Monday, 4 January 2016

The Girl on the Train

This book has haunted me for months.  It is prominently placed in every bookstore, drugstore and, even, the grocery store.  Seldom does a book get such promotion.  Why?
I decided to find out.
I must begin by saying that I am not a fan of mysteries, so cannot evaluate it on that level.
Also, it has been called a psychological thriller.  I have read a few of those.

Let's look at the book. A good introduction is important to me.  I love to get a sense of the time, place and characters before the 'plot thickens'.  This book had none.  You are dropped into the story, and you have to try to figure things out on the fly.
There are three storylines that alternate and each chapter is a different time frame.  So, it is important to check the date at the beginning of each chapter. It certainly is a puzzle to begin and it took about a third of the book before I was 'hooked'.  It is a mystery and I did get to the point where I was trying to figure out the 'mystery'.  And so, I read for two days, eventually wading through dysfunction and abuse until I got to the appalling ending.  "What a waste of time!"
I should have known that a book with mass appeal would not interest me, but I had to know.  It now joins the other books that wasted my time- "The Hunger Games" (children killing children), "Fifty Shades of Grey (sadomasochism) and now "The Girl on the Train " (abuse and alcoholism).
 I really need to stay away from these books because I spend days despairing on the state of the world.  Why do we want to spend our time on these issues?
Author, Paula Hawkins, was born in Rhodesia, but lives in London, England.  She wrote freelance for a few years, then in 2009, she wrote four novels under the name "Amy Silver".  They were romantic comedies and they did not sell.  She was in financial trouble, so she decided to write a darker, more serious story.  This is it!  Domestic violence, alcohol and drug abuse.  It took 6 months to write and VOILA!
The public loves it!
On amazon, 45% of readers gave the book a rating of five stars, the highest rating.  Who knew that this is what the public wants??? 

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