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An Autobiography

4.22 of 5 stars 4.22  ·  rating details  ·  2,283 ratings  ·  252 reviews
The autobiography of the queen of mystery, Agatha Christie.
ebook, 576 pages
Published June 8th 2010 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published 1977)
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Luann
Oct 24, 2010 Luann rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Luann by: Mitzie from the Pick-a-Shelf group
If you sat down with Agatha Christie and asked her about her life, this book would be the story she would tell. It is very conversational in tone. I found some parts to be extremely fascinating, and other parts only mildly interesting - especially in the beginning. I was very interested in the parts where she talked about her writing, how she got the ideas for many of her books, and how she felt about them. She had written many, many books before she ever thought of herself as a real author. I'v...more
Leena
I felt as if I'd dropped in for afternoon tea with Dame Agatha! I simply couldn't put this book down. To my mind this is Agatha Christie's most absorbing work ... the story of her own fascinating and unconventional life which gently unfolds to the reader complemented by her subtle, dry wit. She covers so much in this work: an idyllic Victorian childhood, youthful romances, dashed aspirations to be an opera singer or a classical pianist, two marriages the first of which ended in divorce, her daug...more
Claire
I have read books about Agatha Christie and so was delighted when I found this in my local second hand bookshop. It's great to hear her life (or parts of her life) in her own words, and she does have a wonderful way of describing things that really does bring it all to life. I liked especially when she talks about her early life, and the morals, standards and ideas of the time (eg swimming costumes, cars, planes, etc).

It is a shame that she doesn't talk about her disappearance, but I suppose she...more
Joanna
In the world of modern autobiography, it often seems that many memoirs are written by good writers who have had nothing much happen to them, or by people who've lived very interesting lives but have no particular talent for writing about them. This book is a wonderful journey to the days when writing your memoirs was a task reserved for a late life reflection on all you've accomplished, and Agatha Christie (even sans detectives) can certainly spin a good story.

This book was written in 1965, when...more
Nathan
Never a great fan of Agatha Christie's works, I was surprised to enjoy her autobiography. I'm not sure what I expected--perhaps an improbably boring story about her swanning around London society and then a great reveal at the end where it turned out her twin sister had written the novels? I didn't get that: Christie was awkward in public, enjoyed travel and archaeology (marrying the great archaeologist of Nineveh and Mosul, Max Mallowan), and was a keen observer of people and society.

Her memoi...more
Célia
Antes de mais, acho que me posso considerar fã de Agatha Christie, apesar de ainda me faltarem muitos livros para poder dizer que li a maioria da sua obra. Agatha é a escritora mais vendida e traduzida de sempre e acho fantástico termos oportunidade de conhecer a vida dela através das suas próprias palavras. Isto tem prós e contras: se, por um lado, só ela poderia explicar ao leitor a importância que determinados acontecimentos tiveram na sua vida e nos dá uma visão muito particular sobre os mes...more
Hellen
A lovely autobiography by Agatha Christie. The same way of writing I enjoy so much in her detective stories, even though I can't exactly pinpoint what it is. Perhaps a sort of elegance of simplicity and a slightly more classic English? At least it makes me feel all warm and cozy inside.

I had hoped she would write more about her books and writing, even though her life in Victorian times is quite interesting too. There's little tidbits of information about her stories here and there. I was slightl...more
Susanne
An absorbing read for me. What an extraordinary life Agatha Christie had: from her Victorian upbringing in a well-to-do household, to a much more austere life after her father died, to her first husband Colonel Christie who took her on travels around the world, to her amazing rise as the Queen of the detective story, to her impulsive solo trips to the Middle East after her marriage dissolved and finally meeting her second husband (an archeologist) who took her with him all all his "digs"... WOW!...more
rabbitprincess
Aug 29, 2012 rabbitprincess rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Christie fans
Recommended to rabbitprincess by: Ray
* * * * 1/2

For those who have wondered what the "Queen of Crime" was really like, this autobiography ought to give you a pretty good idea. It was first started in the 1950s and continued until about 1975, written in a rough chronological order but by no means a scholarly account. Christie herself likened it to a "lucky dip", where she would dip her hand in and see what memories she dredged up.

