Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Agatha Christie: A Biography Hardcover – September 27, 1984
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The feelings and beliefs Agatha revealed through her writing, if only there, were genuine and strongly held. That, as well as the fact that her work dealt with familiar, universal themes, accounts for the success of her books and plays. Their style is not graceful or magical, their characters are stereotypes, the plots often implausible, but her work is sincere and, for all its contrivance, spontaneous. (Chapter 18, pg. 250).
I suppose one almost has to expect such dismissive arrogance when a mediocrity tries to explain a genius. The name "Janet Morgan" will, in the end, simply be remembered as someone who wrote about the great Agatha Christie, a woman whose name will be universally celebrated for ages to come. Although, I suspect people may, in future generations, if not now, read Janet Morgan's prose and say to themselves,"Her style is not graceful, but I guess her work is sincere, for all her contrivance". They might also think to themselves that any hackneyed writer worth his or her salt could write a decent biography if named the official biographer and been given access to journals, papers, and interviews with almost all of her living friends and relatives. Sorry Janet ... just not a fan! Seriously, don't buy this book. Agatha wrote an autobiography. Get that instead!
P . S . Christopher Hitchen's wrote an excellent review of Janet's biography of Edwina Mountbatten (look it up).
Of course, there is a lengthy chapter about the famous episode when she disappeared just after her husband told her he wanted a divorce. There is much specualtion about Agatha Christie's state of mind, her reasons for doing it etc, but these can only remain speculation, since Mrs Christie never discussed the subject herself.
One theme that persists through the book is Agatha Christie's unattractiveness. She had, so Laura Thompson gives us to understand, become so unattractive that it was hardly surprising that Archie Christie should have looked elsewhere. One feels that the author believes that Mrs Christie would have done better to divert some of her energies from writing into keeping herself lovely, perhaps having face-lifts or something. Naturally, Ms Thomspon cannot bring herself to believe that Max Mallowan could possibly have found Agatha Christie attractive, there must have been other reasons why he wanted to marry her. The age difference between them is harped on constantly as if it was forty years instead of fourteen, and Agatha Christie's lack of attractiveness is mentioned so frequently that you cannot help wondering why Laura Thompson is so peculiarly obsessed with this subject, and why she considers Mrs Christie to have been so repulsive.
She is generally quite interesting when discussing the books, and one of the parts I enjoyed most was her favourable comparison of Mrs Christie with the other well-known detective writers of her era. She is staunch in her defense of Agatha Christie as a fine writer.
She has a slightly trying habit of quoting from Agatha Christie's 'Mary Westmacott' novels as if they are straightforward autobiography, which I found somewhat irritating, the books may indeed have a lot of autobiographical detail in the, but they were not written as autobiography, and I found it a bit annoying that she constantly quotes from them as if they are.
Throughout the book, Laura Thompson freely reveals the identity of the murderer in many of the stories, so if you happen not to have read all of Agatha Christie's mysteries, you may need to be wary of this.
An interesting book, I didn't agree with everything the author had to say, but that only made it more enjoyable to read, there's nothing like having something to disagree with!
If you haven't already done so, I would recommend reading Mrs Christie's own fascinating autobiography before you read this.