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Passenger to Frankfurt

Passenger to Frankfurt

Written by Agatha Christie

Narrated by Hugh Fraser


Passenger to Frankfurt

Written by Agatha Christie

Narrated by Hugh Fraser

ratings:
3/5 (53 ratings)
Length:
6 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Jul 3, 2012
ISBN:
9780062231666
Format:
Audiobook

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Also available as bookBook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Description

Christie's superb stand-alone mystery, Passenger to Frankfurt, is a true masterwork of surprise and suspense, as a diplomat comes to the aid of a terrified woman in an airport, only to find that his identity has been stolen and his life is suddenly in serious jeopardy.

Sir Stafford Nye's flight home from Malaya takes an unprecedented twist when a young woman confides in him that someone is trying to kill her. In a moment of weakness, he agrees to lend her his passport. Unwittingly, the diplomat has put his own life on the line.

When he meets the mystery woman again, she is a different person, and he finds himself drawn into a battle against an invisible-and altogether more dangerous-enemy. . . .

Publisher:
Released:
Jul 3, 2012
ISBN:
9780062231666
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

About the author

Agatha Christie is the most widely published author of all time, outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare. Her books have sold more than a billion copies in English and another billion in a hundred foreign languages. She died in 1976, after a prolific career spanning six decades.


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What people think about Passenger to Frankfurt

3.1
53 ratings / 23 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (2/5)
    In the ’20s, Christie wrote several thrillers before she was firmly established as the ‘Queen of Crime’. None of them were amazing – indeed, we’ll see most of them coming up in the next couple of posts – but neither were any as misguided as this one, perhaps unwisely chosen to celebrate Christie’s 80th birthday. (It’s a wonder her reputation didn’t slide further during her last years.) A 'North by Northwest' scenario sees a diplomat caught up in what can only be described as a web of international intrigue (what else would you call it?), up against the usual world-domination seeking manic. So many questions… I just don’t care.
  • (4/5)
    Agatha Christie’s fans might not enjoy this book so much. It departs completely from Mrs. Christie’s style. (Actually, I find a lot of The Big Four in it.) First of all, it is a spy thriller—but not like other and older Christie’s spy thrillers. It reminded me a lot of Buchan’s books—especially The 39 Steps. So, if you don’t like old-fashioned spy thrillers, step away from the bookshelf! If you read Buchan and liked it, you will enjoy this book. Mrs. Christie was highly criticized, even ridiculed, when the book appeared. A fellow writer condemned its “idiotic conventions.” A highly condescending critic wondered if “the old dear” understood “the difference between a hippie and a skinhead.” But we will never know, because she never mentioned either in the book. (And I wonder if this critic actually read her book...) Another critic wrote that the plot was “inconceivable,” which is surprising, considering he was old enough to have heard of Hitler’s Youth. For him the book’s end was “incomprehensible muddle,” yet, it was clear to me. The same critic believed Mrs. Christie did not understand what “Third World” meant; yet it was clear she used it not with the connotation of “Third World Country,” but the (utopian) world the rebelled youths thought they were helping to create. It is clear that her critics never perused the pages of John Buchan; they would have been well informed had they bothered, instead of dishonorably belittling an eighty year-old extremely lucid lady. She was quite right when she described how the youths were being brainwashed: "against their mode of government; [...] their parental customs, [...] the religions in which they have been brought up." Just the way it is happening with our kids in schools and libraries nowadays. Incomprehensible muddle? I think not!
  • (2/5)
    This book confused me, it felt like "snippets" of conversations, ideas, circumstances here & there......

    The book begins w/ a man giving his overcloak & passport to a young woman, as she has convinced him that if she gets on her prearranged flight, that she will be killed..... So while she "steal" his things (so that she might take on his identity), he goes to the airport concession & purchases a stuffed panda for his niece.....................

    When he goes back to London, it is that he is in the Secret Service & everyone there is discombobulated not being able to figure out what happened....

