Disillusioned journalist Tom Langdon must get from Washington D.C. to L.A in time for Christmas. Forced to travel by train, he begins a journey of rude awakenings, thrilling adventures 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, as he rediscovers people's essential goodness and someone very special he believed he had lost.
The Christmas Train is filled with memorable characters who have packed their bags with as much wisdom as mischief ... and shows how we do get second chances to fulfill our deepest hopes and dreams, especially during this season of miracles.
David Baldacci has been writing since childhood, when his mother gave him a lined notebook in which to write down his stories. (Much later, when David thanked her for being the spark that ignited his writing career, she revealed that she’d given him the notebook to keep him quiet, "because every mom needs a break now and then.”)
David published his first novel, Absolute Power, in 1996; the feature film adaptation followed, with Clint Eastwood as its director and star. In total, David has published 46 novels for adults; all have been national and international bestsellers, and several have been adapted for film and television. His books are published in over 45 languages and in more than 80 countries, with 150 million copies sold worldwide. David has also published seven novels for younger readers.
In addition to being a prolific writer, David is a devoted philanthropist, and his greatest efforts are dedicated to his family’s Wish You Well Foundation®. Established by David and his wife, Michelle, the Wish You Well Foundation supports family and adult literacy programs in the United States.
A lifelong Virginian, David is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Virginia School of Law.
I love this holiday classic, even if it is totally cheesy. It is one of my annual reads at this time of year and I hope it can be added to a holiday TBR list for others as well.
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 finds himself on a red-flag list, still needing to get to the City of Angels. As a seasoned journalist, he tries to make the most of his issue and decides to take to the rails aboard Amtrak’s best and brightest, writing all about his adventures. His multi-day journey puts many interesting and unique characters in his path, as well as some highly humourous adventures and even a mystery or two. As the miles fly by, Langdon discovers that there is more to the train than a slower means of getting from A to B. When someone from his past appears on the journey alongside him, Langdon discovers true meaning of the holidays and how the heart is the best guide on any of life’s trips. A nice break for Baldacci thriller readers, the book is a wonderful addition to the annual holiday traditions.
I would be remiss if I did not agree with many that this book is not cut from the usual cloth Baldacci presents. That said, its hokey nature is offset by the wonderful story Baldacci tells and the humour he is able to weave into the larger narrative. I have read this book many time before and love it each time, finding some new aspect to cherish. Baldacci is a master at storytelling and this book is proof positive that his flexible ideas can stand the test of time and genre diversification.
Kudos, Mr. Baldacci, for this holiday treat that ranks right up there with shortbread and eggnog.
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 quite what they seem. I also enjoyed the references to the Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint movie North by North West. Some people are probably going to think is a bit cheesy, but you know what? I don’t care. It was just the sort of light read I needed after my last read and I was happy to be taken along for the ride with this quirky cast of characters. This is only the second book by this author I have read and neither were his usual thrillers. So if that’s what you are after you might be disappointed. But if you just want a light hearted, feel good story, then this could be the go for you. Sometimes you just want to be entertained and I was. It still didn’t make me want to go on a long train trip though.
I enjoyed THE CHRISTMAS TRAIN by David Baldacci. A journalist, Tom Langdon, has to travel from DC to LA by Amtrak right around the holidays. While on board, he meets a bunch of crazy characters and has some fun experiences. Having traveled Amtrak before, I really enjoyed this, both for the nostalgia, and also for the fun history of trains and the railway system the author included. The characters were really fun! 4/5 stars.
I did read one of Baldacci's other books awhile ago, but the fact that I can't really remember it probably says alot.
As far as characters go, I guess Tom was my favorite only because he was fleshed out more than most, which isn't saying much. All the other characters were so cliche, and the story so formulaic, that it was hard to control the gag factor. I found it interesting, however, that Tom seemed disappointed that the train experience wasn't playing out like the classic movie - yet, that's exactly what the author seemed to be aiming for. This reminded me of all the old classic romantic comedies from the 40's and 50's, but with a barely plausible story line.
