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Group Read Books - archive > The Girl on the Train - Final Comments Spoilers welcome

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message 1: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14286 comments What did you think of the book? Spoilers welcome on this thread for your final comments and opinions.
The Girl on the Train has been compared to Gone Girl, do you agree? Please be careful to not spoil Gone Girl here if you speak specifically about that book. The (some html is ok) instructions for hiding spoiler comments may be used for spoiler comments on other books.


message 2: by LizH (new)

LizH (liz_h) | 955 comments I don't agree because I hated Gone Girl and loved Girl on the Train. I think I enjoyed it so much more because it was told by such a different voice. Haven't read anything like it, and found it to be a book I couldn't put down.


message 3: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14286 comments Liz: I am with you. The changes in time flashing back and forth, and the unreliable narrators are reminiscent of Gone Girl, but that is where the similarities end.
I couldn't put this book down either.
What a ride (pun intended) :)
I liked how only parts of the story were revealed a bit at a time, it was tantalizing without being as maddening as a cliffhanger at the end of every chapter would have been, with one exception for the chapter when Anna heard "her" voice on the mobile phone she found in Tom's bag. Ending the Anna chapter on that note was frustrating.


message 4: by Dawn (new)

Dawn | 1257 comments Not many books can keep me up until 2 am to finish anymore. But no way could I put this down. I was half expecting another twist at the end. I didn't read Gone Girl so I can't compare. But this book not only was a mystery, it also had me on edge in a Stephen King kind of way.


message 5: by Sherry (new)

Sherry  | 3587 comments i agree with both of you- only reminiscent of gone girl in that there was a husband and a wife, as well as unreliable narrators.
the time changes got me a bit confused at the beginning, but then i just went with the flow, trying to keep up..lol
this was a page turner for me- i couldn't wait for all the pieces to be revealed to find out what was really going on. i honestly didn't see it coming that tom was really a sick man, although i probably should have. he seemed to kind and patient with rachel, as well as with anna. obviously a good psychopath .


message 6: by LizH (new)

LizH (liz_h) | 955 comments Ann, when you said how bits of the story were revealed a bit at a time, made me think about that is what you see when you are on a train, little bits, little glimpses.


message 7: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14286 comments Liz: yes! The train was a constant theme and really held the story together. I listened to the audio and somehow superimposed the sounds of a train in my head as I listened. I grew up not quite so near train tracks as a child so the imagery was vivid for me, and the descriptions invoked those glimpses of the scenery she would have seen each time as Rachel got back on the 804 again.
In the end the train was partially why Tom was revealed to Anna and Rachel for the liar he was when Anna told Rachel how she hated the house near the tracks when Tom had all along asserted to Rachel that Anna loved it.


message 8: by ♣Tessa♣ (new)

♣Tessa♣ | 16 comments I never read Gone Girl, so I can't compare - but from what' I've seen of reviews and etc, I think this was much better. It was more about the people then the crime I feel like - which is a nice turn of events. Usually books give you a little character building while they are packing it with action and suspense. I think this gave a lot of suspense without needing constant action -- just by giving us characters with issues and flaws that were so strong you started to wonder if they were reliable, what were they hiding, etc.
I found myself really enjoying the characters - as flawed as they were. Except Anna. HATED her (which, I mean, really I loved that the author could make a character I could dislike so much - great writing there).


message 9: by Amy (new)

Amy | 1342 comments I liked the book, but truthfully, I didn't like Rachel until the end and I didn't like Anna. I thought that Rachel did such stupid things.


message 10: by Michael (new)

Michael | 1 comments For me, one of the beauties of the book was the fact that Rachel DID do such boneheaded things. She was such a hot glorious mess. Her character was so fully realized in my head I could feel the itch for a drink, the regret and promises afterwards and the compulsion to do the next stupid thing that pops into her mind...like a train barreling along the tracks out of control.

