Mika Waltari
Publication date
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294 pages

A Lonely Man’s Train

Yksinäisen miehen juna

Mika Waltari’s infamous travelogue documenting his 1929 return trip from Helsinki to Istanbul.

Documenting Mika Waltari’s trip from Helsinki to Istanbul and back in the summer of 1929, A Lonely Man’s Train tells the stories of Waltari’s real life visits to Rome, Berlin, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Paris and Sofia. Waltari was fascinated by Istanbulthen Constantinopleand set off with the intention of experiencing new things.

“I’m off to seek adventure, romance, long-distance train journeys, new people, new cities. I want to dive into new countries and nations and live within their particularities.” 

Along the way, Waltari experiences romance, crime, surprise, and even rejection. A Lonely Man’s Train is considered a modern classic that readers return to time and time again.

Mika Waltari (1908-1979) is the most popular 20th century Finnish writer who is best known for his magnus opus The Egyptian. Over a career that spanned five decades, Waltari published well over 100 works, of which 200 translations have been made. His works include at least 30 novels, 20 plays and 15 novellas, as well as short stories, poems, screenplays and essays. In 1957 he was appointed to the Academy of Finland, having previously won the state literature award five times. Waltari’s works have been translated into over 40 languages.


Finnish PDF

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Czech (Hejkal)


“There’s something addicitve about this book; even as I read it I wondered how I could make a similar trip, even though I am not a young recent graduate. The story is… timeless.” Uusi kuu blog