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The Christmas Train

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  24,432 ratings  ·  3,030 reviews
A journalist on a cross-country Christmas train scales the rugged terrain of his own heart in this New York Times bestselling holiday tale that inspired the Hallmark Hall of Fame original movie!

Disillusioned journalist Tom Langdon must get from Washington to Los Angeles in time for Christmas. Forced to travel by train, he begins a journey of rude awakenings, thrilling adve
Paperback, 260 pages
Published October 28th 2014 by Grand Central Publishing (first published November 4th 2001)
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A.J. Sefton People on a train trying to get home for Christmas. It is travelling from east to west America. Mostly a light romance.
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Average rating 3.60  · 
Rating details
 ·  24,432 ratings  ·  3,030 reviews

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Jul 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, favourites
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, sti
Dec 08, 2012 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.
Dale Harcombe
Dec 09, 2012 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
Nov 19, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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 snow
Dec 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Oct 19, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christmas
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.
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 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 o
Peter Monn
Dec 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such a fun and endearing Christmas book. My full review will be on my booktube channel at ...more
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 a
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 bo
Melissa Rose
I have never read a David Baldacci before, so I was completely unfamiliar with his usual style before picking up this book. However, I have had this story sitting on my Audible shelf for some time after picking it up on sale last year; as such, I felt that it was about time I gave it a listen and, despite a slow start, I found myself enjoying this novel.

In terms of characters, Baldacci did an excellent job at creating a personable and multifaceted cast; which Tim Matheson did a remarkable job b
Dec 16, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Holy fucking shite! I made it to chapter two.


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
Nov 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Dec 07, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a sweet little Christmassy book that hit the spot, but it ended way too fast. I felt like the author wanted it to be over so rushed the last 1/4 of the story :/
Nov 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: overdrive, holiday
David Baldacci’s book, “The Christmas Train” was used to create a Hallmark movie of the same name.
Trailer =

John Grisham’s book “Skipping Christmas” was used for the movie “Christmas with the Kranks”.
Trailer =

2 Great Christmas books to read - Easy plots.
I always felt John Grisham & David Baldacci writing styles are similar & written well
Marnie  (Enchanted Bibliophile)
“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.
Dec 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Dawn Michelle
Aug 30, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes a good story and LOVES trains
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!

Apr 01, 2015 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!
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
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
Corey Woodcock
”This isn’t a train this time of year. It’s a social club of strangers looking for a friend…”

This actually turned out to be a fun little read for Christmas in Jul…June. I’ll definitely be telling my daughter it’s one of my favorite books ever though.

Despite taking a turn at the end that raised the stakes a little bit, overall this was a pretty low-stakes story about a group of people that all end up together on a train traveling from DC to Los Angeles shortly before Christmas. The main chara
Helen Drake
Apr 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although I checked this book out in December, I finally got around to reading it, and I'm so glad I did! I love trains although I haven't been on anything other than a short ride for over 50 years. It made me want to take a train ride somewhere! The characters were well developed and there are some very interesting people! The storyline was engaging and I loved the twist at the end! ...more
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
Sep 15, 2014 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
Nov 11, 2008 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
Maureen DeLuca
Dec 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed reading this story. Not your typical David Baldacci book. Tom Langdon sets off on a cross-country train trip at Washington, D.C. and plans to arrive in L.A. for Christmas. Having reached middle age, it is time to do some soul-searching and rethinking of life goals, and what better place than the peaceful journey a train can provide. It had everything, adventure,humor, romance, surprises, and a mystery along the way.

If you never read this book, and want a nice- warm Christmas st
Only realized I had read this way back in the day after watching the cheesy as hell Hallmark movie over Thanksgiving. Figured I should probably add it. David Baldacci not my cup of tea, but I do kind of want to take a cross country train trip.
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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.”) He published his first novel, Absolute Power, in 1996; it was subsequ ...more

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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.” 29 likes
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