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Trains and Lovers: The Heart's Journey Hardcover – 1 Nov 2012


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Frequently Bought Together

Trains and Lovers: The Heart's Journey + Bertie's Guide to Life and Mothers: A Scotland Street Novel (44 Scotland Street) + Sunshine on Scotland Street (44 Scotland Street)
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Polygon An Imprint of Birlinn Limited (1 Nov. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846972450
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846972454
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 13.3 x 17.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (170 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 143,259 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Alexander McCall Smith is one of the world's most prolific and most popular authors. His career has been a varied one: for many years he was a professor of Medical Law and worked in universities in the United Kingdom and abroad. Then, after the publication of his highly successful 'No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency' series, which has sold over twenty million copies, he devoted his time to the writing of fiction and has seen his various series of books translated into over forty-six languages and become bestsellers through the world. These include the Scotland Street novels, first published as a serial novel in The Scotsman, the Isabel Dalhousie novels, the Von Igelfeld series, and the Corduroy Mansions series, novels which started life as a delightful (but challenging to write) cross-media serial, written on the website of the Telegraph Media Group. This series won two major cross-media awards - Association of Online Publishers Digital Publishing Award 2009 for a Cross Media Project and the New Media Age award.

In addition to these series, Alexander writes stand-alone books. 2014 sees publication of three new novels which fall into this area: 'The Forever Girl'; 'Fatty O'Leary's Dinner Party'; and 'Emma' - a reworking of the classic Jane Austen novel. This year there will also be a stunning book on Edinburgh, 'A Work of Beauty: Alexander McCall Smith's Edinburgh'. Earlier stand alone novels include 'La's Orchestra Saves the World' and 'Trains and Lovers: A Hearts Journey'.

Alexander is also the author of collections of short stories, academic works, and over thirty books for children. He has received numerous awards for his writing, including the British Book Awards Author of the Year Award in 2004 and a CBE for service to literature in 2007. He holds honorary doctorates from nine universities in Europe and North America. In March of 2011 he received an award from the President of Botswana for his services through literature to that country.
Alexander McCall Smith lives in Edinburgh. He is married to a doctor and has two daughters.

Product Description

Review

'Really rather lovely' --The Bookbag

'Warm, funny, poignant and touching' --The Good Book Guide

'A charming, humorous journey of the heart' --Woman and Home

'A one-off' --Lothian Life

'Warm, funny, poignant and touching' --The Good Book Guide

'A charming, humorous journey of the heart' --Woman and Home

'A one-off' --Lothian Life

'once begun, (it) is hard to put down… a story of substance and intrigue' --Dura

'A charming, humorous journey of the heart' --Woman and Home

'A one-off' --Lothian Life

'From a platform tryst to long-distance love, the tales are sure to stick with you' --The Book Review

'A charming, humorous journey of the heart' --Woman and Home

'A one-off' --Lothian Life

About the Author

Alexander McCall Smith is one of the world's most prolific and most popular authors. For many years he was a professor of Medical Law, then, after the publication of his highly successful No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, which has sold over twenty-five million copies, he devoted his time to the writing of fiction and has seen his various series of books translated into over forty-six languages and become bestsellers throughout the world. These include the 44 Scotland Street novels, first published as a serial novel in The Scotsman, the Isabel Dalhousie novels, the Von Igelfeld series and the Corduroy Mansions novels.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Ms L on 24 Nov. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a reader of nearly all of Alexander Mcall Smith's previous books I found this a departure from his usual style. However, very soon I found myself enjoying his usual skill of writing his characters with detail and compassion. The book contained stories told by four totally different people who met on a train journey. Each one had a beautiful and very different story to tell on their experiences of love. These were not told in the fashion of a romantic novel, but unfolded in a manner that was sympathetic to each person and compelled me to want to read more to find out what happened to each character in the end. It was quite an unusual book that I thoroughly enjoyed reading.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Book fan on 12 Nov. 2012
Format: Hardcover
This book is a slight departure from the other series, but no less enjoyable. Through the four riders in the train, we learn about the loves in their lives (or in her parents', in one case). The four stories are told through the riders from Scotland, U.K., Australia, and the United States. Some are personal and are shared with the others. One is through his remembrance of his own untold and unrealized love. Another is about her parents, spanning two generations.

As a reader of AMS's adult books, I've come to expect his wry humor. In that I think this is a departure, only in the sense that you don't see passages which make you burst out laughing or smile to yourself. But these stories are nonetheless touching and heartwarming, effectively weaving the different generations and their perspectives. I think this is more like "La's Orchestra Saves the World" than "44 Scotland Street."

It's still a vintage AMS novel.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Marina J. Smit on 3 Dec. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It always amazes me how Alexander Mcall Smith writes his stories of real people, even in unusual circumstances they excist.
And even this was a strange way of people telling each other about their totally different lives, it gets to you and touches you.
The brain and heart of Mr. Mcall Smith must be full, because he writes so much and it almost always brings a smile to my heart.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. K. A. Wheatley TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 7 July 2013
Format: Hardcover
I love Alexander McCall Smith's books. I have been reading them ever since the first No 1 Ladies Detective Agency was published, and I generally enjoy every book he produces, and he produces a lot of books. This one is not one of my favourites, it has to be said. It is sweet enough, telling the story of four random strangers who meet on a long train journey and begin to chat, sharing their stories about how love has affected them in greater and lesser ways. The premise was intriguing and I knew McCall Smith could handle this material in a way that I wouldn't find schmaltzy or irritating, and he did that, but I did find the stories rather clumsily put together. There seems to be a lack of finesse here, which is usually present in spades in his other work. I felt I had missed something here though, and reread several sections in case I'd missed some connection through inattentive reading. I hadn't.

The other thing I missed was McCall Smith's delightful sense of humour. Even in the saddest, most emotionally touching parts of his other books, there is a deftness of touch with humour which lifts the stories out of the ordinary and makes them special. That really wasn't in evidence here.

I felt like there could have been a fantastic novel here, but what we got instead was a rather rushed, alright novella.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mondoro TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 28 Dec. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The main feature of all McCall Smith's fiction is his belief in the fundamental decency of most people, borne out again in this heart-warming collection of stories, some private, some shared with the others, of four strangers on the Edinburgh to London train. Geographically, they cover the planet, from the fine art world of London and Edinburgh familiar to readers from his other books, to the Maine countryside and the Australian outback. I particularly enjoyed the story of the young Scot, leaving these shores for Australia in 1946, which bought back my own childhood memories of sailing from Southampton in 1947. As it would be in life, several of these tales are complete, others are unresolved, leaving us to wonder what happened next.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Helen Welsh on 16 July 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I love Alexander McCall-Smith's Botswana stories, but I've never been smitten by his Scottish tales. This one is about four strangers who meet round a table on the train from Edinburgh to London (a journey I know well). But the way one character launches into the baring of his soul just isn't believable. If he wasn't famous, he'd be urged to 'show not tell'. Sorry. I know others will love it. But I don't.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By P. Moore on 24 Dec. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am an unashamed Alexander McCall Smith fan. His capacity to remind us - gently always - that love and kindness are all that matter in getting us through our allotted span is unequaled. His writing is beautifully structured. and his consistent belief in the innate decency of ordinary people shines through as an antidote to today's endemic cynicism and schadenfreude.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Aileen Blackett on 4 Dec. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Although I enjoyed this book it was not up to the usual standard of McCall-Smith's work. The storyline did not hold my interest and the characters were not in the same league as the 'Scotland Street' series.
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