Penguin presents the audio edition of Train Man by Andrew Mulligan, read by Rupert Farley.
It’s never too late to get back on track.
Michael is a broken man. He’s waiting for the 09.46 to Gloucester, so as to reach Crewe for 11.22: the platforms are long at Crewe, and he can walk easily into the path of a high-speed train to London. He’s planned it all: a net of tangerines (for when the refreshments trolley is cancelled), and a juice carton, full of neat whisky. To make identification swift, he has taped his last credit card to the inside of his shoe.
What Michael hasn’t factored in is a twelve-minute delay, which risks him missing his connection, and making new ones. He longs to silence the voices in his own head: ex-girlfriends, colleagues, and the memories from his schooldays, decades old. They all torment him. What Michael needs is somebody to listen.
A last, lonely journey becomes a lesson in the power of human connection, proving that no matter how bad things seem, it's never too late to get back on track.
Journeys intersect. People find hope when and where they least expect it. A missed connection needn’t be a disaster: it could just save your life.
Brilliant... profoundly affecting. It broke my heart at the awfulness of humankind and the cruelty with which we treat each other, but it also made my heart sing that there is such love and compassion in the world too. A beautiful story.
The trajectories of these lone rail travellers, and others they meet, ricochet like snooker balls across this absorbing novel, almost entirely set in the comic wonderland of the English rail network.
Mulligan’s prose…delivers a strong human story with impressive skill
Imaginative and challenging… Train Man is his [Mulligan’s] first foray into adult fiction… Carefully crafted and with an undertow of melancholy, Train Man is reminiscent of Nick Hornby’s high-concept scenarios and deceptively light touch with human tragedy
Beautifully written… [and] at times even made me laugh out loud