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The Labours of Hercules: 12 Hercule Poirot…
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The Labours of Hercules: 12 Hercule Poirot Mysteries (original 1947; edição 2005)

por Agatha Christie (Autor), Hugh Fraser (Narrador)

Séries: Hercule Poirot (25)

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2,351444,757 (3.58)68
Poirot sets himself a challenge before he retires - to solve 12 cases which correspond with the labours of his classical Greek namesake... In appearance Hercule Poirot hardly resembled an ancient Greek hero. Yet - reasoned the detective - like Hercules he had been responsible for ridding society of some of its most unpleasant monsters. So, in the period leading up to his retirement, Poirot made up his mind to accept just twelve more cases: his self-imposed 'Labours'. Each would go down in the annals of crime as a heroic feat of deduction.… (mais)
Título:The Labours of Hercules: 12 Hercule Poirot Mysteries
Autores:Agatha Christie (Autor)
Outros autores:Hugh Fraser (Narrador)
Informação:BBC Audiobooks America (2005), Edition: Unabridged
Colecções:A sua biblioteca

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The Labours of Hercules por Agatha Christie (1947)

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Poirot commits himself to retirement – once he has solved 12 cases which resemble the famed 12 labours of Hercules.

Is there a more unusual book in the Christie canon? "The Labours" are some of the last short stories Christie wrote (possibly the last?) and she brings a consummate skill – in both prose and construction – that wasn’t always present in the early days. Without Hastings, or indeed any narrator, we get to see Poirot at his most arrogant. It’s pleasant that Christie would let her character be this much of a prig. This is the middle-era Poirot: a man who believes wholeheartedly in himself, and who has come to understand the human heart as well as the mind, but isn’t yet as besieged by regrets as he will be in the often moving later novels. Besides, it’s nice to know that after decades of service, Poirot is generally held in high esteem.

Miss Lemon, Japp and George pop in on occasion (Hastings is left squarely in Argentina), but this is Poirot’s book, and overall, that’s probably a good thing. Almost all of the stories are diverting, and a few – "The Nemean Lion", "The Erymanthian Boar" – are very strong. The final story, "The Capture of Cerberus", serves as the last story to really deal with Poirot’s personal life until his swan song in "Curtain", bringing back a notable figure from his past, although leaving us with yet further questions. It’s satisfactory, but Cerberus is possibly the weakest of the 12, since it centres around a thriller, not a mystery, and is reminiscent – for a few reasons – of the disastrous "The Big Four". Thrills were never the author’s strongpoint, nor the detective’s, and while he proves his worth in all the stores, including those few which involve spies and assassins, it’s harder to rein in one’s disbelief. All in all, though, an enjoyable read; each time I checked the clock, I was amazed how much time had passed as I breezed through this book.

The first 11 stories appeared in magazine form first, providing the framing narrative – as existed in other collections such as "The Thirteen Problems" and "Partners in Crime" – of the 12 ‘labours’. Poirot had been ‘retiring’ since 1926, when "The Murder of Roger Ackroyd" came out, so I’m sure no one took this seriously, but the Poirot we see after World War II is decidedly more domestic. However, that framing device is the most questionable element. While it is absolutely fitting that Poirot would compare himself to Hercules, this sometimes makes him seem even more idiosyncratic than he usually is, given that he’ll sometimes ignore a pressing case until he makes the thematic connection. Occasionally, Poirot seems heavily involved with a case which only reveals its link afterward. I can’t deny there’s a lovely snug nature to the interlocking aspects of these cases, but sometimes the connections between the story and mythology seem… pardon the pun… laboured.

Poirot ranking: 30th out of 38 ( )
  therebelprince | Nov 15, 2020 |
One of my favorites so far. Mimicing his namesake, he completes the same number of labours as the classic mythological character. I think that Christie is an even stronger short story writer than a novelist as she is willing to be more inventive in the shorter form. My favorite story involves a smitten Poirot helping the charming Countess Roscovich, who begiled him in an earlier work and still does, escape a trap. I also enjoy the fact that once again, he swears these will be his last cases, and of course, we have a few more books to go. ( )
  Colleen5096 | Oct 29, 2020 |
Nice stories ( )
  devendradave | Sep 1, 2020 |
Many long time Christie fans know that Hercule would go on and on about retiring (at least it felt like it) well in this collection we have Hercule talking about going into retirement and growing the perfect vegetable marrow. This makes me think that the events in this collection all occur before the events in "The Murder of Roger Ackroyd." Poirot's conversation with his friend, Dr. Burton leads into the Greek hero named Hercules and his 12 labors that he undertook. What did make me laugh was Poirot finding Hercules to be a brute who was not smart at all (I tend to agree when you read the Greek myths, Hercules sucks a lot). But, Poirot decides that he will investigate 12 more cases that interest him before setting in the country.

The Nemean Lion (5 stars)-This one tickled my funny bone a lot. We have Poirot becoming intrigued by the case of a gang of thieves who appear to abduct rich women's Pekingese dogs. Reading about how Poirot has to deal with each of these rich women (there are two in this story) and how many of them are pretty terrible people was fun. Due to Poirot being called in to investigate by one of these women's husbands was what made Poirot intrigued. The main reason why I liked this one besides the awesome solution though was that Poirot revealed something about someone else in this story and I loved it. Great ending.

