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The Christmas Train

3.55  ·  Rating Details ·  11,813 Ratings  ·  1,456 Reviews
On a train ride to Los Angeles, cash-strapped journalist Tom Langdon encounters a ridiculous cast of characters, unexpected romance, and an avalanche that changes everyone's Christmas plans.
ebook, 0 pages
Published November 4th 2002 by Grand Central Publishing (first published November 4th 2001)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dale Harcombe
Dec 10, 2015 Dale Harcombe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It took me a little while to get into this book, but once I did I enjoyed it. It is a gently humorous story about journalist and ex war correspondent Tom Langdon who finds himself on a train trip from Washington to Los Angeles. The plan is to arrive in time for Christmas and meet yup with his girlfriend. As we all know, things do not always go according to plan in life.
The story is filled with quirky characters and also contains romance, a mystery thief, and more than one person who is not quit
Dec 19, 2008 Linda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 27, 2015 Matt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
I love this holiday classic, even if it is totally cheesy. I can see my writing style in its content and ideas, and will read it annually to savour the moments.

Please enjoy the review I have posted in past years:

Baldacci brings his readers a holiday classic sure to stoke the fires of the heart and keep the holiday season on track. Tom Langdon is on a mission, to get from New York to LA in time for Christmas. After a slightly intrusive and highly problematic search by airport security, Langdon fi
Dec 08, 2012 Heather rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Heather by: book club
Shelves: kindle
The best explanation for this book is that his teenaged niece wrote it and he published it under his own name.
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
Apr 09, 2015 Sandra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, romance
Author David Baldacci tells this delightful story about a journalist who travels by train across America to reach his destination in time for Christmas. Through the eyes of journalist Tom Langdon, we are introduced to distinct and colourful characters who make his trip an adventure to remember—for better or for worse. An entertaining read for the season!
Tom Langdon is a war correspondent who has decided to take a train cross country from Washington DC to California to spend the Christmas holidays with his girlfriend. During this adventurous excursion, he meets a cast of eclectic characters that make the journey memorable and exciting. Most importantly, Tom runs into someone that left an impression on his life and regret in his heart. When the folks aboard the Amtrak come together to make holiday wishes come true, this might just prove to be a C ...more
Rebecca McNutt
This is a book I'd never read more than once, but it's a dazzling, festive and entertaining little Christmas story. And since it's July that I'm posting my review, it's Christmas in July! :P
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
Jul 24, 2015 Amber rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks-library
Tom Langdon is an investigative reporter who is traveling by train for Christmas to write a story about traveling by train during the holidays. He is heading to California to be with his girlfriend Leila to go Skiing. When his ex-girlfriend and love of his life Eleanor ends up on the same train he is on, things get pretty crazy as they used to be a fling. Will seeing her bring back an old romantic flame becoming something more and will he get used to the craziness on the train from all the diffe ...more
Dec 16, 2008 Sally rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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
Dec 14, 2015 Myrna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
Good Christmas read that took place on a cross-country train trip from Washington DC to Los Angeles. It had fun settings, train facts and interesting characters. The audio book had some great sound effects which added to the mood. There is something enchanting about a train ride experience. The ending was unexpected but overall a quick and enjoyable read.
Dec 08, 2008 Lisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
OK, so I bought this on sale as an audio for some light seasonal reading while I was doing Christmas prep last year. I have never read anything by this author and after this one, I may never again.

After reading the synopsis I was not expecting or requiring great literature, but found this so trite and predictable and the characters, while not unlikeable, just too lightweight to hold my interest.

