I have read very few reviews, or even mentions of this book, which do not include a comparison with Gone Girl. So let me address this elephant in the room first. I haven’t read Gone Girl, though I have seen the movie (I know that is not the same thing at all), and I did not like it very much. Well, to be precise, I mostly did not like the way it ended, and how a story wraps up, is very important to me, so there!
This book (The Girl on The Train) I picked up for two reasons – I was wanting to try out the genre of psychological thrillers, and this book was the most popular one around. Not that being popular says anything about the quality of the book, or even my enjoyment of it (case in point – The Fault in Our Stars), but in a genre that is relatively new to me, I go with the masses.
And secondly, as you know from the title of this post, the movie is releasing in October, and I am a sucker for Book To Movie Adaptations. I just enjoy the whole experience – of reading the book first, and then watching it come live on the big screen.
The Girl on The Train – My Review
I am not going to highlight the plot details, as with mystery/thrillers, the spoiler zone is tricky, so I would recommend you read the blurb here, and just go for it; let the tale unravel as you read it.
However, I am going to highlight some of my non-spoilery thoughts about the book, which will hopefully help you decide whether or not this is something you would like to check out.
This story is mostly told from Rachel’s POV. Though, technically there are two, nope three, narrators. Not that it helped. All of them were mostly unreliable. Which in itself was interesting. As a reader, I generally form a deep connection with the narrator’s POV, and in this case, no one could be trusted. Not the protagonists, not the antagonists (assuming it’s even clear who they are), and most definitely not the narrators.
Having said that, I must also say that though these women (the narrators) were unreliable, imperfect creatures, with serious flaws, the author made it possible, and even easy, to empathize with them. And considering how flawed these characters were, this was no mean feat.
It was also quite impressively baffling that the plot seemed both linear and rounded at the same time. At times it felt like nothing much was happening (and some of it was just rinse and repeat), but in hindsight there was so much happening, and so many clues strewn around, but I just could not identify them at the time I was initially reading the story.
And while we are speaking of the rounded and linear plot – I must admit that keeping a track of all the narrators and the timeline of the whole thing, was driving my slightly-OCD-self nuts, but it was an intriguing page-turner all the same.
All in All
It’s a gripping mystery – it keeps you in the dark long enough to speculate and come up with your own theories, while the actual reveal is not very predictable at all.
I am typically good at the guessing game when it comes to mystery-thrillers, but with this one, my theories kept changing every few chapters, and all of them were incorrect anyway.
I only got it right, very close to the actual reveal, basically when the author was dropping big mountain rock sized hints. And the reason I believe is because the mystery was not about the who, but the why.
Rating: 4.5 stars
Have you guys read this book? Are you looking forward to seeing the movie? I have seen the trailer, and have mixed feelings about the cast of characters, but I am going to reserve judgement until I actually see the movie.
Do you guys know of any upcoming book to movie adaptations that you would recommend? Do share!
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