Agatha’s personality fairly leaps from the page. I admire her resilience in the face of adversity, her a...more
Debi
Reading Agatha Christie's memoir was like dropping in for tea and cozy chats with a dear friend, chats full of humor, philosophy and meandering reminiscences. I started the book with some mild curiosity about her life and career, but over the course of the five months I spent reading it interspersed with other books, my admiration for the author grew. In the end, I felt real affection for her. And I gained a better perspective on the tremendous changes that took place in the world during her lif...more
Jennifer Rayment
The Good Stuff

Delightful charming read
Fascinating stories of Agatha's life
Learned so much about life during the war in England
Interesting historical information
Enjoyed the chapter where Agatha talks about the production of going swimming as a girl and a women in Victorian England
Very wise and accurate observations of life
Was actually quite surprised how intriguing of a read it was, had a hard time putting it down on a couple of occasions
Absolutley flabergasted that she really never had an...more
Kirei
Surprisingly, this book is not tightly written like her detective novels. It tends to ramble and she goes into excruciating detail on the topics that interest her (servants, boyfriends, clothes, travelling, etc.) She does not write all that much about her writing career. She doesn't seem at all passionate about it-she admits that she wrote books to make money.

I get the feeling she wrote this book to please herself and her loved ones, not necessarily to make the general public happy. Which is fi...more
Sophiebird
A nice blast into the past. I really enjoyed her humble attitude and how she learned her strengths and weaknesses. Always interesting to compare the ways of the half of the 20th century to the chaos of now. Like, no one would consider driving to an event a mile or two away unless they were ill or elderly. Sometimes this is a slow read, but still captivating. Her memory of her past is phenomenal.
Gwenyth
Feb 08, 2012 Gwenyth rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who really like Agatha Christie
This was ok... a bit slow-moving and I never found myself more than mildly interested. I liked best the sections about her childhood, although it was also interesting to learn that she had training as a pharmacist and a nurse in WWI.

She never gives much more away about herself or her family than she does about the characters in her books; everyone remains drawn in pretty broad strokes. It reads like a person trying to present a good image of themselves to the world. You do get a sense that there...more
Karen McQuestion
Despite the fact that this was beautfully written and chock full of details about a fascinating life, I can only give it 3 stars. There were almost too many details for my taste especially about her childhood, for which she had a very good memory. I was most interested about Christie's writing life and these portions were few and far between. I did learn that she was hesitant to critique other writers' work because she didn't want to discourage anyone, especially beginners.

Because it's an autobi...more
Christina
I really enjoyed this conversational memoir by Agatha Christie. Most of the events in this book take place before WWII. It is fun to read her thoughts on how she became interested in writing, and on her approaches to various books, stories, and plays. Of course, her memories of late-Victorian England and the opening decades of the 20th century are also fascinating. I was amazed to learn how shy she really was, and how little confidence she had in the early decades of her career. I loved the tone...more
Molly Black
Once again a diamond found via swapping. This book is not only excellently written, it's also (unfortunately, in my eyes) very carefully written so as to keep a lot of the negative truths hidden.



She ignores completely her disappearance and the fact that BOTH her husbands not only cheated on her, but did so multiple times. These are three major life affecting things she either glosses over or completely ignores when she had the opportunity to discuss how these things affected her life, her feelin...more
Cherie
After visiting Torquay, Devon, England, I became interested in the life of its most well known native author, Agatha Christie. She wrote for over 50 years and set many of her mystery novels in the Devon area. She traveled to many exotic locations and set many of her stories in those places also. I was especially impressed that she was not afraid to travel alone or to go to strange and forbidding places lacking any of the comforts of home. Of course, at the time she went to places such as Iraq, I...more
Matt Stablein
Agatha Christie; An Autobiography is a truly enlightening and insightful novel on the enigmatic life of the world’s most profound modern author. Several years ago, my mother bought me a book, Agatha Christie’s Short Stories. At first I hated the book, but I grew to like it after some time. Agatha Christie suddenly became my favorite author, and I was reading everything that she wrote with fervor. Unfortunately, I knew little of Agatha Christie’s life, and that severely handicapped me in apprecia...more
Kiera Healy
When I was a child, we used to often do house-swaps for our holidays: someone would come and stay in our Hong Kong flat for a few weeks while we were in their house in Cape Town. In one of those houses, there was a vast selection of Agatha Christie novels. I was too young to read them, but my mother devoured them and recounted some of the stories to me. That started a love affair with Christie's books that has lasted a long time. When I picked up her autobiography, I had read nearly all of her n...more
Magda
Got this from the library and then realized I own it.

This was beautiful and fascinating! I laughed out loud at several parts.

One part I marked, pp. 318-9: "There is nothing more thrilling in this world, I think than having a child that is yours, and yet is mysteriously a stranger. You are the gate through which it came into the world, and you will be allowed to have charge of it for a period; after that it will leave you and blossom out into its own free life—and there it is, for you to watch, l...more
Mahendra Palsule
Christie's autobiography will appeal to a select audience who either like her crime plots, or are interested in learning about writing. Though actually it can be enjoyable to a much wider audience.

