Sunday, 4 August 2013

THE 8.55 TO BAGHDAD – Andrew Eames, 2004

I picked this up in a charity shop the other day and thought it would be worth a read. Eames attempts to take the same journey in 200x which Agatha Christie took in 1928. Back then, the Simplon Orient Express took care of most of it. At the start of the 21st Century, a series of smaller trains, coaches and tour groups needed to be organised, in order to view the same places. Now, because of the increased tensions in the Middle East, some of them are out of bounds altogether.
I enjoy travel writing. It, of course, transports you to new places, but the best of it also introduces you to new ideas and the history which it contains often makes me want to find out more. In this case, I am intrigued about how Libya and Syria, vilified in our news bulletins, were once some of the most beautiful places on earth.

The Agatha Christie element is enjoyable, too. Leaving Torquay for Mesopotamia was quite a step. This shows how it changed her as a person and a writer.

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