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There are literally thousands of reviews of this book on Amazon and Goodreads. So … if you need synopsis of detail, you’ll have no trouble finding. Reviews are from 1 to 5 stars, opinions are varied.
With regard to the audiobook … The Girl on the Train is narrated by several female readers, which is fine … but, they basically sound alike … they all emote a lot. All are British (British author).
All of the characters are so into their own self analyzing angst, including the supposed victim of a crime … it’s maddening. The lead character, Rachael, is a ridiculously self absorbed alcoholic who has memory black-outs, witnesses what she believes is wrong do-ing, and is obsessed with her ex-husband. Convoluted, I know ... just like the story. But, that’s the basics. In my opinion, the story should have been several hours (pages) shorter.
Frankly, the fact that this story is a mega-hit and has hogged the best-seller list for months and months is beyond me, but it’s the reason I finally succumbed. Maybe it’s just clever marketing … but The Girl on the Train has created an amazing, albeit completely puzzling, buzz.
Guess I’m not into drunks. Or, adolescent angst from supposedly mature people. Maybe I’m old. Yeah, that’s it. Must be it. Anyway …. not my cup ‘o tea, ’t all. Not recommended.
579 of 677 people found this review helpful
What would have made The Girl on the Train better?
The one standout criticism I have about this book is that I was not enticed by the author to care enough about the characters to be truly drawn in to the tale.
While I am not one to expect my protagonists to be perfect, nor every story to have a happy ending, none of the characters were genuinely likable at all. It was like a festival of personality disorders, self-centeredness and pathetic weaknesses.
You start out feeling for the main character, sympathetic to her plight and hoping for sobriety to take hold, but it all goes to hell in a hand basket when every single flawed character behaves badly and you, unfortunately, end up caring less and less about them as the book goes on. I finished it out of a sense of duty, not desire.
This is coming from a reader who LOVES Dexter Morgan -but why do I love a serial killer and loathe a struggling British divorcee with a drinking problem? Because, in Dexter's case, the author has seduced me with his back story, his vow to live by his "code", and then throws villains into the mix who are revealed as far worse monsters than Dexter who deserve whatever special treatment he has in store for them.
I make this comparison for the sake of stressing character development and trajectory. I just didn't really feel I was given enough reason to empathize with these people and their loathsome troubles.
185 of 218 people found this review helpful