    I still really never understood the point or anything about the story, not to mention all the spy stuff bored me as I found the characters flat & dull... not anyone to like or care about.
  • (2/5)
    In There is a Tide, Poirot remarks to Superintendent Spence that it's always the human interest that gets him. I think that is what I like so much about Agatha Christie's books – her incisive and almost brutal analyses of all the people in her books. This is especially well achieved in her books about murders within families. Unfortunately, that's also what this book lacks.Passenger to Frankfurt seems to be Agatha Christie's attempt to write a thriller. I am not sure how many of these non-murder mystery books she's written; this is the first one I've read. It follows a global conspiracy to control the world, reviving Nazism along the way. The protagonist is a British diplomat, who is aided by a beautiful female spy.The book features some traditional Christie trademarks, like the couple falling in love, and some incisive commentary about the players in the conspiracy. However, most of it felt muddled and incomprehensible, and a little dated. I think Christie's brand of sensationalism works really well for small towns, but doesn't translate well to global events. I also didn't really understand how each event led to the next, and there were way too many characters introduced, so I couldn't keep track of who was who. The narrative wasn't cohesive, with viewpoints being switched erratically. I'd stick to Christie's murder mysteries.Originally posted on my blog.
  • (2/5)
    A minor diplomat's flight is re-directed to the Frankfurt Airport, where he meets a mysterious woman who asks him for his passport and boarding ticket so that she can go in his place on the connecting flight, or else she is at risk of being murdered. He soon finds himself wrapped up in an international intrigue with fatal consequences. This book starts off interestingly enough with several successions of cat-and-mouse games. It's almost like a 'cozy' spy thriller, if such a thing existed. But then about halfway through, it really starts to go off the rails. We stop seeing our two main leads and spend a lot of time with various stuffy old men in boardrooms conversing on the dangers of the "youth" and what to do about it without ever getting anywhere.Now, some of those youths are neo-Nazis and should rightly be feared. Others are simply critical of the Vietnam War, for example, or are fighting for racial equality. Still others are in the depths of drug addictions. These seem to all be lumped together as one massive issue across the globe. The book has no real villain and no real focus as a consequence. No wonder that Christie wrote herself into a corner and 'solved' the whole thing by one double agent being unmasked (even though that didn't really solve anything....).Also, this book really shows its author's age, with several references to one character being "yellow" (i.e., Asian) and one use of the n- word. The only reason I give it two stars is because the first few chapters started out strong; too bad Christie's writing then took a steep downhill plummet.
  • (3/5)
    Tis has a perfect beginning --a British bureaucrat with too much humor for is job is approached by a young wqman in Frankfort airport who asks him to let her impersonate her because her life is in danger -- he does, and se turns out to be a British intelligence agent, and he is drawn into countering a plot; unfortunately the conspiracy against world peace is a rather tedious conventional one. In some ways it reminds he of Destination Unknown, which also has an interesting beginning involving impersonation and a rather incredible plot.
  • (2/5)
    Written late in Agatha Christie's career, this story begins with an introduction from the author in which she talks about where her ideas come from. It gives an interesting insight into the way Agatha Christie thought. She says that the ideas for the story and the characters are her own, but that the setting is usually real, somewhere she has been, and the action for the story may come from something she has observed or read in a newspaper.In her own words - Introduction: The Author SpeaksPASSENGER TO FRANKFURT was the last of Agatha Christie's stand-alone novels, written when she was 80, six years before her death. I think her readers at the time would mainly have been very disappointed in the novel, not so much in the standard of the writing, but in her preoccupation with the idea that evil powers are taking over the world. Of course she prepares us in a way in the Introduction, by saying "it is not an impossible story - it is only a fantastic one". She seems to be saying that if we look for the sort of events we find in the novel we will also find similar ones reported in our daily newspapers. What she has done is bring instances of them together.However the sort of paranoia she displays here has surfaced before in her "espionage" novels and in the preoccupation she showed with a controlling evil force behind European economies, or the idea of a master criminal who was controlling world events. So these fears are not new to Christie.I think she probably is reflecting what people of her age must have been thinking in the late 1960s - is this what we won the Second World War for? A society of unrest, political upheaval, student protest, permissiveness, the collapse of the old social order, the rise of neo-Nazism?However Agatha Christie is not Ian Fleming and she does not carry this sort of novel off at all well. It seems to degenerate into political polemic but the reader is not even really sure what side some of the characters are on. And then at the end there is a touch of romance!It is the only one of her novels that I have nearly not finished. I was tempted to put it down several times, and from what I have read of other reviews, I am not on my own.
  • (5/5)
    I love Agatha Christie books! In this story, I like the main characters and lots of the other characters, too. I love the way the author describes people. This story gives you something to think about.
  • (2/5)
    Sir Stafford Nye er en slags diplomat, men ikke ret god for han tager ikke tingene alvorligt nok. I lufthavnen bliver han overtalt til at lave et stunt med at få sit pas stjålet og brugt af grevinde Renata Zerkowski som er på mission for en komite af folk med indflydelse som er ved at bore i, hvem der står bag uroligheder rundt omkring i verden. Komiteen omfatter en dygtig efterretningsmand Horsham og en Lord Altamount og rigmanden Robinson.Grevinde Charlotte von Waldsausen leder dem til Franz Josef, som er en smuk ung mand, som hilses med et Heil og med fanfaren for Den unge Siegfried som kendingsmelodi. Den mystiske sammensværgelse rekrutterer masser af unge og vælter sig i penge og våben, sågar flyvemaskiner uden at myndighederne kan stille noget op. (Det lyder ikke ret sandsynligt.)Ind på banen kommer professor Robert Shoreham og redder verden med projekt Benvo, der gør alle folk flinke og fornuftige. Dog skal James Kleek og Milly Jean lige afsløres som forrædere dog først efter at have skudt Lord Altamount.Næsten alle i komiteen og sågar Waldsausen kender også Nye's grandtante Lady Matilda Baldwen-White.Og til sidst bliver Nye og grevinden også gift med hinanden.Plottet er Bond-agtigt, men meget utroværdigt og sært. Bogen er skrevet på Agatha Christies gamle dage, hvilket mærkes tydeligt.Sær og dårlig bog. Og endda mere dårlig end sær.
  • (1/5)
    You can create a third world now, or so everyone thinks, but the third world will have the same people in it as the first world or the second world or whatever names you like to call things. And when you have the same human beings running things, they’ll run them the same way. You’ve only got to look at history.’ ‘Does anybody care to look at history nowadays?’

