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The Christmas Train

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3.55 of 5 stars 3.55  ·  rating details  ·  8,175 ratings  ·  1,030 reviews
Tom Langdon, a weary and cash-strapped journalist, is banned from flying when a particularly thorough airport security search causes him to lose his cool. Now, he must take the train if he has any chance of arriving in Los Angeles in time for Christmas with his girlfriend. To finance the trip, he sells a story about a train ride taken during the Christmas season. Thereupon...more
Hardcover, 260 pages
Published November 4th 2002 by Warner Books (first published November 4th 2001)
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Linda
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Carol [Goodreads addict]
 photo Christmastrain_zps12583a27.png

The Christmas Train by David Baldacci is the story of a somewhat lost Tom Langdon. Tom used to be a war correspondent but he had had enough of war. He now was doing fluff pieces but still, going from place to place, never fully content. Tom had been dating a Hollywood voice over actress for about 3 years off and on in a long distance sort of relationship. So, it was almost Christmas and he needed to get from Washington D.C. to Los Angeles to spend the Holiday with his girlfriend. He wasn’t allo...more
Kim
Every Christmas for the past six years I have read The Christmas Train by David Baldacci. I love this story, it never disappoints and at 260 pages it is a quick read.

Tom Langdon is a retired, disillusioned war correspondent and is now back in the US writing articles for domestic magazines and covering teen beauty pageants. After a “misunderstanding” at airport security he is forced to travel from Washington DC to Los Angeles by train this Christmas. Unable to escape this situation he decides to...more
Sally
I really do like this book. It's a very uplifting book especially around Christmas. Tom Langdon is an investigative reporter who decide's to take the train to LA to see his girlfriend for Christmas. However, on this train he runs in to his college sweetheart, Eleanor who is less than surprised to see him. Especially when they left each other on bad terms. Eleanor is a writer for a big movie director, Max Powers who is doing research for a train movie and decide's to pair the two up to make notes...more
Lisa
This was a fun book and a nice holiday read. It reminded me that the season is about connecting with people, which is done on the train trip described. I did not see the end coming, which was what I would expect from this author. The rest of the book was surprisingly sentimental, which I would not have expected from him. But that was a nice surprise. Overall, an enjoyable book.
Jennifer
The Christmas Train has just about everything: romance, adventure, mystery and holiday cheer. The intriguing characters and truly shocking revelations make this book a must read. It actually made me yearn to ride a train cross-country. I could not have loved this book more. Absolutely spectacular.
Brenda
Ex war correspondent and journalist Tom Langdon decided to travel from Washington DC to Los Angeles by train, to arrive in time for Christmas. It was a long journey, and involved changing trains on one occasion, but he wanted to fulfil his father’s wishes, and do something that, according to legend, Mark Twain had set out to do, but didn’t complete! He wanted to write about the people on the train, the friendships forged, the adventures and magic that was there with the longer form of travel. (H...more
Kellie
The central character of the story is Tom Langdon, an investigative reporter who has relegated himself to writing about furniture following his more adventurous existence with his longtime girl friend, Eleanor, in foreign lands covering wars and such. He decides to take a cross-country train trip partly to fulfill a request from his now deceased father and partly to reflect on his own life and to see a friend on the West Coast. The Capitol is the train to Chicago where he changes to the Southwes...more
Lisa
A fun, kind of romantic book about a jaded journalist finding himself and his future, all set at Christmas time on a cross country train trip. I liked this author's style of writing, dry humor and easy reading. A light "happy-ending" type read...
Betty
Feb 09, 2009 Betty rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: train lovers, everyone
A lighthearted read evoking a simpler time, the story centers around a disillusioned journalist and his chance to complete what his father had never been able to accomplish. Tom Langdon had known for years that there was a familial connection to Samuel Clemens aka Mark Twain but he was not aware that his father had a last wish for Tom to complete a story that Twain had never finished. A story of taking a train across the country at Christmastime. Twain supposedly took many notes on the trip, but...more
Lori Henrich
Tom is a journalist who has been all over the world covering stories. Because of one particular incident he is not able to fly in the U.S. so he decides to travel from D.C. to L.A. by train. Tom is a shirr-tail relative of Mark Twain, so he decides to try and write a story about his trip. You can make fast friends on a train and the group aboard for the first leg of the journey is an interesting bunch to chose from. One special traveler catches Tom's attention. His former love interest is on boa...more
Jess Michaelangelo
I knew as soon as I started this that it was soon to become one of my favorite Christmas reads. It combines three of my favorite things (trains, Christmas, and cheesy love stories), so how could it get any better? This has been sitting on my shelf for at least two years, and I still can’t figure out why I didn’t read it before.