The premise was nice - a writer taking a train cross country at Christmas and all of the "fascinating
 ☆☽ Ruth ☆☽
When I picked this up I was hoping for something along the lines of 'The Orient Express' perhaps mixed with the charm and Christmas appeal of a story like 'The Polar Express'. What I actually got was very disappointing, so far it's decidedly dull with no festive atmosphere and very little excitement. I keep hoping it will improve (as you do) but as I'm nearly half way through it, it seems unlikely and it's quite possible I won't even finish it.
Having now reached 55% of the book and still nothing
Book Concierge
Book on CD read by Tim Matheson

Former war correspondent turned magazine features writer Tom Langdon is taking the train from Washington DC to Los Angeles to spend Christmas with his girlfriend. He’s also researching an article on modern-day train travel. Having in mind the spacious compartments of classic movies, he’s in for a rude awakening, but he certainly finds plenty of interesting characters to profile, including a young couple planning to wed on the train, a big-name movie producer,
Oct 20, 2014 Lynda rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I love my local libraries and carry 4 cards, covering the county of Los Angeles. I love the community they afford me. I often ask the librarian for recommendations which is how I read this book.
At one I frequent frequently, there's a host of librarians or possibly several part-timers. A male librarian I met on Friday recommended this book when I told him I like simple but very good writing and was in the mood for fiction. He immediately thought of this book. I like trains and the premise. But w
Dec 19, 2014 Sara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A pleasant, corny read for the season. I'll say the same thing I said about Grisham's "Skipping Christmas" should have been named "Paying for Christmas"!!
Jul 14, 2015 Dianne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
With the attention being given to The Girl on the Train I was reminded of the last train story that I read. I usually try to find a book with a Christmas theme during December; this one was my token Christmas story. I liked the story but not as much as other books by David Baldacci. However the author kindly gave a Christmas gift to his readers and in the version of the paperback which I purchased he had added a short story after the train story. The short story was absolutely beautiful. It was ...more
Aja: The Narcoleptic Ninja
This particular author was recommended to me by my dad, and usually we love a lot of the same books so I was excited. However, David Baldacci writes a lot of crime drama which isn’t really my genre so I looked through his books and found something more up my alley to give him a fair chance and I found The Christmas Train. This one is more contemporary fiction with romance and warm fuzzy holiday feelings which is TOTALLY my kind of book.

Unfortunately, this just wasn’t my book. I wasn’t expecting
Dec 12, 2012 Brenda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 04, 2011 Adam rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks-a-z
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
J. Bryce
Dec 19, 2014 J. Bryce rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crap, book-club
I'm sure there are worse books out there, by even more famous and better selling authors, but I don't want to read them.
Dec 15, 2009 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, mystery
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.
Dec 06, 2014 Rivka rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Meh. I read this for book club. It's the literary equivalent of a Hallmark Christmas movie. Feel good? I guess. Cheesy? Definitely. Cliché? Painfully so. Not at all my taste in books. Reads like it was written by a slightly more intelligent Nicholas Sparks.
Dec 07, 2008 Lisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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...
Jackie Molloy
Tom Langdon, a disillusioned journalist makes his way from Washington to LA on the train, he’s been banned from flying after a row with Airport security, which reminds me to be on my best behaviour whilst travelling, even though you do get treated like cattle these days by over worked, under paid security personnel who must get absolutely sick of asking passengers if they have any unauthorised items in their baggage. The baggage issue isn’t a problem on the capitol limited from Washington, D.C., ...more
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
Dec 04, 2015 Jen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I quit. Page 23 and I'm throwing in the towel. Why you ask? Because the narrator is third person omniscient (not a bad thing if done properly, it isn't here), going off on tangents that don't further the plot or grab my interest and the narrator is a snarky, in a bad way, jerk. I guess if there is to be a "Christmas miracle" in the book, the nasty snark turns into happy love for all mankind, but it just really grates my cheese reading the nastiness. I want to wash my brain I feel so icky right n ...more
Sam Dev
Dec 26, 2015 Sam Dev rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
a fast-paced Christmas read that made me want to book a cross-country train trip for next year's festivities
a little adventure + a little romance + a little mystery = a little fun read
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David Baldacci writes because he can't imagine not writing. He published his first novel, Absolute Power, in 1996; one year later, it was adapted for film, with Clint Eastwood as its director and star. In total, David has published 30 novels for adults; all have been national and international bestsellers, and several have been adapted for film and television. His novels have been translated into ...more
More about David Baldacci...

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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.” 28 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.” 15 likes
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