The Book or the Movie?
What is your favourite?
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
The journey takes Rachel along the backs of houses on the street where she used to live. Unable to look at number 23, her old home, where ex-husband Tom now lives with new wife Anna, she focuses instead on number 15. She has become obsessed with the beautiful young couple living there, whom she names Jess and Jason. Rachel looks out for the pair every day, daydreaming about their perfect lives. Until one day she sees something that startles her in their garden, and when she reads in the paper that “Jess” – who is really called Megan – has vanished, she decides to tip off the police. She is convinced that “Jason”, now the prime suspect – and really called Scott – would never harm his beloved wife.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Gone Girl switches between Nick’s narrative, as the hunt for the beautiful, blond Amy consumes the attention of America’s media, and Amy’s diary, as she writes about the early days of their relationship. “Tra and la! I am smiling a big adopted-orphan smile as I write this… I met a boy!” she says. And then later: “He promised to take care of me, and yet I feel afraid.”
Gradually the two stories begin to converge. The pointed finger of media – and police – blame starts to swing Nick’s way, and he doesn’t endear himself to his readers as a hint of misogyny enters his tone. Women have “girl brain[s]” and female scents, “vaginal and strangely lewd”. He lies to the police: little lies that don’t really matter, but why is he doing it? And there’s something odd about Amy’s diary too; her version of the events of their past is different from Nick’s, fails to ring quite true, grates in its perfection. We begin to see flashes of the darkness which lies in the cracks of this seemingly perfect marriage: where is Amy, and who is telling the truth?