Thursday, August 25, 2016

What Would You Read On A Train?

My travels in England involved several train and underground journeys, besides the flights from and to the USA. So perhaps it's not so surprising I found myself attracted to books that included the presence of trains... unless you look at how scary some of those books were. Would you really read a horror story set in the London Underground's claustrophobic tunnels, triggered by every traveler's nightmare of a stalled train when the lights go out?

Anyway, here are some of the books I read, starting with that tale of claustrophobia and scares, Signal Failure by David Wailing. It's a short story, perfect for an Underground ride, and it's the sort of scary story that will have you trying to scare through the blackness around you to see what's out there. Then you're out in the sun again, but somehow... Enjoy with a mug of seriously dark 5-star coffee.

My next review is of a short story taking place on the rails overground. OtherWhere: The Crazies by Garry Grierson offers a glimpse of a grown-up wonderland through the looking glass, where rabbits and strange old women might be more than they seem. From a perfectly evocative depiction of an English railway station to a mysterious strange new world, it's a haunting tale best read slowly and warily. Enjoy with some complex 4-star coffee.

Of course, no train-traveling vacation could be complete this year with The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins. I wasn't at all sure I like the characters/narrators, but the author makes them so hauntingly real you have to sympathise as time goes on. The clues are well hidden and the mystery only slowly reveals itself. A neat, clever story, best enjoyed with a complex 4-star coffee.

But perhaps you'd rather not read about travel while traveling. A friend recommended The Daylight Marriage by Heidi Pitlor as a good book to read on the plane, so I bought and read it. Like the Girl on the Train, it's a haunting tale of a woman's disappearance with no clues to her whereabouts. And like the Girl on the Train, it involves an achingly real analysis of broken relationships, this time between a complicated, deep-thinking husband and his beautiful free-thinking wife. Enjoy with another complex 4-star coffee. Then tell me what sort of book you'd take on your trip/

No comments: