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The Christmas Train Hardcover – 8 Nov 2002

3.8 out of 5 stars 424 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan; First British Edition edition (8 Nov. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405005750
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405005753
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.4 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (424 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 185,293 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Book Description

A Christmas tale that will take you on the ride of your life...

From the Back Cover

Disillusioned journalist Tom Langdon must get from Washington to LA in time for Christmas. Forced to take the train across the country because of a slight 'misunderstanding' at airport security, he begins a journey of self-discovery and rude awakenings, mysterious goings-on and thrilling adventures, screwball escapades and holiday magic.

He has no idea that his journey across America will actually take him into the rugged terrain of his own heart, where he will rediscover people's essential goodness and someone very special he believed he had lost.

In equal parts hilarious, poignant, suspenseful and thrilling, The Christmas Train is a delightful journey filled with memorable characters who have packed their bags with as much wisdom as mischief . . .

'Expect this to stuff plenty of stockings on 25 December; all aboard!'
Publishers Weekly

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
David Baldacci has given us such edge-of-the-seat thrillers as ‘Absolute Power’ and ‘Last Man Standing’, as well as ‘Wish You Well’, a critically acclaimed story of hope and family. Now Baldacci once again showcases his remarkable versatility as he brings us a uniquely entertaining holiday tale in fitting with the season: ‘The Christmas Train’.
Disillusioned journalist Tom Langdon, (a fictional distant relative of Mark Twain), must get from Washington to LA in time for Christmas. Forced to take the train across the country because of a slight ‘misunderstanding’ at airport security, he begins a journey of self-discovery and rude awakenings, mysterious goings-on and thrilling adventures, screwball escapades 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, where he will rediscover people’s essential goodness and someone very special he believed he had lost.
In equal parts hilarious, poignant, suspenseful and thrilling, this novel is a delightful journey filled with memorable characters who have packed their bags with as much wisdom as mischief. It is a story that shows how we do get second chances to fulfil our deepest hopes and dreams, especially during this season of miracles. A love story that has been down many roads and seemingly lost in transit is fired up again and throws some interesting obstacles in its path.
It also divulges interesting references to Mark Twain’s own writings, a well-researched history of the American train travel system and the numerous geographical locations it runs through.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Looking at the other reviews this is clearly a love-it-or-hate-it book. I hated it. I spent the first 25% wading throught the banal conversations (as interesting as most exchanges at the supermarket cash-out) and the tedious and irrelevant details about trains, assuming that at some point the 'mystery' would begin. I suppose if you are a fan of American literature (or maybe just American) you might find the literary references interesting but as I did not grow up with Mark Twain I didn't. In the next 25% it became a real page turner - in the sense that I was reading faster and faster to try to get to some point in this meandering tale. I found the attempts at humour cringe-making and weak and the characters cliched. By 50% I was speed-reading and it soon became clear there was no point whatever in wasting any more of my time. I rarely give up on a book, however bad, but this one threatened to seriously damage my kindle by being thrown through the window. If I ever get on a train like the Christmas Train I will lock myself in my compartment and have my food delivered. (BTW: Christmas is not the most important Christian festival - Easter is; and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is in Jerusalem not Bethlehem. Can't believe Baldacci would get such simple facts wrong.)
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Format: Paperback
David Baldacci attended law school at the University of Virginia, and went on to work as a trial lawyer, and later as a corporate lawyer, in Washington, D.C. He is now a full-time writer whose best selling novels include Absolute Power, Total Control, The Winner, The Simple Truth and Saving Faith. He lives in Virginia with his wife and two children.

We have all felt like telling the over zealous person on the security search to watch where they are putting their hands, search wand, or whatever they use these days . Well that is exactly what Tom Langdon, a hard-up journalist did when he blew his top at LaGuardia Airport. Consequently he got himself a flying ban throughout the U.S. Because of the ban his only option if he wants to see his girlfriend for Christmas is to take the train to Los Angeles.

Tom decides to write a story of his train journey to finance the trip and thus begins one of the most hilarious and heartwarming train rides ever. This is the story of that journey and everything that happens along the way . . .
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I know it was billed as a bit of a feel-good christmas story but the 'aren't we all just great pals' bonhomie throughout made me feel queasy! And I've heard more detailed plot lines in episodes of Scooby-doo. No sooner had a character raised a potential problem than it was resolved by another. I say character in the loosest possible sense, as they were all one-dimensional and interchangeable. Swap a name or bit of dialogue here and there and you won't tell the difference.

It quickly became irritating being told how train journeys are 'all about the friendships'. This occurs so frequently I think the author is on some sort of commission from Amtrak marketing. Even the villains were good, really. Saccharine! The disaster had me bored stiff, it was so poorly described. Just saying things like 'they recounted their amazing adventure' did not make it 'amazing' or an 'adventure'. The whole book left me wanting to kill the next person who said they live for the job on the trains and had so many stories to tell. Well tell them then, anything is better than this dross!

This book is not funny, not romantic, not bitter-sweet or poignant, not uplifting, not exciting, not memorable, not worth reading.

I bought another book by this author before reading Christmas Train, and I'm hoping he was just cashing-in on the xmas market with this one, otherwise I fear I've wasted even more of my money.
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