I’ve read many a cheesy Christmas tale, and I’ve watched many a cheesy Hallmark Christmas movie in my short life, but for those of you who aren’t so much into the cheese,...more
Adam
Post Listen Review: Ah yes. The Christmas stories we hear all the time. Done to death.

Was there a train? Yes. Was it Christmas? Yes. Did non-committal guy who doesn't realize he is non-committal get on the train find his lost love and reconnect with her, giving him one last chance to find true happiness which is, of course, love? Right-o. Did the mischievious thief on the train grow a conscience after doing something good for the people stuck on a train? Uh-huh. Was there snow? Yep, even two ava...more
Peggy
Tom Langdon is riding the rails across America to write a story about the people he meets--partly because he is burned out on war stories and trivial interest stories, and partly because he is banned from airports after an "incident." He plans to meet up with his long-distant girl friend for a skiing vacation over Christmas. However,Eleanor, the true love of his life, whom he hasn't seen for years since they separated under unhappy circumstances is also on the train, along with a host of interes...more
Shelley aka Gizmo's Reviews
This is a cheeky little story and great for the Christmas season as well.

Synopsis: Tom Langdon's life hasn't been the same since his all-time love, Eleanor Carter, left him years ago while the two were hotshot journalists, and since he's quit serious reporting for writing fluff. Banned from flying for a year because of an air rage incident, he's decided to write about riding the rails over the Christmas holidays, planning to link up with his erstwhile girlfriend, a Hollywood star, in L.A. Aboard...more
Karschtl
Another book (after Christmas Journey by Anne Perry) that fits the current season. Its central theme is coincidentally also a journey taking place around Christmas, but this one here is taking place today. Although at some points the reader might think it is the 1920s or 1950s, where taking the train was the main method of travelling. The way it is described here it actually sounds like a lot of fun.
Different from my own experience I must say, and I've just recently taken the train from Berlin t...more
Atishay
This is a very sweet romantic suspenseful story that revolves around a Pulitzer winner, hard-hitting journalist who is banned from flying due to some altercation at the airport and has to take a couple of trains instead - all around the Christmas time to visit his girl. On board, he is faced by a formidable neighbour who will not hesitate to knock him out clean, a girl he had loved, a hotshot movie director who is making a movie on the train and a thief who is stealing things from cabins of pass...more
Nina
I figured out pretty early on in this book that suspension of disbelief and giving over to "the magic of Christmas" would be the key to enjoying the story. Good thing, because I really needed that by the end.

This reminded me of an adult version of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer", with a little romance, train history and trivia thrown in.

An easy, enjoyable read - with a little McGyver and Grinch thrown in for good measure. I never would have read it except for book club, and I'm glad I did.

I can...more
Jess
This book was very sweet and hokey. It was like the cheesy Hallmark TV movies that are popular this time of year. You know it's a little silly but you enjoy it because it's the time of year to embrace hokey. Some of the events in the book are right out of a made-for-TV-movie plot. A unique setting, a train ride for Christmas, this book is very informative about trains and their declining popularity. It also has an interesting cast of characters that help either add to or take away from the chees...more
Sally
Recommend by a dear friend and fellow reader, I decided to add another Christmas book to my seasonal list this year...and I'm so glad I did!

With more twist and turns than an actual train gong through the mountains, The Christmas Train takes the reader through not only a slew of emotions, but also a variety of book genres. From drama to comedy, to romance and mystery, this book covers it all, with depth, sincerity and lots and lots of surprises. I also liked that while the story takes place duri...more
Eric Wright
The Christmas Train is a fun and easy read after too books filled with horror and terror.

Wandering journalist Tom Langdon is forced to travel by train to LA if he wants to meet his cross-country girlfriend for Christmas. Why? He's banned from flying. After a series of boring articles for various journals on cooking, etc., in hopes of re-inventing himself and countering his ennui, he opts to write an article on train travel.

During the eventful journey, first to Chicago and then on to LA he enco...more
Aredhel
I must admit I'm a sucker for train stories. Alfred Hitchcock, Agatha Christie, Chris Van Allsburg - their works in literature and cinema made me love trains and traveling by train even more. So my picking of this story was governed much by the presence of the word "train" in the name of the book.

