Sometimes we read: Girl on the train, Paula Hawkins
Never has a book had so much hype as "The Girl on the Train". Hailed as the next Gone Girl (what a name to live up to), The Girl on the Train has been a bit of a cult hit. After its release in early 2015, it's the book that just keeps selling.
So I've got to be honest; the book is very consuming. The style in which it is written is interesting, it is fast paced, and once you start you can barely put it down. I read it on my commute from Glasgow to Newcastle, ( plus a couple of hours in bed that night). It's very easy to read, the content isn't difficult to understand and it's not a hugely complex plot. You don't really want to put it down once you've started...There. Now I've covered all the good points...
I struggle to find out what there is which had made the book quite the success it has been hailed. It is good, I can't deny it, but I'm pretty sure if I hadn't heard all the hype about it I wouldn't have bothered picking it up. The story line is a tad predictable and lacked the dramatic twists of Gone Girl. I'd figured out who-dun-it by about half way through the book, and I can't be the only one. Generally it's a very easy read if you're wanting something simple you don't have to spend too long concentrating on and won't feel too emotionally invested in. Would I read it again? Probably not. In my opinion there just isn't much difference between this book and the many other thrillers on the shelf. Would I class it as one of my all time favourite books - again probably not. The characters felt a little predictable and sometimes just plain mean for the sake of it; unlikeable and unrelatable, I couldn't quite catch any kind of connection with Megan, Tom, Anna or Scott. I particularly struggled with the male characters (SPOILER: surely every man can't tend to domestic violence!?).
In terms of narration, it is great. Looking into a world through the eyes of an alcoholic who is a complete unreliable narrator is interesting and makes you question almost everything you're reading. It does make you ask what can I know? How does my memory work? How much can I know the person I'm in love with?
All in all, if you've got a train to catch and you need something easy which you'll enjoy reading quickly then go ahead, be my guest. It is good, fun, very "pop" fiction but not something I'll be ranting and raving about to everyone I meet. I'm sure you could find it at your local Oxfam bookshop and if you're still intent on reading it, that's where I recommend you buy it from. It's the 50 shades of grey of thriller books. And I wouldn't say that was much of a compliment.