The 8:55 to Baghdad

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

3.69 (329 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

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-knowndetails 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' description of the places and events that appeared in andinfluenced her fiction--and armchair travelers will thrill in the exotica of the journey itself.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 403 pages
  • 129.5 x 198.1 x 33mm | 317.52g
  • Overlook Press
  • United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 1585678023
  • 9781585678020
  • 1,155,183

About Andrew Eames

Andrew Eames was born in 1958 and his journalism career has led to wide travel. His articles appear in the Daily Telegraph and The Times. He is the author of Crossing the Shadow Line: Travels in South-East Asia, Four Scottish Journeys, and he is an authority on both Istanbul and the Nile. He lives in London with his family.show more

Flap copy

An absorbing contemporary journey which reveals the secret life of the world's most widely read author. Andrew Eames, an adventurous, insightful and sympathetic observer, sets out to travel from London to Baghdad by train, following the route of the old Orient Express and an identical journey made by Agatha Christie in 1928. Agatha's journey was to change her life completely, and led to her spending thirty seasons on archaeological digs in the deserts of Syria and Iraq. Eames's own journey reveals fascinating details of this little known but exotic chapter in the life of the world's most widely read author. The journey from London to Baghdad by train today is actually far harder than it was in Agatha's day. Many of the countries Eames passes through, from the Balkans to the Middle East, have been deeply troubled in recent years. Eventually he arrives at the Iraqi border at the same time as the UN weapons inspectors. As the book approaches its final destination the shadow of war looms increasingly large. A compelling read, merging literary biography with travel adventure, The 8:55 to Baghdad is the journey of a lifetime.show more

Review quote

"Agatha Christie fans, as well as connoisseurs of fine travel writing, will relish British journalist Eames's gripping, humorous and eye-opening account of his train and bus trip across Europe and the Middle East on the eve of the second Gulf War." "Publisher's Weekly"show more

Rating details

329 ratings
3.69 out of 5 stars
5 24% (80)
4 34% (112)
3 30% (99)
2 10% (33)
1 2% (5)
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