hastings suspect that he might have entered from the window. He doesn't seem right on his mind but keeps on repeating Poirot's name and Number 4.On more cross-examination, it comes out that there is an organisation called "The Big Four" lead by 4 people where Number 1 is a chinese man, Number 2 is referred by "$", Number 3 is a Frenchwoman and Number 4 is an unknown person who is referred as a destroyer. This mysterious visitor is left in care of Poirot's housekeeper and Poirot along with Hastings set off for the current case. But in mid way Poirot suspects that this "Big Four" case is more interesting and they return, only to find that their visitor is dead. Japp identified him as Mayerling , a secret service man who went missing 5 years ago.And Poirot sets up to find this "Big Four" organization. He is cheated a very many times and he too plays a lot of tricks back on the "Big Four". Not a murder mystery, it's more like a adventure.There are many characters in this story, and at times this is confusing. And without a setting of a village/countryside this gets rather muddled at times. It took me a re-read to understand this better.Happy Reading!!

  • Rohit
    2018-11-04 10:46

    Agatha Christie fails to impress. As many remarked," as a creation, this book is an insult to Poirot". For me, this could easily be the worst Poirot story I ever read.The Big Four is intended to be the Poirot's biggest case ever. Its not about just one mystery but a collection of many short incidents which Christie intends to weave into a bigger mystery, that of the Big Four. The Big Four is similar to the spider like network of James Moriarty in Sherlock Holmes stories. The lack of originality and attention to details coupled with a total lack of plot sense makes the the story a tiring read. The book has its own moments but Christie fails to keep the reader glued to the story. Poirot is seen flexing his muscles more, than using his famous little grey cells. The story strays here and there until it marches to an orchestrated and a largely pretentious climax and we are all happy its over. Definitely one of the bad books written by Agatha Christie. However, after learning that this book was written during the lowest point of her life, I feel less judgmental. One should never judge the genius of Agatha Christie by means of this book alone.

  • Suzie Toumeh
    2018-10-25 08:07

    عندما انتهيت من قراءة هذه القصة أخذت نفساً عميقاً لاني صعقت بشدة من كمية الحبكات السخيفة الغير واقعية وخصوصاً أخر مقطع حيث تكشف أجاثا أن بطل القصة المحقق هيركيول بوارو هو في الحقيقة أخوه التؤام أشيل! وأن كل النزلاء والخدم في الفندق هم شرطة! وهذا لا يكفيها بل أيضاً المبنى محاط بجيوش ثلاث دول عظمى! ولكن مع كل هذا ينجح الأشرار بالهرب ويتضح أن المبنى هو مبني في جبل ويفجرونه ويتضح أن الجبل فيه بركان! وأن المحقق ليس حقاً أشيل بل هو هيركيول المصاب بجنون العظمة وأهم مايتضح أن أجاثا كانت شربانة كتير. توقعت أن المشكلة في الترجمة العربية لاني قرأت لأجاثا كريستي في السابق ووجدتها ذات لغة جيدة وحبكة معقولة فقد تذكر معلومات في بداية الكتاب وتستخدمها بشكل معقد عدة مرات لتتلاعب بالقارئ فما هذا الهراء الغير متصل الذي أحمله بين يدي؟لكن لا، لم تكن الترجمة بل تبين أن المجرم هو الناشر فهذه ليست رواية بل مجموعة من القصص القصيرة بلا حبكة مستمرة ولذلك تفتقر لترابط الرواية وتجعل كريستي تبدو بمستوى مراهق إنجليزي ذي مخيلة خصبة يريد أن يصبج كاتب في المستقبل.أسواء تجاربي مع أجاثا كريستي بامتياز.