Saturday, August 3, 2013

The Grand Tour Agatha Christie

This is a good looking book and it promises to be a fine travel book, but about 90% of what is written is drop dead boring.
The photographs are fine when they are about places rather than people.
The letters that she wrote home to her mother were very dull.  And all the complaints about Belcher with his bad leg and worse disposition are not very interesting at all.
I've been skimming and reading some bits.  She travels with the boring rich, so the bits are few and far between.  Compared to a Theroux travel book, this is a complete failure and I suspect it would not have been read by anyone if it were about anyone other than Agatha Chrisie.

Presently she is in Australia and there the visit is somewhat more interesting.  There, for example, she actually sees some things.  Just now I'm reading her impressions of the skeleton of a marsupial rhinoceros, Nototherium Mitchelli


Here she recounts some interesting pieces in the museum including the sale of a wife for the sum of a bottle of rum and twenty ewes.
"Had the lady been more prepossessing in appearance, doubtless the bidding would have been more brisk!"

There is a great photo of  a train over a tressle above The Russell River in Babuda, Queensland.  Too much of the book is full of meetings with important people of the day, a sort of name dropping that for those of us not in the upper class is rather vapid.


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