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Elephants Can Remember

Narrated by: Hugh Fraser
Series: Ariadne Oliver, Book 8, Hercule Poirot, Book 40
Length: 5 hrs and 35 mins
4.6 out of 5 stars (27 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Hercule Poirot stood on the cliff-top. For here, many years earlier, there had been a tragic accident: the broken body of a woman was discovered on the rocks at the foot of the cliff.

This was followed by the grisly discovery of two more bodies, a husband and wife, shot dead. But who had killed whom? Was it a suicide pact? A crime of passion? Or cold-blooded murder?

Poirot delves back into a crime committed 15 years earlier and discovers that, when there is a distinct lack of physical evidence, it's just as well that "old sins leave long shadows".

©1972 Agatha Christie Limited, a Chorion Company. All rights reserved (P)2003 HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, London UK

Critic Reviews

"The acknowledged queen of detective fiction." ( The Observer)
"Splendid...she tells us all we want to know and nothing that is irrelevant." ( The Times)

What listeners say about Elephants Can Remember

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Another classic - just wish they were longer...

I love Hugh Fraser's Mrs Oliver voice - it just makes me smile!! His Poirot is spot on too.

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Poirot, Oliver, love young & old, and memories

"You can't stop people being what they are." The premis for much of Christie's work. This is an okay working of the bad person v ill person, with Fraser's always engaging narration. His efforts at women's voices make me grin but I end up thinking that's how they would have sounded to the Grand Dame. She continues to throw out tiny tidbits of herself through Ariadne Oliver, which I like.

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  • Johanna
  • 27-08-2012

Not Christie's best work

If you could sum up Elephants Can Remember in three words, what would they be?

Classic Christie mystery

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

It might be because I've read so many of Christie's mysteries before but I found this story slightly predictable.

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  • CaWa
  • 02-01-2016

Capitol!

Awesome story, first class narration, characters beautifully described and performed. Love High Fraser- the very finest Agatha Christie narrator.

I listened with my husband and 12 year old son (and dog- story has dog interest too) we all were held by the story until the exciting end!

Just amazing!

4 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • S. Wolfe
  • 13-04-2013

Enjoyable listen

I enjoyed listening to this typical Christie plot with twists and turns galore. It focuses quite a bit on Ariadne Oliver before Poirot gets involved but is well read by Hugh Frazer

3 people found this helpful

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  • Jaye Hardy
  • 06-05-2015

Elephant's can remember

At the age of 11 Ceila was sent to Switzerland, to go school, she's then told her parents have been found dead, a pistol between them, everyone believes that it's suicide pack, until she decides to get married, and her mother in law starts poking around but why????????

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Laura
  • 16-05-2010

Avoid the later Christie novels

I've really enjoyed Hugh Fraser's other readings of Christie's novels, and, whilst Fraser is as good as ever, sadly Christie herself just isn't up to scratch here.

First published in the 1970s, Elephants Can Remember doesn't come close to the Poirot novels of forty years before. I couldn't even listen to it all the way through, it was so dull. Best avoided I think, and better to try another Poirot story instead.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Fialka
  • 10-07-2020

Great idea, not Christie’s best writing

This is essentially a harrowing and sinister story that could have been made more of. It doesn’t achieve the atmosphere that the story deserves. Some of Christie’s worst dialogue, same things are repeated over and over, it really sounds at times as if she was trying to hit a word count. But as always, Fraser’s beautiful performance rescues what can be rescued.

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  • JASMINE PEARCE
  • 25-10-2019

Brilliant

Agatha Christie at her best - if you’re not sure this is a good one to start listening to

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  • Pavarotta
  • 11-07-2019

entertaining as always

Not Agatha's finest, but still entertaining and I enjoyed trying to figure out whodunnit. Failed, of course!!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-11-2017

another great story from agatha Christi

I'd not heard of this story and was pleasany surprised by it. Great narration by Hugh Fraser

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  • Mr
  • 25-03-2017

Sadly predictable, and another tiresome cold case

Having listened to the entire Poirot series of Christie books, I can't help but think that as she got older, her writing capabilities faltered a little. Why do I think this?:

1. The book is shorter than usual, almost like she ran out of steam.
2. She has a tendency to repeat herself with what the characters say within a single conversation.
3. The pace of the book is painfully slow.
4. Worst of all: I accurately guessed the correct solution about an hour and a half in, which is the cardinal sin for detective novels.

If it gets to the point where you are frustrated at the supposedly genius detective for being so stupid for not seeing the obvious solution, then something has gone wrong with the writing. In previous Christie books I am always pleasantly surprised and astounded at the cunning way she essentially double bluffs the reader by making a character seem like the murderer, but dropping hints about another person that the discerning reader picks up, only to find that even those hints are a red herring, but in this book it was all too obvious and therefore quite boring.

In addition to this I find her cold case stories such as this carry a certain lack of excitement.

Despite this, Hugh Fraser is of course magnificent, and in my opinion by far the best reader of these books.

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  • Amazon
  • 18-10-2016

agatha christie 5th best work and the worlds 5th!!

Would you consider the audio edition of Elephants Can Remember to be better than the print version?

yes by a bit

Who was your favorite character and why?

mis Oliver because she is bait smart

What three words best describe Hugh Fraser’s performance?

grate love it

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

the suicide plan

Any additional comments?

love it