One thing from the book (and it's such a minor thing, maybe?) that I still can't quite work out was her money situation. Rent, food, train fair to and from a fake job, and all the booze -- not a cheap tab. Halfway into the story she is tapped and her mother spots her 300 pounds (around $460 US) and she's acting like that's the lifeline she needs to get her through the next few months till she gets it together. Maybe my take away from that is the author presented that on purpose...to show us just how out of touch she was with her current situation.


message 11: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14286 comments Michael: the money situation Rachel appeared to be in was a puzzle. And even while broke, Rachel refused money from Tom. And what was that about, why offer her money? To keep him on "her good side?"
Michael wrote: "One thing from the book (and it's such a minor thing, maybe?) that I still can't quite work out was her money situation. Rent, food, train fair to and from a fake job, and all the booze -- not a cheap tab. Halfway into the story she is tapped and her mother spots her 300 pounds (around $460 US) and she's acting like that's the lifeline she needs to get her through the next few months till she gets it together. Maybe my take away from that is the author presented that on purpose...to show us just how out of touch she was with her current situation.



message 12: by Christine (new)

Christine | 13 comments I did read Gone Girl and it's a tough call for me to say which one I liked better. I think Gone Girl had more social commentary than The Girl on the Train. Amy's quick, sharp intellect and her way of seeing the world and how she described the demands on "Cool Girl" was very interesting. But, Rachel was interesting in her own, messed-up way and there was definitely that aspect of disliking a character's choices, but being compelled to still root for that character, or at least keep turning pages. I take my hat off to the authors that can achieve that and I think Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train both achieved that for many, many readers.


message 13: by Ann (last edited Feb 07, 2015 07:50PM) (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14286 comments Good comparisons, Christine! The stories and main characters of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train were quite different even while the books were similar in style. I enjoyed both and would also have a hard time saying one was better than the other.
With The Girl on the Train as I read more I found my feelings moving towards liking the characters of Megan and Rachel more than in the beginning, while with Gone Girl it was the opposite.


message 14: by Christine (new)

Christine | 13 comments Yes, Ann, good observation. I found the same thing - that it was the reverse between the two books in terms of liking/not-liking the characters.


message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

I disliked Gone Girl and I couldn't put this book down. It was a great character study I felt.

I didn't end the book liking anyone, but I had hope for Rachel.

Overall a riveting book.


message 16: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14286 comments Christina: it's fairly unusual to like a book and dislike all of the characters, isn't it!


message 17: by Melodie (new)

Melodie (melodieco) | 3598 comments This is the better book, if for no other reason than GONE GIRL couldn't hold my attention. I never got through more than 50 pages of it. I agree, Ann, that it's unusual to like a book and not be able to stand any of the characters because they're all such needy, whiny types. For me, this probably a 9.25. Good story, but I found myself frequently having to go back a few pages to remember just "who" was telling the story. It was quite obvious what a miserable excuse for a human being Tom was from the get-go. I had a pretty good feeling that he was the one pretty early on. Another book I would never have read otherwise. I tend not to pick up the "book-du-jour" type of books!


message 18: by [deleted user] (new)

Melodie wrote: "This is the better book, if for no other reason than GONE GIRL couldn't hold my attention. I never got through more than 50 pages of it. I agree, Ann, that it's unusual to like a book and not be ab..."


So true Melodie!I kept going back to check dates. I remember thinking about Megan section "wait how you talking, you're dead..." then after checking the date "oooh gotcha!"

No way I woulda read this if it hadn't been a group read. Great choice.

