Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The Life And Times of Agatha Christie

     Martin Fido. The World of Agatha Christie (1999) I bought this book because the photos in it looked good. Now that I’ve read it, I’d recommend it to any Christie fan as a very good summary of her life and work.
     Fido uses the coffee-table book format to present carefully constructed snippets of information that add up to a complete picture of Christie’s life, and a fairly good summary of her work.  He’s a fan, but not a blindly idolising one, and reminds us that Christie was capable of producing duds. He notices her political naivete and casual racism, which contrast with her basic kindness and decency, suggesting that she didn’t reflect much on some aspects of life. We learn that she was an accomplished musician, that she took her work seriously, that she aspired to serious fiction as Mary Westmacott, that she and Max Mallowan had a happy life together, and that religion for her was a matter of faith, not rules and rituals.
       Well selected photos, but not enough of them. The date means that more recent adaptations aren’t treated. Too many typos, the kind perpetrated by over-reliance on spellcheck. There’s a more thorough Life of Christie hiding in this slim book. Recommended. ***

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