Passenger to Frankfurt

This book was a total disaster. Which is surprising, since this is an Agatha Christie. I guess it was one of the few that bombed but it was so far from what you would expect.

Obviously, she was out of her depth when she wrote this. It was meant to be a sattrical spy thriller. Unfortunately, it was just a bore. The cover may be beautiful, but the contents were far from it. So much so that as soon as I closed the book (and I remember I was on the verge of abandoning it), I promptly forgot everything about it. I don’t even remember the characters, the plot, or anything else about it.

I guess I am writing this review so that somewhere down the line, when I feel like re-reading some books or reading Agatha Christie and come upon this book, I remember I wrote this review and decide against re-reading it.

Agatha Christie – A lesson in life

Strip away the impressions, the opinions, the color, the language barriers and you will be left with the pure beating heart of cold facts.

If it’s one thing I’ve learnt from Agatha Christie, from Hercule Poirot, from any good detective story; this is the way to live life. Get as many versions of the same story as you can, and the truth will always reveal itself. You will, of course, have to do the main job of “cleaning the data” so to speak. Sifting through the bullshit people aim at you, in the hopes of convincing you of their version. DON’T FALL FOR IT!

Collect all versions of the truth and then glean what you will from it. That is what I have learnt. I am currently in a research class and one of our instructors spent an hour and a half trying to drill the same fact into my head, and I told him, “Hey! Don’t preach to the converted!”. I don’t know how or when I learnt this lesson. Maybe it was from all my reading of Agatha Christie. I think it is also one reason I don’t take anything people tell me at face value. I know there is always going to be a catch. Another side to the story that I am not being told. Or even a different side to the same coin. People’s opinions are colored by who they are and what they think of themselves. “Self concept” so to speak. I am realizing this about myself too.

Get as many opinions and impressions and versions and editions and stories. It’ll make it easy to strip away the prejudices, the biases and be left with only the truth.

It scares me sometimes; not knowing who I am. The way people see me, perceive me. I live in a bubble in my head. My boyfriend tells me I think too much. This is probably true but is it such a bad thing? I know I have tunnel-vision when it comes to a lot of things. I assume too much most of the time too. I am trying to change that about myself. Or at least trying to control it. I wish I could see myself from the perspective of those who really do care about me. At least for their sake, I would want to become a better person.

And diff ’ring judgements serve but to declare, That truth lies somewhere, if we knew but where. -William Cowper, Hope

Anyways, I digress. This book really did remind me of this theme I have been rattling about for so long. The book is beautiful. The cover, more so. I think it is one of my favorites from Christie. The story illustrates that people’s version of events might be incredibly skewed because of their own perceptions and opinions. However, if you really want to, you can find the truth of something if you try really hard. The hard part is sifting through the non-sense and coming out with the nugget of gold that you will polish into the truth; fitting the puzzle pieces so that they make sense and form a whole picture, instead of badly told stories.