I found the women in Tom's life particularly annoying. Eleanor was supposed to be this wonderful, intelligent "soul-mate", yet she irrationally played the "you should know why I left you" card. Then Lelia - what can I say about that one - is she the type of woman that would attract our hero? It doesn't seem believable.
I found the last part of the story the worst. The trek on skis should have been a harrowing experience, yet it was glossed over completely. And what's with Tom carrying his dead mother's ring around with him? What man does that?
I did enjoy the references to Mark Twain and also the passenger train history lessons.
All in all, I found the story and the writing very amateurish and disappointing.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
★★★½ I've seen David Baldacci's name everywhere lately so I figure it's time to give in to all the hard work these marketing folks are doing. Having never read a Baldacci novel before, I picked The Christmas Train since I watched the Hallmark move about 10 times last Christmas. It's OK, ten times isn't excessive. It only aired about 200 times. Now that's excessive.
The Christmas Train was an interesting and feel-good story. It has humor, mystery, and a second-chance romance, all set during a snowy Christmas. I do have a warning though: You may find yourself researching ways to incorporate a railroad on your next vacation. Baldacci makes you feel the whimsical, simple, nostalgic, social, and very American history of train voyages. However, the last train ride I was on has me remembering very different feelings, mostly sick, stuffy, and smelly...but there's always next time.
My favorite quote: “But no matter how fast we feel we have to go, shouldn’t there be room for a train, where you can just sit back, take a breath, and be human for a little while? Just for a little while?”
Note: The Hallmark adaptation of The Christmas Train actually follows the novel fairly well. If interested, you can find more information on the film HERE.
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 a literary masterpiece. I was expecting a feel good, entertaining Christmas story, and I was expecting to at least enjoy it, but this book failed on all of those fronts. For starters, it wasn’t just cliche, but painfully so. The characters were all pretty dull, the plot was a complete disaster, and even the actual writing was astoundingly lackluster.
Characters are always my biggest attraction to a story. Good characters can get me through a bad story any day, but there were none here, and it wasn’t that Baldacci was extremely good at writing bad characters, the characters wanted to be liked, but they just weren’t very likable. First, there’s Tom. He’s the hero of the story, and I guess he’s supposed to be some sort of manly man, and he lost the love of his life so you want to sympathize with him, but the man is just an ass. Within the first four pages he very proudly talks about punching a TSA agent, his inner monologue is pretty derogatory towards everybody around him, and of course he’s also arrogant. Then there’s the women in his life: Eleanor, who is supposed to be intelligent and sophisticated, is the woman he lost. She’s supposed to be his “soul mate” and yet, when he asks why she left, this logical and rational woman responds with the cliche irrational girl response of “if you don’t know then you’ll never understand.” Ugh. But of course, Tom can’t be single and pining all these years so he also has Leila in his life. And of course, she’s the typical cookie-cutter girl with no substance who thinks she can get everything she wants through sex. Flirt with the right people, cast a wink in the right direction and men just fall at her feet. So here’s our main cast of characters, who are supported by: the big shot hollywood director, the doting assistant, the young love couple, the sassy religious black lady, the preacher, and the harmless old lady who seems to be more than she appears. Cookie cutters are okay sometimes, but you’ve got to give them a little life. You need to make them your own, not just toss them in and call it a day.
