Trains and Lovers: The Heart's Journey

Trains and Lovers: The Heart's Journey

Book rating: 05 Hardback

By (author) Alexander McCall Smith

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  • Publisher: Polygon An Imprint of Birlinn Limited
  • Format: Hardback | 128 pages
  • Dimensions: 130mm x 170mm x 28mm | 281g
  • Publication date: 1 November 2012
  • Publication City/Country: Edinburgh
  • ISBN 10: 1846972450
  • ISBN 13: 9781846972454
  • Sales rank: 17,632

Product description

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.'

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Author information

Alexander McCall Smith is one of the world's most prolific and most popular authors. For many years he was a professor of Medical Law, then, after the publication of his highly successful No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, which has sold over twenty-five million copies, he devoted his time to the writing of fiction and has seen his various series of books translated into over forty-six languages and become bestsellers throughout the world. These include the 44 Scotland Street novels, first published as a serial novel in The Scotsman, the Isabel Dalhousie novels, the Von Igelfeld series and the Corduroy Mansions novels.

Customer reviews

By Marianne Vincent 07 Sep 2013 5

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.

Review quote

'A charming, humorous journey of the heart' - Woman and Home 'Really rather lovely' - The Bookbag 'A one-off' - Lothian Life 'Warm, funny, poignant and touching' - The Good Book Guide 'Once begun, (it) is hard to put down - a story of substance and intrigue' - Dura