Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Girl on the Train: Paula Hawkins thriller is a runaway hit ... and speeding to the movies


Have you got on board the love train for The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins? A very catchy, if overused title: The Girl in the Train is a short story by Agatha Christie, with The Girl on the Train being the title of at least three additional novels, by Jean-Luc Cherie, William Spires and Thomas Weaver. This The Girl on the Trail though, is being called the new Gone Girl. Just published on January 13th, it was an instant #1 on the NY Times Best Seller list. Among its many fans is Stephen King who sent out this pretty nifty tweet:
He's right, of course. I've only read the first 35 pages, the free sample from Barnes and Noble, and got hooked from the opening paragraph, a kind of prologue before the book starts in earnest, telling its tale from the point of view of three women: Rachel, Megan, Anna, in alternating, but not uniformly so, chapters.
"She's buried beneath a silver birch tree, down towards the old train tracks, her grave marked with a cairn. Not more than a little pile of stones, really. I didn't want to draw attention to her resting place, but I couldn't leave her without remembrance. She'll sleep peacefully there, no one to disturb her, no sounds but birdsong and the rumble of passing trains."
I'm especially psyched because film AND stage producer Mark Platt (Wicked, Into the Woods, Drive to name a few) picked it up before the thriller even hit the shelves. He's just hired Erin Cressida Wilson to adapt; Wilson is known for Secretary a 2002 adaptation of a short story by Mary Gaitskill and the screenplay for last year's Men, Women and Children from the novel by Chad Kultgen. So it's a fantastic book en route to the big screen, potentially for release this year, but that's if they move super fast. What could make me happier? I've been too busy getting my Wolf Hall Wednesday stuff together to get out to a bookstore — and since this is a page turner, I've decided I want to turn actual pages — so in the meantime, here's how the booksellers sum it up:
A debut psychological thriller that will forever change the way you look at other people's lives.
“Gripping, enthralling—a top-notch thriller and a compulsive read.”—S. J. Watson, New York Times–bestselling author of Before I Go to Sleep
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.
And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?
Compulsively readable, The Girl on the Train is an emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller and an electrifying debut.

Have you got your copy yet? Are you loving it too?

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