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, best-selling author of Before I Go to Sleep.)
The different narrators helped to bring the story to life. An entertaining read on my daily train commute through the suburbs...
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.
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 :-)
Off to a slow start, but definitely kept my interest throughout. Picked up a lot towards the end and was quite exciting.
I didn't care for any of the characters, they're all a bit pathetic or crazy.
This was one of those stories I couldn't wait to get back and listen to almost daily. The intertwining of the plot unraveled constantly, never letting too much be known at once. The narrators did an immaculate job encompassing the mental image of each individual.
As I got deeper into the book, I found myself relating to one of the characters, wondering what I would do in that same situation. This thriller was so well written, I would tell some of my close friends parts of the story, and even they were interested. I highly recommend this book based on the observation that all necessary aspects for a wonderful listening experience are perfectly included.
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!
"Lie, apologise, repeat"
Possibly if I'd been born female. Some books are gender neutral, but some are likely to be of especial interest to one gender or the other.
I didn't feel TGOTT was a man's book - and I'm speaking as someone who quite enjoys listening to Woman's Hour on Radio 4 occasionally.
I'm not sure what genre the book belongs to, but I did find myself thinking how samey a lot of crime fiction is. We've found a blood stain, we've found a semen stain, that perfect husband was having an affair, that detective has a drink problem... Yawn yawn yawn.
TGOTT doesn't churn out all the cliches (at least it hadn't when I gave up 5 hours and 20 minutes in - not quite halfway) but it managed a fair few, and I'm not sure I can be bothered any more.
I quite liked India Fisher's Doctor Who work with Big Finish. Very different to this, though.
I am all for interesting experiments with the audio medium, and having three viewpoint characters read by three different readers was definitely something worth exploring.
Trouble is, she *is* the girl on the train, so cutting her out might be a tad problematic.
Now I appreciate the importance of character flaws. Perfect people don't convince, and they've got no room for development. But viewpoint characters have to be at least operational.
Rachel is an alcoholic and a liar. She's lost her job but has somehow convinced her housemate that she's still working, despite her tendency to blurt stuff out and forget what she's said and done by the following morning. She's driven by voyeuristic curiosity and jealousy - she's already tried to kidnap her ex-husband's new wife's baby. And just when you think she's going to come clean, just when you think she's going to try and sort herself out, she does something stupid, or tells a new lie to compound an existing one. And she resents the fact that the police describe her as "unreliable"...
I feel that the book owes a lot of its length to Rachel's timewasting shenanigans. Her personal problems are not interesting, but they do put the brakes on the narrative drive.
Then there's Megan, the second (of three) viewpoint characters. She's a spoilt brat, and I neither know nor care what has happened to her. Probably gone off to the Bahamas with a gullible rich bloke, no doubt thinking it funny that the police think she's been murdered.
Finally there's Anna. She hasn't had much screentime yet, but from what we know, she took malicious pleasure at stealing Rachel's husband.
I think another reviewer pointed out that there are no likeable characters in the book. I tend to agree.
I thought the prose was fairly good, hence two stars instead of one.
I've already mentioned Rachel's voyeuristic tendencies. I suspect this is the chief reason for the book's popularity.
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.
"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 :)
"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.
Started off really interesting. Couldn't stop listening. Got bored midway through and was sick of the constant referrals to the train.
Thought the ending was poor. Really disappointed:-(
"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.
"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.
"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.
"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.
"A boring & predictable waste of my time."
I have never given a book such a bad review before but I honestly do not understand how this book is so popular. The story was painfully slow, the characters were pathetic and I was so glad when it was over. I'm surprised I made it to the end but I think I was holding out hope it was going to get better at some point. Really disappointed.
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