Ann- I don't think it's ever happened before.


message 19: by Debbie (new)

Debbie Thompson | 3 comments After having read the book (The Girl on the Train) twice now, I've convinced myself that the author was even sneaker than anyone imagined. I believe that we, the readers, were susceptible to the same bias that Rachel was....i.e. we believe that Megan was having an affair with Kamal because of the kiss, and every opinion we formed after that was colored because of it. The kiss was not in dispute, however, I don't think Megan ever had an affair with Kamal at all. The afternoons spent in the hotel rooms? Tom. The repeated phone calls she was making? Tom. The threats she made? Tom. Not Kamal. Does anyone else see this? Or am I missing something? Let me know if you find a direct contradiction to this. I've gone back through and read all of the conversations again and the author makes a point not to ever mention names, only "he" and "him," etc. We were supposed to believe she was talking about Kamal, but read it again and see if it doesn't make even more sense when you imagine that she's talking about Tom instead.


message 20: by Debbie (new)

Debbie Thompson | 3 comments by the way, I also read Gone Girl twice....I liked both of them a lot, but maybe this one a little more if it turns out that the author played a trick on us all! Like the little Prize Inside, except you didn't see it in the empty box until a week later!


message 21: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14286 comments Debbie: yikes, now that is a very interesting thought, most intriguing. I would have to read it again to look for the clues too, but I can see it, and that could indirectly explain why the police were so sure Kamal was not involved. Hmmm. It could work, especially since the book jumped around in time and was not linear, why should these clues be linear?
Wow.
Debbie wrote: "After having read the book (The Girl on the Train) twice now, I've convinced myself that the author was even sneaker than anyone imagined. I believe that we, the readers, were susceptible to the same bias that Rachel was."


message 22: by Debbie (new)

Debbie Thompson | 3 comments Here's an example of what I'm talking about....in Megan's narrative on page 47 (location 663), she says "I met him at the Swan in Corly, he’d got us a room. We have to be careful, we can’t get caught. It would be bad for him, life-wrecking."

And again on page 93 (location 1268), she says "The room is dark, the air close, sweet with the smell of us. We’re at the Swan again, in the room under the eaves."

Then later near the end (page 298, location 3873) when Tom has revealed his true colors, he says "At first, it was over at her place...But she was so paranoid about Scott finding out. So we started meeting at the Swan. It was . . . Well, you remember what it was like, don’t you, Anna?"

So clearly the statements by Megan, which we assumed were about Kamal, were really about Tom all along. Sneaky, sneaky!


message 23: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14286 comments Thanks for providing the specifics of the incriminating evidence, Debbie. It changes the way I feel about Kamal a great deal, about Megan, a bit, and about Tom, well it fits the Tom revealed in the end. Good eye!


message 24: by Melodie (new)

Melodie (melodieco) | 3598 comments Interesting take. I could see that. I very rarely re-read a book, so will take your word for it!


message 25: by Barry (new)

Barry (barrypz) | 2961 comments I think the comparison to Gone Girl is based on the multiple viewpoints. I think every time I see this device, somebody says it resembles Gone Girl. In construction, it did, but this was a very different story.
I read a bit of Elizabeth George before giving that up as British chick lit, and I see more similarities there, a book populated by dysfunctional women who still persist in trying to resolve the world around them.
Finishing this was an act of perseverance for me. I really did not like the characters or the cops, and they were all beyond screwed up. Maybe the true wonder of this tale was that it resolved at all.


message 26: by Ann (last edited Apr 22, 2015 11:45PM) (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14286 comments Barry, I agree, the construction (and general deception) is likely the catalyst for the comparison to Gone Girl.
I faded in and out with small doses of sympathy for Megan and Rachel, but generally found them unsympathetic, and never warmed to Anna or any of the men. The cops were unlikable too.
And yet, unlikable as Megan and Rachel were, they were both compelling characters to read about.


message 27: by Carol/Bonadie (last edited Apr 24, 2015 05:04AM) (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 7808 comments I think in the last year I've enjoyed more books featuring characters I didn't like than ever before! I'd add The Kind Worth Killing to this list.


message 28: by Melodie (new)

Melodie (melodieco) | 3598 comments Ann wrote: "Barry, I agree, the construction (and general deception) is likely the catalyst for the comparison to Gone Girl.
I faded in and out with small doses of sympathy for Megan and Rachel, but generally..."


