#onthebookshelf The Girl on the Train- Paula Hawkins

Gone Girl – hasn’t gone anywhere for a while.  It was everywhere in the summer, even more so when the film came out and suddenly Ben Affleck was cool again and you couldn’t turn for seeing Rosamund Pike.

I’m not saying it was a bad thing- I mean- I read it and it was brilliant- a good old fashioned page turner even though it was a hunk of a book. The characters are detestable which makes them all the more likeable and all the rest- but if you’re here, you’re here because of The Girl on a Train and so I’ll shut up and start talking about it.  The reason I wittered on about Gone Girl is because the comparisons are easy to draw.  Multiple view points, a disappearance, a sordid affair and untrustworthy narrators.

The only difference is the distinctly British middle-classness about the whole book rather than the sun on the Mississippi River.  From references to London streets and a roast dinner on a Sunday and the British summer which still kinda manages to be gloomy unless you’re really truly happy yourself, Hawkins captures this wonderfully.

The story opens with Rachel, an intriguing narrator on a train drinking a gin and tonic from a can on a Friday- with three more in the bag.

Rachel, who’s own life is slowly falling apart, or rather being pissed down the pot – or vomited, likes to live vicariously through a couple, Jess and Jason, she sees from her train everyday. They sunbathe on their balcony, they touch each other and talk and Rachel looks on.

What unfurls is a story of blackouts and being blind drunk, endless bottles of wine, adultery and depression all the things that seem to affect the middle classes who seemingly have perfect lives- at least from the train lines that is.

I’ve heard mixed reviews of this book but I, for one, got exactly what I wanted from it.  The story speeds up and slows down just like the train would do at each stop, and at each stop of the story, more options come in for a possible ending, a new possible line for the story to go down, and more options are dismissed.  Like Rachel, you don’t exactly know what’s going on at all times, and like waking up with a really bad hangover, you’re frantically trying to figure out what happened.

That feeling though, usually means the night before was INCREDIBLE though and so was The Girl on the Train.

I’ve just finished it and I’ve got a real bad book-over. 😦

4.5 stars

You’ll like this is: You liked Gone Girl and want to feel better about your drink problem

Avoid if: you have a bad drinking problem, are currently unemployed or if your ex has a prettier, skinnier GF than you currently…


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