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Come, Tell Me How You Live
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Come, Tell Me How You Live

4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  1,261 ratings  ·  120 reviews
Agatha Christie was already a celebrated writer of mysteries when, in 1930, she married the archaeologist Max Mallowan. In the pre-war years thereafter, Christie enthusiastically joined her husband on various archaeological expeditions in the Middle East, and these shared adventures, these happy and memorable times, provided her not only with the background for several of ...more
Paperback, 222 pages
Published October 1st 1977 by Pocket Books (first published 1946)
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Rating Clarification: 4.5 Stars

I wasn't sure what to expect when I casually picked this memoir up at the library, but it certainly exceeded any expectations I might have had about Agatha Christie's personality, sense of humor, and joie de vivre.

Recently read biographies and/or memoirs of Daphne duMaurier and Georgette Heyer left me with a great respect for these women as writers, but didn't do much to endear them to me as women I'd personally want to know or be friends with. Not so with Dame Aga
Jul 12, 2011 Shovelmonkey1 rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: aspiring archaeologists and arm chair travellers
Come, Tell me how you live is Agatha Christie's invitation to the world to experience elements of her life after she married the famous archaeologist Max Mallowan. The title is a play on the word "Tell" which also means a man-made mound or hill constructed by the occupation of ancient civilisations (in Turkey we call them hoyuks). Christie, famed for her murder-mystery novels was greatly influenced by the ancient and modern cultures of the Middle East and a number of her literary set pieces were ...more
I was quite surprised to find this little-known work (at least to me) when browsing my university library's collection of books on Syria. A great book by the wonderful Agatha Christie, but not at all like her usual murder mysteries. This is a work of non-fiction about her life and times in Syria alongside her husband the archaeologist. Leave it to the lady of mystery to write about the experiences of the every-day life!

This book was like polite dinner conversation with one of the most interestin
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 ...more
Julie Davis
This engaging memoir covers Agatha Christie's time on archaeological digs with her husband, archaeologist Max Mallowan. Having just read They Came to Baghdad, I was struck by how many of the heroine's realizations of what archaeology teaches us were already familiar because they were Christie's own. Her love of the ordinary people and their lives comes through strong and clear. This is a wonderful look at the Middle East in a time gone by from a unique perspective. I can't recommend this highly ...more
Goodreads skips the proper authorship: Agatha Christie Mallowan. One of only two books where she included her husband's surname in her byline, I love this book as much for what it isn't as for what it is. Begun in the mid-1930's, this is the tale of an English archaeologist's wife trekking across Europe, through "Beyroot", to Syria, where they more than set up camp, they build a household. Returning annually, she entertains (slyly educating) the reader with tales of Kurds and Armenians and Moham ...more
Not knowing much about Agatha Christie, I enjoyed this insight into her. I read every one of her books that my library had when I was 10-11 and haven't read one since. I often think I'd like to, just don't get around to it. I would especially like to read the two mentioned on the blurb as having been influenced by her travels, Murder in Mesopotamia and Appointment with Death.
I liked all the characters she worked with: Michel with his 'economia' (buying 200 moulding oranges because they were so c
Reminded me of another 1930s piece of travel writing that I love: Anne Morrow Lindbergh's North to the Orient. Both feature a smart, fearless, fascinating couple setting out on an expedition to explore something new. In both cases, the wife documents the adventure but is still a full participant. Despite a slightly jarring touch of colonialism, Christie clearly loved Syria and found something fresh and exciting about the country in each subsequent dig. She loves the people she describes and reli ...more
This book is a gem if you are interested in reading memoirs, history and/or reading about Agatha Christie’s life in general. Set in Syria during the early 1930s, it’s an account of her life there while she accompanied her husband Max Mallowan on his archaeological excavations.

