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The Girl on the Train Paperback – 5 May 2016
|Paperback, 5 May 2016||
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"Really great suspense novel. Kept me up most of the night. The alcoholic narrator is dead perfect." (STEPHEN KING)
"The thriller scene will have to up its game if it's to match Hawkins this year" (Observer)
"A complex and increasingly chilling tale courtesy of a number of first-person narratives that will wrong-foot even the most experienced of crime fiction readers" (Irish Times)
"achieves a sinister poetry . . . Hawkins keeps the nastiest twist for last" (Financial Times)
"Hawkins' masterful deployment of unwittingly unreliable narration to evoke the aftershocks of abuse and trauma is a powerful way of exploring women's marginalization" (Huffington Post)
"Really great suspense novel. Kept me up most of the night. The alcoholic narrator is dead perfect."
"My vote for unreliable narrator of the year"
"The thriller scene will have to up its game if it's to match Hawkins this year"
"Hawkins's taut story roars along at the pace of, well, a high-speed train . . . a smart, searing thriller'"
"The Girl On The Train was so thrilling and tense and wildly unpredictable, it sucked up my entire afternoon. I simply could not put it down. Not to be missed!"
THE RUNAWAY SUNDAY TIMES NO.1 BESTSELLER AND THRILLER OF THE YEAR
YOU DON'T KNOW HER. BUT SHE KNOWS YOU.
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The Girl On The Train is Paula Hawkin's debut thriller novel. As the name suggests the story is based on the girl who is a daily commuter of a train on a particular route of Britain. The story is written in the different views of the three important female characters Rachel, Anna and Megan. Rachel is an unhappy divorced women who drinks a lot and is suffering from loneliness. There's another problem with Rachel, she cannot remember certain events that have happened with her and she doesn't know how to feel when she gets to know about them after her hangover passes. The only man she loved Tom, left her for another women Anna. Tom now lives with Anna and their daughter Evie. But Rachel can't get over Tom, she still wants him. She started drinking because she can't get pregnant and since then her depression never went away and alcohol became her regular companion. As Rachel takes the train to her office, she watches a lovely couple out from the train window everyday. She imagines them as Jess and Jason. According to her, Jess and Jason are made for each other. Jess is so sweet and Jason is so handsome and tall, they are just a perfect couple, enjoying their married life unlike her. But one day, while travelling by the train, she catches Jess with some other man. They were closely standing kissing each other passionately. Rachel feels anger in her, she couldn't believe that her Jess could betray Jason like this. Only after few days she came to know that Jess went missing and her real name is Megan. Gradually the truth gets revealed. Police are somehow reluctant but Rachel guess something really is wicked behind all these. Her old house was on the same street as Megan's where Tom and Anna stays now.
This story is one of the most thrilling adult contemporary fiction of recent years that I've read. I was totally glued from the very beginning, the plot was a bit intriguing. But I also felt it dragged in certain places. All together, it was a great read. The author has carefully placed the characters in an awesome way and they crossed each others path as the mystery unfolds. I really loved the character of Rachel. The characters of Tom, Megan and Anna clearly explains why there are so much household conflictions and divorces. They have got total worthless characters. But all credits go to the author who has portrayed them as ruthless and selfish. Once the reader gets into the story they would surely feel hatred towards these 3 characters. Well, at least I felt like that. Anyway, this is a must read for those who love to read crime, thriller and mystery.
First things first, the comparisons with Gone Girl are justified because of the basic theme – there is no escaping that. A missing girl, man-hunt, mixed up relationships, the police on the heels of the central protagonist – the similarities are quite stark and will have you deja-vu’ing in no time. So the good – the writing style is smooth, easy and hookable – it’s unputdownable without exaggeration.There’s genuine tension created, there’re some solid twists (although mildly predictable I felt) and a basic premise which is very relatable. After all who hasn’t sat in a train and wondered about the lives of the people we see? It’s voyeuristic and yet familiar.
Where the two books differ is in character building and narrative styles. I thought one of the big successes of Gone Girl was how Gillian Flynn had us rooting for Amy in the first half, and then Nick in the second half. TGOTT didn’t quite do that for me – I couldn’t find any of the three point-of-view characters sympathetic, least of all Rachel who takes up most of the time and footage. And while it’s still a page-turner by all means, it’s one of those page turners where you’re rushing through to get over the ‘unknown’ instead of relishing in all its glory. It’s difficult to root for a character who’s constantly in a drunken stupor, constantly cribs and complains, does nothing reasonably sensible – in fact does things which are completely ridiculously stupid, shows no intent to buckle down and make things work, right up to the end.
My other peeve was the way information was revealed. Again, I hate to compare with Gone Girl but while we had unreliable and dishonest narrators, it seemed that was the way they were. The diary entries were misleading, but intentionally so – and while we didn’t know that till later, no one else did either. Likewise with a lot of Nick’s dirty laundry, it was gradually revealed to the reader as it was (or before it would be) to the rest of the world outside – or when the protagonist got to telling that part of the story. In TGOTT, I got the feeling the author was ‘cheating’ a bit. First with the dates – the whole part of Megan’s story running in a completely distinct timeline was the key to the whole book. And that’s not really fair, if you want to let in information like that – use a better plot device like the diary. Secondly, while it’s okay to not have a character be completely honest – to be selectively dishonest is even worst (I know it’s a thin line). So if Megan never mentions Tom, or there’s a throw away reference about how she doesn’t want to speak about Tom maybe – that’s OK. What’s unfair again is speaking about Tom, meeting him, knowing his relationship with his wife but then leaving out a big fat point of data – only because it would have taken the sting out of the story. And finally I kept feeling throughout that the drunken memory loss – even with the swerve – is a lazy crutch to tell a mystery story.
The masala Bollywood movie equivalent – don’t overanalyse it, go with the flow and you’ll have fun.
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