The Girl on the Train – review in progress

I am currently reading The girl on the train. So these are my first impressions, it’s like an incomplete review. At first, I heard about the movie, heard that it’s a great thriller, but didn’t want to see it. I thought the book must be at least as good. I looked it up, found it and started reading it. I don’t regret for a second. I know I lost a good movie (and I really enjoy thrillers), but I gained an excellent read.

My dilemma: to read the book or watch the movie ?

So far I’ve read like 25% of the book, I think. My Kindle surely has the correct percentage. The beginning is good, it captures the attention. I like it that there are 2 levels of narration: now and a year ago, belonging to two different characters: Rachel – now, Megan a year ago. The past is slowly catching up with the present moment, which rises the suspense.

Paula Hawkins - The Girl on the Train
Paula Hawkins – The Girl on the Train

English level – beginner

As I was reading it, I realized that the vocabulary used in the book is fairly simple. There aren’t complicated sentences, not many metaphors, the writing is straight, short, very easy to follow. Which I like.

Character substance

It’s deep. I like it that the main character, Rachel, submerses herself in deep thoughts. She’s a depressive (just like me). A depressive always overthinks everything. This is his main reason for it, in the first place: disconnecting from the real world (which is what Rachel does, by constantly drinking on the train) and living inside your mind, exaggerating even the most tiny insignificant thing. She is not shallow, she has strong feelings, which are negative, in her case. She’s a loner and lonely people

Cultural level – none

Cultural references in a book tell me how read or rich in experience is an author. Or how much he has prepared and researched for it, in the first place.  

The cultural references in the book are completely non-existent. Here you can really rate the caliber and the knowledge of the author. Compared to Julian Barnes, let’s say, Paula Hawinks doesn’t mention a single cultural thing, so far. The book resembles like a simple story, very well told, with great suspense, but simple, nonetheless.

So far, Paula Hawinks lacks this part. Or maybe she, intentionally, leaves it aside, to create a more focused, simple mise-en-scene.

From this point of view, it’s very much like “The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair: A Novel”, by Joel Dicker.

Author’s personal journey

The novel took her six months, writing full-time, to complete, at a time when she was in a difficult financial situation and had to borrow from her father to be able to complete it. The novel was adapted into a film in 2016. She lives in South London. (wikipedia)

My general review (so far)

I enjoy it a lot. It’s a good thriller, a very good read.