Sunday, April 19, 2015

Paula Hawkins' "The Girl on the Train" is a high speed ride in audio


Early reviewers of this novel touted it as the next “Gone Girl." However, as wonderful as Gillian Flynn's novel is, Paula Hawkins' train overtakes it well before the end of the line. Hawkins' time-stamped structure of the story told in first person by three separate, but deeply entwined female main characters, lets the mystery unravel at just the right speed. The British accents of the three superb female narrators of the audio version of “The Girl on the Train” draw the reader (or listener) into the darkness of the unique tale and its unexpected climax. The voice inflections and diction variations between the jilted Rachel, jealous Anna, and twisted Megan are at times as mesmerizing as the prose. 

Alcoholic protagonist Rachel's memory lapses and her struggles with the disease are central to the story line and her human frailty is so exposed and explored that no reader could deny her empathy and sympathy.

The female narrators do an outstanding job as well with the voices and acting of the roles of the major male characters, Scott and Tom, and with the minor male characters such as the red-handed man. 

Even if someone has read the print or digital version of "The Girl on the Train," I recommend listening to the audio version, too. After following the narrators' British accents and the colloquialisms, I well understand the fervor shared with millions over the television series "Downton Abbey." 

-----Darden North
      www.dardennorth.com

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