Moving on to the story! Tom, after gleefully punching a TSA agent is no longer allowed to fly. And, taking this as a “divine sign,” he decides to take the train for Christmas so he can “find himself” just like his famous writer ancestor, Mark Twain. And who should be on this train but Eleanor!? She’s now playing the pet writer to a big shot Hollywood director and they’re looking to write a story about a train. As all big shot Hollywood directors do. Well isn’t this just perfect? He can team up with Eleanor and they can get the stories of all our merry misfit train riders. Now, to add a little spice to our story there’s also a mysterious thief robbing all of our passengers when they leave their rooms unattended. Even our poor retired preacher doesn’t escape our thief. And the only passenger who seems to escape is our suspicious old lady. So now Tom wants to investigate this as well because that’s what all good journalist do. And of course, as everything is spiraling out of control, an avalanche hits the train and everyone remembers what’s really important about Christmas. Like I said before, I was expecting this sort of Hallmark Holiday Special so I didn’t mind it too much until THIS. Eek!
Finally, there’s the actual writing style. This story had a serious problem with following the golden rule of “show, don’t tell.” So this was just a giant information dump instead of using the narrative to tell the story. This was final nail in the coffin that turned The Christmas Train into a trainwreck. Had this been a random book that I’d picked up I probably wouldn���t Baldacci a second chance, but because it’s my dad I might give him the benefit of the doubt and try finding another story. Maybe. One day. Definitely going to need a palette cleanser though. So, if you happen to be looking for a feel good Christmas romance, I would recommend looking elsewhere because you won’t find it here. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>
In the past I was a huge David Baldacci fan but for some reason stopped reading him somewhere along the time of the Camel Club series. However, in my quest for seasonal books I picked up "The Christmas Train" and I'm very glad that I did. There is a tiny bit of a mystery to the book so it often gets labeled as such. You have to look long and hard for that mystery, though, and I would put this book squarely in seasonal fiction instead. The writing is solid, factual, humorous and flows brilliantly. The characters are perfect for a holiday book and are well developed. Yes, of course it has the requisite "happy ending" but what would a The Christmas TrainThe Christmas Trainholiday book be without one?
What I loved most about the book was the train - its story, its history, its life. Baldacci clearly loves trains as much as I do and his research into Amtrack's passenger trains is impeccable. His writing brings these trains and their crew members to vivid life. He has a political and economic message in this book, it comes through loudly and clearly, and it is one with which I agree 100% We need passenger trains in America and we will be fools to allow them to close.
Regardless of your feelings toward the holidays and Christmas or if you like Baldacci's regular series of books, I highly recommend The Christmas Train. It's a fun read, a short book and you will feel better when you are finished.
It was OK, but honestly, I expected more from this book. When I reached the end of the story, it seemed contrived and over-constructed, it lacked the spontaneity, which would have made it a more pleasant read altogether. Still, christmassy and fluffy enough, if you are in need of some short, festive reading.
This was a tumultuous, absolutely insane year for most of us. That’s the good news. The bad news is: it’s not over yet. I don’t even want to think about next year.
With that said, the desire to read political ideologies embedded skilfully into novels, while the entire world is suffering from insanity, just did not lure me in. While politicians paid themselves comfortable salaries and enriched themselves through pay-to-play, or quid pro quo deals, some even selling out their countries, the rest of humankind lost everything and were put under draconian house-arrests. The effect on children is unmentionable. Many of our loved ones got seriously sick, some passed away of a deadly virus.
To find equilibrium I needed to read a chicken-soup-for-the-soul book. This novel fitted the need perfectly.
A Hallmark movie was made about the book. I did not like the choice of actors for the roles AT ALL. What a pity. I watched the trailer. It was enough.
The book itself is summarised the best in the blurb. What was suppose to be an ordinary train journey from NY to LA for a former investigative journalist who was banned for life from all airlines, turned into an adventure in which his past caught up with him in most unexpected ways. Eccentric, quirky characters filled the sleep-over compartments and the weather almost became the main character after a while! Yes, I am deliberately taking you here on a ride myself. Pardon the mischief! :-)
The novel had a good vibe, even if some mystery characters sneaked in and almost turned the plot into a mystery thriller. Almost. It was just enough to make me happy and to finally leave the big bad world out there and bask in the goodness of mankind again. I relaxed, laughed a little and finally caught up in the vibe of the Christmas spirit. The gentle ambiance of the Season embraced my traumatised soul. With a few more of these kind of novels I might come around again. We all need this from time to time.
