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Tracks: A Novel in Stories

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  38 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Fiction. Winner of the 2012 Independent Publisher Book Award (IPPY) Gold Medal for Best Fiction from the U.S. Mid-Atlantic Region. This novel-in-stories follows a diverse group of passengers on a train from Baltimore to Chicago, revealing the secrets of their past, their hopes for the future and just how intertwined their lives really are.

Journey by train from Baltimore to
Paperback, 315 pages
Published June 30th 2011 by Atticus Books
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Average rating 4.03  · 
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 ·  38 ratings  ·  17 reviews

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Jul 17, 2012 rated it it was ok
It must be me but this booked bored me beyond belief - to the degree i couldnt finish it !!!
Anika Titly
Mar 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Next time I ride a train, these characters will be with me
I really enjoyed this book. Was it a novel or a collection of stories? Both, if it matters. It’s nice because you can enjoy these stories about passengers on a train by themselves. But they also join together and compliment each other. A character that you think you have figured out shows up in another story, and you see them from a whole new point of view. Or things happen to them that completely change what you thought was the resolutio
Paul Stankus
Jan 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
The start of a train ride, like the start of many journeys, is full of promise—yet by the end of the trip, several lives are forever changed. It is not the train itself who changes them but by its mere conveyance, but of the actions of the characters within the hollow aluminum and steel tube. For inside this train we find life, love, lust, deception, loneliness, despair, forgiveness, acceptance and finality. Each unwitting participant plays a role and we the reader, see the same events from a di ...more
Nov 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
Tracks relates a train journey from Baltimore to Chicago through the eyes of a number of passengers and the conductor. Each has their own reasons for being on the train, and their own stories but for a time their paths cross and in some cases affect the course of their fellow passengers' lives. This is effectively another book of short stories tied together by the intersection of the characters' lives and a common location. However there is also a definite progression in the story with events af ...more
Shirley Brewer
Nov 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Eric Goodman's novel-in-stories captivated me, not once but twice! And I found the second reading even richer, as I delved into the lives of passengers on a train traveling from Baltimore to Chicago. Goodman skillfully weaves his stories into a seamless "track" - not a sleeper in the bunch! He allows us to see his characters in numerous stories - sometimes as features, other times as accessories.
The author takes us on a journey beyond the faces and facades of passengers, revealing their inner do
Debra Leigh
Jul 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Eric Goodman is a great writer, and a terrific observer of the human condition. I reviewed this wonderful book when it was published, and urged readers to hurry out and buy it. I stand by my urging and say buy this book.

Part of my review at NYJB said, "“The train has a way of transforming a person. Sometimes passengers become aware of things they didn’t know before boarding. Something about the stillness on a moving train, being around people and alone at the same time. They’re neither here nor
Jul 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
There are so many great things about this book. First, if you have a bit of a short attention span or a crazy hectic life, like me, the format is perfect. Each story can stand on its own of if I find myself with more time I can keep reading. I'm not a critic of any notable regard but Eric really did fantastic with his "Novel in Stories", there is truly something for everyone, love, heartbreak, regret, history, joy, violence...everything life has to offer Eric has captured and wrestled it into wo ...more
Margo Christie
Jul 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Lovers of Literary Short Fiction, Baltimoreans, Train afficionados
Though I question whether this collection of interwoven stories is truly a novel, as the subtitle claims, the overlapping of narratives and the appearance of characters as bit players in other characters' tales adds intrigue to the collection as a whole. Every one of Goodman's characters is in transition, moving away from their past and toward their uncertain futures as the train they inhabit for a day or two inches its way from Baltimore to Chicago. Goodman is a skillful storyteller, ending eac ...more
Oct 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Tracks by Eric D. Goodman is a expressive and reflective novel told in stories or what some would call a short story collection published by Maryland-based publisher Atticus Books, and unlike other short story collections, there are very few weak stories, if any. Each protagonist in the story is on the train headed somewhere and each of their lives is in transition, from a young woman on the verge of promotion who must decide between lover and career to a man and woman at the end of their years ...more
Sep 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of Tracks by Eric D. Goodman from the author in exchange for an honest review.

