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Strangeness on a Train

Strangeness on a Train [Kindle Edition]

Julia Crouch
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

In 2012, Julia Crouch became East Coast Rail's first ever Writer in Residence on the London to Harrogate line, writing a gripping short story over the course of her return train journey. And what better place for Julia to exercise her dark imagination and explore the deadly intents of her characters; after all, as Agatha Christie and Patricia Highsmith would attest, trains have long been the ideal setting for the perfect murder... Turning fifty has not filled Sally with joy. She's sitting on the Kings Cross to Harrogate train the morning after her disastrous birthday meal, feeling fed up and hungover to hell. And then a stranger climbs on board and sits down opposite her. You know those passengers who really, really annoy you on trains? The ones who invade your personal space, and worse? Well, he's one of those. And he's about to push Sally to breaking point.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 159 KB
  • Print Length: 15 pages
  • Publisher: Headline (19 July 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S. r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008ESY02O
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,605 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Julia Crouch grew up in Cambridge and studied Drama at Bristol University. She spent ten years working as a theatre director and playwright, then, after a spell of teaching, she somehow became a successful graphic and website designer, a career she followed for another decade while raising her three children. An MA in sequential illustration reawoke her love of narrative and a couple of Open University creative writing courses brought it to the fore.

Cuckoo, her first novel, emerged as a very rough draft during NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) in 2008. A year's editing got it ready for submission to an agent and within a couple of months she had a book deal with Headline and had given up the day job.

Every Vow You Break, her second novel, was published in March 2012, and Tarnished, her third, came out in 2013. She is also published in Italy, France, Germany, Holland, Brazil and China.

She works in a shed at the bottom of the Brighton house she shares with her husband, the actor and playwright Tim Crouch, their three children, two cats called Keith and Sandra, and about twelve guitars. She is a self-confessed geek and fights a daily battle to resist tinkering with the code on her website, which can be found at

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read on a train 19 July 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
We've all been annoyed by someone on a train journey, especially when you're in the 'quiet' zone, and Julia Crouch's heroine is nursing a hangover from last night's birthday celebration from hell. This is the ideal length to read between Leeds and Harrogate (where Julia was train writer in residence) and if you get held up by leaves on the line, why not download Cuckoo her first novel, which she manages to slip in to the story. You'll laugh, you'll gasp! You'll want more.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars STRANGENESS ON A TRAIN 19 July 2012
By Amanda TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This very short but concise free download is about fifty year old Sally, a woman on the edge, who is taking a stressful train ride from London to Harrogate to visit her aunt.
An enjoyable quick read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Eminently forgettable! 13 Sep 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I had to check my orders to see if I really had ordered it. A short (thankfully) story about a disgusting fellow passenger on a train. I kept asking myself why she didn't just move to another seat. Not even funny but perhaps I am too far past 50 to appreciate it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DIDN'T WANT IT TO END! 24 July 2013
By Blodwyn
Format:Kindle Edition
I hadn't realized this was a short story - thought it was a full novel - so was really disappointed when it ended as I was really enjoying it! Will definitely read The Cuckoo by the same author.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Strangeness on a train 17 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I choose this rating because on the whole this story was good all be it short! The surprise ending makes it deserve the four stars,I'm sure if you looking for a short read while on a train etc then this is the one to read.
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Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This story takes place on a train journey taken by a middle aged woman to visit her elderly Aunt. The middle aged woman in question is Sally and her journey takes place the day after a family meal in celebration of her fiftieth birthday. Feeling a little hung over Sally is not at her best. She then has the misfortune to be joined by a beyond obnoxious passenger who plonks himself opposite her seat despite the train being virtually empty.

The story alternates between happenings on her journey and the events of the birthday dinner the previous night. I found that when the story focused on the dinner I longed to learn more about Sally's estranged husband and her four adult children. The family dynamic and the brief glimpses of the personalities of her family was really interesting. As far as the journey was concerned: as the behaviour of Sally's fellow passenger worsened but she remained steadfastly in her seat I couldn't help but think that most anyone in that situation would have switched seats pretty sharpish.

The writing is good and laced with gentle humour plus the author looks to have a wonderful knack for characterisation. But for me the story bubbling away in the background really was more interesting and I kept wistfully wishing that it had taken centre stage. The unsettling end to the story reinforced this desire.

A 3* read.
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2.0 out of 5 stars A short story 22 Mar 2014
By S
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
When I first started reading it I thought it was going to be a sort of early Dahl tales of the unexpected type of story. How we'd love some new ones like his! But it's a story about a vulgar man on a train, it's ok if you fancy a quick read in your dinner hour.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Awful 25 Jan 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
What a complete waste of time. Surely if were sitting quietly on a train and a truly horrible person sat down opposite (or even near) you, you would move - wouldn't you? I know I would. I did finish it as it was, thank heavens, a very short story, but it was just SO silly and annoying I deleted it from my Kindle before I threw it out the window.

I have come to the conclusion that Julia Crouch is just not for me, as this must be the thrid or fourth time I've tried to read her books.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Instantly forgotten
First of all my fault I didn't realise it was a short story. Was intrigued by the beginning and thought this might be good. How wrong was I! Read more
Published 3 months ago by MH
4.0 out of 5 stars English manners encapsulated
Nice quiet lady minding her own business on a train has her space invaded by horrible uninhibited man. Eventually, and very quietly, she retaliates. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Val, Hertsmere
3.0 out of 5 stars Only Short But No Errors
This author was recommended to me and as she had this short story as a free download I gave her a try. I don't read short stories as a rule. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Lynda Kelly
5.0 out of 5 stars Familarity on a Train
Great short story, extremely well written. I laughed aloud at everything I recognised - which being a similar age to Sally and a big fan of Julia, was a lot. Read more
Published 7 months ago by katemaccormack
4.0 out of 5 stars A lovely little tale, especially for reading on a train journey.
A great little tale of what could happen on a train, especially if you are one of those annoying people mentioned and one of your fellow passengers is not feeling as full of good... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Chris Graham
3.0 out of 5 stars It is what it is....
Not great literature, and not even a mystery (very easy to see the conclusion coming). Just a brief and mildly entertaining diversion.
Published 9 months ago by Dr Janet
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it
This is just a short story but it was clever and one you had to keep reading. I like this author and have read a few of her books now and will get more.
Published 10 months ago by Bookworm
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