Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She's even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. 'Jess and Jason', she calls them. Their life - as she sees it - is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy.
And then she sees something shocking. It's only a minute until the train moves on, but it's enough. Now everything's changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she's only watched from afar. Now they'll see; she's much more than just the girl on the train...
©2015 Paula Hawkins (P)2015 Random House Audiobooks
"You don't know her. But she knows you. Rear Window meets Gone Girl, in this exceptional and startling psychological thriller. Gripping, enthralling - a top-notch thriller and a compulsive read. " (S J Watson, bestselling author of Before I Go To Sleep.)
I saw another review for this book, about how it's from the point of view from an alcoholic. So I gave it a go.
It is written from 3 people's perspectives. Two in present time, one in the past. Yes, one is an alcoholic. It is read in 3 different voices, which brings the characters alive and makes it easy to distinguish between them.
It's a mystery. It has suspense. It links, and ties together. It had me guessing, and re-guessing.
I really enjoyed it. It surprised me in a good way :-)
At first I was sceptical... I wasnt too sure what the story was about but probably 20 minutes in you find its hard to stop listening. Loved knowing what each character was thinking, and the depth of each character. Very impressed!
Thought it would never end. Id heard so many great things and the reality was such a let down. It was too long by far, and needed some serious chapter culling to improve the story's pace. I saw the end coming a mile off, everyone compares it to the twist in Gone Girl, but this was clearly going in one of three directions. The reading voices put me off too, not sure if it was the accents, the intonation or the pacing but it took me awhile to get a feel for the three actresses. I stuck with it expecting a big stunning finale and just ended up disappointed.
Because the story kept jumping from date to date it was difficult to keep track of time and date, unlike a printed book where you can go back to the start of a chapter and check character, time and date of setting. If the chapter index of this audio version could include this information it would make a vast improvement.
I like it. Paula Hawkins slowly unfolds the story, the mystery, the surprise twist and inevitable conclusion--all through first-person narratives and perspective of the main characters. Well written.
A really great story, very intriguing and original, read by wonderful voice actors who fit the story perfectly - highly recommended.
"Not bad at all."
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. The author had me guessing who the killer actually was till almost the end. This is one of those books that would be hard to put down. Very entertaining.
It really was a thrilling ride!
The three viewpoints, all in first person.
All the characters were flawed - in a pretty major way.
I wanted to slap Rachelle!
This was an excellent reading of a great thriller. I highly recommend reading it before it's turned into a movie.
Entertaining, well written, page turner, never dull, recommended for the lovers of mystery, suspense, crime, and plots that are hiding below the surface of apparently normal lifes
This novel was full of suspense . It was well read and easy to listen to ,with a lot of twists. A thou rally enjoyable read .
"Not so much like Gone Girl but good"
I must admit, I got this book because it was said it’s a bit like Gone Girl. Even if I can imagine what readers meant, I find the two stories are not so much alike. I enjoyed the book nonetheless, especially because the the main narrator does such a great job. With the second and third narrator I had some problems but that was maybe because I couldn’t get a good grip on the characters they were reading.
However, the book is well worth the credit and listening time. If you like your stories wicked, you should give it a try :)
"It grew on me"
Great story which kept me guessing all the way trough, could be somewhat slow sometimes though. I loved the voices of Rachel and Megan but hated the voice of Anna, it was almost unbearable to listen to. Overall I ended up loving the book!
Loved it! Beautifully told and narrated story, compelling listening, with lots of unexpected twists and turns.
"Great summer read and not only"
I bought it because of the buzz around it. It worth the time and the money. Loved how the story evolved only with the help of the characters and their feelings. I liked the unexpected twists of situations. It kept me wanting more.
"If you liked Gone Girl you'll probably like this"
Loved it, didn't want it to end. An engaging story, very well narrated. Kept me guessing!
"I had doubts, I never should have. Brilliant"
Rachel. The primary character, and her complex personality drove me crazy at times but my support for her throughout never wavered. Accurately narrated. The life of an alcoholic can often be misrepresented, but has I learned through my profession in health care, this depiction never strayed from the reality. Don't let this guide you alone, the story of three women and three men holds you all the way through to its climatic conclusion.
Megan. Again, superbly narrated as the story introduced us to her topsy turvy world.
No. I never do, you need a break to build up the anticipation for the next instalment.
Only one criticism. The three narrators had separate characters, which of course enabled you to build up pictures of the characters. However, one character (Kamal), was narrated by two. Both narrators used different voices for him, and for several chapters I thought they were different characters, one the real Kamal, the other someone pretending to be him. Obviously now I realised I was wrong, two of the women characters encountered him, and each narrated for Kamal's character too, hence the confusion. In other words, don't draw anything in to it, like this dim wit here :)
The narrators were great, so of course. Regarding the author, the quality of the writing was good, so yes, if the synopsis appealed to me.
