Narrator: Tim Matheson
Published by Hachette Audio on December 3, 2004 (first published November 1, 2001)
Length: 7 hrs 4 mins
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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.
The Christmas Train has just about everything: romance, adventure, mystery and holiday cheer. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s a great seasonal read, maybe a little cheesy in parts, but that’s okay for a Christmas read.
Our main character is Tom Langdon. Tom used to be a war correspondent but he had had enough of war. He now was doing fluff pieces but is still always on the move, going her and there to research stories. Tom has 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.
The characters are great, Tom yes, but also the secondary characters. Some are charming, some are quirky, some are just fun. 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. But not everyone is who they appear to be, which adds some interest to what could have been too predictable a story. I even enjoyed the descriptions of the weather and the history of the trains and how they work.
The revelation at the end was perfect and I didn’t see it coming. This is one of those books that just made me smile.