Saturday, 27 June 2015


Okay, I should know better. The fact that there's a wait-list of 400 at the library means nothing except that it's over-hyped.
But it's summer and I was in the mood for a page-turner. I got off to a good start but quickly found myself flagging ... why read 300 pages of How Well Do You Really Know Your Spouse? when the same stock characters feature every day in the Daily Mail? This is a cautionary tale of Bad Things Happen to Women because all women have the same design flaw. If you're female, by definition,  you're more or less unhinged.
The girl on the train (who is a woman in her 30s but women are intrinsically childish) is an alcoholic whose life is so messed up that she can't rely on her own memory.

On the other hand, I'm fascinated by this as a brilliantly formulaic example of how to write a best-seller.
And, in fairness, it's quite a lot better than Gone Girl.

13 comments:

Sue said...

Gone Girl and Girl on a Train aren't the same book?

mary said...

Gone Girl has mercifully been swiped clean from my memory, Sue - but I faintly recall that it was worse. Otherwise interchangeable!

Mac n' Janet said...

I liked it better than Gone Girl, but that's damning with faint praise. I hated every character in this book and though it kept me reading I won't go looking for new books by this author.

mary said...

Exactly, Janet! Faint praise, indeed.

Cosy Books said...

So I guess you won't be going to see the movie then. Apparently Emily Blunt is in the running...

Speaking of movies...watched the trailer for The Lady in the Van and think it can only be brilliant! Maggie Smith, Mary....Maggie Smith!

mary said...

Maggie Smith will be brilliant, Darlene - it couldn't be anyone else.

Mystica said...

I was looking forward to reading this one. Now oh dear!

mary said...

Now I feel guilty, Mystica! Don't let me put you off.

Noelle the dreamer said...

I had to laugh Mary and I loved your witty comments as always! Me thinks I will skip this one...
All the best Dear,

Gina said...

I Found Girl on the Train a bIt tedious towards the end but I enjoyed Gone Girl. Oh dear... What does that say about me. Can't say that I read the Daily Mail though.

Aparatchick said...

I gave up only a quarter of the way through Gone Girl - I absolutely loathed the main characters, and who wants to continue reading about two loathsome characters? I felt sorry for Rachel at times; The Girl on the Train was better in that respect.

Maggie Smith in The Lady in the Van? Yes, please!

Toffeeapple said...

That will have saved me money and frustration Mary, thank you.

Have you read anything by Stanley Middleton? I bought three of his books from Awesome Books at £2.69 each and free postage but having almost finished the second one I am feeling somewhat cheated since none of the the characters comes to life for me.

mary said...

I thought all the characters in Girl on the Train were loathsome, Aparatchick; and by the time you start feeling any sympathy for Rachel, she's chucked up on the carpet once too often! As you say, they're people you don't want to spend time with.
Noelle, you're really not missing anything!

I think I read Gone Girl slightly resentfully for book group, Gina.

I"ve never read Stanley Middleton, Toffeeapple. Good luck with the third one.