30 March 2015

Review: POIROT and me, David Suchet

  • published by Headline, 2013
  • co-author Geoffrey Wansell
  • ISBN 978-0-7553-6422-0
  • 373 pages
  • source: my local library
Synopsis (Amazon)

David Suchet shares his many memories of creating this iconic television series and reflects on what the detective has meant to him over the years

In the summer of 2013 David Suchet filmed his final scenes as Hercule Poirot. After 24 years in the role, he played the character in every story that Agatha Christie wrote about him (bar one, deemed unfilmable) and he bid adieu to a role and a character that changed his life. Here he tells the story of how he secured the part, with the blessing of Agatha Christie's daughter, and set himself the task of presenting the most authentic Poirot that had ever been filmed. David Suchet is uniquely placed to offer the ultimate companion to one of the world's longest running television series. Peppered with anecdotes about filming, including many tales of the guest stars who have appeared over the years, the book is essential reading for Poirot fans all over the world.

My take

David Suchet takes the reader through twenty five years of character acting, when he and Poirot became one: 70 television films, fulfilling his dream of presenting the entire canon of Agatha Christie's Poirot stories. As he says, over half his adult life has focussed on the authentic portrayal of Poirot.

He describes how he came to be Poirot and then the televised stories in the order in which each series was produced. As we know, they weren't filmed in the order in which they were written, and some, Suchet admits, were rather "thin" because the underlying story was a bit thin, and some were not as true to the original written story as others. But some were splendid and an extraordinary amount of money was invested in their production.

It is a fascinating read. Suchet sees himself as charged with the need to present Poirot as Agatha Christie saw him. He talks about what attracts people to Poirot, why the various films have had such wide appeal.

But don't expect him to show up in any "new" Poirot story. He has vowed to never appear in any Poirot story that Dame Agatha didn't write. As far as he is concerned his portrayal of Poirot has finished.
    There will never be another series with me playing Poirot..... a part of me has died with him.
My rating: 4.5


Prashant C. Trikannad said...

I'd certainly like to read this book, having seen many episodes of the television series. Suchet was perfect as Poirot. Thanks for spotlighting the book, Kerrie.

Anonymous said...

To me, Suchet really was Poirot, Kerrie. I'm glad you enjoyed his take on the experience. And it's very good to hear he had no intention of taking that role in any continuations.


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