EVERYBODY was unlikeable in that book! I despised them all! LOL


message 29: by Barry (new)

Barry (barrypz) | 2961 comments Melodie, you have to be more like me and start getting along with everybody.


message 30: by Melodie (new)

Melodie (melodieco) | 3598 comments Barry wrote: "Melodie, you have to be more like me and start getting along with everybody."

I know......you've become my role model!


message 31: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14286 comments Me too, Carol... I think the increase for me is from the group reads,I probably avoided books with unlikable main characters in the past by focusing on favorite series.
Carol/Bonadie wrote: "I think in the last year I've enjoyed more books featuring characters I didn't like than ever before! I'd add The Kind Worth Killing to this list."


message 32: by Carol/Bonadie (last edited Apr 25, 2015 04:35AM) (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 7808 comments Same here, Ann. I don't think I'd have gravitated to any of these books, except the Peter Swansons, but for the group reads. Which I have enjoyed immensely!

Ann wrote: "Me too, Carol... I think the increase for me is from the group reads,I probably avoided books with unlikable main characters in the past by focusing on favorite series.
Carol/Bonadie wrote: "I thin..."



message 33: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly Hoping someone can help me with one confusion. Why did Anna and Rachel feel the need to lie about who grabbed the corkscrew in the end?Why say that Rachel took it from Tom? Wasn't she just defending herself from him? It seemed to me that he was going to kill her too anad she could have told the Police that.


message 34: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14286 comments Kim:
I had a bad feeling about Anna, especially at the end. I thought of her as a possible accomplice with Tom or even with evil intent on her own. I felt that perhaps Rachel had to lie to protect herself from Anna's retaliation and that Anna was up to something.
Kim wrote: "Hoping someone can help me with one confusion. Why did Anna and Rachel feel the need to lie about who grabbed the corkscrew in the end?Why say that Rachel took it from Tom? Wasn't she just defend..."


message 35: by Jack (new)

Jack | 179 comments I just read this book so not sure if anyone wants to revisit it now but will post my thoughts just the same.
The style of writing and train theme of following the train ride in the morning and evening was different and made it interesting to follow. although the dates jumping around a lot made it a bit confusing when reading when drowsy or distracted.

I found it a bit of a challenge to get into and persevere with. Like a lot of people I found the characters pretty unlikeable although I'm surprised Anna was the most hated by most given she seemed the most sane/reasonable person to me. She feel in love with tom and had his baby. Its not unreasonable for her to get distressed about living in that house and worried about Rachel after she broke in and took her baby out of the house. Her worst trait was her whinging to tom instead of doing something herself.

Rachel was a frustrating character to follow being very messed up and being alcoholic. I think this is a good book at highlighting the cycle of alcoholism and the drinking to forget/stop feeling. It was uplifting how she pulled herself out of it. What would've been interesting and made her more likable was if Tom had secretly been making her infertile to mess with her head and manipulate her as well as lying about her being a Violent drunk.
That piece of the puzzle was they missing thrilling point that kept me thinking it could still be her that killed Megan but once she remembered tom and his car it was obvious he was the one that had done it.
He was an interesting villain and surprisingly well hidden for most of the novel. It was well written to show how much control and manipulation he had with all three women and also how delusional he was about his role in the murder.

The finish with Anna twisting the corkscrew in was interesting and the coldness of her comment about sticking to the self defense story she sorted out made her seem quite sinister but it could also be to save Rachel from going through any more trouble.

Megan and Scott was such a sad story it was horrible and haunting to read. I would have liked to find out what happened to Scott at the end after Tom died. The last image we get of him is the distraught jealous husband that violently reacted to finding out about the affair and also his violent reaction to rachel after he found out she was lying so much to him. The book highlighted the domestic violence issue and the how easily it escalates to have life altering consequences.

