In equal parts hilarious, poignant, suspenseful and thrilling, The Christmas Train by David Baldacci is a delightful journey filled with memorable characters who have packed their bags with as much wisdom as mischief . . .
Disillusioned journalist Tom Langdon must get from Washington to LA in time for Christmas. Forced to take the train across the country because of a slight 'misunderstanding' at airport security, he begins a journey of self-discovery and rude awakenings, mysterious goings-on and thrilling adventures, screwball escapades 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, where he will rediscover people's essential goodness and someone very special he believed he had lost.
The Christmas Train Hallmark Hall of Fame movie starred Dermot Mulroney, Danny Glover, Joan Cusack and Kimberly Williams-Paisley.
Recently, Baldacci has ventured with success beyond the thrillers that made his reputation, first in 2000 with the historical melodrama Wish You Well, then earlier this year with the SF mystery novella The Mighty Johns. Here's another stretch, one that he performs with good spirit, a lot of humor and only a bit of strain a Christmas charmer set aboard a cross-country train. 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 the Capitol Limited, running from D.C. to Chicago, Tom meets a host of unusual fellow travelers, including rambunctious train personnel, lonely wanderers and a pair of elopers; he also runs into Eleanor, now a screenwriter for a legendary film director who's on board researching a possible film about trains. Matters complicate further aboard the Southwest Chief, running from Chicago to L.A., as Tom's Tinseltown girlfriend shows up and proposes marriage just as Tom and Eleanor are working their way back together; a sneak thief nabs valuables; and an avalanche traps the train in the midst of a historic blizzard. The narrative is loaded with cool train lore (Baldacci dedicates the book to "everyone who loves trains and holidays") and plenty of romance and good cheer, though suspense is low who can doubt how things will work out? and the author gets a bit preachy about the advantages of train travel and the lessons of Christmas. This is a more warmhearted and enjoyable novel than Grisham's comparable holiday offering last year, Skipping Christmas, and Baldacci's fans will snap it up as the Yuletide treat it is. Expect this to stuff plenty of stockings on December 25; all aboard! Simultaneous Time Warner Audio and Large Print edition. (One-day laydown Nov. 5)
Seasonal train journey
A sweet story about a Christmas journey by train across the USA. Part whodunnit, part love story, part adventure pulled together to make the story move on. Many larger than life characters coming to life as well.
And a couple of stings in the tail...
Great book. Well worth the read.
Boring as Bat Poo. Totally ruined my Christmas.
Heart-Warming Holiday Tale? I don’t think so.
Perhaps a train travel blog. No, not that even!
The penultimate chapter was totally ludicrous!