The Lernaean Hydra (4.5 stars)- Poirot investigates when a dentist is being hounded by gossip about being behind the death of his wife. Of course it doesn't help that the man was not really in love with his wife and had fallen for his assistant. The only reason why this case is not five stars was that I guessed at who was behind the whole thing.

The Arcadian Deer (3 stars)-This one was weird to me. Poirot gets stranded in a remote village and is asked to find out about a missing maid. Poirot travels to Italy and Switzerland in this one. And I had so many questions about how much money Poirot has that he is able to do things like this. The solution to this one was pretty odd I thought.

The Erymanthian Boar (5 stars)-Due to Poirot still being in Switzerland due to his last case, he is called upon by a local policeman in helping to track down a highly wanted criminal. I do have to say though, there is a side character called Schwartz who I did find highly annoying. He and Poirot's comments on women traveling alone was aggravating. I imagine that Christie was drawing some ire towards Poirot and this other fictional character. The solution to this one I found to be pretty clever.

The Augean Stables (5 stars)-This once again was a pretty cool case. Poirot was called in to help out the current Prime Minister who is trying to get ahead of the scandal due to his predecessor who is also his father in law. How Poirot goes about dealing with the scandal was quite clever and the ending that came with Poirot almost getting throttled for the first time in his life cracked me up.

The Stymphalean Birds (5 stars)-This story starts off a bit differently. We follow a man (Harold Waring) who is on vacation where he befriends an older woman (Mrs. Rice) and her daughter (Mrs. Elise Clayton) who are also vacationing. Harold becomes increasingly afraid of two older Polish women who seem malevolent to him. Harold also finds himself becoming increasingly attracted to Elise and feels sorry for her based on what her mother has said about her marriage. When Elise's husband shows up and accuses her of having an affair with Harold. Murder ensues. We have Poirot who also seems to be vacationing who comes along and meets Harold who is freaking out over the whole situation. When Poirot reveals all once again you are left surprised. Or at least I was.

The Cretan Bull (3 stars)-This one was a lot of nonsense to me. A woman (Diana) comes to Poirot due to the fact that her fiancee (Hugh Chandler) has called off his marriage claiming that he is going insane. Apparently it's genetic (yeah, not touching that at all) and he has seen signs that he has done some things. Poirot goes down to visit with Diana, her fiancee, and her fiancee's father and his best friend and of course gets to the bottom of things. I have to call boo towards the solution though. Also we have Poirot and his odd brand of justice taking place in this story.

The Horses of Diomedes (2 stars)-A friend of Poirot's, Dr. Michael Stoddart calls for his help. Poirot arrives and Dr. Stoddart tells him about a possible cocaine epidemic going through a crowd. Stoddart is particularly worried about a young woman named Sheila Grant. Sheila is the daughter of a retired general and has three other sisters. Stoddart is worried that Sheila will become addicted which can lead her towards ruin. Poirot meets with Sheila's father and others nearby to see who could possibly be bringing drugs into the area. I have to say that the solution to this one did not make any sense to me at all. And who would even set up something like this?

The Girdle of Hippolyta (3 stars)-A man called Alexander Simpson asks Poirot for help when a painting goes missing. Poirot is told that the painting is most likely on it's way to France and Simpson wants him to find it before it is carried off. On top of this case, Poirot is asked to look into a kidnapping of a teenage girl called Winnie King. Winnie goes missing on a train (Christie and her trains) and is later found drugged up. Winnie was supposed to be heading to France to school and what happened to her and why leads Poirot down a long winding path. I just didn't buy the solution in this one at all. It made very little sense to me. Then again maybe I was getting flashbacks to "Mystery of the Blue Train" and got irritated.

The Flock of Geryon (5 stars)-A character we meet in the Case of the Nemean Lion is back in this one. I won't reveal this person's name since it may clue people into the solution in that one. I did enjoy though that Poirot had a side kick again in this one. Poirot is asked to look into a cult and the leader's possible connections to the deaths of some of the older members of the cult who were thinking of leaving money to him.

The Apples of Hesperides (2 stars)-Honestly I was bored with this one from beginning to end. I guess the moral of the story is that rich people get sad too. I don't know. I just was glad to be done with it.

The Capture of Cerebus (3 stars)-Even though this one stars one of Poirot's favorite women, the Countess Vera Rossakoff, I found myself bored. Poirot is invited to visit Hell (a new club in London) and once within its gates he finds that not all is what it seems. He meets a fairly aggravating girl that is engaged to the Countess's son who is away in America. And Poirot also meets a very large dog which would have given Cerebus a run for his money. ( )
  ObsidianBlue | Jul 1, 2020 |
12 short stories with Hercule Poirot.
  taurus27 | May 24, 2020 |
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Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Christie, Agathaautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Crespo, Angel SolerTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Fraser, HughNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Griffini, Grazia MariaTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Mendel, Jean-MarcTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado

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Fontana (522)
SaPo (120)

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To Edmund Cork
of whose labours on behalf
of Hercule Poirot I am
deeply appreciative
this book is affectionately
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Hercule Poirot's flat was essentially modern in its furnishings.
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Poirot sets himself a challenge before he retires - to solve 12 cases which correspond with the labours of his classical Greek namesake... In appearance Hercule Poirot hardly resembled an ancient Greek hero. Yet - reasoned the detective - like Hercules he had been responsible for ridding society of some of its most unpleasant monsters. So, in the period leading up to his retirement, Poirot made up his mind to accept just twelve more cases: his self-imposed 'Labours'. Each would go down in the annals of crime as a heroic feat of deduction.

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