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Train Now Departing, (Lib)(CD) Audio CD – January 10, 2001

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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Books on Tape (January 10, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0736661700
  • ISBN-13: 978-0736661706
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 6.5 x 1.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,206,115 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Colleen on July 6, 2000
Format: Hardcover
If you're a fan of Martha Grimes's mystery novels (she is the author of a popular series of British police procedurals starring Richard Jury), take a trip with Ms. Grimes into the "non-Jury" world in her new book of two short novellas. As always, the writing is superb--witty, evocative, sharp--and the characters fully realized and sympathetic (or quite unsympathetic, depending on the character...).
The first novella, The Train Now Departing, tells the story of an introspective, imaginative middle-aged woman who has an oddly compelling relationship with a famous travel writer. During the couple's frequent luncheons, the woman tries every trick in the book to get the man to talk about his fabulous adventures, in an effort to live vicariously through him. The man is taciturn, argumentative, and not at all forthcoming--in fact, he seems to dislike traveling immensely. The woman's inner dialogue and emotional life is fascinating; the two friends' (friends?) relationship frustratingly wonderful.
The second novella,When the Mousetrap Closes, is another story of an unlikely friendship--this time, between a somewhat isolated middle-aged Englishwoman and a famous English stage actor. Normally shy, the woman is compelled to approach the actor in a tea room to tell him how much she enjoys his work, and a friendship forms. The story of how their relationship progresses, their conversations about acting and life and beauty, and the tale's conclusion is deep, thought-provoking and sad.
If you haven't read Ms. Grimes's mystery novels, you'll be able to read The Train Now Departing with an unbiased mind--and I think you'll enjoy it tremendously, as I did. If you've read her mystery novels, but have never tried one of her "non-Jury books," turn the mystery switch off, pretend she's a brand-new-to-you author, and enjoy this excellent literary departure.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Debbie Lee Wesselmann TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 1, 2003
Format: Paperback
I picked up this slim book by Grimes because I was intrigued that this novelist, perhaps most famous for her mysteries and mainstream novels, would embark on a decidedly literary and less popular format, the novella. In THE TRAIN NOW DEPARTING, Grimes proves herself a versatile writer as comfortable with the subtlety of human interaction as she is with murder. The two novellas contained within the 185 pages are thematically linked. Each protagonist is a lonely, intelligent woman who meets regularly, for lunch or tea, with a man she struggles to decipher. Through these encounters, each edges closer to understanding the core of herself.
"The Train Now Departing" is the stronger (and longer) of the two; both the woman and her companion, a travel writer, are richly imagined and imbued with puzzling traits which humanizes them. While I cannot conceive of how the woman and the travel writer would have met and why they have established such an obviously painful routine, their exchanges illuminate the novella with touching realism. The contrast between the meals the two main characters share and the meals the protagonist consumes alone is a brilliant device that lends emotional force to the ending.
"When the Mousetrap Closes" is much more lively than the first novella, and the protagonist Edith's interest in Archie Marchbanks, a famous actor, is much more believable. However, the end of the novella suffers from gimmickry, cheapening everything that precedes it. I wished that Grimes had left the ends of the story unraveled rather than tying them up as she did. Despite this flaw, this novella has an almost irresistible charm.
These novellas are quiet and studied, with the emphasis on the inner lives of their protagonists.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Christine Herron on May 4, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I have been a Martha Grimes fan for 10 years now and have read all of her books. While I fell in love with Richard Jury and Melrose Plant, I still enjoy her other "non-Jury" mysteries. This book was no exception. The stories in this book are so wonderfully told. It was an excellent departure from her other characters. Martha Grimes prooves once again that she is a true writer. If you love Martha Grimes, pick up this will not be disappointed...even though Jury, Plant, and the gang are nowhere to be found.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on May 7, 2000
Format: Hardcover
"The Train now Departing" They share lunch, but he never is really there. All she wants from the renowned travel writer is for him to relate some of his adventures that would allow her to precariously live life through him. However, he cannot sense her total loneliness as he is only into himself even as he tells her to have her own adventures.

"When the Mousetrap Closes" Edith Parenger is excited about seeing actor Archie Marchbanks in her favorite tea shop. Behaving out of character for someone who debates with herself about leaving her bed, Edith goes to Archie's table to meet the rising star. Surprisingly, Archie is kind to his lonely admirer, who fawns over his every word. However, what will happen to her when he moves on as is expected of the handsome actor?

The poignant stories center on vulnerable, lonely women. The novellas are well written and dig deep into isolated individuals living in an urban environment. Fans of Martha Grimes' Jury books should realize that these two tales are a radical departure from the author's probing mysteries, but provide an insightful character study of being alone amidst a sea of humans.

Harriet Klausner 5/3/00
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