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The Big Four

Narrated by: Hugh Fraser
Series: Hercule Poirot, Book 5
Length: 5 hrs and 33 mins
4.4 out of 5 stars (49 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Framed in the doorway of Poirot's bedroom stood an uninvited guest, coated from head to foot in dust. The man's gaunt face stared for a moment, then he swayed and fell.

Who was he? Was he suffering from shock or just exhaustion? Above all, what was the significance of the figure four, scribbled over and over again on a sheet of paper?

Poirot finds himself plunged into a world of international intrigue, risking his life to uncover the truth about Number Four.

©1927 Agatha Christie (P)2015 HarperCollins Publishers Ltd

Critic Reviews

"The acknowledged queen of detective fiction." (Observer)

What listeners say about The Big Four

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • barbara
  • 31-12-2010

unusual agatha

This story takes Hercules away from his usual local murders into the world of espionage. I loved it. Lots of little surprises keeping the pace moving along.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • George
  • 08-06-2011

Poirot's most exciting adventure!

I loved this book from start to finish. It takes Poirot and Hastings into the world of international espionage and conspiracy. Time after time, they escape risky situations, as they seek the 'Big Four' of the title, individuals who between them make up a global superpower. Occasionally it is a bit silly, or even slightly ridiculous, but that just makes it all the more entertaining. The narration by Hugh Fraser (who plays Hastings in the ITV Poirot series) is excellent. Whilst it is an excellent book, I would not recommend it to those who have not read or listened to Poirot stories before - this book is likely improved by a good understanding of Poirot and Hastings, and the relationship between them, which is explored in Agatha Christie's earlier work.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Brian
  • 24-06-2012

The Big Four

If you read the Agatha Christie websites you'll know this is an emergency construct of several other plots.

It is very episodic, some of the storylines are derivitive of Sax Rhomer, some of the denouments are silly.

And the ending ........

But apart from that it's entertaining if you don't take it too seriously. Read the AC website, see why she wrote it, treat it as an historical story in the AC canon. The David Suchet adaptation will be interesting.

The reading by Captain Hastings (sorry - I've gone blank on his name) is excellent as usual.

Did I spell 'denouments' right?

5 people found this helpful

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  • Rosie
  • 05-10-2019

Nonsense

I love Agatha Christie. I know that it’s formulaic and old fashioned but the plots are usually so enjoyable. This one, you can tell, is pieced together from short stories. More espionage than murder mystery and not at all as satisfying as her other Poirot stories. Hugh Fraser’s narration is wonderful but it can’t save the day.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jaye Hardy
  • 17-05-2015

The Big Four

Great, fantastic, amazing I don't know what else to say. I listened to it all then relistened in sections which was a good idea there is a lot going on Poirot even does thong you never thought he'd do
you could relisten to this book over again and still pick up things that you've nodded before
I really recommend this audio book

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • CETM
  • 25-02-2015

excellent!

I think that was the best Poirot yet, excellent twists and turns that kept me intrigued until the end!

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • KI Girl
  • 24-07-2017

Not my favourite Poirot

I did not enjoy this story at all - not sure why, but it was not the Poirot and Hastings I love and enjoy

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Andi Radburn
  • 12-05-2016

Another Perfect Christie Story

Another perfect Christie story read by the great Hugh Fraser who has become synonymous with reading her work.
A pleasure to sit back and sink into a story of another Hercule Poirot triumph.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Alexandria
  • 23-02-2016

Fun

If you could sum up The Big Four in three words, what would they be?

Twisting. Deadly. Secrets.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Hastings. Bless him. I jusy love that he is so transparant. Whatever goes through his head we are told wither it is something that could potentially paint him as a bit of an idiot or not. Love him!

Which scene did you most enjoy?

Umm...oh, I know. The moment when the 'does Poirot actually have a twin?' question is answered. Too smart for his own good! Thats what Poirot is.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I think I did actually end up listening to it in one sitting.

Any additional comments?

Hugh Fraser as the narrator is marvolous!
This is also one of the more Sherlock Holmes feeling stories. A collection of cases that all join together to make a big picture. Very like a certain master criminal we all know and love. :)

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Meggy
  • 11-04-2013

weak story

This is one of Agatha Christie's misfires. The plot is laughably cheesy and reads like one of those Saturday B movies. There are mysterious villains who are masters of disguise, plots to bring down governments, the good guys always just one step behind, miraculous escapes, amazing coincidences... and a yawn from start to end



So why 2 stars? Because Hugh Fraser does his usual fantastic job of narration. Despite the shockingly awful material to work with he manages to inject some drama into the proceedings. It's a shame that, apart from the Christie books, he does doesn't appear much in the Audible playlist

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Miko
  • 27-08-2011

Action packed & pacy

Unlike most of Christie's Poirot stories which follow a single plotline, The Big Four takes the reader through several mini-mysteries which are all linked, resulting in several tension rises and releases, culminating in an unexpected turn of events before the eventual denouement. I've read around 10 Poirots and this is my favourite - a nice change of pace and one that will keep you fully engaged throughout.

1 person found this helpful