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The Girl on the Train > Question #5: Gone Girl vs. Girl on the Train SPOILERS

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

Many critics and promoters have compared this book to Gone Girl. Have you read (or watched the movie version) of Gone Girl? Do you see any similarities? Is the comparison accurate?

We've included an article link below for you to read if you so wish.
Article link: http://mashable.com/2015/01/16/girl-o...


message 2: by Darrell (last edited Aug 19, 2015 12:47PM) (new)

Darrell | 55 comments Disclaimer: I haven't read or watched Gone Girl but I know the basic story, since it was spoiled for me already.

I was expecting the same kind of twist at the end (Rachel being the killer perhaps), although I suppose the author was setting that up with her unreliable memories and the police's reaction to her. However, I don't really get the comparison to Gone Girl since nobody faked their own murder and the fact that Rachel's ex-husband Tom ended up being the murderer wasn't really that surprising to me.

Did anybody else who read/watched both find the two comparable? Were you surprised by the reveal at the end?


message 3: by Susan (new)

Susan (susanopl) | 472 comments Mod
I do think the comparison between the two books is accurate. The unreliable narrators, the psychological suspense, the young female protagonist, and the sour relationships are common elements. I'm sure they attract readers who are looking for a certain kind of read, and they deliver.

I did not enjoy Gone Girl. I need there to be at least one character in a book who has redeeming qualities, and Gone Girl had none. I preferred The Girl on the Train. Although Rachel had her faults, I found her more sympathetic than Amy. Overall, it's a more believable story.


message 4: by Allison (new)

Allison | 396 comments Susan wrote: "I do think the comparison between the two books is accurate. The unreliable narrators, the psychological suspense, the young female protagonist, and the sour relationships are common elements. I'm ..."

Really good and valid points, Susan. I have watched Gone Girl and thought it decent in its movie version, though I have not read the print version. You are right about the non-redeeming qualities in the characters there, and from my perspective at least redeeming qualities were also pretty tough to find in the characters of Girl on the train.

So, in addition to all of the common themes in the two works that you listed, I would add moral ambiguity as well.


message 5: by Susan (new)

Susan (susanopl) | 472 comments Mod
Allison wrote: "Susan wrote: "I do think the comparison between the two books is accurate. The unreliable narrators, the psychological suspense, the young female protagonist, and the sour relationships are common ..."

The movie version of Gone Girl is one of the few instances of the movie being better than the book. You were smart not to spend time reading the book, Allison.

As for Darrell's question, the best way I can answer is that I felt the same way when I was reading the books, and after I had finished them - although I felt a lot worse when I read Gone Girl. The characters in Girl on the Train, aside from Tom, were not as twisted and manipulative as those in Gone Girl.


message 6: by Kimberley (new)

Kimberley | 5 comments I can understand the comparison between the two books in the sense that they are both psychological suspense novels with female protagonists, toxic relationships etc.

A little background; I run a book club of 8 ladies who meet 8 times a year. We read both of these books as a group. In addition I've seen the movie Gone Girl.

Unlike most in this Goodreads group I did not like Girl on a Train. However, I must admit up front that I don't enjoy novels about addicts. I found this novel tedious, knowing that once her memory came back the mystery would be solved. I had to force myself to finish reading it for book club. I didn't find the writing to be clever or engaging. I wasn't surprised by the ending but I was enormously relieved to be finished. Sorry. :(

Relative to this I found Gone Girl to be truly suspenseful with many twists and turns. I couldn't put it down. Yes, it was disturbing. But for me it was also captivating and entertaining. I wanted to know how it ended.

In fact we struggle as a book club to find books that will compare to Gone Girl. We chose Girl on a Train hoping that it would. Not one person in our group felt it came close.

I can't agree with the comment that that movie Gone Girl was better than the book, but it was very well done indeed.

Sorry to be the contrarian. Your comments have helped me to understand why Girl on a Train has been so commercially successful.

Other suspense novel suggestions for my book club would be most appreciated. :)


message 7: by Allison (last edited Aug 20, 2015 11:58AM) (new)

Allison | 396 comments Kimberley wrote: "I can understand the comparison between the two books in the sense that they are both psychological suspense novels with female protagonists, toxic relationships etc.

A little background; I run ..."


Kimberley, the best part about book clubs is sharing different opinions and perspectives! Each person takes something entirely unique from each reading, and then gives others the opportunity to see things from a different angle. I LOVE that you're the "contrarian" here!

As I haven't even read Gone Girl, I cannot comment on the writing at all. I did enjoy the movie however...perhaps because of the actors. If your book club is interested, and since you enjoyed Gone Girl so much, I have a little gift for you. It's something the publisher gave to the library, but we cannot really use in our collection. You'll have to just trust me that you and your club will appreciate it. I will send it along to you...you can pick it up when you get your ARC.

