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  • Location: Idaho

Train Dreams

Train Dreams

Why a Booktrail?

1917 onwards: Life in the American West at the start of the twentieth century

  • ISBN: 978-1847086624
  • Genre: Fiction

What you need to know before your trail

Robert Grainier is a day labourer in the American West at the start of the twentieth century – an ordinary man in extraordinary times. Buffeted by the loss of his family, Grainier struggles to make sense of this strange new world. As his story unfolds, we witness both his shocking personal defeats and the radical changes that transform America in his lifetime. Suffused with the history and landscapes of the American West – its otherworldly flora and fauna, its rugged loggers and bridge-builders – Train Dreams captures the disappearance of a distinctly American way of life.



Travel Guide

Travel to the American Midwest

Train Dreams


Robert Grainier finds work where he can in the shadow of the railroad building programme which was starting to take off at the time. This is the story of that railway and the project the men were undertaking with the hard work, slog and hot summers.

This is a raw and desolate look at a man living in this environment and landscape and trying to survive. The landscape is raw and wild and it’s a dry, lonely life at times.

The railway ran through the small town of Meadow Creek and this is where much of the novel takes place. Spokane is in nearby Washington State and that was the centrepoint and main junction of the railway then.

BookTrail Boarding Pass: Train Dreams

Destination: Idaho  Author/guide: Denis Johnson   Departure: 1917 onwards

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