The Christmas Train by David Baldacci The Christmas Train by David Baldacci
Narrator: Tim Matheson
Published by Hachette Audio on December 3, 2004 (first published November 1, 2001)
Source: Purchased
Genres: Fiction
Length: 7 hrs 4 mins
Pages: 260
Format: Audiobook
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four-stars

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.

About David Baldacci

David Baldacci has been writing since childhood, when his mother gave him a lined notebook in which to write down his stories. He published his first novel, Absolute Power, in 1996; it was subsequently adapted for film, with Clint Eastwood as its director and star. 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.

David and his wife, Michelle, are the co-founders of the Wish You Well Foundation®, which supports family and adult literacy programs in the United States. In 2008 the Foundation partnered with Feeding America to launch Feeding Body & Mind, a program to address the connection between literacy, poverty and hunger. Through Feeding Body & Mind, more than 1 million new and used books have been collected and distributed through food banks to families in need.

A lifelong Virginian, David is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Virginia School of Law.

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