Btw, I'm personally not a huge fan of Girl on the Train either...I thought it was an "okay" read that started stronger than it finished.


message 8: by Susan (new)

Susan (susanopl) | 472 comments Mod
Kimberley wrote: "I can understand the comparison between the two books in the sense that they are both psychological suspense novels with female protagonists, toxic relationships etc.

A little background; I run ..."

Kimberley, I find your comments to be fascinating in helping me understand why readers loved Gone Girl. I know I'm in the minority of readers who didn't like it. You might like to review Oakville Reads' December 2014 discussion of The Silent Wife, which has been touted as a title to read if you liked Gone Girl. I'd highly recommend it for your book club.


message 9: by Maureen (new)

Maureen B. | 212 comments Allison wrote: "Kimberley wrote: "I can understand the comparison between the two books in the sense that they are both psychological suspense novels with female protagonists, toxic relationships etc.

A little ..."


I usually avoid bestsellers but have to agree, Girl on the Train, was an okay read, better than I thought it would be.

I haven't read Gone Girl so can't comment on the book but I found aspects of the movie lacked credibility and the same, although less so, with The Girl on the Train. In the movie, one of the issues for me was Amy's relationship/subsequent murder of Desi. A wealthy businessman with his throat slit would have an army of homicide experts all over that case. In The Girl on the Train, at least from my understanding, a real-life Rachel would likely not be able to recall anything after an alcoholic blackout, given the amount of alcohol she was consuming on a regular basis.

Kimberley, has your book club considered "The Dinner" by Herman Koch. It has a slow start but it's a complex and chilling tale.


message 10: by Emily (new)

Emily Stillwell | 10 comments Kimberley wrote: "I can understand the comparison between the two books in the sense that they are both psychological suspense novels with female protagonists, toxic relationships etc.

A little background; I run ..."


Kimberley - some of the best book club discussions stem from a group of people who like, and dislike the book. It is the reaction, and the flow of discussion that follows that is so enjoyable! So, we appreciate your feedback :)

I haven't read Gone Girl, so I really can't compare/contrast.

However, you might find our Girl on the Train read alike list helpful! It has both The Silent Wife, and The Dinner, as well as some other pretty great reads!

https://opl.bibliocommons.com/list/sh...


message 11: by Kimberley (new)

Kimberley | 5 comments Allison wrote: "Kimberley wrote: "I can understand the comparison between the two books in the sense that they are both psychological suspense novels with female protagonists, toxic relationships etc.

A little ..."


Allison, thank you for This is Happy and the surprise Amazing Amy book. Our book club will definitely find it fascinating.

I will definitely check out The Silent Wife and The Dinner as potential books for our club. Thank you for the suggestions.


message 12: by Darrell (new)

Darrell | 55 comments Thanks everyone for your responses so far! Really great to hear various perspectives on this book and Gone Girl. As Allison wrote, the reason why so many of us love book clubs is that we have our ideas and opinions challenged and we get to see things from other people's perspectives. It's certainly my favourite part about participating in a book club! So, keep those thoughts and opinions coming people :) Your voice added to the discussion is what keeps the discussion, and this unique book club format, going!

Maureen wrote: "Kimberley, has your book club considered "The Dinner" by Herman Koch. It has a slow start but it's a complex and chilling tale. .."

I absolutely LOVED that book. It was fantastic and a bit unsettling watching the characters sort of come apart over the course of a dinner, and see the strange darkness behind the veneer of couples going out for dinner. Definitely recommend it if you like the feel of Girl on the Train but want something that starts simmering and builds up to a rolling boil, plus is more unique.


message 13: by Terry (new)

Terry | 30 comments Kimberley wrote: "I can understand the comparison between the two books in the sense that they are both psychological suspense novels with female protagonists, toxic relationships etc.

A little background; I run a..."


Kimberley, This is a VERY long overdue "YES" to your comments above, haha... but I felt much the same as you did. I didn't exactly like the ending of Gone Girl, but I did enjoy reading it, the twist, and the characters more than those of Train. I too have felt as if my opinions on these two books go against the masses... so I write this late for the gratitude and brief kinship I felt in reading your comments. :)
I also envy you a bit for having a sit-down book club... while I can't always read or participate in these online group discussions because I haven't read the current book or because I'm too busy.. there have often been times where I wanted to participate, but just can't sit in front of a computer and type any more that day (I work in an office full time). I bet you have some great verbal discussions and meetings...To be clear to ALL though, I do appreciate this group and anyone willing to discuss books, characters, etc., any time, in any format! :)
Lastly - as I'm on a tangent of tangents it seems - I'm not going to look up this "The Dinner" book. Thanks for the prompt to those that made it. Peace.... :)


message 14: by Allison (new)

Allison | 396 comments Terry wrote: "Kimberley wrote: "I can understand the comparison between the two books in the sense that they are both psychological suspense novels with female protagonists, toxic relationships etc.

A little b..."


Always better late than never, Terry! So glad you got your 2 cents in here. For all of you Gone Girl fans, there is another read-alike that you might try, called The Widow -- it just came out in March.


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