The Girl on the Train Breaks UK Sales Record

If you enjoy reading Electric Literature, join our mailing list! We’ll send you the best of EL each week, and you’ll be the first to know about upcoming submissions periods and virtual events.

Brace yourselves, Dan Brown fans (we know you’re out there somewhere). After 20 weeks in the number one slot, Paula Hawkins’s thriller The Girl on the Train has broken the record for most weeks spent atop the UK hardback book chart — a record previously held by Brown’s The Lost Symbol.

Back in 2009, the follow up to The Da Vinci Code basked in #1 glory for 19 weeks. But Hawkins’s unprecedented run has ousted the sequel, solidifying claims that The Girl on the Train is indeed the spiritual successor to Gone Girl we’ve all been waiting for.

Train focuses on Rachel, an on-the-outs woman that takes comfort in admiring a seemingly perfect couple, whose idyllic breakfasts she witnesses daily while taking the train to work. When the wife vanishes, Rachel finds herself entangled in the mystery of her disappearance.

The book marks Hawkins’s first foray into the haute sub-genre of the literary thriller. Before writing Train, the Zimbabwe-born writer published a spate of romantic novels under a pseudonym. Hawkins told The Guardian, “The last one has loads of terrible things happening in it and ended up being rather tragic in a lot of ways. Nobody bought it.”

Lucky for us, Hawkins took that as her cue to change things up. Commuters of both genders, take heed: this might be the subway/train/bus read you’ve been waiting for.

More Like This

9 of the Worst Jobs in Literature

Work sucks, I know: books to put your job in perspective

Aug 31 - Sophie Stein

The Last Thing You Need to Read About Book TikTok

All the questions you feel too old to ask, answered by someone under 25

Mar 26 - Alexandria Juarez

Canceling My Book Deal Was the Best Career Move I’ve Ever Made

A contract that doesn't suit your needs or expectations could be worse than no book deal at all

Mar 11 - Lilly Dancyger
Thank You!