Trains and Lovers

Trains and Lovers

by Alexander McCall Smith
4.4 32

Paperback(Large Print)

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Trains and Lovers by Alexander McCall Smith

As they journey by rail from Edinburgh to London, four strangers pass the time by sharing tales of trains that have changed their lives. A keen-eyed Scotsman recounts how he turned a friendship with a coworker into a romance by spotting an anachronistic train in an eighteenth-century painting. An Australian woman shares how her parents fell in love and spent their life together running a railroad siding in the remote Outback. A middle-aged American patron of the arts sees two young men saying goodbye in a train station and recalls his own youthful crush on another man. And a young Englishman describes how exiting his train at the wrong station allowed him to meet an intriguing woman whom he impulsively invited to dinner-and into his life.
Here is Alexander McCall Smith at his most subtle and enchanting, exploring the nature of love—and trains—in this utterly captivating story.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780804120951
Publisher: Diversified Publishing
Publication date: 06/11/2013
Edition description: Large Print
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 841,904
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Alexander McCall Smith is the author of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, the Isabel Dalhousie series, the Portuguese Irregular Verbs series, the 44 Scotland Street series and the Corduroy Mansions series. He is professor emeritus of medical law at the University of Edinburgh and has served with many national and international organizations concerned with bioethics. He lives in Scotland.


Edinburgh, Scotland

Date of Birth:

August 24, 1948

Place of Birth:


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Trains and Lovers: A Novel 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 32 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. Taking a simple premise - strangers on a train passing the time with conversation - author Alexander McCall Smith paints a beautiful portrait with his gift for words. The story moves at a relaxed pace, but never gets too slow. I couldn't put it down until I was done.
lovelybookshelf More than 1 year ago
Alexander McCall Smith's new book, Trains and Lovers, is a stand-alone novel not tied to any of his series. "A friendship maybe be conceived in four hours; a short book finished and put away; a life remembered." I love Alexander McCall Smith's writing style. His characters and stories need no pageantry. He can say so much in so few words! I find it absolutely stunning. Trains and Lovers dances on the edge of being a collection of four short stories. The four travelers sporadically and spontaneously pause the story with their own introspection or to briefly converse with each other. This brings it all together into one cohesive novel. Each story held my attention page after page. I couldn't stop reading the mini-mystery that came along with the Englishman's story. But my favorite of all was the Australian woman's account of her parents and the profound impact of their very simple, well-lived, and well-loved life. Trains and Lovers is an experience; the pages flew by. Alexander McCall Smith did not disappoint! I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any other compensation for this review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is by far Alexander McCall Smith's best work to date. I loved the characterizations. The storytelling was magnificent. Two thumbs up.
Gardenseed More than 1 year ago
This is a very enjoyable book that I read in one long sitting. The characters and their stories of love found, or not, are absorbing. The author's quiet way of telling a story and setting a scene are soothing and his comments on life and love are thought -provoking. This is also a beautifully made little book, from type- design (William Martin, 1790) to size, proportions, and page design.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a fan of Alexander McCall Smith's books, mainly his #1 Ladies Detective Agency series.(I have already preordered the newest title!). Trains and Lovers was an enjoyable read as it moved quickly and held your interest.
cloggiedownunder More than 1 year ago
Trains and Lovers is a stand-alone novel by popular Scottish author, Alexander McCall Smith. This novel takes the reader on a train journey where any boredom is dispelled by the stories that four strangers in a railway carriage relate, stories that involve trains (both real and of the art variety) and lovers (variously realised, possibly dangerous and unrequited). McCall Smith gives us four very different characters and chooses a novel way of telling four discrete tales. As always, McCall Smith offers up gentle philosophy as he touches on subjects as diverse as modern-day connectedness and loneliness; identity theft; issues of trust and how powerful and persistent the seeds of doubt, once sown, can be; the comparison of communication today with the bygone era (emails and texts versus telegrams and pen friends); and the concept of moral luck. McCall Smith’s prose is charming and evocative: “…wonderful, exotic languages including one that had clicks and whistles in it…It’s called !Kung. And it has an exclamation mark in front of it. Imagine talking !English or !French with an exclamation mark. It was lovely to listen to – rather like the sound of the wind in the reeds, or a pair of exotic birds talking to one another on the branch of a tree.” And “There are many ways of falling off the high moral ground you’ve carefully built up for yourself. Moral ground is like that – slippery at the edges.” Charming, humorous and insightful.
Yolan More than 1 year ago
This was not at all what I had expected. I was disappointed with this book. Four people met on the train and exchanged their "story" to one another either by speech or in one case only by thoughts. Then it was over.
RevGVC More than 1 year ago
I found this to be a gentle read and a lovely reminder that love takes many forms.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Alexander McCall Smith has interwoven the stories of four strangers beautifully. I found myself unable to put it down and so sorry that it had to come to an end.
KatrinaAZ More than 1 year ago
Smith is a master of exploring the personalities of everyday people. Here he takes four people on a train who begin talking to each other about falling in love. Their stories are interesting and believable and don't always go the way you expect. Delightful peek into the lives of people.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She needs a master!!!!!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book would be great for a book club!!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I always enjoy Alexander McCall Smith books....
nenris More than 1 year ago
It was a fun read and I loved the characters. But I wish it had been longer and we learned even more about everyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a fan of Alexander McCall Smith. This book, which is a single book, and not part of a series, is beautifully written. He is a master of detail, and this book provides quiet, yet pronounced moments of meaning in the life of the train passengers. Trains and Lovers carries a little more serious undertones in the book. A wonderful read whether you are a first time reader of McCall Smith, or a devoted fan. Speaking of which --- when oh when will we finally see the next installment for Corduroy Mansions? Please, please, come out with the next one in this series. I miss Freddie de la Hay and all the gang.
Cadia More than 1 year ago
I was really sorry that this book was so short,,, I really enjoyed it and much is so true to life really makes you think and rethink.