Blessings to you and your family. Experience the joy and love of this Season. That is my wish for you.
"Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies." - The Shawshank Redemption.
Loved LOVED this irresistible and enchanting story set on a train travelling cross-country, from Washington to Los Angeles. Quirky yet relatable characters. Romance which does not dominate the story. And humour, love me some good-natured humour. A bit of mystery with a funny old crook on board. Thrilling adventures. And the train history was excellent, really enjoyed those bits. A fab ending!
What made it all the more special was the narrator, Tim Matheson and, for anyone who is not familiar with that name he is Dr Vernon Mullins from Virigin River and if you are not familiar with that series, sorry can’t help you there 😅 Tim Matheson’s voice and tone and the sound affects made this an unforgettable audiobook.
Written 20 years ago, Baldacci departs from his best selling genre to bring us a story of hope, redemption and Christmas miracles.
We first meet Tom Langdon and learn he's a descendant of Samuel Clemens, aka Mark Twain though instead of writing fiction, his expertise is international journalism. Having recently lost his father and run into difficulties with airport TSA, he decided to board a train to visit Lelia, the woman he'd been seeing in Los Angeles. Boarding the Capitol Express in D.C., he would switch to the Southwest Chief in Chicago for the trip to California while taking notes for a story about trains.
The passengers on "The Cap" are varied and include Max Powers, a famous film director, Agnes Joe, a rotund rider of the rail, Roxanne a staff member, a young couple soon to be married, a retired priest, and many others. Unlike air travel, passengers on a train become familiar with one another and it's their unique back stories that become the focus. Accompanying Max is Eleanor, a journalist turned screen writer and former lover of Tom's who walked out on him years previous.
Having read The Camel Club and several others by this author, it came as little surprise that he'd incorporate a touch of mystery, though the biggest curve ball arrives a the end. David's use of relatable characters, perfect pacing and endearing plot make this a tribute to his ability to break genre and inspire with an evocative story of love, compassion and humanity. With so many of my friends preferring mystery and will assume you know David's work, you'll find this a breath of fresh air and worth the time; I did!
A sweet book to read during the Holiday season. The book contains some Holiday magic of its own. It reads like a great old black and white movie. There is a mystery, intrigue, romance, and of course a train.
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 allowed to fly due to a slight “misunderstanding” with airport security. Tom was distantly related to Mark Twain and it was Tom’s father’s dying wish for Tom to write a piece about train travel, something Mark Twain had attempted but never finished.
“Tom wasn’t going abroad, but in many ways he felt like a pilgrim traveler in his own country, because, ironically, he’d seen far more of the rest of the world than he had of America.”
“You don’t take a train because you want to get somewhere fast. You take it for the journey itself. To be surprised.”
So, Tom embarks on his journey across country. But, this trip is more of a journey than Tom could ever have expected. He meets many new friends of all types. There is a young couple wanting to elope, a retired priest, a famous movie director, a former train engineer that had been let go due to budget cuts. But, most importantly, and the biggest surprise of all, on the train is the long lost love from Tom’s past, Eleanor. The one that he let get away. His one real true love. The problem is, she wants nothing to do with him.
And, things are disappearing from the passenger’s cabins. There seems to be a thief on board. But worst of all, the blizzard of the century is bearing down on them. So the passengers and crew are forced to band together to survive the trip.
“The Christmas spirit must have spread its magic, because stranger helped stranger, the physically fit assisted the disabled. No one complained or fretted about his or her place in line or duties assigned.”
