The Girl on the Train: When you sober up, but the double vision stays

The holidays are sadly beyond over and we’ve stopped writing 2016 instead of 2017. Besides food during December, The Girl on the Train has also left behind a good taste in my mouth and mind.

Before the holidays, I had a relapse and bought myself 6 books at once. I’ve been missing spending countless hours and sleepless nights hidden behind a book, not caring that sleep deprivation and hours of reading have intertwined reality and fiction. And so I’ve stepped into the new year with the determination that I am going to read a lot more this year. I also know that it will be even more difficult to resist writing my own stories if I do.

And so the first project was reading this book. I wanted to read it and then watch the movie. To me that combination is like watching a train wreck – you know that in comparison to the novel the movie will almost certainly be worse and yet you can’t resist (but to torture yourself).

I enjoyed the novel. I like the plot’s development, the rising suspense and the unforeseen twist at the end. And it’s one of those books where you are annoyed with the main character. You want her to get a grip already and not put herself in those situations. But she can’t, so you’re stuck with someone that you can’t rely on, somebody you want to scream at and a person whose actions make you cringe.

And it’s also engaging to get different sides of the story. You get to experience the events from different perspectives. And despite the various angles you still can’t trust any of them because they are subjective and personal. Nothing is factual. Nothing can be trusted completely.

What is haunting to me is that you don’t know who comes out on top in the situation or rather in the aftermath of it. You can read different perspectives and see various angles but in the end you are left wondering who even won? Who wasn’t hurt in the process? Every character is a victim of some sort. I’m sure that in the characters’ mind they would think that they get away unscathed or at least much better than the rest. But as a reader, someone on the outside, I wouldn’t agree. To me they are damaged. And they are tainted.ย If I think back, all of the characters are guilty of something and no one is innocent completely.ย They are victims and perpetrators at the same time.

Of course, life mostly isn’t black and white (no matter how easier it would be and how hard we fight to get there). As a reader I was annoyed by most (read: all of them). But I guess that’s what makes the novel interesting and intensifies the mystery. You get emotionally invested and whatever you may think the story doesn’t care one bit.

The next step? To watch the movie and compare the two, being a die-hard fan of books over movies (they always screw up, sooner or later).

Hope you’re having fun.


6 thoughts on “The Girl on the Train: When you sober up, but the double vision stays

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