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48 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating glimpse into the real life of Agatha Christie.
I picked up this book following a visit to an exhibition in the British Museum about Christie's travels in the Middle East. My only contact with the writer before this was via the cosy middle-England dramatisations of her work that appear on television and I was rather more interested in the archaeology than Christie herself. This book blew away all my pre-conceptions...
Published on 27 Mar 2002 by glenys.williams@mcc.org.uk

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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A charming reflection of ex-pat life in Syria in the 1930s.
Using an unusual style for the Queen of Crime, Agatha Christie records the daily life of a wife accompanying her archeologist husband while he is working in Syria. Intended as a description for her friends and family, Christie gives a light-hearted memoir of her unusual life in the desert, working daily with the local Arab people. She reveals a great deal of patience...
Published on 27 Feb 2002 by Diane Evans


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48 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating glimpse into the real life of Agatha Christie., 27 Mar 2002
I picked up this book following a visit to an exhibition in the British Museum about Christie's travels in the Middle East. My only contact with the writer before this was via the cosy middle-England dramatisations of her work that appear on television and I was rather more interested in the archaeology than Christie herself. This book blew away all my pre-conceptions. What I found in Christies descriptions of her journeys to modern-day Iraq - where she was accompanying her husband, the archeologist Max Mallowan, on his digs - was a woman, extremely happy in her surroundings who was fascinated by her husband's work and whose understanding of and concern for the local population was advanced even by today's standards. Her descriptions of the everyday struggle to make a life in an alien, and often harsh, environment are frank and frequently hilarious and her insights into the beliefs, particularly Islam, of the locals are couched without prejudice or condescension. I was half expecting the book to be full of the racist ravings of a typical English 'memsahib' but instead was delighted to discover in Agatha Christie, a humour and self-deprecation rare in female travellers of the time. The book contains a minimum of archeological information - just enough to set the scene - but even archaeology buffs would surely find the description of daily life on a pre-war dig of interest. The real value of this memoir, however, is in what it tells us about the character of Christie. I read a number of her novels after reading this book and found her, as an author of fiction, to be rather two-dimensional and unfulfilling. I've not changed my opinion about her novels but this doesn't detract from the fact that, after reading this little book, I really liked Agatha Christie as a person - which for some reason took me entirely by surprise. An absolute must for fans and non-fans alike.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A charming reflection of ex-pat life in Syria in the 1930s., 27 Feb 2002
By 
Diane Evans (Sheringham, Norfolk United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Come, Tell Me How You Live: An Archaeological Memoir (Paperback)
Using an unusual style for the Queen of Crime, Agatha Christie records the daily life of a wife accompanying her archeologist husband while he is working in Syria. Intended as a description for her friends and family, Christie gives a light-hearted memoir of her unusual life in the desert, working daily with the local Arab people. She reveals a great deal of patience and tolerance for a life that must have had many difficulties. The account lacks vivid descriptions of the scenery and people, but does accurately portray the sense of fun of the Arab people. The language used is pure 30's, with references to 'gippy tummy' and the 'cruise department' in a London store, which is evocative of the era rather than irritating. Another surprise was that Christie had the ability to send herself up, particularly when it came to her need for 'OS' clothes.
It was not intended to be a great travel book, but it does reveal how the Middle East can get under the skin of a Westerner. This is a charming book which will strike a chord with anyone who has ever lived and worked in the Middle East.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Humour in the Desert!, 14 Sep 2009
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Amazon Customer (South Molton, Devon, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Come, Tell Me How You Live: An Archaeological Memoir (Paperback)
Bear in mind this was originally written in the 1930s and published in 1946, so may feel dated to some but to me this is part of the charm. An interesting collection of characters between the pages, though not a great deal of archaeological detail, I enoyed reading this and finished it quickly. The individual characters are wonderful and the author is able to poke fun at herself at times as well. If you read Christie's biography, you may find there is more to read between the lines in her later relationship with her husband but would recommend this to anyone and I'm glad I bought it. Incidentally, Elizabeth Peters' Amelia Peabody novels are very similar in feel - I wonder if she read this first . . . . . .
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delicious, 18 Oct 2009
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This review is from: Come, Tell Me How You Live: An Archaeological Memoir (Paperback)
Can't add much to previous reviews. For the lovers of travel literature (no only of archaeology) this book is a classic. It reminded me, in some way, The road to Oxiana, by Robert Byron. Agatha Christie shows she had the gift of the best writers: sensibility, she was very observant and had the finest british sense of humour.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprising and interesting, 7 Sep 2010
This review is from: Come, Tell Me How You Live: An Archaeological Memoir (Paperback)
I can only agree with some of the previous reviews. Agatha Christie comes over as a genuinely interesting woman venturing in to desert areas with her husband and a few others and tells of her experiences very candidly but enjoyably and she obviously loved her trips the people and the unusual experiences. She came over as a very patient person but also a person travelling from Europe in the 1930s. I read it as we are travelling to Syria - but even if you have no plans to travel there, it s worth reading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Read, 13 Sep 2013
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Fascinating book, An insight of Agatha Christie I didn't know about. If you are interested how she came to write some of her book its well about well worth reading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Come, Tell Me How You Live, 7 Sep 2013
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S Riaz "S Riaz" (England) - See all my reviews
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Agatha Christie wrote this charming memoir in answer to questions about what exactly she did, and how she lived, during trips to the Middle East with her archeologist husband Max Mallowan. Instantly you are struck by her humour and humility - the snobbish shop assistants she had to deal with when buying clothes for the more ample form, the fact that her husband scoffs at the amount of shoes she wants to take and yet needs to pack a 'million' books and the difficulties of travelling abroad. It is fair to say that Max is more concerned with finding a good place to dig; which needs local labour, a water supply and good finds. Comfort is low on the agenda and yet Agatha views it all with wry good humour. She paints a colourful portrait of those on the dig, the locals who work alongside and for them and the places themself.

