My books can be purchased as e-books for only $1.99. If interested, just click here: Books.
Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
In case anyone is interested in any of my past posts, an archive list can be found at the bottom of this page.
My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Friday, October 28

The Girl on the Train

I always trusted what the folks at Entertainment Weekly said about books and movies. After seeing The Girl on the Train, however, I’ll have to change my opinion. EW gave it an A- grade. I give it about a D-, and even that may be kinder than it deserves. My wife and I agreed as we were walking out that this was a film we could have easily walked out on. But no, I had to stick it out to see if it got any better. It didn’t. I remember what I disliked about the novel by Paula Hawkins. This movie remained faithful to the book and included all the unlikable parts. Where to begin? If one were to write a suspense novel, or make a movie based on that novel, one would have to include all the elements Hawkins put in. I call these elements manufactured suspense. First, be sure to include anything that would confuse the reader or viewer. Use artsy flashbacks that jump hither and yon, yon and hither. Then have many of these flashbacks based on an alcoholic’s memories before, after, and during alcoholic blackouts. Then to further confuse, overlap little pieces of these flashbacks so the reader or viewer doesn’t know what is or isn’t real. Have a cast of three lookalike women and three lookalike men, so the reader or viewer isn’t sure which is which. Oh, yes, and to spice it all up, get in plenty of shades of gray scenes to titillate the reader or viewer, like humping in bedrooms or offices or out in the woods braced against a tree. The main character, Rachel, the girl on the train, is played by Emily Blunt, who may have perfected the role of eye-rolling, hand-wringing, weepy-eyed maniac. I will howl like a demented dog if she is considered for an Oscar for this bizarre role. Not since Glenn Close played the crazy lady in Fatal Attraction have we seen a woman as weird as Emily Blunt’s Rachel. Of the many comparisons between The Girl on the Train and Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl—that both are tense psychological thrillers with twists and turns to keep readers or viewers on the edge of their seats—are invalid. Gone Girl, both book and film, was by far better than The Girl on the Train. Anyone who would think this movie, The Girl on the Train, is good or great is probably casting his vote for Donald Trump on November 8.
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