A simpler time when archaeology wasn’t weighed down with science and techniques. All you had to do, it seems, is catch a steam train at Victoria Station in London, transfer to the Orient Express in Calais and continue your
Dec 07, 2012 Kathryn marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stalled
And another library book meets the sad fate of having to be returned before I am finished with it. Not sure if I'll return to finish this one; I did enjoy it in its way, but after awhile it seemed all their scouting for just the right tell for an archeology dig got a bit redundant. Still, it was fun to catch a glimpse of Miss Christie as "Mrs Mallowan" (as she was known) in a role other than that of top-selling mystery book writer and instead one who travels through the mid-East looking for shar ...more
Agatha Christie, Mrs. Max Mallowan, has a pleasant chatty style in this book. It is based on notes and observations she made at the time and written up later. She very wisely has not tidied them up too much, so they keep their freshness (and the copious exclamation marks). The observations are often humorous, sometimes at her own expense. They also give an interesting insight into the day to day business of an archaeological dig in an under-developed area.
When I was at school one of the first su
I enjoyed Christie's diary of adventures in daily life during a few seasons in Syria with her husband. The tone is familiar from her novels set in the area, and as colonial in attitude, but I liked it anyway. I know I'm not supposed to, but can't find it in me to be ashamed of liking her novels or her attitude, though I do see how its not been terribly helpful to the present. Despite the attitude, she does seem to love the area and I like very much her descriptions of the lovely Kurdish women, c ...more
Raquel Curvacheiro
Depois do divórcio do primeiro marido, Agatha Christie viria a casar-se novamente, com um homem bastante mais novo, de seu nome Max Mallowan e de profissão arqueólogo. Após o casamento, Agatha acompanhá-lo-ia amiúde aos sítios das escavações (deduzo que seja essa a justificação pelo aparecimento desses cenários em romances como A Morte no Nilo e Morrer Não é o Fim), com a curiosidade e excitação de uma leiga que vive uma aventura pela primeira vez. Neste livro, Agatha relata, com o humor com que ...more
Clara Vale
Comprei este livro há muitos anos, numa edição dos Livros de Brasil e iniciei a sua leitura. Numa visita a casa dos meus pais em que levei o livro, a minha avó de empréstimo achou que o gostaria de ler e eu acabei por deixar o livro e interromper a sua leitura. E com isso se deve ter passado quase uma década de interrupção.
Já depois do seu falecimento o livro voltou às minhas mãos e retomei a leitura, já terminada na edição da Tinta da China entretanto oferecida pela minha filha.
O livro tocou-me
Jane Hoppe
In her Foreword, Agatha Christie Mallowan cautions the reader not to expect grand revelations in her archaeological travel journals, which have been compiled into the book Come, Tell Me How You Live. She says it is only “everyday doings and happenings.” Grand revelations they may not be, but what fascinating, delightful stories! When I finished reading this book, I just wanted to read it all again.

Although Christie’s husband, archaeologist Max Mallowan, and his crew sought artifacts from 4000 B.
This is 3.5 stars.

Agatha Christie is the best. This is a memoir of her time accompanying her husband on archaeological digs in Syria. Agatha is hilarious and sensible. She is upfront about the fact that this is not a very serious memoir and will not have insightful, in depth descriptions of a antiquities, history, politics or economic problems; rather it will contain passages like this:

I stand looking over the rail. How lovely it is, this coast with the mountains of the Lebanon standing up dim
Actually rather disappointing and (gasp!) boring. Her prejudices against "the natives" were not particularly charming, and her trials and tribulations were predominantly trivial.
This is a memoir of Agatha Christie's adventures in the middle east with her second husband, archeologist Max Mallowan, in the early 1930s. She tells everything with a hint of humor and is able to laugh at herself and everyone else - the English archeologists and architects, the French government officials, and the local Arabs, Kurds, and Armenians. She gives fascinating insight into the cultures of that part of the world, and also into the world of archeology. There are some areas of repetition ...more
An unexpectedly delightful book. I've never been a big fan of Christie's mysteries but this account of her life working with her archaeologist husband Max Mallowan on digs in Syria intrigued me. It's very light-hearted, and intended to be, so could be subtitled The Misadventures of an Archaeologist's Wife as they battle with clothing, transport, and uncomfortable accommodation in 1930s Syria. Her colonial attitude may be a little uncomfortable at times as Christie pokes fun at local people but h ...more
An Odd1
"Come, Tell Me How You Live" by Agatha Christie Mallowan chronicles pre-WW2 British archaeogist Max's wife digs in Syria, lightly amusing amalgam of recollections that emphasize humor, cultures different from the cores, impossible for either to fully comprehend, and the incomparable beauty of the setting, "the fertile steppe, which in spring will be green and starred with flowers ... peaceful and remote from man and the ways of civilization" (English) p53. The chronicle starts from "Modom, we do ...more
O único livro assinado Agatha Christie Mallowan, da extensa obra bibliográfica da autora, foi este Na Síria (Come, Tell Me How You Live - título da edição original).
De cariz descritivo e informativo, este livro responde à pergunta que muitas pessoas faziam à escritora, sobre como e onde se vive em uma escavação arqueológica e o que se faz nessas expedições quando não se é um arqueólogo?
Após começarmos a ler esta «crónica inconsequente» (palavras da autora), vamos tendo a percepção de que o acres
This endearingly funny and historically interesting book is a non-fiction account of Agatha's pre-war trips to Syria with archeologist husband Max. Compiled in 1944 from journals she kept during the trips, the writing isn't smooth, nor is it supposed to be. The title has double meaning; as archaeologists they search for evidence of how ancient cultures lived, and as travelers in a very rough and politically volitile area pre-WWII, this is a question Christie is asked by friends and fans. This bo ...more
This was a truly excellent book! I've always enjoyed reading Agatha Christie's mysteries, in fact they were almost the first ones I read as an adult. I found this book by chance in a bibliography of her writings, and since I'm somewhat interested in archaeology, requested it from my local library system.

