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The Girl on the Train: Everyone read it so I read it

Yeah, I read The Girl on the Train well after everyone else, but now I've done it, so I am part of the cultural zeitgeist. This is Gone Girl all over again. And in so many ways! First off: missing or harmed girl lit. What's going on with that. What in our culture is prompting it. I HAVE MANY QUESTIONS. I get that missing girls have pretty much always been fascinating (see Erzsebet Bathory), but we're going through A Thing with them now, I am 99% sure, and it Means Something, but I do not yet know what.

I'll give that a think later on

So, Girl on the Train plot: Lady whose life has fallen apart daydreams about a couple she sees when the train she takes every day passes their house. One day the girl-half of the couple goes missing. Fallen Apart Life Lady decides to insert herself into the investigation because WHY NOT. The perspective switches characters every now then, because that is So Hot Right Now.


I have no idea how some of these types of books become insanely popular, but for this one, I would guess it's its indictment of the idea of what a perfect life looks like. It's probably no coincidence I picked up The Graduate right after finishing this, as both books involve a protagonist who is aimlessly floating around until they involve themselves in something that could easily shatter the remains of what they have, AND both books heavily question what a successful life looks like.


I'm sorry, are you saying this is NOT the pinnacle of life?

The mystery in this was decent, but the deeper issue really is how do we measure success, and is that important. The main character had a husband, a house, a career, and she loses all that and gets obsessed with projecting this perfect relationship onto this couple she's never met, only that perfect relationship consists solely of the things society tells us are what success looks like. Being told that this is all bullshit is resonating with people.

I mean. Look. Overall, Girl on a Train is fine. I read it in a day on a beach. If you want a quick beachy-type read, and ALSO want to be able to talk about a book with your average casual reader, odds are extremely good they'll have read this. And if you subconsciously (or consciously) furious at what Society is telling you you should want, you'll probably think this is great.


and I mean, do you want to be a Belle or a French peasant lady?

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