Poirot Returns in a New Novel
Literary resurrections seem to be all the rage at the moment — much like remakes of movies from the 80s. And by “resurrection”, I’m talking about new books about famous characters created by now deceased authors written by living authors. James Bond is a prime example. with a new Bond novel by William Boyd due out this week.
Now, bestselling crime writer Sophie Hannah has signed up to write a new book centered on Agatha Christie’s character Hercule Poirot. With HarperCollins behind the project, it will be the first “fully-authorised Poirot novel since the author’s death”. Hannah is saying the right things:
Writing a book with Poirot in it will be like writing about someone I know really well. I’ve read all the books so many times – I wouldn’t want to do this for any other writer. It was Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple who, between them, made me want to devote my working life to crime fiction.
Christie wrote more than 80 novels and collections of short stories and has sold at least “a billion copies of her books...in English and another billion in foreign languages”. Her publisher claims she’s only outsold by Shakespeare and the Bible. The new book will be set in the 20s, and will fit between The Mystery of the Blue Train and Peril at End House. Jonny Geller from Curtis Brown, who has also worked on the Bond adaptations, had this to say about estates exploiting dead author's characters, calling them:
...keen to produce new work from their authors “to drive readers to the original work. One way of doing that is reinventing it… There is real potential that hasn’t been exploited. You can have young Poirot or modern Poirot.”
That may be, so I guess like it or loathe it, we’ll be seeing more of this sort of thing. I have to admit I haven’t read any of the recent Bond attempts, but it never quite feels the same to me. Would you read a new Poirot or Bond novel? I’d be interested to hear what you think.
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