Overall a reasonable read but not a favourite read, felt like I was just reading to find out what really happened and why it was such a highly rated book.


message 36: by Nick (new)

Nick Rippington (nick_rippington) | 5 comments I heard the book on audio. I found it a bit repetitive, but then I guess that is the way things must appear to Rachel, making the same mistakes over and over again but unable to stop herself. I was really frustrated by the end, though, because once the killer is revealed I think that should virtually be it. Somehow, though, it gets dragged out for too long. I actually found myself pleading: Don't spoil it by waffling on, just end it now please.


message 37: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14286 comments Interesting thoughts Jack and Nick!
I recall the feeling of the story progressing as a train journey, the rhythm and yes repitition even mimicked the daily train journey that Rachel made. I also found that interesting. I listened to the audio too Nick, but don't remember my end of the book feelings on whether it
dragged on. Rachel for me was the more sympathetic character, especially over Anna. Megan was sympathetic in her own victim's way.
Jack wrote: "I just read this book so not sure if anyone wants to revisit it now but will post my thoughts just the same.
The style of writing and train theme of following the train ride in the morning and evening was different and made it interesting to follow..."



message 38: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Soosar | 3 comments Was it like Gone Girl? I don't see the similarities at all. Flynn and Hawkins are both excellent writers but Gone Girl was a far better book -- more entertaining, more distinct voice between the characters, more surprising.
Gone Girl was executed better than Girl on a Train. The latter, I felt, was confusing, messy, rather dull.


message 39: by Nick (new)

Nick Rippington (nick_rippington) | 5 comments I tend to agree Jennifer. I think the problem was with Girl on a Train that NO ONE was really likeable. That's OK, but then nothing surprises you when the big reveal comes. With Gone Girl they both start off seeming quite nice people but perceptions change throughout the book. Only person I really have any empathy with in Girl on a Train is poor Rachel's housemate! Having said that, I prefer Sharp Objects to Gone Girl, beautifully written and purveys a real sense of menace.


message 40: by Donnajo (new)

Donnajo | 3491 comments I still have to go back and read some of the comments on this thread. First it might not have been a top read for me but it wasn't the lowest. I'm thinking probably 3 1/2 or 3. not meaning it was horrible. I just had too many issues with the book to give it a 5 or 4 rating. I'm starting to think a bit more on how I rate a book after watching so many you tube videos.
Now onto the you tube videos there is one from a bookstore that a writer from some newspaper I wanter to say times was asking the author questions and one was what she thought about the comparison people make between Gone girl and this book and she said she didn't think they are alike. I would advise you check it out if you put in the subject line the title of the book you might come up with it. I can see the reason it was compared. Except I liked gone girl and gave it a better rating. I just was talking to my sister again and mentioned I finished it and how I had figured out the ending and she said she didn't like it and couldn't remember how it did and I reminded it how it ended and she remembered.
I think any reading the rest of the day I do will be very light so the other book will have to wait until tomorrow to get started.


message 41: by Donnajo (new)

Donnajo | 3491 comments Great comments.
One other thing I was sure glad I had the large print because today I couldn't stick with one thing or another and was going back and forth between the nooks and the large print book.


message 42: by Carol/Bonadie (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 7808 comments I saw the other day that the movie of Girl on the Train is being released in theaters in October. Here's the trailer..

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3631112/


message 43: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14286 comments Wow! Thanks for the movie trailer link Carol. Looks good! They include a spoiler I don't think they should have.


message 44: by Donnajo (new)

Donnajo | 3491 comments Yes, I saw it the day or two after I finished the book.


Maggie the Muskoka Library Mouse (mcurry1990) I enjoyed the book, but the movie was terribly disappointing. I couldn't even finish it, it was so far off the original thing!


message 46: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14286 comments Maggie: Isn't that often the case. I ended up not watching the movie.

Maggie the Muskoka Library Mouse wrote: "I enjoyed the book, but the movie was terribly disappointing. I couldn't even finish it, it was so far off the original thing!"


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