Although it must have been difficult, at times, for Max Mallowan to have had such a successful and talented wife, it is fair to say that, in the Middle East, the European way of favouring women was tolerated with a certain amusement. Agatha remarks that a local Sheikh finds it almost unbelievable that women are served coffee, ahead of men. Another funny story is when a local Sheikh arrives to find Agatha completing the Times crossword. He asks Max indulgently whether his wife can read? Really, and can she write as well? How accomplished! If he only realised how very accomplished she was... I have loved Agatha Christie's novels since I was at school and how wonderful to read this memoir and realise that she was every bit as sweet and charming as I imagined her to be. This is a lovely read - not scholarly, but as though you were reading a long letter written by a friend. Christie is irreplaceable and this memoir helps explain why.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, 27 Oct 2012
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This review is from: Come, Tell Me How You Live: An Archaeological Memoir (Paperback)
The summary as written on line prepared one for this book. No great surprises. Enjoyable to read if this is your taste in literature
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must Read for all Agatha Christie Fans, 10 Sep 2012
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A. O'Reilly (WA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Come, Tell Me How You Live: An Archaeological Memoir (Paperback)
This book gives a fantastic insight into the real Agatha Christie, she had such a great sense of humour I laughed out loud many times. She was such a talented writer I felt I was there with her, perparing for the trip of a lifetime This is a must read for all Agatha Christie fans, you will enjoy this book so much
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars diary of past times, 1 Nov 2011
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Zumbach Beat (geneva switzerland) - See all my reviews
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this small book brings the past to life. Agatha Christie accompanied her husband, a well known archaeologist, to syria. she describes her daily life.
the book is full of humour. it might even help us to understand other cultures..
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Come, Tell Me How You Live: An Archaeological Memoir
Come, Tell Me How You Live: An Archaeological Memoir by Agatha Christie Mallowan (Paperback - 7 Jun 1999)
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