Skip to main content

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?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Harry Potter 2013 Readalong Signup Post of Amazingness and Jollity

Okay, people. Here it is. Where you sign up to read the entire Harry Potter series (or to reminisce fondly), starting January 2013, assuming we all survive the Mayan apocalypse. I don't think I'm even going to get to Tina and Bette's reunion on The L Word until after Christmas, so here's hopin'.


You guys know how this works. Sign up if you want to. If you're new to the blog, know that we are mostly not going to take this seriously. And when we do take it seriously, it's going to be all Monty Python quotes when we disagree on something like the other person's opinion on Draco Malfoy. So be prepared for your parents being likened to hamsters.

If you want to write lengthy, heartfelt essays, that is SWELL. But this is maybe not the readalong for you. It's gonna be more posts with this sort of thing:


We're starting Sorceror's/Philosopher's Stone January 4th. Posts will be on Fridays. The first post will be some sort of hilarious/awesome que…

How to Build a Girl Introductory Post, which is full of wonderful things you probably want to read

Acclaimed (in England mostly) lady Caitlin Moran has a novel coming out. A NOVEL. Where before she has primarily stuck to essays. Curious as we obviously were about this, I and a group of bloggers are having a READALONG of said novel, probably rife with spoilers (maybe they don't really matter for this book, though, so you should totally still read my posts). This is all hosted/cared for/lovingly nursed to health by Emily at As the Crowe Flies (and Reads) because she has a lovely fancy job at an actual bookshop (Odyssey Books, where you can in fact pre-order this book and then feel delightful about yourself for helping an independent store). Emily and I have negotiated the wonders of Sri Lankan cuisine and wandered the Javits Center together. Would that I could drink with her more often than I have.


INTRODUCTION-wise (I might've tipped back a little something this evening, thus the constant asides), I am Alice. I enjoy the Pleistocene era of megafauna and drinking Shirley Templ…

Norwegian Wood: The Planning Post

You all remember this?


So, after some panicking on my part, and the over-taxed Chicago Public Library taking weeks and weeks to send my copy (it's been in transit for about three or four weeks now), I finally caved and bought it on Kindle (even though the Kindle price is more than the paperback -- COME ON PUBLISHERS).
Tuesdays worked well last time, because then you get to panic on Mondays and not Sundays that you haven't done the reading. Makes the weekend more relaxing. But if people want to do Wednesdays instead because of Top Ten Tuesday being such a big meme, let me know and I'll shift everything forward a day (except the 31st, because I REFUSE TO GO INTO JANUARY). Here's the schedule:
January 3rd: Intro posts. How do you feel about Murakami/have you read anything of his before/whatever you want to say; I am merely your faciliator.
January 10th: Chapters 1 through 4
January 17th: Chapters 5 & 6
January 24th: Chapters 7 through 9
January 31st: Chapters 10 & 11
If y…