Trains And Lovers


Paperback | December 31, 2013

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A wonderful new stand-alone novel from the internationally beloved and bestselling Alexander McCall Smith: a story that explores the nature of love--and trains--through a series of intertwined romantic tales.

The rocking of the train car, the sound of its wheels on the rails...there's something special about this form of travel that makes for easy conversation. Which is just what happens to the 4 strangers who meet in Trains and Lovers. As they travel by rail from Edinburgh to London, they entertain one another with tales of how trains have changed their lives. A young, keen-eyed Scotsman recounts how he turned a friendship with a young woman co-worker into a romance by spotting an anachronistic train in an 18th-century painting. An Australian woman shares how her parents fell in love and spent their life together running a railroad siding in the remote Australian Outback. A middle-aged American arts patron sees 2 young men saying goodbye in the station and recalls his 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 enchanting.
Alexander McCall Smith is the author of the international phenomenon The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, and of 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 in Scotland and...
Title:Trains And LoversFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:256 pages, 7.95 × 5.16 × 0.7 inShipping dimensions:7.95 × 5.16 × 0.7 inPublished:December 31, 2013Publisher:Knopf CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0345807790

ISBN - 13:9780345807793


Rated 4 out of 5 by from Second Class Compartment A. McCall Smith: Trains and Lovers. This book differs from other works by this author, because it doesn’t belong to any of his series. It follows four people in a train from Edinburgh to London, who narrate their life stories. It is about the fact that “moral ground is slippery at the edges” and about “getting off at the wrong station”. In other words it is about coincidences, friendship, budding love of proper and improper kinds, questions of trust and truth, and the everyday ethical issues which occur in everybody’s life. There are many quotations from the writer Auden. I must say, though, that the author’s series are more memorable than this title. Certainly, a writer has every right to deal, in separate books, with questions which don’t fit any of his current writings. There are two more of this kind by McCall Smith, one of them containing fairy tales from Africa. The book is interesting, worth reading, yet a reader would be wise to make notes about the separate narrations while proceeding, in order to make sense of the whole novel at the end.
Date published: 2016-03-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Trains and Lovers More serious than Smith's other books, but a touching and enjoyable read.
Date published: 2014-07-03
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Trains and Lovers Interesting look into life and how people will talk on a train ride! It is true to personal experience.
Date published: 2014-04-24

Editorial Reviews

“In Trains and Lovers, the beloved Alexander McCall Smith is at his most enchanting.” —Newsroom America  “The best thing McCall Smith has written so far…. These stories are told better than their protagonists would ever tell them in real life, underpinned as they are by that rare combination of moral seriousness and playful wit that informs most of McCall Smith’s prolific work. But they remind us that…he is a virtuoso storyteller whose tales from the human heart remain very definitely on track.” —The Scotsman “Alexander McCall Smith is a charmer and he loves the details of ordinary life. He expresses the lives of his characters with wit and in his books follows the joys and irritations of life with compassion.... Like all of Alexander McCall Smith’s books, this story is charming.... A quick and interesting read—perfect for a summer afternoon on the deck.” —The Millstone (Mississippi) “The characters in Alexander McCall Smith’s books often feel like the kind of old friends that you can go years without seeing but when you do get together, you immediately pick up as if you’d seen each other last week.... You will not find serial killers or heartless psychopaths in Smith’s books; his stories will not be labeled ‘dark’ or ‘gritty.’ And this means that the pleasant nature of his books often belies the incisive observations on human nature that they contain. His books may not be heavy, but they can be deep.... Trains and Lovers’ stories envelop us, each in its own way...and they resist reducing emotion to platitudes. Love doesn’t always end happily, but even then it can end well, with hope, dignity and humanity, and that’s just what Trains and Lovers celebrates.” —The Wichita Eagle