I’ve never gone on a train trip and this book made me want to experience it. It seems like it would be such a wonderful way to see our country. But…I have to say, that this book as a whole, just didn’t excite me all that much. There were some really sweet moments. And, I have to say that there was a little bit of snarkiness in the dialogue that I liked and that made me smile. When I am reading a book, though, there is that moment when something happens or something grabs you that makes you want to keep turning the pages and rushing forward to see what happens and I just never found that moment. It had a very sweet but somewhat confusing ending and I got some very pleasant images of the train passing through the snow covered countryside but the story itself just didn’t hold my attention all that much. Maybe it’s just me and the book just wasn’t my cup of tea! So, all in all, it was a sweet, Christmas story, but just an ok read.
I loved it!!! Electrifying and well written, a genuine page-turner!!! This is a wonderful novel, with a Christmas flair, and enriched with a heart rending love story and much romance.. This is also my first David Baldacci novel, but after this one, I want to read much more by this author!!! A great novel for the Christmas season, it did make me laugh aloud and with tears!!! Also a love story, rendered masterfully with much feelings, that has touched me.. And you have here a thief and a mystery as a bonus.. But most of all "The Christmas Train" by Baldacci has achieved to capture the spirit of Christmas with the full magic in it!!!
An ex-war reporter wants to meet with his girlfriend, and aims to travel from coast to coast trough the USA by train at the Christmas season!! A great surprise and an unexpected end awaits him in this fabulous train adventure Thousands of miles before him, he discovers that Christmas is a time for wonders!!! He learns that second chances are not fairy tales, not anymore.. So, uplifting and for Christmas the novel to be read and enjoy!!! It has my full recommendation..
All the best, and happy reading to all my goodreads friends!!! Dean;)
In this chap’s bio it states he has been writing since childhood. This must therefore, be that first attempt at literature. It might explain why it is so appallingly bad. Not just bad, utter, utter shite.
Plenty of people seem to like his stuff though, maybe I should try one which he had published after his fifth birthday?
I’ve stated that life is too short to read poor quality literature. Christmas is far shorter. Onward (and hopefully) upward.
“It's not the beginning or the destination that counts. It's the ride in between.”
To be honest I was expecting a Crime/Mystery/Thriller kind of book. Not a Romance. This might teach me to look the books up on GR before diving in…
Never the less it was a fun, quick, holiday read. And the love story was not the primary focus and that in its own is a big positive to me. I might not read this again, but I will be on the look-out for the movie adaptation.
„The Christmas Train“ е книга с коледен сюжет и ниво на изпълнение някъде около средното. Като цяло е доста далеч от поредицата за Арчър и „Мъжът от влака в 6:20“– ако това ми беше първата среща с Дейвид Балдачи със сигурност нямаше да остана впечатлен.
Том Лангдън е журналист с кариера в упадък, който по една случайност се оказва и роднина на Марк Твен. За Коледа възнамерява да посети приятелката си в Ел Ей – актриса, която озвучава детски филми и с която поддържат повърхностна връзка, като решава да прекоси щатите от единия до другия край с въпросния Коледен експрес. Във влака има доста хора, всеки със своята история и не особено интересно битие. Там се оказва и неговата бивша приятелка, с която са се разделили преди години. Нещата се завъртат, спохожда ги свирепа снежна буря и за кратко всички се оказват бедстващи насред пустошта.
Като тип и конструкция историята се доближава силно до сюжетите в стил Никълъс Спаркс, отколкото като Дейвид Балдачи от споменатите по-горе негови заглавия. Но все пак тази книга е от 2003 г. и е възможно оттогава до сега стилът му да е претърпял сериозно развитие.
Развръзката на финала беше малко изненадваща и съвсем коледна.
Оценка: 3.15 ⭐
🚆 Xmas '22 🚉
P.S. По книгата има и филм от 2017 г., излъчван по Hallmark Channel, който не съм гледал, а и след прочита на книгата нямам и особено силно желание да гледам.
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 people he encounters." My reading has gotten me used to more substantial stuff and I couldn't even finish this one. I truly tried, mainly because I bought it and if I bought a book, the frugal side of me says I must finish it. There are just too many good books out there to be wasting time on fluff like this.