Some of the highlights that may interest you:
- Enchanting anecdotes of the Victorian-era culture and values
- How her sister read out Sherlock Holmes stories to her when she was a child
- Her curious view of women's role in society that reflected her upbringing
- How she considered herself extremely poor...more
Chocolaa
أجاثا كتبت هالكتاب خلال 15 سنة وأنا قريته -بسبب المشاغل- في 3 شهور

فترة قرائية طويلة...ولكن بالنسبة لكتاب كتب خلال 15 سنة أعتقد إن ظروفي خلتني أعطي الكتاب حقه...وأستمتع فيه على مهلي

أجاثا الإنسانة كانت بالضبط مثل ما توقعتها من خلال قراءتي لقصصها ورواياتها...حبيت كتبها وحبيتها من خلال كتاباتها...على عكس بعض المؤلفين إلي يمكن حبيت كتبهم بس نفرت منهم كأشخاص ...أحس ان الكلام الي يكتبه الواحد حتى لو كان رواية وخيال ...يفشي عن شخصه بين السطور...وهذا بالضبط إلي كنت احسه من خلال قراءاتي لروايات أجاثا كريس...more
Lindsaygail
I kept picking this up and putting it down, so it took my quite a while to get through it, but I loved it. Christie writes about her entire life: from her Victorian childhood, up through both world wars, her trip around the world with her first husband, her literary success and on up to her 70s. Her style is so engaging and conversational, you feel like you're sitting with her and drinking tea while she tells you stories. Her tone is almost always lighthearted, and even when she recalls painful...more
Nikki Golden
What an exceptional book. Agatha Christie's "13 at Dinner" was one of the first mysteries I've ever ready, and I devoured her books after that. When I saw her autobiography on sale at the Printers Row book fair this year, I merely thought I would like to know a bit about her. What an exceptional life she led! Born in Victorian England at the turn of the century, it's amazing to me how much change people born in that era lived through. Then there's the great amount of travel through the Middle Ea...more
Caroline Rose
Interesting to see which of her books Agatha Christie liked the most (and how her likes paralleled mine). My favorite, AND THEN THERE WERE NONE, she found technically satisfying to write. She also counted CROOKED HOUSE as a favorite, one I also love. I didn't realize ROGER AKROYD, another favorite, was such an early title. There was no mention of CURTAIN...maybe written after this was published?

The book she loved the best is something her publishers rejected, something like THE ABSENCE OF SPRING...more
Lara-nh
I enjoyed this very much. The beginning was a bit slow, meandering through childhood memories, but that's understandable since this book was created from tapes of Agatha Christie talking about her life. It picked up when she married Archie Christie. I enjoyed seeing how she took experiences and people from her daily life and incorporated them into her stories. She mentions a bus ride where three people got off and went home with her although they didn't realize it. She used them to build charact...more
Kristi Richardson
This is not your typical autobiography. It's more of a history on when and why she wrote her different books and plays. The unique thing for this is she reads it herself.

You can tell she is a very private person because there is little on her personal life in this story. It's really a textbook on how to write a book and how it worked for her.

For anyone who is a fan of Mrs. Christie's this is a fun book. Miss Marple is NOT her grandmother although a lot of characteristics they share, including a...more
John Nooney
I first encountered Agatha Christie's book when I was in high school (back in the early 1980s). They were the first "mystery" novels I'd ever read, and I've been a mystery fan ever since.

I bought my copy of "An Autobiography" in a used book shop, off a clearance table. I think I paid a quarter for it. I knew that she had written an autobiography, but wasn't sure that I wanted to read it. But, hey, for a quarter? Count me in.

Christie's memoir reads much like any of her mystery novels: simply wri...more
Jennifer Margulis
I loved this book. Agatha Christie had such an amazing life. Her rambling autobiography is over 550 pages but I found myself wishing it had been twice as long. I finished it wanting to know even more about her life, her thoughts on writing, and how she viewed her own tremendous success. Christie started writing the book when she was 60 years old, finished it when she was 75, and did not live to see it in print. She lived and worked through both world wars, spent a lot of time traveling around th...more
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123715
Agatha Christie also wrote romance novels under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott, and was occasionally published under the name Agatha Christie Mallowan.

Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller was born in Torquay, Devon, England, U.K., as the youngest of three. The Millers had two other children: Margaret Frary Miller (1879–1950), called Madge, who was eleven years Agatha's senior, and Louis Montant Miller (1880...more
More about Agatha Christie...
And Then There Were None Murder on the Orient Express (Hercule Poirot, #10) The Mysterious Affair at Styles (Hercule Poirot #1) Murder at the Vicarage (Miss Marple, #1) Death on the Nile (Hercule Poirot, #17)

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