Mar 23, 2015
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (Unabridged Audio Version)
Every day Rachel takes the same train to London and back for work. The train has become such a part of her life that during one of the its regular stops she watches and fantasizes about the people living in a particular house that sits close to the station. It becomes such an unhealthy obsession that while Rachel waits for fellow passengers to load and unload at this stop, she has even given one couple names and conjures up stories of what she feels their lives must be like. Rachel becomes so consumed that before long she is insinuating herself into their lives. But Rachel is not a stranger to this row of houses along the track. Her past is connected to it and before long Rachel's past and the present collide in a very disturbing and dangerous way.
... On The Story: There certainly has been a lot of talk about this debut novel set in and around London in 2013. I almost didn't even pick it up because I had read where many people thought it was very slow to start and a few had a hard time finishing it. It seemed everyone was reading this book, so I put it off but I kept coming back to it, Since I was expecting it to be a slow starter, I decided I would listen to the audio version instead. I was thinking that maybe it wouldn't seem slow for me if I were to listen instead of read. Personally, I think it was a great decision!
The story is a strange one and has a stalker feel to it but unlike many other readers, I didn't find the beginning slow at all. Perhaps because I was listening? I don't really know. In those first chapters, little nuggets of Rachel's life were being dropped that caught my attention. There were many moments where I was surprised by a turn of events or a revelation that I didn't see soming. There were a lot of those later on in the book. I would definitely call this book a thriller and a mystery that completely pulled me in. I've heard some say it has a Hitchcock feel to it and I would definitely agree with that. The characters were complex and not all of them were likable, which added even more suspicion on my part. Rachel, as the main narrator, was not very reliable because of her issues so I learned to be wary of her.
This is a mind-bending story and I struggle to get my full thought across because I don't want to say too much for those of you who haven't read it yet. In fact, I think I've said enough and I will let you discover the rest on your own. I will say, however, that I believe this is a book worth reading with an unusual and interesting story.
...On the Audio Interpretation:
I do think it's quite possible that I enjoyed this book as much as I did because I chose the audio version. I really enjoyed each of the narrators: Rachel, Meghan, and Anna. I was most taken with Rachel and Meghan, more so than with Anna mainly because Anna's voice had a shrillness to it that I didn't enjoy as much. That said, they each had me sitting near the edge of my seat as the book went on. I picked up every little bit they dropped, so I guess I would even venture to say they had me captivated.
The bottom line is that, for me, I found this book to be totally entertaining from beginning to end and I would recommend it, especially the audio version. I can imagine it would be even more intriguing if you live in a large city where you actually take a train regularly. In my opinion, I think THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN is a huge sucess as a debut novel and I will undoubtedly be looking forward to whatever new book Ms. Paula Hawkins comes out with next.
THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN (Unabridged Audio Version)
Author: Paula Hawkins
Narrators: Clare Corbett, Louise Brealey, India Fisher
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Length: 10 hrs 59 nubs
Source: Purchased with monthly credit from Audible.com
Recommend? Absolutely Yes!