    The thing is, I actually enjoyed the first half of the book.....then it became more and more convoluted and bizarre.

    Ok, a bit more detail: I could follow the plot up to about the half-way mark and had even made peace with the plot basically being about a resurgence of Nazi-Germany, orchestrated by some weird Countess and thwarted by some English gentleman, his girlfriend, and his auntie (who incidentally was at school with the Countess).

    As a plot it was way out there, like a deliberately bad space opera,......and it was only the ridiculousness of the whole thing that made it bearable.
    But it didn't stop there (or anywhere, really), on top of the plot we also get what I think was Christie's re-imagination of Charles de Gaulle - as the Marshal ??? - but being somewhat deranged and hell-bent on declaring war on all youths, because they are the root of the evil that seems to have befallen the world (seriously, in the context of the plot this is supposed to make some sense - because young people are incapable of individual thought?).

    "‘Riot must be put down. Rebellion! Insurrection! The danger to men, women and children, to property. I go forth now to quell the insurrection, to speak to them as their father, their leader. These students, these criminals even, they are my children. They are the youth of France. I go to speak to them of that. They shall listen to me, governments will be revised, their studies can be resumed under their own auspices. Their grants have been insufficient, their lives have been deprived of beauty, of leadership. I come to promise all this. I speak in my own name. I shall speak also in your name, the name of the Government, you have done your best, you have acted as well as you know how. But it needs higher leadership. It needs my leadership. I go now. I have lists of further coded wires to be sent. Such nuclear deterrents as can be used in unfrequented spots can be put into action in such a modified form that though they may bring terror to the mob, we ourselves shall know that there is no real danger in them. I have thought out everything. My plan will go."

    We also get some science, well pseudo-science, about drugs and mind-control. In particular, drugs that make people benevolent, but may also lobotomise them.

    Seriously, tho, where I lost it was with the seemingly endless political theorizing between the parts that actually moved the plot forward. So boring, so weird, so making me forget what point we were at in the story.

