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  • Kali Kuzma

Book Versus Movie: Death on the Nile


Book or Movie, Which Do You Prefer?

Back in January of this year, as I sat waiting for the trailers to finish rolling and for Spiderman: No Way Home to appear on screen, a cinematic murder mystery rolled onto screen.


Death on the Nile would be making its way into theaters come February. Based on the beautifully shot and intense scenes I knew I had to watch it. But to my surprise, Death on the Nile wasn't just a movie it was based on one of many Agatha Christies novels.


Before I saw the movie, I knew I had to read the book. That's when I had the thought of a new series, Book versus Movie!


So, who will win this round for Death on the Nile? Let's find out.


Overview

Egypt, 1937


Detective Poirot investigates the murder of Linnet Ridgeway, a wealthy heiress, who's known for her smarts, charm, and looks. After marrying her best friend's fiancée, Simon Doyle, and spending their honeymoon floating down the Nile on a paddle streamer, Linnet is found dead, killed in her sleep with a bullet wound to the head.


Everyone on board points to Simon's ex-lover but to Hercules Poirot, everyone is a suspect. As he uncovers the truth behind Linnet's death, more mysteries start to unfold on the waters of the Nile.


Book

Death on the Nile is a 288-page novel published in 1937 and was originally written by Agatha Christy. Agathy Christy was known to have written over 80 murder mystery novels with Detective Hercules Poirot has her main character as seen in this mystery page turner.


Even though written in 1937, Agatha Christy's creativity for murder mystery is highly advanced has to how murders were solved during that time period making readers want more. This concept does not translate when it comes to character's physical descriptions though. Instead of scattering the details or leaving it for the reader's imagination, Christy made the choice to describe a new character's physical attributes with a large, detailed paragraph within the first few seconds of being introduced.


Character interactions are also not easily identifiable leaving you wondering who is speaking with the multitude of characters introduced within the first few chapters.

The dialogue however is enjoyable as the cattiness known during that time period between socialites is entertaining and is seen often as several character's personalities lean toward the judgmental side.


With the short chapters and jump from character to character the writing feels as if it was written for the big screen with the action-based scenes verses the traditional descriptive plots.


Unlike most novels, Christy does not introduce the main character first, but instead introduces the side characters before bringing in Detective Poirot. This gives the reader time to connect with the victims or witnesses which makes readers curious as to who commit the murder?


As the reader follows the likeable Detective Poirot around the paddle steamer you get to see how each and every step is solved giving the reader the same opportunity to solve the crime, or in this case multiple crimes in one.


Even though there are times when the detective is too good at his job you still are left wondering who killed Linnet Ridgeway?


Movie

Death on the Nile first hit the big screen in 1978 and again with the remake in 2022 starring famous actors including Gal Gadot and Tom Bateman. The run time of 127 minutes included beautifully shot CGI scenes of Egypt, the wildlife, and captured the essence from that period.


Even though beautiful, the added scenes, over the top characters, and the very long, drawn-out plot left me wondering when the movie would end.


Unlike the book, there was a lack of character presence as most characters from the book were combined into one person. This made the story feel flat and hard to keep interest when several of the mysteries were now taken out of the plot.


Detective Poirot, even though given a backstory for watchers to connect to, was unlikable with his 'I'm always right' attitude. His lack of evidence for who committed the murder also made him not believable as a detective when he places the pieces for the murder.


Even though the script used lines right from the book watchers can easily point out the killer based on transition scenes. Overall, the movie missed the mark on a great opportunity.


Winner

I don't know about you, but I had so much fun comparing the two forms of entertainment! For this first round of Book versus Movie, I think there is a clear winner. Death on the Nile book took the win over the movie.


Considering I couldn't put down the book (I read it in one sitting) along with liking even the unenjoyable characters, this gives the book the W.


In fact, I liked it so much I have a goal to read another book by Agatha Christy before the year is up!


Have you seen or read Death on the Nile? Which one did you like more? What book versus movie series should I do next?



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