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Agatha Christie: An Autobiography

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  5,222 ratings  ·  506 reviews
When Agatha Christie died on 12 January 1976, she was known throughout the world as the Queen of Crime, unrivalled as the best-selling novelist of all time with two billion books sold in more than 100 languages. Though she kept her private life a mystery, for some years Agatha had secretly written her autobiography, and when it was published after her death, millions of he ...more
Hardcover, 532 pages
Published 2011 by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd (first published 1977)
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4.27  · 
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 ·  5,222 ratings  ·  506 reviews


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Luann
Dec 28, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  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
BrokenTune
Aug 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
"Towards the beginning of the war, Graham Greene had written to me and asked if I would like to do propaganda work. I did not think I was the kind of writer who would be any good at propaganda, because I lacked the single-mindedness to see only one side of the case. Nothing could be more ineffectual than a lukewarm propagandist. You want to be able to say ‘X is black as night’ and feel it. I didn’t think I could ever be like that."

Dame Agatha - one of the most puzzling authors I have ever read.
...more
Olivier Delaye
Dec 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a long, long book… which, when you think about it, only stands to reason as it is, after all, the autobiography of Dame Agatha Christie who lived to be 85. The reason why it took me so long to read it is because while many passages are really engrossing and revealing as to how she came up with her ideas and ended up being the number one best-selling author of all time (more than a billion copies of her books sold worldwide, and still counting!), other parts and sometimes entire sections are ...more
Leena
Jan 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Amy
I finally FINISHED!!
*angels start singing*
This book has been sitting on my currently reading list for 5 months and one day, filling me with guilt and trepidation. But I did it! I finished it!
And to be honest, it was a good book. Agatha Christie is warm, funny, and interesting. I enjoyed reading more about her life. It helped that I already had a fairly good idea of her life going in. She is rather selective in her subjects, which is fine! This is her autobiography.
The problem with this book is
...more
Cassandra
Dec 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wer kennt den Namen Agatha Christie nicht? Sie war die Meisterin des englischen Krimis, ihre Bücher haben sich überall in der Welt verkauft und haben sie zu einer der meistgelesenen Schriftstellern gemacht. Mit Miss Marple und Hercule Poirot hat sie Detektive geschaffen, die schon lange Kultstatus erreicht haben. Ihr Bühnenstück ‚Die Mausefalle‘, wird jeden Tag im Londoner West End seit 1952 aufgeführt. Ob ‚Tod auf dem Nil‘, ‚Mord im Orient-Express‘ oder ‚Zeugin der Anklage‘, viele ihre Werke wu ...more
Veronique
Feb 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don’t often read biographies - pretty rarely in fact - but Agatha Christie being one of my all time favourite authors, it seemed rude not to.

First impression - this is one big book! Fear not however, it reads very easily and fast. Christie’s voice comes through her sentences, and it is one full of character and humour. From witnessing her Victorian childhood to married life, passing through not one but two world wars, I was enthralled! I was also many times surprised. Agatha for instance, alb
...more
Nathan
Sep 07, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: auto-biography
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
D
Aug 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography, english
A pleasant read. Especially her childhood was interesting and slightly eccentric.
Claire
Apr 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
MTK
Apr 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Για θαυμαστές της Αγκάθα Κρίστι, επιβάλλεται να διαβάσουν την αυτοβιογραφία της. Εκτός του ότι έζησε μια πολύ ενδιαφέρουσα ζωή, εάν μετά ξαναδιαβάσεις τα αστυνομικά της μυθιστορήματα, ανακαλύπτεις επιπλέον διαστάσεις στους χαρακτήρες και τις καταστάσεις.
Sophia
Jul 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've read a handful of biographies and seen a few TV specials on Agatha Christie, but I had never picked up her autobiography until I saw it offered free on Audible. I was amazed to discover that she narrated it herself.

Her autobiography was engaging and reminded me of why, from an early age, I was enthralled by her books. I've read them all and consider myself a big fan. I found this bio in her own words and spoken from her own lips were wonderful glimpses into the life of a very private woman.
...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
Célia | Estante de Livros
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
Lata
Mar 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: x2018-read, auth-f
Surfer and home decorator. And prolific and really popular author. Shy all her life and imaginative, Agatha Christie led a long and busy life, writing, travelling, and spending a lot more time at archeological digs with her second husband Max than I realized.
I think I read my first mystery by Christie when I was eleven, then read every title my library had shortly after. I enjoyed their fast pace and figuring out who the bad guy was. And I guess I’m not the only one as her books remain popular.
...more
Hermien
Nothing very revelatory or startling but a jolly good account of growing up in the early 1900s in an upper-middle class family and travelling in the 1920s and 1930s and its practicalities.
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
Molly Black
Jun 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Marilyn
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book, first published in 1977.

Early on in her life, she showed us examples of her very imaginary mind, despite having trouble with writing and spelling. The family thought she was 'slow'. I loved her mention of favourite books too from her youth and I found myself going and researching these titles. Despite the constant encouragement by her family, Agatha never believed she could write.

Her very first book, Mystery at Styles had several rejections from publishers and for a time she
...more
Susanne
May 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Marietta
Apr 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Αγαπημένη Agatha, λατρευω όλα τα βιβλια της. Αυτό ηταν το καλύτερο της νομίζω, γράφει με απλότητα και χιούμορ για την συναρπαστική ζωή που έζησε.
Peter Tillman
DNF @66/513. I liked what I read OK, but i was never that much of a Christie fan, and the thought of reading another 450 pages about her life is, well, daunting. So, life is too short. In my case, literally so! Moving on to something else. More for serious Christie readers, I think.
Olga_evstifeeva
Dec 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the most sunny and cozy books I’ve ever read! Agatha Christie was a person I would love to be friends with. Easy in a good way, a bit ironic, sometimes sad, but always life-asserting, this book gifted me with great reading time. Would recommend to anyone.
Soledad Blanco
May 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2018
En el verano, leí Huellas en el desierto, una novela de Gabriela Margall donde se cuenta la historia de amor entre Agatha Christie y su segundo esposo, el arqueólogo Max Mallowan, un hombre mucho más joven que ella. Quedé tan enganchada con la vida de Agatha, quien es una de mis escritoras preferidas, que decidí comprarme su autobiografía. Este libro lo terminó de escribir a los 75 años, pero recién se publicó después de su muerte. Yo compré una edición en inglés en tapa blanda en Book Depositor ...more
Debra Hewitt
May 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
rabbitprincess
Sep 16, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  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
Lyimee Saikia
Jul 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Agatha Christie had always left me engrossed with the many mysteries and adventures of Miss Marple and Poirot. I remember reading Sidney Sheldon's autobiography and exclaiming how much it resembled the style he chose for his fiction; his life seemed like a roller coaster ride with sudden turns that could only be expected out of a fictional thriller plot.

Picking up Christie's autobiography with the same expectations, of course I was left slightly taken aback by how vastly different hers was from
...more
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Agatha Christie also wrote romance novels under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott, and was occasionally published under the name Agatha Christie Mallowan.

Agatha Christie is the best-selling author of all time. She wrote 66 crime novels and story collections, fourteen plays, and six novels under a pseudonym in Romance. Her books have sold over a billion copies in the English language and a billion in t
...more
“It is a curious thought, but it is only when you see people looking ridiculous that you realize just how much you love them. ” 4413 likes
“But surely for everything you love you have to pay some price.” 293 likes
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