Saturday, 6 October 2007
Come, Tell Me How You Live - Agatha Christie Mallowan
This book reads like a letter written to a close friend - and I gather this is very close to the genesis of the manuscript.
Agatha Christie accompanied her archaeologist husband on digs in exotic corners of the Middle East in the 1930s. Many of her friends begged for details of their life and this book is the result.
Like all writing by Agatha Christie, this is entertaining and unputdownable. There are many fascinating details of everyday life but one wants more. In many ways it is quite superficial; one has the impression of reading only a tantalising tip of a very deep iceberg!
It's also very interesting from a historical perspective. It's rather disconcerting reading Christie's casual light-hearted descriptions of conflicts between Kurdish, Arabic and other groups of workers on their digs in Iraq and Afghanistan. In many ways it is quite haunting reading this book, knowing what is happening now, 70 years later, in these parts of the world.