The Girl on the Train

A Review and a Comparison

The Girl on the Train
August 8, 2016 Eddie Renz

Am I taking crazy pills? I recently listened to the audiobook of The Girl on the Train. The performance was great, but the story for me was just kind of… yaaawwwnnn. It seemed to drag on so slowly and while the story did keep you guessing, that main character in the story is sort of a beat down in that she is an alcoholic mooch who needs to pull herself together.

This review was not written by me, but it is one of the rare reviews that I agreed with on Audible.com’s website.

“I am the only person I know who hated this book…”

So, you can take this review with a grain of salt. I don’t know exactly why I hated it, but it seems like one of those “Girl” books that you are supposed to love. It’s about people who should know better doing stupid things to other people or with other people, and bad things happening as a result. I finished it, but I honestly couldn’t wait for to be done. So, I can say that much for it: I have stopped really bad books in the past, and this book was not that bad. In fact, I can see that it was actually very well written. It’s just that the story and the characters were too awful to contemplate.

My review would have read about the same if I had taken the time to write one, but the book has 80,000 reviews! 50,000 more reviews than The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – which was one of the best written trilogies I have ever read – and 40,000 more reviews than Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Gone Girl was one of my most favorite listens ever. The writing is some of the best I’ve ever read. So tight and clever and the story keeps you on your toes the entire time.

So what does this have to do with web and graphic design? I often feel that there is a group of people who are either getting caught up in groupthink or maybe I am taking crazy pills. I see it with poor design and with people who are paying for it. This begs the question: Is it more important to give someone what they want than it is to give them the best?

When a client asks me to squeeze more words into their ad, or make their logo out of a specific font that I know is going to be hard for anyone to read, I have to speak up. It’s not about what I want, but instead it’s because I care. I can’t in good conscience take someone’s money and then give them a poorly made product – even if it is exactly what they asked for.

Now this weekend I saw that they have made this book into a movie – and it actually looks like it is one of those stories that will actually play better as a movie than it does as a book. I felt that way about the Divergent Series. The books kind of dragged on and at least in the theater the story is over in less than two hours and I think that will really benefit The Girl on the Train.

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