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Why “The Girl on the Train” Is the #1 Bestseller of 2015

And the prize for the first big hit book of 2015 goes to… The Girl on the Train.

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A psychological thriller that went on sale in mid-January, The Girl on the Train has been on bestseller lists since its debut. And now it’s holding steady at the top of The New York Times Bestseller List, among others.

So what’s all the fuss about? Why are so many people reading The Girl — and should you?

Here are five things you should know before you make your decision:

 

1. It’s Like a Fast-Paced Gone Girl — Set in England

The Girl on the Train is sucking readers into its dark, disturbing, domestic mystery the same way Gone Girl did three years ago. Both books star female narrators that you can’t trust; both have jarring twists and turns in the plot; and both books tell the story of tragedy ripping apart otherwise ordinary lives.

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2. It’s Like Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window — Set on a Train

Ever find yourself glancing into a stranger’s window, imagining what their life is like?  That’s the sensibility at the heart of The Girl on the Train, just as it’s at the heart of Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window.  Rachel, the main narrator of The Girl on the Train, watches a family she passes each day on her commute. She has innocent daydreams about their lives… until one day the woman in the window disappears.

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3. It’s Like Usual Suspects — With an Alcoholic Narrator

Remember the 1995 movie Usual Suspects? The one with the narrator that you could never really trust? Well, Rachel in The Girl on the Train is a similarly unreliable, plot-bending narrator. Except there’s a difference — Rachel’s not part of an organized crime ring; she’s an alcoholic who consumes multiple canned gin and tonics on her train rides, blacks out, forgets details, and misremembers key facts.

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4. It’s Dark (Don’t Expect Miss Marple)

Be warned: The Girl on the Train is not an uplifting book. You might not like any of the characters. But…

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5. People Who Like It Really Like It

Ask Stephen King.

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So, are you going to read The Girl on the Train?

 


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About Mary Ellen Bellusci

Mary Ellen Bellusci is a longtime resident of Baltimore, Maryland... A foodie, traveler, writer, and pursuer of happiness.