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text 2020-01-09 17:13
Fan Cast: They Came To Baghdad by Agatha Christie
They Came to Baghdad - Agatha Christie

 

Victoria Jones - Lily James
Mr. Dakin - Peter Capaldi
Edward Goring - William Moseley
Henry Carmichael - Noof McEwan

Richard Baker - Tom Hiddleston
Dr. Pauncefoot Jones - Jim Broadbent

 

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review 2020-01-09 17:03
Review: They Came To Baghdad by Agatha Christie
They Came to Baghdad - Agatha Christie

Title: They Came To Baghdad
Author: Agatha Christie
Series: N/A
Format: hardcover, bind-up
Length: 280 pages
Rating: 3.5 stars

 

Synopsis:
Baghdad is holding a secret superpower summit, but the word is out, and an underground organization in the Middle East is plotting to sabotage the talks.
Into this explosive situation appears Victoria Jones, a young woman with a yearning for adventure who gets more than she bargains for when a wounded spy dies in her hotel room.
The only man who can save the summit is dead. Can Victoria make sense of his dying words: Lucifer… Basrah… Lefarge.…

 

Favourite character: Victoria
Least favourite character: N/A

 

Mini-review:
I was super confused through parts of this, as it is very political and I know zilch about politics. Other than that it was a good book. Maybe not one of Agatha Christie's best, but it's a good mystery, even though the murder doesn't take place until halfway through the book.

 

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review 2019-10-20 14:05
Frankenstein in Baghdad - Ahmed Saadawi
Frankenstein in Baghdad: A Novel - Ahmed Saadawi

Frankenstein in Baghdad is one of those books where I'm quite glad to say that I read it, and it managed to keep my interest all the way through, but I can't see myself either re-reading it or recommending it to anyone unless they have very specific tastes. I'd picked up a copy in the local Oxfam shop, where it was shelved under SFF but it's very clearly (for me, as a long-term SFF reader) more a literary novel than a genre one. So, if that's your cup of tea then it might work better for you than it did for me. 

 

The basic premise of the book is that it's set in Baghdad during the Iraq War, with US forces in the background of the story all the time as one man initially takes it on himself to try and get some kind of closure for the many people who have been killed by bombs. Hadi, who otherwise makes a living buying and selling secondhand furniture, does this by stitching the body parts together to make a whole person, only for that 'person' to be taken over by the wandering spirit of someone who is killed in a local car-bombing. The Whatsisname, as it's referred to for a good chunk of the book, takes on the mission of killing the people responsible for the death of its body parts, as well as waging an ongoing battle against its own disintegrating body and replacing bits as they fall off. 

 

This is all taking place alongside other stories, one of an elderly widow who comes to believe the Whatsisname is her long-lost son, returned by divine intervention from a previous war many years earlier. There's also the storyline of Mahmoud, a journalist who arrives in Baghdad fleeing the vengeance of a criminal he'd written about, only to get sucked into the schemes his boss has cooked up as Mahmoud writes about what's happening there. There are other stories too, including the use of astrology to predict terrorist acts which seems so unlikely that it's probably true. 

 

All in all, I can see why Frankenstein in Baghdad was nominated for the Booker, as it's a well-written literary work, but as a fan of genre it didn't really strike a chord with me in the same way. There was a little too much navel-gazing going on, which is literary fiction all the way as I see it. 

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review 2019-08-30 09:10
Bath to Baghdad, Catrin Jones
Bath to Baghdad - Catrin Jones Bath to Baghdad - Catrin Jones

Ellen Tanner was one of those priveleged Victorian ladies with an adventurous spirit, an income, an education and no husband who flouted convention and thus helped demonstrate that women are not merely household adornments or servants. She was also an Imperialist with a strong sense of entitlement and superiority...

 

She was an early example of a British female tourist to the Middle East where she travelled accompanied by local guides - no other Western Europeans - and bought quantities of local art works, usually decorative arts. These she gave to various museums, including the Holborne Museum in Bath. This little book showcases the best in that collection whilst not shying away from the by modern standards questionable ethics and attitudes of Tanner and other collectors of the period.

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review 2019-06-04 21:52
Review: They Came To Baghdad by Agatha Christie
They Came to Baghdad - Agatha Christie

Title: They Came To Baghdad
Author: Agatha Christie
Series: N/A
Format: hardcover, bind-up
Length: 280 pages
Rating: 3.5 stars

 

Synopsis:
Baghdad is holding a secret superpower summit, but the word is out, and an underground organization in the Middle East is plotting to sabotage the talks.
Into this explosive situation appears Victoria Jones, a young woman with a yearning for adventure who gets more than she bargains for when a wounded spy dies in her hotel room.
The only man who can save the summit is dead. Can Victoria make sense of his dying words: Lucifer… Basrah… Lefarge.…

 

Favourite character: Victoria
Least favourite character: N/A

 

Mini-review:
I was super confused through parts of this, as it is very political and I know zilch about politics. Other than that it was a good book. Maybe not one of Agatha Christie's best, but it's a good mystery, even though the murder doesn't take place until halfway through the book.

 

Fan Cast:

Victoria Jones - Lily James
Mr. Dakin - Peter Capaldi
Edward Goring - William Moseley
Henry Carmichael - Noof McEwan
Richard Baker - Tom Hiddleston
Dr. Pauncefoot Jones - Jim Broadbent

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