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First Class: Legendary Train Journeys Around the World [Hardcover]

Patrick Poivre d'Arvor
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

5 Nov 2007
This enchanting book, which comes with a slipcase designed to resemble a steamer trunk, takes readers on memorable journeys on the Orient Express, le Train Bleu, the California Zephyr, and others across Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas. Readers encounter the elegant porters and bellboys as well as the beautifully dressed millionaires, kings and maharajahs who were their clients. The great old and new trains are all here, and a reader can feel the gentle sway and anticipate the delicious dinner about to be served in a plush and panelled dining car. There are maps showing the routes of the great expresses, quotations from famous literary figures, and images of some of the beautiful destinations they reached.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 360 pages
  • Publisher: The Vendome Press (5 Nov 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0865651884
  • ISBN-13: 978-0865651883
  • Product Dimensions: 3.9 x 23.5 x 15.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 756,400 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just for train enthusiasts 26 Dec 2008
There are over 300 photographs in this book, and the colour ones really are quite stunning. There are photo's of trains crossing beautiful landscapes. There are old sepia ones. There are unusual interior shots. Pictures of cuisine; old posters and arty ones such as a young african boy walking along a railway track. I wish I could describe them better.

The main text by the author is in large print and with all due respect to the other reviewer I don't think the caption text is any smaller than in other books. I would agree that it is a pity the captions are not near the photo's.

The text by the author looks interesting enough and appears to concentrate on the history of the railway journeys. To be honest, I am still transfixed by the photographs.

I would say I don't think this is a book for train buffs interested in engine sizes and other technical matters, but if you love the romance of trains as I do, then this is the perfect book. Simply wonderful.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
This is an evocative collection of short pieces written by a former employee of the Orient Express who has travelled around the world twice by train. Many of the photographs of the older established trains are fascinating, showing both the trains and their routes. The only drawback of this book is the incredibly small print of the captions, which are printed on completely separate pages from the relevant photos. Interesting, but tough on the eyes and the wrists!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly elegant book showcasing eleven fabled railroad lines 6 Oct 2007
By Midwest Book Review - Published on
"First Class: Legendary Train Journeys Around The World" by Patrick Poivre d'Arvor is a truly elegant book showcasing eleven fabled railroad lines during the golden age of train travel around the world. Featured among these iconic railroads are the Toy Train of Darjeeling and its route along the Himalayan mountains; the fabled Orient Express; the mimosa-scented Train Blue, and the now legendary Trans-Siberian Railway. The informed and informative text is liberally enhanced with the inclusion of historic and contemporary photographs (245 in full-color and 30 in black-and-white) and artifacts, maps, and quotations about these railroads taken from the literature of the world. Superbly organized and featuring its own slipcased box in the form of a steamer trunk, "First Class" is especially recommended to the attention of railroad history buffs.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 stars - a very worthy journey 19 Dec 2009
By hh - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is fine armchair traveling. There are brief descriptions of each well-known rail journey and then pages of pics to thrill and tweak the imagination. Don't rush through the volume just because you can. Read each section, then let your mind wander and see what surprising and exciting ideas come forth. Reinvent yourself as a modern globetrotter or turn-of-the-century explorer. All good. The only disappointment I had was that the emphasis was on historical pics. Certainly, the project was expensive (given the number of color pics and elegant slipcover), but perhaps the answer would have been to make this a two volume set. More space could have been given to each journey. I can't imagine that anyone who picked up volume one wouldn't quickly grab the second volume as well. Still, it's a great escape and worth every minute that you're "gone."
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm so glad I found this book! 25 Dec 2008
By D. Magness - Published on
I, along with a close friend, LOVE train rides...all over the world. I was searching for "the" Christmas gift this year, and after doing some homework, I discovered First Class. What a lovely, impressive book that truly celebrates all the obvious and subtle aspects of train rides. The photos were amazing, and I especially loved the maps that introduced each of the legendary trips. I have only taken one of these trips, so this Christmas, I received extra incentive to eagerly start planning ten more! I'm appreciative of an author whose love and passion in the topic so clearly comes through. A great editorial and photographic discovery! After opening it, my friend spent 15 minutes leafing through, just amazed at how enjoyable this book will be to explore, read and enjoy.
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