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The Girl on the Train
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message 1: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10062 comments Mod
Hi everyone! Our June read a long is up and running and I know your discussion leader Ethan is just chomping on the bit to get the conversation started.

Just to get us started until Ethan hops in (I am sooo sorry about the late start today!)....

How many of you have read this vs seen the movie?


message 2: by Ethan (last edited Jun 01, 2016 04:19PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ethan | 1260 comments Hi everyone! I've had this one on my TBR list since it came out. I'm really excited to have an excuse to finally read it.

Ever since the success of books like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Gone Girl, it seems as if authors and publishers have put the word "girl" in the title of any kind of thriller featuring a female protagonist. Some that I've recently come across include The Girl with a Clock for a Heart, The Girl in the Red Coat, Pretty Girls, and of course The Girl on the Train. With that in mind, does the word "girl" in the title of a novel influence your interest in it? Does this use in titles amount to anything more that a marketing strategy? Have any of these "girl" books lived up to your expectations?


Karin I have it home from the library, but have to hurry up and finish a couple of other books first. This was HIGHLY recommended to me at a BJ's book section when I started chatting with a fellow reader I'd never met before.


Matty | 8 comments Is the girl with the dragon tattoo good? I've read the Girl on The Train & absolutely loved it!


message 5: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10062 comments Mod
You know, it's interesting... because there is an overuse of The So-N-So's Daughter in titles too. I'm guessing it has a similar effect...


Tabitha Vohn | 164 comments Good question Ethan. I think on a subliminal level, the word Girl probably does capture my eye in titles now, especially having read Gone Girl and The Girl on a Train and so thoroughly enjoying them both.

It's a subtle "If you liked...you may like..." in title form :)

Ruth Ware ( whose novel In a Dark Dark Wood I also enjoyed) just released The Woman in Cabin 10. Not "Girl" but "Woman"--still has that connotation of good, Hitchcock-ian mystery. I'm all on board.


jennyreadit (goodreadscomjenne) | 13 comments I am wondering if authors use the generic "girl/woman/man" in titles to connect with more readers? The Girl on the Train could be any girl I create in my imagination. Jenny on the Train doesn't have quite the same mystique. :)


Noorilhuda | 31 comments Ethan wrote: "Hi everyone! I've had this one on my TBR list since it came out. I'm really excited to have an excuse to finally read it.

Ever since the success of books like [book:The Girl with the Dragon Tatto..."


No, it does not influence the book purchase or intrigue about the story. I've read 'Girl with a dragon tattoo', 'Gone Girl' and 'GOTT' - they are all different. Slander is a very different person and protagonist and lives in a totally different landscape to Amy or Rachel. GOTT is similar to GG only because of the same thriller-go-to-theme-of-the-moment i.e. unreliable protagonist - and it was started by GG (Rashomon can take a hike). The similarity between Rachel and Amy ends there. There is something Hichcockian about the setup of these books (GG, GOTT) which is missing from the Slander books.

Also, in crime fiction, usually the title or cover contains a feminine quotient (covers almost always have woman in a dark alley, near lake, running, screaming, bloody hand, eyes full of shock, etc etc.) as opposed to anything masculine / of man.

'Girl' in title has always been there, remember Patterson's 'Kiss the Girls'? 'Kiss of the spider woman' again was a different mood. I don't see 'Girl' in title is that abundant really! The genre of unreliable narrator is the catch and buzz word right now.


message 9: by Guy (last edited Jun 02, 2016 11:16AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Guy Austin The Girl... does not influence me. I admit ( a bit shamefully) the covers get me to open the book cover. The cover - a lone boot with the red laces - my attention peaked. I read just a second of it and bought it. Wild was a favorite of mine. So sometimes it works out. The Girl on The Train did the same thing. The cover emoted action in the blur of the titles text and it intrigued me. I cannot recall another Girl title I have read. I will have to look at that. Perhaps I have no idea that it, in fact, does influence me. - after checking - I found a few Girl titles on my to be read list. One I have purchased - Lab Girl, along with Vinegar Girl and Fangirl that I have not purchased. Interesting. Now its bothering me.


Julie (scrapsofhistory) I read the book in just a couple of days. I became enthralled with who this couple could really be.


Christy Blow | 3 comments I devoured the Gillian Flynn books, one right after the other and was delighted when a book club I am in nominated The Girl on the Train. I would love to discuss this book, but I see some posters are not quite finished. Do I just warn of spoilers when I post?


Karin Matty wrote: "Is the girl with the dragon tattoo good? I've read the Girl on The Train & absolutely loved it!"

