The 8:55 to Baghdad: From London to Iraq on the Trail of Agatha Christie and theOrient Express

December 15, 2014 - Comment

In 1928, Agatha Christie, the world’s most widely read author, was a thirty-something single mother.  With her marriage to her first husband, Archie Christie, over, she decided to take a much-needed holiday; the Caribbean had been her intended destination, but a conversation at a dinner party with a couple who had just returned from Iraq

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In 1928, Agatha Christie, the world’s most widely read author, was a thirty-something single mother.  With her marriage to her first husband, Archie Christie, over, she decided to take a much-needed holiday; the Caribbean had been her intended destination, but a conversation at a dinner party with a couple who had just returned from Iraq changed her mind.  Five days later she was off on a completely different trajectory.

Merging literary biography with travel adventure, and ancient history with contemporary world events, Andrew Eames tells a riveting tale and reveals fascinating and little-known details en route in this exotic chapter in the life of Agatha Christie.  His own trip from London to Baghdad—a journey much more difficult to make in 2002 with the political unrest in the Middle East and the war in Iraq, than it was in 1928—becomes ineluctably intertwined with Agatha’s, and the people he meets could have stepped out of a mystery novel.

Fans of Agatha Christie will delight in Eames’ descriptions of the places and events that appeared in and influenced her fiction—and armchair travelers will thrill in the exotica of the journey itself.

Comments

takingadayoff "takingadayoff" says:

Remember When Baghdad Used to Sound Exotic? Journalist Andrew Eames follows in the footsteps of Agatha Christie as he retraces her route from London to Baghdad on the Orient Express. Christie traveled to the Middle East many times and enjoyed her visits there. When she visited, before World War II, places such as Damascus and Cairo and even Baghdad evoked romantic and exotic images. Eames’s journey takes place in 2003 when even Lawrence of Arabia might think twice about going.Eames sleeps through the European part of the…

karriela says:

I wish I took this trip I’m a big fan of Agatha Christie and travel books and this book seemed like it would be a great combination of the two. It was and it was much more. Eames deftly handles the bio-history of Christie, the juxtaposition of her trip 75 years earlier with his modern day experience, as well as giving very sharp insight into the people and history of today. I was especially interested, and surprised, to read his detailed accounts of traveling through the recently peaceful Balkans and the people he…

B. Case "InquiringMind" says:

Captures people, place, and time vividly–well recommended Why would anyone still read a travelogue in this, the beginning of the 21st century, when it was so easy to find outstanding independent film travel documentaries, many prepared by only one or two individuals at most? Certainly this visual medium combined with well-edited documentary realism and well-scripted travel guide dialog would serve better than print for the purpose of introducing a novice to a new culture, people, or place. But a modern-day print-based travelogue was what our book…

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