Who Killed Roger Ackroyd?: The Mystery Behind the Agatha Christie Mystery

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Fourth Estate, 2000 - Detective and mystery stories - 176 pages
2 Reviews

At the end of Agatha Christie‚e(tm)s classic detective novel, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, Hercule Poirot declares with a customary late flourish the identity of the murderer. But who can we believe?

In a brilliant and witty piece of literary sleuthing, Pierre Bayard thinks the unthinkable: could Poirot, semi-retired and growing marrows, have got it wrong? And if so, who did murder Roger Ackroyd?

When Agatha Christie published her masterpiece The Murder of Roger Ackroyd she confounded the conventions of the detective strory by making her narrator, Dr Sheppard, the killer: every event in the novel is seen through Sheppard‚e(tm)s eyes. But when faced by Hercule Poirot in a typically grandstanding finale, Sheppard reacts to Poirot‚e(tm)s solution of the crime with astonishment, and with good cause: the punctilious Beligian detective‚e(tm)s explanation is as motiveless as it is impractical. This is the starting point in Pierre Bayard‚e(tm)s clever, affectionate tribute to the Queen of Crime. Bayard asks the question: might Poirot have got it wrong? And if so, why might he have been mistaken? Did Christie herself understand the ending of her own book or was she too being manipulated by her narrator? In a display of literary intrigue worthy of Umberto Eco or John Sutherland, Bayard plots his own solution, faithfully following the devices of Agatha Christie‚e(tm)s original in this deft, smart homage. And, in his own denoument he finally answers the question first posed by Agatha Christie seventy-six years ago: who really killed Roger Ackroyd?

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WHO KILLED ROGER ACKROYD?: The Mystery Behind the Agatha Christie Mystery

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Psychoanalyst Bayard takes a moment away from teaching French literature to reopen one of the most celebrated murder cases in fiction, with surprising results. To those readers (probably Bayard's ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - book58lover - LibraryThing

In this slim volume Bayard disects Christie's book and conclusion to the murder. At times it is difficult to follow the psychological lingo, but he makes many good points and following his entire line ... Read full review


The Murder
The Investigation
The Van Dine Principle

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About the author (2000)

Pierre Bayard is a professor of literature at the University of Paris.

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