I didn't really like it, but read all 3 books to see what happened, so I'd say it's riveting.


Karin I just started The Girl on the Train today, but have a few books due at the library before that one is that I have to finish by Monday before I can really get going on this one.


Ethan | 1260 comments Christy wrote: "I devoured the Gillian Flynn books, one right after the other and was delighted when a book club I am in nominated The Girl on the Train. I would love to discuss this book, but I see some posters a..."

Hi Christy! I'll try to steer the discussion along and get more in depth as the group starts to finish the novel. You can also format any spoiler by tagging them as such with some simple html. Check out the link that reads (some html is ok) when you type a comment.


Ethan | 1260 comments It sounds like the title doesn't really influence many of our reading decisions, but I will agree that an enticing cover certainly motivates me. I guess I may just notice the word "girl" in the title more often now that I have enjoyed other books with the word in their title.

I'd like to expand a little bit on Noorilhuda's mention of the unreliable narrator if we can. The fact that Rachel is unreliable thus far has really helped to rack up the suspense. I'm devouring this novel a lot faster than I expected! I recently read another thriller Trust No One by Paul Cleave that featured an unreliable narrator who was facing dementia. When used to maximum effect, I find that the unreliable narrator can really increase the suspense and uncertainty of a novel. On the other hand, they can equally confuse readers to the point of tarnishing the story. I'll reserve my judgement of this one until I finish. Have you read any other novels that featured an unreliable narrator? If so, how did that particular device add or detract from the story?


Karel | 29 comments Hi, guys, I´ll be joining by this read. I started this book a couple months ago. I started reading in spanish (the free sample), then switched to english, then decided it was too hard so found it in spanish again and stopped at page 80 because, well, life happened. But I really want to finished it before the movie release, so this group will be a good incentive. Sorry by my english, it is not my native language but I will do my best. =)


message 17: by Guy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Guy Austin Sorry. I devoured the book on a flight back and forth east coast to west coast Then back again.

Unreliable narrator... I found it added to the suspense here.

I just finished Tinkers. That was one narrator that had me in fits. I found it so very difficult to follow.

I found this girl on a train and her narration Is what moves the story. If it was clearheaded I doubt I would have enjoyed it as much. The foggy worked for me.


message 18: by J. Patrick (new)

J. Patrick Black | 4 comments I think the unreliable narrator is a powerful device that can add a really delicious layer of complexity to a story, but it can be dangerous for a book too. When done well, unreliability engages on levels beyond the plain sense of the plot with very rewarding results; when abused, it leaves readers feeling cheated and dissatisfied.

Unreliability comes in a number of shades, from outright deception (think The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, definitely one of the more famous examples) to mental instability (as in Fight Club) to a whole range of combinations in between and beyond (Lolita is an especially tricky example). Without describing exactly which we find in The Girl on the Train, I'll say it's used to very positive effect. This was one of those times where I met an unreliable narrator and came away feeling like I'd been dealt with cleverly and fairly... if, of course, quite deviously.


message 19: by Tina (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tina | 143 comments Guy wrote: "Sorry. I devoured the book on a flight back and forth east coast to west coast Then back again.

Unreliable narrator... I found it added to the suspense here.

I just finished Tinkers. That was o..."


Tinkers also had me very frustrated as a reader. But a more accessible book about unreliable memories (as opposed to a character) was Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes. I think that GOTT uses memory lapses as a method to keep you in the dark while also allows you to build up some level of dislike regarding the main character.


Ethan | 1260 comments I'm about halfway through the novel and still have no idea where it is headed! I think Tina brings up a good point about not really liking the main character. I can't help but feel that she is the cause of most of her misfortune. At the same time, I really do hope that she can overcome her demons.


Paula I too did not like the main character. I thought she was annoying and whiney and agree with Ethan that she is the cause of a lot of her problems.


message 22: by Guy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Guy Austin I agree she is not very likable. Alcoholics rarely are. She just can't help herself. Her backstory is where I found her to be a little more redeemed. I found myself rooting for her to be taken seriously. To step out of the fog. To stop being the victim and take charge of her life.


Matty | 8 comments I heard a lot of people don't like Rachel in The Girl on the Train, but I really enjoyed her character & was rooting for her the whole time!


Albert | 17 comments I agree with Guy on this one. Its in her backstory that we find the true character and not in her current addiction. I really enjoyed this book though at times I felt all the characters unlikable.


 Marla | 158 comments I just finished this for my real-life book club meeting tomorrow.

