A Point In Poirot’s Favor?
I’m reading Agatha Christie’s short stories, and the first thing I noticed is how exactly Poirot and Hastings are modeled on Holmes and Watson.
Or rather, how bastardized.
Watson and Hastings are both the narrators, but Watson has his own life. We know he gets married, and, while his purpose is definitely to help Holmes physically nab someone sometimes and to ask with bated breath “How did you do it?” he doesn’t spend a lot of time entertaining Holmes.
Hastings seems to spend his life waiting for Poirot to solve a case. He is also-how do I put this- dumber. He is a sucker for a pretty face, and he is constantly being shown up by Poirot when he tries to solve crimes.
Poirot lays it on thick, too. Holmes might have sometimes come off as a snooty prick when he explained his methods and why he is such a good detective, but Poirot insists that he is the smartest thing since Fibonaci, and he constantly belittles Hasting’s efforts.
Sometimes the book narration acknowledges how ridiculous this is. That is always good for a smile.
Sometimes the dynamic is so pronounced that it is funny.
In short story form, it’s just fun. You can see why Hastings gets the boot in longer books and Poirot gets toned down. A long time with the duo can be exhausting. But in small doses? It’s like how the evil Disney villain of old was just a whole lot of fun to watch.