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.
I got this book for Christmas and it was an amazing read. I read it straight through and laughed and cried through it all. Set on 2 trains that travel across America, Tom Langdon (the main character) is banned from flying because he has a little problem with anger lol! So he decides to travel to LA aboard the trains and craziness ensues. Rich in detail and laughter, I believe anyone who picks up this book with fall in love with it! Enjoy!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Reread - 12.5.2011 STILL love this book!!! A great re-visit!!!!
---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Reread - 12.18.2017 This was a reread because 1. I LOVE this book, and 2. because my Mom picked for our December book club read. It was so lovely to revisit this book again; it is such a favorite of mine. It was a little different this time as I listened to it on audiobook [Tim Matheson is a GREAT narrator] and I had to come up with questions for our book club [as my Mom is not on Facebook]. So I had to listen and read it a little more closely to be able to come up with both good and thought-provoking questions that would engage our group. It made the read even better for me as I paid more attention to the story and what was going on. Which made me realize that THIS is a really, really great read and a fun Christmas story. I will forever enjoy this story!
-------------------------------------------------------- Reread - 12.12.2019 I love this book, plain and simple. Always makes me happy. :-)
It took me a while to try Baldacci's Christmas book. I've seen this beautiful cover for many years but Baldacci = thriller so I was reluctant. It was great!! Why did I wait this long? The journey on the train in winter across country is such a joy (mostly). I love the production of this audio book with the train choo chooing, the sound of the engine, and orchestra music in between chapters. This is a wonderful book for the holidays.
I mean…I haven’t read David Baldacci, but he’s so successful that I expected more. The characters just weren’t developed in a relatable way at all. The “twist” at the end just came across as disappointing. This book didn’t do much for me. ☹️
Curiosity and the fact that I love trains made me choose The Christmas Train audio book as my next reading adventure. Some reviews claim it is laced with profanity but I didn't encounter that in the audio I choose to listen too. I think the weakest points to this book was the beginning and the ending. At the beginning I honestly wanted to do a did not finish but I decided to give the book a chance. So glad that I did because sandwiched between the beginning and ending was a delightful story. I especially enjoyed the sound effects at the beginning of each chapter of my audio book. The narrator did an awesome job I thought. I found the book to be humorous with a touch of mystery and suspense. Romance was added but was tastefully done. All in all I had a good experience with this book. If not for the beginning and the ending I gladly would have rated it five stars. This story is about a Journalist who for reasons I won't go into here was banned from flying for two years in the United States. Needing to get to LA California to spend Christmas with his girlfriend he decides to take the Amtrack from,Washington D.C. to LosAngeles. The adventure from his first time riding on a train would be written into a story or book. He hadn't counted on meeting a long lost love, Eleanor Carter,or the many interesting characters that rode the train with him. He would have the ride of his life and a great story to write. I recommend this book to readers of Contemporary romance books and to people who love to read about trains. This audio book has a bonus story tucked in after this books ending as well. I borrowed an audio copy of this book from Hoopla. A review was not requested. All thought and opinions expressed here are my own.
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!
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 undertake his father’s dying wish and finish a transcontinental railroad story started, but not completed, by his distant relative, Mark Twain! Thus begins a journey not only from coast to coast but also into Tom Langdon’s heart as he is unexpectedly reunited with his past on the train.
This is an extraordinary portrait of life for people working and travelling on long distance trains. As it is coming up to Christmas when this story starts the festive atmosphere is unmistakable. David Baldacci is masterful at drawing the characters and describing how their close proximity can lead to some very interesting encounters. It is a funny, poignant and dramatic tale, all at the same time. I just love the ending which, when I read it for the first time, was so unexpected.
First published in 2002 this story stands the test of time and is a classic Christmas tale. If you want something with a great feel good factor then The Christmas Train is a must for you.