Introduction On Racism Epigraphs A History of the Pulps A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Glossary and Character Taxonomy Breakdown by Country of Origin Bibliography Table of Contents The Best of the Encyclopedia
Poirot, Hercule. Hercule Poirot was created by Agatha Christie (Superintendent Battle, Tommy & Tuppence Beresford, Jane Marple, Parker Pyne, Harley Quin, Colonel Race, Solving Six) and appeared in ninety-three stories and serials and thirty-eight novels, as well as a number of movies and radio programs, from 1920 to 1975, beginning with The Mysterious Affair at Styles.
Hercule Poirot is a short, vain, boastful Belgian consulting detective. He is obsessed with neatness and disdains getting himself dirty searching for clues, preferring instead to use his “little grey cells” and incisive intellect to solve cases. He is Watsoned by Arthur Hastings.
* I'm including the Hercule Poirot stories and novels in the Best of the Encyclopedia list because they are, after a fashion, historically important. The Poirot stories and novels were Agatha Christie's most popular, and for fifty-five years Christie wrote his mysteries. That many stories and novels, published over that length of time, written by an author of sufficient popularity (and Christie was certainly popular), are bound to be influential on other writers. Certainly Christie was a clean writer, leaning to the minimalistic side, emphasizing character and logic in her puzzles, and other writers picked up on that. But stylistically, she tended to be fairly blank; one rarely found memorable passages or exchanges of dialogue in a Christie story or novel, and other writers picked up on that as well. Poirot is (forgive me) largely a two-dimensional caricature rather than a three-dimensional character. And there are unfortunate elements of racism, antisemitism, and anti-Americanism in the Poirot novels. (Christie heartily disliked Americans).
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