    Having finished, my verdict is that this truly is a terrible book, not just a terrible Christie book, but a pretty poor work of writing altogether. However, it is worth reading it to see that towards the end of her career, Christie really did lose touch with the world and her readers. The only question is whether this was a result of some sort of dementia or whether there was another reason.
  • (2/5)
    This is one of the few Christie books that hasn't aged well. Passenger to Frankfurt is more of a suspense/spy thriller than a mystery novel in the classic Christie style.
  • (2/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    I had to quit reading this book. I kept falling asleep. Now, that doesn't mean the book is unreadable, but at this point in my life it didn't hold my interest. Very slow pace and what to me, was a very uninteresting premise. I'll have to stick to Christie's mysteries.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (3/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    Generally I enjoy Agatha Christie's works but I have to say, I found this one to be wanting. This is supposed to be an international spy thriller, like James Bond fighting SPECTER, but it is either to short or to grand in attempt. I loved the first couple chapters. Then it seemed to become unfocused and very unbelievable, wondering around from group to group. She never really spent enough time anywhere to make a good story, finally finishing in a way that suggests she was tired of the book and wanted it to end fairly well. Certainly avoid this one if it's an introduction to Christie.Stafford Nye is a minor diplomat for the British government and because of his attitude of having some fun over seriousness, he has not advanced nearly as far as he could. On one trip home from Malaya he ran into another passenger who asked a favor from him and brought him into a whole other realm of international politics.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (2/5)
    By the time I finished the book I was astonished by the turn of events. This was the first novel by Mrs. Christie that hasn't gone well with me. And I think for that Mrs. Christie herself is to be blamed entirely. Firstly for choosing espionage as the center theme for this book. And secondly for writing this book.Well if anything, one thing is assured and that's espionage is not Mrs. Christie forte. As much as I appreciate Mrs. Christie's work, this book fails to impress at all.This book begins with intriguing plot involving a diplomat and mysterious look alike girl who thinks her life is in danger. And then the plot thickens for some next few pages as this diplomat tries to search this girl, he even succeeded and then right in the middle of the book Mrs. Christie loses the plot and started babbling about god knows what for the next 200 pages and then in the end she again catches your attention and finish off in style like always. This book suffers from a few drawbacks. To begin with, the story fails to pick up at any point of time, it was rather like reading excerpts patch together to assemble a book. The story is little disoriented as in, the beginning and the ending are so much out of sync that it felt like they came from two different books. Also the story sways from one character to another a lot, so it actually tricky to comprehend what actually is going on. The lack of a dedicated protagonist also works against the benefit of the book. Moreover there are several questions left unanswered which leave the reader pondering at the end and rather gives an impression of an incomplete story.These are a lot of drawbacks to even deserve two stars but there are also a few things which work in favor of Mrs Christie like the eloquence of this master story teller which make this novel an easy read despite of its flawed story.I would say if you are not a die hard Christie fan you can give this book a pass and devour something worthy
  • (1/5)
    I've read a bit of Agatha Christie but after seven chapters, I wasn't sure who I was reading. It started so very AC but then went off on tangents that made me question if there were a conspiracy in writing the book. I will continue to read AC but I would not recommend this book to anyone but a hardcore AC fan.
  • (1/5)
    I love most of Christie's mysteries, with their superb dialog and clever and creative plotting. But this, the last of her spy novels, was horrid. She never was very good at big thrillers and this one, marketed as her 80th book in her 80th year, is very disjointed, ridiculous, and pointless. The beginning is beguiling but then wanders off into a chatty and batty mess.
  • (2/5)
    This was not a good choice for my very first Agatha Christie. I was much more in the mood for a "whodunnit" and I got a "what'sgoingon". It felt like two more or less incomplete books shoved into one and I couldn't quite follow either of them. Perhaps it makes more sense to the veteran Christie fan. I'll try a different one of hers next time.
  • (2/5)
    Christie tries to do Bond but ends up more like Buchan, not really very focused...
  • (3/5)
    Another Christie thriller. This is very much of its time and has elements of 'The Boys From Brazil' as well as picking up on conspiracy theme explored in other of her thrillers like 'Destination Unknown' and 'The Big Four'. Not her best but still quite enjoyable.
  • (2/5)
    It is a strange thing when a writer attempts to pull off a global conspiracy in a book that doesn't really appear to have the space for it. This is what Ms. Christie does in Passenger to Franfurt. A very disjointed book, starting off with intriguing characters and a lovely confontation in the Frankfurt airport, but then going into They Saved Hitler's Brain mode with a global neo-Nazi conspiracy, and ending abruptly with a seemingly John Galt-ish invention of a magic powder that will save the world. Nevertheless, Christie is an enjoyable writer and each individual scene taken on its own is well written and interesting. Good book to stick in a purse and read a few pages when you have time.
  • (5/5)
    One of the BEST from Agatha Christie. Although it is fiction, there are many parallels to the political situation occurring around the world in the 21st century.
  • (3/5)
    This is an odd book.The first half of it is simply fantastic, being thrilling spy stuff. Then about half-way through it suddenly starts being...not quite so good. Downright odd, in fact. Nevertheless, I keep it for the first half, which is worth the price of admission.
  • (4/5)
    this is the first AC mystery i read for 40 years. to my surprise, Agatha is for adults, too!