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The Christmas Train Audio CD – Unabridged, November 1, 2011
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Disillusioned journalist Tom Langdon must get from Washington to Los Angeles in time for Christmas. Forced to travel by train, he begins a journey of rude awakenings, thrilling adventures, and holiday magic. He has no idea that the locomotives pulling him across America will actually take him into the rugged terrain of his own heart, as he rediscovers people's essential goodness and someone very special he believed he had lost.
David Baldacci's THE CHRISTMAS TRAIN is filled with memorable characters who have packed their bags with as much wisdom as mischief...and shows how we do get second chances to fulfill our deepest hopes and dreams, especially during this season of miracles.
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"Wonderful characters...all touched by the miracle of the Christmas season."―Houston Home Journal
"The makings of a classic...don't miss this delightful book."―Southern Pines Pilot
"An enjoyable journey...'All aboard!'"
"Heartwarming...a sweet holiday tale."
"Heartwarming...a touching, morally uplifting tale."
―Fort Worth Star-Telegram
About the Author
- Publisher : Grand Central Publishing; Unabridged edition (November 1, 2011)
- Language : English
- Audio CD : 6 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1594830509
- ISBN-13 : 978-1594830501
- Item Weight : 4.8 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.25 x 0.75 x 5.75 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,264,510 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
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Top reviews from the United States
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One thing that did help me was once I realized that the novel was originally published in 2002 (I originally thought it came out this year). I find that books I’ve read that came out before the frenetic nature of smart phones and social media have a different pace/tone, which I can appreciate. I also appreciate the author’s humor, which is a bit dry at times and always good-natured.
For me, the story landed on the sappy side. It took me awhile to read it because I would read for a little while and then stop because it didn’t hold my interest. The book did add a little intensity with a snowstorm, but that didn’t happen until 69% (by my Kindle count), which was 206 pages in. I know that The Christmas Train is now a Hallmark movie. I think I would enjoy it more as a film because I can see how some of the characters’ larger-than-life personas would bode well for a TV movie. If you don’t mind stories that are a bit syrupy sweet and are looking for something light to put you in the Christmas spirit, I think you’ll enjoy this book.
FINAL RATING: A Glowing Five Stars!
Top reviews from other countries
The story is about a journalist who decides to follow the same railway route that Mark Twain did in 1872 and to record the journey. A 'trip of soul-searching and personal discovery' from the east to the west of the United States. Plus, everyone is trying to get home for Christmas.
Straight away we meet the other passengers, some stereotypes (the star-crossed lovers for one, the aggressive lawyer another) all with their own baggage. There is a down to Earth, plain speaking woman who gives sage advice who could well be an angel. Oh yes, and the love that got away.
Throughout, the parallels with Twain's record are highlighted, which is interesting. The 'mystery' element is an on-board thief who steals such items as a pen, sunglasses, a hairbrush and a money clip. With so many lovely people on board it's hard to guess who the thief might be.
Baldacci certainly knows trains and his descriptions are intricate and a little too technical for me. Given the amount of territory he covers I would prefer a bit more detail on the unique landscape. I have practically no idea what the terrain looks like in this part of America. Except for snow, lots and lots of snow.
The writing is clear and concise, which is what I would expect from a successful thriller writer. This, however, is romance with Christmas miracles thrown in and, towards the end, a little far-fetched suspense to boot. But hey, it's Christmas.
Definitely an upbeat, feelgood book, just right for Christmas if taken with plenty of mulled wine and sherry.
To be honest, it was different, the first hundred or so pages read a bit like a Bill Bryson travelogue, but slowly he developed an interesting set of characters and unusual circumstances, and eventually, his lead character (Tom), ended up behaving exactly the way you would expect one of his series hero's to do.
Yes, it was different, but I did enjoy it as a lighter seasonal read.
The trains, and the rail network were a revelation in themselves.
The Christmas Train is an enjoyable journey which will touch your life with the miracle of Christmas.
David Baldacci brings us this sweet holiday story which has all the makings of a heartwarming classic. Through the eyes of Tom Langdon we meet quirky characters which make this christmas journey an adventure they will never forget.
A brilliant Christmas read with a difference. It is not the usual read you would expect from this author but its certainly one I would highly recommend reading - especially at this time of year.
I have never seen the film adaptation, however it is on Channel 5 this weekend so I will be watching to see how it plays out on screen....
Anyway, what about this one? It is not a thriller in the sense that most of his books (or those I have read) are. It tells of a journey by train from the East to the West of America. Our hero, a journalist, has been banned from travelling by air as a result of a disagreement with security staff at an airport. So he decides this would be an excellent opportunity to recreate Mark Twain's journey across America and to write about it. And he can combine that with visiting his on-off girlfriend (a fabulously rich "voice over" for various television puppet shows) in California for Christmas. It is clear, however, from an early stage, that he is not really in love with her. He remains besotted by an earlier girlfriend, another journalist, who walked out on him some years earlier.
The train turns out to be populated by many larger than life characters to whom we are introduced in turn. Because the story is set in the Christmas season (I assume that is the reason) pretty well all of them have to be portrayed as wonderful people. That said, there is a brief appearance by a stage villain, a lawyer who threatens the bar steward with total ruin unless he is served a drink before the bar opens. But, once the villain has been satisfactorily dealt with, everyone else is just perfect. That is particularly so with anyone who works for the train company. These people are all angels in disguise (though the disguise is not very effective).
The whole thing is rather sickeningly sentimental, but that may well be an American thing about Christmas (I remember reading an even more disagreeable Christmas book by John Grisham which had me rushing for the sick bag on every page). I shan't spoil things for you by revealing the story. Suffice it to say that it is pretty plain how the love part is going to end up, though the mechanism for resolving that does come as a rather satisfactory - if incredible - surprise.
Many have praised the comedy in the book. I do feel awful for saying this, but I found it, for the most part, to be an enormously unfunny book. True, one is perfectly well aware that one should be guffawing at intervals. But the comedy is horribly laboured. There is simply no subtlety, and really funny writing does require subtlety.
I am afraid this was a real disappointment. But I shan't be put off reading Baldacci's thrillers. I just won't be doing that on a train going across America (just in case I get trapped with a whole lot of awful do-gooders).