This story is presented as a mystery, though the mystery in it is a lame one. However I chose this book not because of the mystery, but because of the Christmas spirit that this book contains.
All in all...more
Cheryl Gatling
Well, this is a piece of fluff. It has made-for-TV-movie written all over it. But it goes down easy. Tom Langdon is a freelance journalist. He used to be a war correspondent, but now he writes about any subject that will pay the bills. He feels empty ever since his breakup with the one true love of his life, Eleanor. But that was years ago. Now he has an on-again, off-again girlfriend in LA. He decides to take the train cross country to visit her for Christmas. Might as well. He has no other fam...more
Maxine
Tom Langdon is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist who used to write important stories from war zones but now he write fluff pieces. His latest assignment is to write about his experiences crossing the country by train. On the way, he will encounter a famous director and his film crew which includes his first love, the girl who got away years ago and whom he still loves. When the director learns of Langdon’s assignment, he sees movie potential and wants Langdon and his old girlfriend to work tog...more
Debra
A little contrived, but fun. All the principals met on a train traveling from Washington D.C. to LA to arrive before Christmas, but fate and weather have other plans. I enjoyed the train employee characters and their love for their jobs, along with the stories that they told. I only wish that our train travel from Philadelphia to Denver would have been as friendly, but then it was over the 4th of July, not Christmas so I suppose the magic is lessened.
Michael
Lovely book to read during the holidays. I devoured it in a day. The writing is what you may expect from this type of yarn--to the point, not exactly polished but still able to provide a scene--but the characters were engaging and, call me sentimentally involved with Christmas, I became stricken with their story. A nice, easy read for this time of year. (Especially if you like trains.)
Kirissa
This was a fun, quick little read. The two stars are just because it wasn't that thought provoking and I can't say I learned anything. Kind of like a Hallmark movie...you can enjoy it very much, but it's just sweet & fluffy. It certainly kept me awake and turning pages though. It's only my second Baldacci book. The other, Wish You Were Here was more my speed. Good recommendation D!!
Linda
I really enjoyed this story of Tom Langdon and how things turn out for him ... really good Christmas story with a happy ending. And that Agnes Joe she was by far my favorite character in the book. I recommend this book to anyone that likes a happy ending and a great Christmas story. Though I am not a big fan of Mr. Baldacci, I have to say the Christmas Train was wonderful!!
Jan
A nice little Christmas story with enough information about cross country trains to keep enthusiasts interested. The story was a little far-fetched at times (what man walks around with his grandmother's diamond ring in his pocket???) but not entirely predictable as the end unfolds.
Michael Sova
David Baldacci is the bestselling author of five Camel Club novels, six Sean King and Michelle Maxwell novels, nearly a dozen stand alone novels, and a few children's books. He's also written a Christmas story, a 2002 release titled The Christmas Train.
Following a brief altercation with airport security, journalist Tom Langdon is banned from flying on any commercial airlines operating in the United States. He's in Washington D.C. and has to make it to Los Angeles in time to spend Christmas wi...more
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Cozy Chair Book Club: The Christmas Train 2 6 Dec 23, 2013 12:21PM  
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  • The Christmas Clock
  • Christmas with Tucker
  • The Christmas Bus
  • How Mrs. Claus Saved Christmas
  • The Snow Globe
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9291
David Baldacci made a big splash on the literary scene with the publication of his first novel, Absolute Power, in 1996. A major motion picture adaptation followed, with Clint Eastwood as its director and star. In total, David has published 28 novels, all of which have been national and international bestsellers; several have been adapted for film and television. His novels have been translated in...more
More about David Baldacci...
Absolute Power The Camel Club (Camel Club, #1) Split Second (Sean King & Michelle Maxwell, #1) The Innocent (Will Robie,#1) Last Man Standing

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“All you have to do [to win a Pulitzer Prize] is spend your life running from one awful place to another, write about every horrible thing you see. The civilized world reads about it, then forgets it, but pats you on the head for doing it and gives you a reward as appreciation for changing nothing.” 17 likes
“It's my experience that most folk who ride trains could care less where they're going. For them it's the journey itself and the people they meet along the way. You see, at every stop this train makes, a little bit of America, a little bit of your country, gets on and says hello.” 13 likes
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