I did not like Rachel, but I don't think I really liked any of the characters in the book. Cathy, her benevolent friend, isn't very nice from Rachel's point of view, but I give her credit for opening her house to Rachel and putting up with all of Rachel's nonsense. But I still don't like Cathy.

Maybe Rachel's POV of people is the problem and not really the people themselves.


Ethan | 1260 comments Marla wrote: "Maybe Rachel's POV of people is the problem and not really the people themselves. "

That's a great point! Could it be that the reason we find other characters unappealing is because we are seeing them through Rachel's blurred lens?


message 27: by Karel (last edited Jun 11, 2016 07:56PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Karel | 29 comments I dont like Rachel as a character cause I dont believe her character. She is an alcoholic (clearly), still drinking (not in recovery) but she doesnt seem like the usual alcoholic that denies an adiction and thinks everyone is against her, on the contrary, she seems to know her problem, do nothing to face it, and blames noone but herself. I find that very ... odd. Although, I can relate with the waking up in the morning and remember with horror flashes during drunkenness.
Anyway, the reason why I want to keep reading is cause I´m still very intrigued about what happen under that bridge.
I am now past the middle and (view spoiler) Wow! I must say that this book, with all its flaws, it´s pretty addictive.


message 28: by Judith (new)

Judith Kirscht | 14 comments I think Hawkins succeeds too well in drawing us into both Rachel's and Megan’s desperate, out of control lives, because it's hard to stay with characters who are so bent on self-destruction. For me, the mystery and the changes in Rachel kept me reading and rooting for her—but barely.


 Marla | 158 comments I was surprised that I liked this book considering that I didn't like any of the characters, which is unusual for me. I think it was the strange little surprises that kept appearing.


message 30: by Beth (new) - rated it 4 stars

Beth | 137 comments I read the book in 2015, long before the movie came out, but I thought the movie did a good job of portraying the major themes of the book. That's hard to do, because a 2-hour movie script is about 1/3 the length of an average book, so a lot has to be left out.

My review of the books was "Even though I figured out most of the secret by page 100, it was still a good read, though not the GREAT read I expected from all the hype."

This often happens to me when I read a book that's been overhyped. I get my expectations up and wind up disappointed. It IS a good book, full of interesting and flawed characters, and I've recommended it often to fellow mystery readers.


message 31: by Guy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Guy Austin Yes, as Beth states - the who donnit. It was one of my disappointments. I saw the ending before it came. Yet I had to read the last chapters as I needed to know how it was treated. There was one scene I thought dragged out a bit. But I loved it overall. I almost fear seeing the film. I have a feeling it will be a bit removed from the book based on the trailers.


Ethan | 1260 comments I just finished the book last night. I mostly agree with what's been said already. I figured out the ultimate reveal a little bit before it was written, but I was so drawn into the story by that point that I had to see it through to the end. It will be interesting to see how the filmmakers treat the story. I can't imagine them abandoning the different perspectives.

Also, everything I've read about the film shows it releasing on October 7. Has it been released elsewhere already?


message 33: by Guy (last edited Jun 15, 2016 01:50PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Guy Austin Sometimes they screen them ahead of release - I have not heard they have and I usually know if they have. If they did it was at Cinemacon. Unless I completely missed it, it was not there.


message 34: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10062 comments Mod
I don't know why, I thought it had already come out as a summer film. Oppps!


Jodysigler | 2 comments I liked this book way more than I thought I would. I think it makes for an excellent book club discussion.


message 36: by Guy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Guy Austin Lori - maybe had You Before Me on the mind? Never read it but the movie was pretty good. Made me want to check out the book sequel.


message 37: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10062 comments Mod
Nope, I was definitely thinking GotT was already out in theaters : )


message 38: by Karel (last edited Jun 16, 2016 11:12AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Karel | 29 comments In my country the movie opens until September. I finished this book a couple days ago, over all, I liked it, although I didnt like any of the 3 female character. I didnt guess the perpretator until (view spoiler) So, I got it too late, in my defense, it was 1 in the morning and I´ve been bing-reading for hours ;)
I remain with a few questions, I hope someone can help me with them: (read only if you have finished the book, Spoilers)
(view spoiler)
I got confused by the end.


message 39: by Dawn (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dawn | 547 comments I read GotT last July and loved it. It was deliciously dark and engrossing and even though I also guessed whodunit a little bit before the reveal, I still absolutely loved the reveal.

I tend to be drawn to deeply flawed protagonists so I had no problem with Rachel being "unlikable," and I love unreliable narration when done well like it was here.

