Friday, February 10, 2017

The Passenger - Lisa Lutz

The Passenger
Title: The Passenger
Author: Lisa Lutz
Publication Date: 3/1/16
Pages: 304
Genre: Thriller / Fiction
How I Found It: Nowhere specific - I've just seen people talking about it.
Date Completed: 1/22/17

Summary: Tanya leaves her husband's body at the bottom of the stairs and hits the road, running away from a death once again. Lutz chronicles her attempts to live off the grid and assume one identity after another, always hoping to stay one step ahead of her past.

What I Thought: This one had me riveted from the first line. In fact, I read the first line aloud to Kevin when I started it and specifically said, "Isn't that an awesome first line of a novel?" He, in turn, asked me to add it to his post-MBA reading list. 

Of course, with a suspenseful, great opening, there is always a fear that things will devolve from there. It's a hard task for a book to live up to a great beginning. Lutz accomplished the task easily. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. I don't often stay up into the night to finish a book anymore, but I did with this one. I read probably the whole second half in one sitting before falling asleep. I needed to know what happened.

Lutz really gets into the idea of how hard it is these days to live off the grid or to assume someone else's identity. Each time Tanya took off and became another person, I was struck by the simplicity of the initial change and the increasing complexity the longer she held on to it. What an exhausting life to lead. Unsurprisingly, as the book goes on, she gets more and more desperate, leading her to make increasingly irrational choices. 

I really want to talk about the plot any more than that. It's a thriller, after all. The more I give away, the more I am taking away from you when you choose to read this book. And you should choose to read it. I hate doing Gone Girl comparisons because I think that's a connection that has been far overplayed by many marketing and publishing firms. However, this book has a similar tone and certainly the same suspenseful grip on the reader. If you like that sort of story, you will definitely enjoy this one. 

Rating: ★★★★☆
Will I Re-Read: No, but I want to read more by Lutz
If You Liked This, Try: Gone Girl Unbecoming The Girl on the Train / Luckiest Girl Alive

A Reduced Review: A riveting thriller that follows one woman's attempt to escape her past by continually reinventing herself. 


  1. Is it a dry-satire on current modern America the way "Gone Girl" is? In the case of "Gone Girl" the satire is so dry that most reviews don't seem to even realize that it is satirical. Flynn's Sharp Objects is a bit more earthy (being set in trailer park land), but similarly satirical.

    I ask, because that's what I thought elevated Gone Girl beyond just a clever who-done-it.

    1. I don't think this one had the satire element, but it definitely had a similar dry wit.