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The Girl on the Train Paperback – 2015
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An Amazon Best Book of the Month, January 2015: Intersecting, overlapping, not-quite-what-they-seem lives. Jealousies and betrayals and wounded hearts. A haunting unease that clutches and won’t let go. All this and more helps propel Paula Hawkins’s addictive debut into a new stratum of the psychological thriller genre. At times, I couldn’t help but think: Hitchcockian. From the opening line, the reader knows what they’re in for: “She’s buried beneath a silver birch tree, down towards the old train tracks…” But Hawkins teases out the mystery with a veteran’s finesse. The “girl on the train” is Rachel, who commutes into London and back each day, rolling past the backyard of a happy-looking couple she names Jess and Jason. Then one day Rachel sees “Jess” kissing another man. The day after that, Jess goes missing. The story is told from three character’s not-to-be-trusted perspectives: Rachel, who mourns the loss of her former life with the help of canned gin and tonics; Megan (aka Jess); and Anna, Rachel’s ex-husband’s wife, who happens to be Jess/Megan’s neighbor. Rachel’s voyeuristic yearning for the seemingly idyllic life of Jess and Jason lures her closer and closer to the investigation into Jess/Megan’s disappearance, and closer to a deeper understanding of who she really is. And who she isn’t. This is a book to be devoured. -Neal Thompson--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
#1 Globe and Mail Bestseller
A New York Times Top Book of 2015
A Globe and Mail Best Book of 2015
An NPR Best Book of 2015
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
A Guardian Best Book of the Year
A Toronto Star Book of the Year
A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year
"Fans of Gillian Flynn's books will probably like this one too. I know I did. . . . It's a strong story, with a great sense of time and place, and one that had me from start to finish." —George R. R. Martin, award-winning author of A Game of Thrones
“There are a lot of books promising the same chills and twists as Gone Girl; this is the first novel I’ve read that has them. Paula Hawkins’s debut is full of the same brilliant characterization and clever plotting that keeps readers wondering.” ―The Globe and Mail
“[Hawkins] demonstrates a particular skill with the slow revelation of character. . . . each voice is distinctive and unguarded. . . . [Hawkins has] grace and skill with character revelation. . . . [C]areful twists and turns.” ―National Post
“Send in the blizzards, because nothing as mundane as work, school or walking the dog should distract you from this debut thriller. . . . A natural fit for fans of Gone Girl-style unreliable narrators and twisty, fast-moving plots, The Girl on the Train will have you racing through the pages.” ―Huffington Post
“[A] really great suspense novel. Kept me up most of the night.” ―Stephen King (via Twitter)
“The Girl on the Train has more fun with unreliable narration than any chiller since Gone Girl . . . liable to draw a large, bedazzled readership.” —Janet Maslin, The New York Times
“There’s nothing like a possible murder to take the humdrum out of your daily commute.” —Cosmopolitan
“Perfectly paced, from its arresting beginning to its twist ending; it’s not an easy book to put down . . . excellent . . . gripping.” —NPR
“Compulsive reading.”—Marie Claire
“[A] psychologically astute debut. . . . The surprise-packed narratives hurtle toward a stunning climax, horrifying as a train wreck and just as riveting.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“[The Girl on the Train] pulls off a thriller’s toughest trick: carefully assembling everything we think we know, until it reveals the one thing we didn’t see coming.” ―Entertainment Weekly
“Gone Girl fans will devour this psychological thriller. . . . Hawkins’s debut ends with a twist that no one—least of all its victims—could have seen coming.” ―People
“A natural fit for fans of Gone Girl-style unreliable narrators and twisty, fast-moving plots, The Girl on the Train will have you racing through the pages.” —Oprah.com
“The Girl on the Train marries movie noir with novelistic trickery . . . hang on tight. You’ll be surprised by what horrors lurk around the bend.” —USA Today
“Given the number of titles that are declared to be ‘the next’ of a bestseller . . . book fans have every right to be wary. But Paula Hawkins’ novel The Girl on the Train just might have earned the title of ‘the next Gone Girl.’” —Christian Science Monitor
“[A] chilling, assured debut, in which the line between truth and lie constantly shifts like the rocking of a train. . . . Even the most astute readers will be in for a shock as Hawkins slowly unspools the facts, exposing the harsh realities of love and obsession’s inescapable links to violence.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“Like its train, the story blasts through the stagnation of these lives in suburban London and the reader cannot help but turn pages.” ―The Boston Globe
“Compulsively readable. . . . It actually hurt to put it down.” ―JOY FIELDING, New York Times–bestselling author of Now You See Her
“The pace and tension of the plot never jump the track. This novel will leave you as breathless as a ride on the new, high-speed commuter train in London.” ―ROBERTA RICH, author of the #1 national bestseller The Midwife of Venice
“Gripping, enthralling—a top notch thriller and a compulsive read.” ―S.J. WATSON, New York Times–bestselling author of Before I Go to Sleep
“The Girl on the Train is so thrilling and tense and wildly unpredictable, it sucked up my entire afternoon. I simply could not put it down.” ―TESS GERRITSEN, New York Times–bestselling author
“What a group of characters, what a situation, what a book! It’s Alfred Hitchcock for a new generation and a new era.” ―TERRY HAYES, author of I Am Pilgrim
“Hawkins keeps the tension ratcheted high in this thoroughly engrossing tale of intersecting strangers and intimate betrayals. Kept me guessing until the very end.” ―LISA GARDNER, #1 New York Times–bestselling author
“Artfully crafted and utterly riveting. The Girl on the Train’s clever structure and expert pacing will keep you perched on the edge of your seat, but it's Hawkins’ deft, empathetic characterization that will leave you pondering this harrowing, thought-provoking story about the power of memory and the danger of envy.” ―KIMBERLY MCCREIGHT, New York Times–bestselling author of Reconstructing Amelia “[A] psychologically astute debut. . . . The surprise-packed narratives hurtle toward a stunning climax, horrifying as a train wreck and just as riveting.”
—Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Desperate to find lives more fulfilling than her own, a lonely London commuter imagines the story of a couple she’s only glimpsed through the train window in Hawkins’ chilling, assured debut, in which the line between truth and lie constantly shifts like the rocking of a train. . . . Even the most astute readers will be in for a shock as Hawkins slowly unspools the facts, exposing the harsh realities of love and obsession’s inescapable links to violence.”
—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
'A thriller that grabs you from the first page and takes you on a high speed ride full of twists and turns. Gazing out of the train window will never be the same again!'
—Colette McBeth, author of Precious Thing and the forthcoming The Life I Left Behind
“Like most Londoners, Paula Hawkins became very familiar with the daily commute. But unlike most passengers, she has turned her experiences of being on a packed train, gazing idly out of the window at the back of houses, into a terrific psychological thriller. . . . I can safely predict this impressive, accomplished thriller will be everywhere—look out for it on your daily commute.”
“The pace and tension of the plot never jump the track. This novel will leave you as breathless as a ride on the new, high-speed commuter train in London.”
—Roberta Rich, author of the international bestseller THE MIDWIFE OF VENICE
"What a group of characters, what a situation, what a book! It's Alfred Hitchcock for a new generation and a new era."
“Gripping, enthralling--a top-notch thriller and a compulsive read.”
—S. J. Watson, author of Before I Go to Sleep
“Clever and compelling. Hawkins keeps the tension ratcheted high in this thoroughly engrossing tale of intersecting strangers and intimate betrayals. Kept me guessing until the very end!’
—Lisa Gardner, author of Fear Nothing
“This is unputdownable. . . . A fast, clever thriller with a flawed, entertaining heroine.”
—Paula Daly, author of Keep Your Friends Close
‘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!’
Top customer reviews
The train that Rachel rides to London each day takes her past her old neighborhood. From the window of the train she observes not only her old garden that backs up to the tracks, but also the daily activities of another couple who reside down the street from her previous home. In her imagination she has given the couple names and has created a fairy tale love life for them. Real life, however, cannot live up to her fantasy and the couple does not have the picture perfect relationship that Rachel has concocted. When a murder occurs, Rachel becomes entangled in the investigation because of what she has witnessed on her daily commute.
This rather bleak story with intersecting timelines is told from the viewpoint of three different women Rachel, Anne and Megan. All the women are unreliable narrators with something to hide. In fact, most of the characters in this novel, including the men, lack veracity, and are a self-serving and unsympathetic group with plenty of skeletons in their closets.
Lest I continue and divulge too much of the plot, let me just say that the twists and turns in the story are many and readers will be easily drawn in, making it easy to devour this book in one afternoon.
Rachel, the "Girl on the Train," who imagines the lives of a couple whose house she passes every day, is a drunk. Daily, her train also passes the house she used to call home, now inhabited by her ex-husband and the woman he left Rachel for. Twice daily on her commute, Rachel alternately mourns for the life she lost (and curses the women who supplanted her) and imagines the perfect couple down the street from her old home whom she views from her commuter's window but doesn't know. Maybe due to her reliance on being drunk to cope with a life that has severely disappointed her, Rachel often is hesitant to act when contemplating a decision. This does make some of the chapters repetitious at times, but the author's strong sense of place and use of description largely mitigates this criticism.
Comparison's to Rear Window are obvious. As with the Hitchcock masterpiece, Rachel gets involved when she witnesses an incident from her train that is out of sync with the imagined life of the couple she views every day - the couple about whom she has constructed a vivid, if alcohol fueled, perfect life. There are a lot of plot twists, though this is the kind of book where most of them are revealed by the three protagonists and not pieced together from a well laid foundation of clues.
A good book, quick read and pretty good freshman effort from this author.
Plot dragged on and ending was very unsubstantial - definitely not worth the "Gone Girl" comparisons.
I just recently decided "I'm going to do this" and once I did, I couldn't go back! It was so hard to put down that I finished it quickly!
At first it was 'confusing' as to how the characters were introduced and then linked together and I did have to page back a few times to 'remember' which character was doing what.
All in all, a good read and I gave it a 5.
Most recent customer reviews
Looking forward to watching the movie now!