And I can't wait to see the movie! I plan on pre-ordering tickets for the premiere weekend.


Karin Guy wrote: "Sorry. I devoured the book on a flight back and forth east coast to west coast Then back again.

Unreliable narrator... I found it added to the suspense here.

I just finished Tinkers. That was o..."


The unreliable narrator was perfect for this book. In fact, all three were unreliable narrators, but you could get an idea that things were not as they seemed with certain characters fairly well even so.


message 41: by Karin (last edited Jun 20, 2016 06:37PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Karin I did not love this book, and although Rachel wasn't very likable, I was able to feel some for her as it became more and more apparent how nasty Tom really was. The author did a good job of having two controlling husbands to confuse the mix a bit and keep us on our toes.

Despite having an aunt who spent three decades as a drinking alcoholic before living the rest of her life dry, I have a difficult time relating to them because a. I hate the taste of alcohol and b. I hate the feeling of being tipsy or high (we did all try a bit pot in my circle of friends way, way back when I was in high school and we thought it not dangerous at all, but it's long past any statue of limitations by now as some of those friends have children in their 30s now).

I would like to see the movie, though, and while I gave this book 3 stars (I did like it, but am not big on thrillers as a rule), I think it will be better as a movie, and hope I'm correct. The only problem is that Anna is played by a brunette, and in the book she is blonde like Megan, so this messes up one of the mix-ups, unless she is blonde for the movie.


Ethan | 1260 comments As I reflect on the novel, I find it funny how the whole plot is essentially thrust into motion by Rachel observing the lives of strangers from afar. I know that I sometimes find myself people watching, and wondering about who they are. Is our voyeuristic curiosity an innate human behavior? Do you find Rachel's impulse to be more extreme than the average person?


 Marla | 158 comments Ethan wrote: "As I reflect on the novel, I find it funny how the whole plot is essentially thrust into motion by Rachel observing the lives of strangers from afar. I know that I sometimes find myself people watc..."

I thought that was an interesting element, that Rachel made up personalities and events in Jess and Jason's lives. My daughter and I had time in the airport this weekend and we had fun people watching. But I do think that Rachel was a bit more obsessive than I would expect in a person.


Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) Marla wrote: "Ethan wrote: "As I reflect on the novel, I find it funny how the whole plot is essentially thrust into motion by Rachel observing the lives of strangers from afar.
..."

I do think that Rachel was a bit more obsessive than I would expect in a person.



But Rachel didn't exactly pick these strangers at random. She was looking at the yard of a house that was within a stone's throw of the home she once shared with her husband. She was, in effect, imagining what her life COULD have been like, "if only ..." I think this contributed to how fixated she was on this imaginary couple's scenario and how devastating it was to her psyche when Megan went missing.


message 45: by Guy (last edited Jun 21, 2016 02:40PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Guy Austin I agree with BC here. Nothing Random about it. Taking a train to work each day that goes past her EX's house. That would be fun. And it stops right there every day. Even if that wasn't the case, I could see it. I used to drive 2 hours each way to work and would drive by a house, sitting up on a hill, I loved. While sitting in traffic, I would day dream about it. so...


 Marla | 158 comments True, BC, it did make sense how connected she was once you realized that she used to live down the street. Now, obsessing about the pink curtains in the upstairs window made PERFECT sense!!


message 47: by Dawn (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dawn | 547 comments I agree BC - it was absolutely a calculated choice; simultaneously self-flagellating and soothing.

I don't people-watch nearly as much as I did when I was a little girl and teenager, but every time I do, I do pretty much what Rachel did. I make up lives for them based on what they're wearing, how they move, etc. How I'm feeling and what's going on in my life at the time color the types of lives I make up, naturally.


message 48: by [deleted user] (new)

I read the novel last year and I was somewhat disappointed by it. There was so much hype surrounding the book that I actually went out and bought it. It's unusual for me to buy a hard-cover book, especially fiction. I figured out the identity of the murderer well in advance before the killer's identity was revealed. Of course, it took me a while to finish the book, instead of binge-reading it, so I guess I had ample time to think about it. I won't say what happened and who the killer was I don't want to spoil the ending, which was fairly suspenseful, even so.

This novel has been compared to "Gone Girl," which I liked more than "The Girl on the Train." But it was a good choice for summer reading.


message 49: by Dawn (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dawn | 547 comments Question for everyone: Are you happy with the casting choices for the upcoming film adaptation?


Joanie Pariera (joaniepariera) | 2 comments Anna is Rebecca Ferguson ( Rogue Nation). Can't go wrong with that!


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