Christie vs. Christie vs. Christie
Lately, she’s been the object of sniping from Peter Temple, who doesn’t take her writing seriously (“often ridiculous plots and the fact that reading her can be like being trapped in the company of an aged thespian who turns what should be three-minute anecdotes into three-act plays.”)
A piece in the Spectator, on the other hand, accords Christie a kind of moral superiority over Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler because, the writer says, she took murder more seriously and found it more shocking than they did. (Hat tip to Petrona, where I found the article.) The writer exaggerates, possibly to the point of misconstruction, Chandler’s famous statement about motivation for murder in crime fiction, but the argument is nonetheless worth reading.
Somewhere between Temple’s Christie-is-bad argument and the Spectator’s Christie-is-good is Colin Watson’s that Christie could be sensitive, savvy, disingenuous, and, just possibly, not above a spot of pandering.
Once I have you here, readers, who else in crime fiction has sparked such widely divergent opinions?
© Peter Rozovsky 2007