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Publisher's Summary

Disillusioned journalist Tom Langdon must get from Washington to L.A. 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, as he rediscovers people's essential goodness and someone very special he believed he had lost.

Equal parts hilarious, poignant, suspenseful, and thrilling, David Baldacci's The Christmas Train is a delightful journey filled with memorable characters who have packed their bags with as much wisdom as mischief...and a story that shows how we do get second chances to fulfill our deepest hopes and dreams, especially during this season of miracles.

©2002 Columbus Rose, LTD.; (P)2002 Time Warner AudioBooks

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Most enjoyable listen!

We totally enjoyed this book. It was refreshing that there are mysteries out there (and not just for kids) that are simply fun. This had to be one of the most fun books I have listened to in a very long time, even my husband enjoyed it and he is not one for books but really kept his interest also. Would love to see more of this type of mystery without the killing and bad language. I would highly recommend this book to all.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Barb
  • Brooks, KY, USA
  • 01-03-06

Adventure on a Train!

Once again this author has demonstrated why his books continue to be on the best seller lists. This is an easy listen, full of adventure, romance and comedy. It would make a great first listen gift for anyone-young or old and might get them hooked on Audible!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Jeff
  • Boise, ID, USA
  • 12-24-04

Disappointing

When I downloaded this book I was looking for a light, breezy read with some Christmas spirit to it. Think "Skipping Christmas," another holiday-flavored book by an author known for his more serious works.

Unlike "Skipping Christmas" though, this book was a huge disappointment. Baldacci's writing is choppy and the characters are flat. I've been a fan of Tim Matheson since "Animal House," through "Tucker's Witch" and into "The West Wing," but he should stick to acting. His attempts at performing a woman's voice are the worst I've heard in four years of listening to audio books.

Save your credit for something else.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Book is OK, reading is distracting.

I got this for a "feel good" book, which it is. But the reader's interpretation of women's voices makes them all seem vapid and silly. This in turn makes the book seem even more trivial. There are much better readers around.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Misleading description!

I hate say this book is awful- because I'd imagine it could be enjoyable to some people- but if the description sounds enjoyable to you- you will not enjoy this book!!

First of all- for having Christmas in the title it is not a Christmas book. Not even remotely. It takes place of Xmas but for absolutely no reason.

The mystery is lame and not a vital part of the story. The entire story is so unrealistic- if makes me laugh it loud thinking of how people actually are on public transportation of any kind. It's so cheesy and not even potentially sweet because of how stupid it is. I just didn't understand any appeal to this book. A computer could have been programmed to write a more interesting book.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Couldn't finish this one

OK, so I bought this on sale 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.

8 of 13 people found this review helpful

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Very enjoyable holiday story!

This story made me want to take a train trip. I enjoyed the story and narration very much.

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Loved it!

I watched the Hallmark movie of this before I finished the book and was afraid it would ruin the book but it didn't. I just loved this story and the narrator was perfect. Baldacci never fails no matter what the type of story.

  • Overall
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  • Story

A story of strangers on a journey.

"The Christmas Train"  is an interesting study in people and their interactions when paths collide on a journey more or less by chance. It is not a flawless story and doesn't really go anywhere or really have a clear overarching message. Most of it's value being mostly a creative collection of entertaining character traits emerging through social interaction. A critical ear will likely notice that the pace does drag a bit and the ending has a pleasant twist, but feels a bit forced. On the whole, however, it does have a warm slice of life feel to it that will bring out a smile or two especially since the story takes place around Christmas.

The narration was fairly good as well considering the shear amount of character personalities, Tim Matheson had to bring to life using just his vocal cords.

This book is recommended to anyone who wants a feel good scenario about people and society as a whole. While the setting does take place during the Christmas holiday and it is called "The Christmas Train", the focus is more on the good to be found in people than any specific or special emphasis on the history or message of the holiday itself. What really tips the audiobook to four stars instead of just three is the eight minute short story "Waiting for Santa", an unexpected but powerful message that really touches the heart.

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Great light-mystery at Christmas

This is one of my favorite David Baldacci books. It’s a light mystery that just makes me smile. In my opinion, it’s a must read, or listen!