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  • The 8.55 to Baghdad

  • By: Andrew Eames
  • Narrated by: Andrew Eames
  • Length: 12 hrs and 31 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (17 ratings)

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Summary

The author travels from London to Baghdad by train, following the route of an identical journey made by Agatha Christie in 1928. Many of the countries Eames passes through have been deeply troubled in recent years. Merging literary biography with travel adventure, The 8.55 to Baghdad is the journey of a lifetime.
©2005, 2006 Andrew Eames (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about The 8.55 to Baghdad

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    4 out of 5 stars

Agatha...and beyond

I was originally reticent to purchase this audiobook - I cant explain why - but I was glad that I did.

The initial premise of the journey (and the book) was to follow Agatha Christie's journey over land from the UK to Baghdad but the story turned into so much more. This book didnt cover just one journey by Christie, rather her 'second' life, following her divorce from her first husband and her travels and then life married to the much younger (~13 years younger) Max the archaeologist.

Christie was the premise, but not the main focus of the book. This was the countries the author travelled through, including the Baltic countries (a decade after being bombed into submission by Nato) through to Iraq (in the days leading up to the bombing by, you guessed it, Nato, in the initial days on the post-9/11 invasion to oust Saddam). Much is also given to the people he meets and travels with and the factions that develop when English people in particular travel together.

I rarely read/listen to non-fiction books that cover topics still so fresh in everyone's mind, but this book does not suffer. Eames is sympathetic to the peoples he meets (bar the English he travels with!), and is a decent narrator, which makes things all the easier to listen to

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A moment in time

This is an engaging account of a time now passed. A train journey from Sunningdale to Baghdad via Aleppo. The journey is completed just before the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and contains portraits of cities before war changed them linked to life story of Agatha Christie. It is particularly sad to hear descriptions of Aleppo, Palmyra, and Mosul from before they became names linked to destruction.

I listened to the book because I have travelled parts of the journey that the author undertakes. I had only a limited knowledge of Agatha Christie but this was not a problem. It is an interesting thread in the book that left me wanting to read more of her work, but the account can be read as a travelogue. At times Agatha slips into the background and contemporary issues take her place.

The train travel parts are a wonderful evocation of the joys and frustrations of railways. My only disappointment was that the author had not managed to take the train from Mosul to Baghdad - a journey I have always wanted to do.

And finally, in narrating his own words Eames did an excellent job. We see the world through his eyes.

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  • mr kieran j murphy
  • 29-04-20

give it time

I started this book a number of times but did not find it was what I was looking for. but this time I let it run for longer it started to follow the path I expected and really enjoyed from that point. It is more than a book about agatha Christie and brings in the second gulf war.