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Trains and Lovers  By  cover art

Trains and Lovers

By: Alexander McCall Smith
Narrated by: Robert Ian Mackenzie
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Publisher's Summary

In the words of Alexander McCall Smith: "You feel the rocking of the train, you hear the sound of its wheels on the rails; you are in the world rather than suspended somewhere above it. And sometimes there are conversations to be had, which is what the overarching story in this collection is all about. It is a simple device: people brought together entertain one another with tales of what happened to them on trains. It takes place on a journey I frequently make myself and know well, the journey between Edinburgh and London. It is best read on a train, preferably that one."

©2013 Alexander McCall Smith (P)2013 Recorded Books

What listeners say about Trains and Lovers

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Loved It

This book is written somewhat in the style of the 44 Scotland Street Stories. It consists of 4 different stories told in chapters each going back and forth between four passengers riding together on a train.. Each story very different but with a central theme, Love. Likeable characters made the stories they shared very entertaining.

7 people found this helpful

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Nice, but somehow left hanging

I am wondering if Alexander McCall Smith intends to revisit these characters again. Their stories are satisfying and thought-provoking, but one is left wondering what will happen to the characters in the future.

The stories are supposed to be as told by strangers on a train, yet the narrators have very similar styles. They tell their stories in much too complex a manner, with events from years ago told in great detail, with even the conversations sounding as if they just happened yesterday. In one case, conversations are recounted third hand - the narrator was not even alive at the time, and the person speaking is not her father. Yet, every word was there. I often found myself wondering - is the person actually speaking, or is this supposed to be a flashback?

Not one of his best, but still, hard to resist.

5 people found this helpful

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Delightful

I traveled a lot on trains during the 1950s. When I discovered this stand-alone book about trains by Alexander McCall Smith, I just had to read it.

The book is well written. It is about four people traveling between Edinburgh to London. They tell each other stories about trains that have changed their lives. The four people were one woman and three men. The woman was from Australia, one man from Scotland, one from England and one from America. The book is the usual AMS story. It is a delightful meandering story with a moral base. I found it a charming relaxing story. I know that people either love AMS books or hate them. I happen to love them. I have been reading very long books recently so this short book was a great relief.

The book is five hours twenty minutes. Robert Ian Mackenzie does an excellent job narrating the books. Mackenzie is a British actor and audiobook narrator.

4 people found this helpful

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Slow start to a satisfying journey on the train

This started so slowly that I almost gave up, but once the (4) passengers began to share their stories, I was pulled along with them on their journey. I was charmed by each story.

4 people found this helpful

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About love and life ...

I find Alexander McCall Smith my dearest author these days. What I appreciate most is his insight into the human condition and relationships.

This book is shorter than most of his works, but it packs the most wonderful exposition on the subject of Love that I have read in a long time.

I recommend this book highly for its touching and particularly meaningful story.

3 people found this helpful

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  • mz
  • 05-24-19

Narrator good most of the time but can be annoying

The British narrator for some reason thinks all Americans have a Southern accent, including those from New York and New England.

Listened to a whole 12-book series (44 Scotland Street) by the same author and narrator. The narrator sometimes pause between words to express an attitude, but it sounds very annoying. I have a hard time standing him sometimes.

1 person found this helpful

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Beautiful Writing

Interesting characters, surprising events, a philosophy of moral luck, a sense of integrity is pervasive in the story, and a great story for those like me who love trains and the journeys they take

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Not a waste of time, you might enjoy it

This is basically a collection of four short stories as each character tells their story, with no connection except some slight reference to trains. The narrator tried to differentiate voices, but not very well, in particular the regional accents. I think I’m spoiled by Lisette Lecat and Davina Porter. Mma Ramotswe stories are also slight, but more loveable.

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interesting again

Smith weaves fansitnating tales out of ordinary lives with out death, crime or the usual hooks 🪝.

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OK read but I would not say it was a “novel”

“Trains and Lovers” was an OK read but I would not say it was a “novel”. Alexander McCall Smith’s writing is good and flows well. It was good and entertaining about the human experience. Experienced as an Audio book.