The setting: a train. The characters: its passengers. In a series of overlapping short stories, the latter are introduced. As each takes the spotlight for a story, as the train makes its steady way from Baltimore to Chicago, the tales of those aboard unfold.

My first thought when I heard about Tracks was that the premise and the way the novel’s format reflected it sounded quite intriguing. Goodman pull
Eric Goodman
Aug 18, 2011 is currently reading it  ·  (Review from the author)
For the first time, TRACKS: A NOVEL IN STORIES is available for only $4.99 as an ebook!

Hard to believe that TRACKS: A NOVEL IN STORIES has been available as an original trade paperback and an ebook for nearly 10 years now.

Hop aboard for the literary ride from Baltimore to Chicago that earned high praise from such authors as Madison Smartt Bell, Mary Beth Keane, Thomas Steinbeck, and Victoria Patterson.
Oct 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
Train rides on Amtrak can often be very long and when I'm not reading or doing work I'm often wondering of the stories of other riders. So Tracks was right up my alley. I enjoyed the development of many of the characters and also enjoyed how several of their stories became intertwined. Overall a worthwhile read. ...more
Jul 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book, following each character on their journey. It was neat to see how they were all separate but connected. It was a very easy read. Nice job Eric!
Mar 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
nice read, nice stories
Tony Perzow
Jul 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
All aboard for an inspiring read

After reading Goodman’s Womb: a novel in utero, I decided to go back and take a look at his earlier book, Tracks. I’m glad I did. Womb might have the more original concept, but I liked Tracks even better. This novel in stories is all about passengers on an Amtrak train. Each passenger has his or her own story, many of them taking place in Baltimore (where the train starts) or Chicago (where it ends). But they also interact in the train. And the best character of a
Marjean Murray
May 16, 2011 rated it liked it
This is a unique novel and a fun read. Like each car on the Amtrak train, each story opens the life of a particular passenger on a trip from Baltimore to Chicago. Goodman connects these lives in fascinating and poignant ways. The writing is well done, the characters have depth and there's some mystery that makes you not want the trip to end. The perfect book for summer travel, whether your mode be car, plane or train. ...more
Jan 15, 2012 rated it liked it
I loved the premise of this book, short stories all intertwined into a novel. Some of the stories I really enjoyed, like the older Jewish woman visiting the holocaust museum. Loved the references to Baltimore since it is my home town, but I think this novel needs something. The stories oscillated between points of potential greatness to pat same old same old expected story line. I think this author has potential and hope that he can make the leap to the next level.
Lauren Davis
rated it it was amazing
May 19, 2019
Derek Minno-Bloom
rated it it was ok
Jun 16, 2017
rated it really liked it
Mar 12, 2015
rated it it was amazing
Aug 24, 2015
rated it liked it
Mar 10, 2012
rated it it was ok
Feb 25, 2017
Kristin Groulx
rated it it was amazing
Nov 20, 2013
rated it it was amazing
Feb 07, 2012
rated it liked it
May 25, 2012
Victoria Patterson
rated it it was amazing
Aug 22, 2011
Dan Cafaro
rated it it was amazing
May 09, 2011
Nicole DeSalle
rated it did not like it
Dec 20, 2014
rated it liked it
Oct 06, 2014
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Eric D. Goodman is the author of six books, including THE COLOR OF JADEITE (Loyola’s Apprentice House Press, 2020), SETTING THE FAMILY FREE (Apprentice House, 2019), WOMB: A NOVEL IN UTERO (Merge Publishing, 2017), TRACKS: A NOVEL IN STORIES (Atticus Books, 2011) FLIGHTLESS GOOSE (Writer’s Lair Books, 2008), and the forthcoming WRECKS AND RUINS (Apprentice House Press).

Born in San Jose, Californi

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“The ride to Baltimore had been one that Joan wished would go faster and take longer at the same time, like a commute to a business meeting she wanted to both avoid and be done with.” 0 likes
“Walking on a train isn’t free and open, like walking on a sidewalk or in a building. Nor is it stiff and uncomfortable, like walking on an airplane. There’s a steady, rhythmic comfort to strolling leisurely down the aisle, balancing hands on the heads of seats as you go. Christi’s direction was clear, but her destination was not. She was in no hurry to get there, wherever “there” was."

—Eric D. Goodman, “Futures,”
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