I listened to well over half of it, then gave-up as it wasn't getting any better. I found none of the characters appealing. The story dragged on and remained dull throughout. No doubt there will be an interesting twist at some point, but I just can't care enough to continue.
I looked forward to listening to this as the premise promised a really interesting story. This novel has been compared to Gone Girl - one if my favourite books. It doesn't come close in my opinion.
"Slow, disappointing and obvious"
After reading the reviews I was excited to listen to this book. I'm puzzled by the majority of other people's reviews which describe this as 'fast paced' or 'captivating'. I found the story line one which was obvious, terribly slow and very disappointing. The characters were typical and the layout of the story matched. The only thing I liked was Anna's voice, I found it comical.
"Runs Like An Express"
The female characters are utterly engaging; you care about so very much. The male characters with one exception are brutes but three dimensional brutes, ordinary men on the surface, but in a domestic situation, tyrants.
Rachel, lost, foolish yet lovable and human. You would be pleased to have her as a friend.
The three female protagonists are voiced by three different women, all very different in tone reflecting the various aspects of their individual characters.
This is an emotional roller coaster; full of suspense, full of pain. It made me wince rather than cry.
By far and away the best thriller I have listened to for years.
"Wildly over-rated, poorly narrated"
We;;, my female partner sight-read it and I listened. She said it was okay but lacked any surprises. I found the characters hard to empathise with, not a problem in itself, but also hard to believe. Maybe this was partly because the reading irritated me rather than drew me into a fairly run of the mill story line. The actor reading Anna does a particularly poor job in my view, but throughout there are just too many complete failures of getting tone and emphasis right- maybe they didn't understand what they were reading? In summary, not the worst best-seller I’ve listened to recently, but close to it. And if you haven’t guessed, I thought Gone Girl wildly over-rated too.
"What a waste of time."
A decent plot and some proper direction.
Perhaps I would have enjoyed it more had there been at least one character who was not consistently and gob-smackingly stupid, worthless and self-obsessed. Even the tragic one for whom I think we were supposed to have felt sympathy was so suicidally brainless I wondered how she managed to make it to the age she did.
There were three narrators and the direction was a complete disaster.
Two of the narrators had such similar voices it was occasionally difficult to differentiate them — to be fair, not that the writer’s characterisation helped — but unforgivably when two different women see the same psychiatrist, one of them speaks his words with some sort of an unidentifiable foreign accent, and the other one gives him the voice of an Oxford graduate. I cannot blame the actresses for that, they got their scripts and read them as they saw fit. Was the director asleep?
The scenes between Chapter One and The End
The themes were adult but I was put in mind of all those schoolgirl stories in which young Felicity notices something nefarious going on in her boarding school and after an extravagant catalogue of tribulations during which no-one believes her and her fellow pupils send her to Coventry, she discovers that Mam’sel Odieux (the French teacher who bullies her mercilessly), turns out to be a German spy after all. Having exposed the dastardly plot in front of the whole school Felicity—suddenly the school heroine—is carried on the shoulders of all her newly-admiring school friends to be treated to a cream cake tea with the Headmistress. Happy ending and not a backward thought to all the bullying that went before.
"Don't Believe the Hype"
I was really looking forward to this book, but I genuinely cannot understand how it has received so many good reviews (and there are a lot). I found it to be repetitive, predictable and painfully slow. The outcome was obvious from about half way through, the plot was weak, and the characters wholly unlikable.
I found it ironic that a book which highlighted the dangers of alcoholism had me wanting a gin and tonic just to get through it.
"Not for men!"
My wife recommended this to me and It is definitely the last time I listen to her! I personally could not handle the incredibly annoying lead character and thought the storyline was ridiculous. The last 30 minutes were okay however it is not worth listening to the first 10 hours to get there! The only reason I can think that this is a best seller is because it was book of the day!!
"Sexual politics is war in the trenches of suburbia"
Excellent plot and delivery, a true thriller, with lots of very neurotic, self destructive character that some how are real in a very familiar way.
Sexual politics is war in the trenches of suburbia, and everyone is fighting a private little war that no one can win, till it escalate out of control and the knives come out. We will all recognize some one in our past a slight deja vu of youth, and indiscretion well buried in the past. Saints will not understand this book and should not read it.
All three reader were excellent and created a small reality that added to the story.
Thoroughly enjoyed every twist and turn here. Kept me guessing to the end. Extremely well read and teasingly written - looking forward to another by this same author!
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