It details the life she had during several years prior to World War II when accompanying her husband, Max Mallowan to Syria to do archaeological digs. She herself describes it as a "slight" book,
Second reading.

Replace archaeologist's wife with academic's wife, and 1930s with 2000s, and Agatha Christie's experiences in Syria are my own. It is amazing to me how her story resonated so much with me even though our situations in that country were so different. It reached the point where I wanted to read every other paragraph aloud to Jeremy because it was so familiar - squalid hotels, houses falling apart, noisy construction everywhere, hilarious cultural misunderstandings, the struggles of
Amy Lignor
The Mistress of Suspense Goes Personal in “Come, Tell Me How You Live” (An Archaeological Memoir)

Agatha Christie Mallowan was amazing and readers will discover an exhilarating story in a very small book with this treasure. Millions have been avid fans of Agatha Christie for many years, yet this happens to be a non-fictional account of an archaeological expedition that she went on to the Middle East with her husband, archaeologist Max Mallowan.

Agatha Christie was already a well-known author when
I hadn't known before I read this book that Agatha Christie was married to a famous archaeologist. I'm unfamiliar with the subject, so the name Max Mallowan doesn't really mean much to me, but I was intrigued by the idea of reading about a dig in the 1930s through the eyes of a non-archaeologist, and this book didn't disappoint. Right from the first chapter, where Christie describes the trials of finding and purchasing appropriate clothing for an archaeologist's wife, there's evidence of humour ...more
When I began reading this, I was mainly interested in hearing Agatha Christie's own voice in this memoir of the time she spent on an archaeological dig with her second husband. I had happened upon the fact that she had been on such an expedition when reading some of her mysteries set in the Middle East and had been fascinated by her adventurous spirit. Still, I didn't have extremely high expectations for the story as I knew it would diverge from her usual style and I didn't know much about her ...more
This is Agatha Christie's years with her husband Max as they travel around the Middle East on his archaeological digs. Christie is at her finest as she talks about the numerous people they meet, about her love for Max and her fascination with his discoveries. For a woman like Christie all of this was fodder for her imagination and you can see some of this in several of her stories. She comes across as still vibrant and full of life and the love of writing what she knows.
Kellie Holmstrom
This book was a great read of someone traveling thru an area in the 1930s. Interesting to read about her impressions of the people in the area and how they have similar issues today. This is an easy read but very insightful and worthy of the time spent. My favorite part was when the local sheik told her husband how impressed he was that she could read and wanted to know if she could write too.
Inspiring story about early-mid 20th century life and archeological research in Syria and Iraq. It's refreshing to read about times when those countries were not involved in big world politics, and were opened to everything unusual and new. In a way it is a travel journal, describing places where one can't go nowadays - either because of war, or because they don't exist any more.
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  • An Autobiography
  • Giant's Bread
Agatha Christie used the name Mallowan in publishing Come, Tell Me How You Live, a memoir about life on architectural digs with her second husband Max Mallowan, and Star over Bethlehem, a collection of short stories and poems. ...more
More about Agatha Christie Mallowan...
Star Over Bethlehem and Other Stories

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