Platform Seven

Platform Seven

Platform Seven at 4am: Peterborough Railway Station is deserted. The man crossing the covered walkway on this freezing November morning is confident he's alone. As he sits on the metal bench at the far end of the platform it is clear his choice is strategic - he's as far away from the night staff as he can get.What the man doesn't realise is that he has company. Lisa Evans...

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Title:Platform Seven
Author:Louise Doughty
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Edition Language:English

Platform Seven Reviews

  • Grace Nielsen

    I couldn't put this book down. It twists and turns so you are unsure of what the focus of the story is but I really enjoyed that about it. I don't want to give anything away but I encourage people to read this as it is a fab book.

  • Gram

    An intriguing mix of psychological thriller and ghost story - and much more.

    It begins with details of the late night/early morning events at a railway station in eastern England and the staff who work there. At 4 on a freezing November morning, Peterborough Railway Station is deserted. An unseen narrator, whose name we learn later is Lisa, notes the appearance of an elderly man who is sitting on a bench at the far end of Platform 7. Lisa knows what the man is thinking, but she is powerless to s

    An intriguing mix of psychological thriller and ghost story - and much more.

    It begins with details of the late night/early morning events at a railway station in eastern England and the staff who work there. At 4 on a freezing November morning, Peterborough Railway Station is deserted. An unseen narrator, whose name we learn later is Lisa, notes the appearance of an elderly man who is sitting on a bench at the far end of Platform 7. Lisa knows what the man is thinking, but she is powerless to save him. Soon afterwards, he walks to edge of the platform and, as a goods train thunders through the station, he falls on to the tracks.

    What follows is an almost mundane account of the aftermath of this man's suicide as various members of staff try to cope with what has happened. It is particularly harrowing for Dalmar, an immigrant working at the station, who saw the man and yelled a warning just before he jumped. There's a seriously grim description of the clean-up crew removing the pieces of the body from the railway line which has a particularly unsettling effect on a young police officer, PC Lockhart.

    This is the 2nd death on Platform Seven in 18 months and Lisa was the first of the two who died. She feels these deaths are somehow connected.

    Lisa is our "spirit guide" throughout this book. Through her we eavesdrop on conversations and even the thoughts of various characters, especially a young man called Caleb on whom she becomes fixated. Gradually, we learn more about Lisa, her former life and the reason she is trapped in Peterborough Railway Station. As she makes desperate attempts to communicate with the living, there's a dramatic change in her circumstances. This is a dark, unsettling read in places but also an uplifting, almost spiritual tale which will ultimately reward the reader.

    Many thanks to Faber & Faber and NetGalley for a copy of this book in return for an unbiased review.

  • Ceecee

    I’ve read several books by Louise Doughty and liked them all but I thought this one was breathtakingly good and arguably her best book yet. I couldn’t put it down and was gripped from the start in this twisty tale. . I don’t want to say much about the plot as it would spoil it for future readers so suffice it to say it concerns what happened to Lisa Evans at Peterborough station. The atmosphere in the book was fantastic throughout and you could picture the action on Platform 7 and elsewhere. The

    I’ve read several books by Louise Doughty and liked them all but I thought this one was breathtakingly good and arguably her best book yet. I couldn’t put it down and was gripped from the start in this twisty tale. . I don’t want to say much about the plot as it would spoil it for future readers so suffice it to say it concerns what happened to Lisa Evans at Peterborough station. The atmosphere in the book was fantastic throughout and you could picture the action on Platform 7 and elsewhere. The book gave me so many different emotions from intrigue to empathy to shock and anger. The tension was released through little flashes of humour which I appreciated. There was a real hint of menace at times which was almost palpable. The characters were easy to picture and most of them were very likeable and sympathetic with the exception of Matt. This book showed how one event can set off a chain reaction which led to disaster. There were several themes - control and possession, love and loss, abuse and learning to recover, anger and helplessness. The ending was good and I liked the optimistic way the novel finished. It’s an unusual and daring idea to set a story in and around a station but it so worked. The author captured the hustle and bustle but also that stations can be the scene of tragedy in this superbly different story. Highly recommended.

  • Vikki Patis

    When I tried to explain this book to my partner, the only way to describe it was: 'it's really weird but really good'. Platform Seven is a unique book, not only because it is told from the perspective of a ghost, but because it reads like a coming-of-age story, as Lisa follows her past in order to release her spirit. We watch her watch herself, watch her understanding develop. Through the relationship with Matty, with her parents, the united front who always irritated her, with her friends and c

    When I tried to explain this book to my partner, the only way to describe it was: 'it's really weird but really good'. Platform Seven is a unique book, not only because it is told from the perspective of a ghost, but because it reads like a coming-of-age story, as Lisa follows her past in order to release her spirit. We watch her watch herself, watch her understanding develop. Through the relationship with Matty, with her parents, the united front who always irritated her, with her friends and colleagues and alone in her flat, her thoughts and feelings as the years seemed to rush by.

    Platform Seven is a gripping, winding tale of life, death, and the space in between, the space where we find love and truth and ourselves.

  • Laura

    In Platform Seven, Louise Doughty continues to showcase her versatility as a writer (her two previous novels, Apple Tree Yard and Black Water, were both very different and very good) by framing a familiar psychological thriller narrative with something more unsettling. Since her death, Lisa Evans has been confined to the boundaries of Peterborough Railway Station, unable to do anything but observe its staff and commuters and occasionally encounter others of her kind - from the man who killed him

    In Platform Seven, Louise Doughty continues to showcase her versatility as a writer (her two previous novels, Apple Tree Yard and Black Water, were both very different and very good) by framing a familiar psychological thriller narrative with something more unsettling. Since her death, Lisa Evans has been confined to the boundaries of Peterborough Railway Station, unable to do anything but observe its staff and commuters and occasionally encounter others of her kind - from the man who killed himself on Platform Seven to the 'malign presence' that inhabits the multi-storey car park across the road. At first, Lisa cannot remember what happened to her, but gradually it all starts coming back...

    This could have felt like an awkward sandwich of ghost story and thriller, but Doughty pulls it off by making the whole text feel a little haunted; even when Lisa is alive, her absence seizures detach her from her body and give her a certain distance on her own life. She also uses Lisa's omniscient narration to portray normal lives interlinked in a way that is reminiscent of Jon McGregor's If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things, and has the same uplifting quality. Doughty writes in her acknowledgments that she'd like to thank the station staff 'despite their understandable bafflement that anyone should want to write a novel set on Peterborough Railway Station.' However, her choice of setting is wise; the banality of Peterborough works well with her exploration of ordinary kindness and ordinary estrangement in a way that a more evocative setting would not have done. The middle section of this novel, which is undoubtedly the most gripping but also the least original, is lifted above a typical thriller by the quality of Doughty's writing and the way in which she explores the deeper context of Lisa's life and death.

    Platform Seven is a wonderful literary thriller, and the only reason I haven't given it a higher rating was because of the ending, which I felt spelt out the 'message' of the book too clearly; Doughty had already effectively conveyed everything she needed to say in the previous chapters. Nevertheless, I'd recommend this to both old fans and new.

    I received a free proof copy of this novel from the publisher for review.

  • Roman Clodia

    While this doesn't have the immediate compulsive grab of Doughty's

    , it ends up being a more mature book by the end. Do stick with it, though - I found the first 25-30% hard going and difficult to pick up the tail of the narrative: but by the time Lisa starts telling her own

    While this doesn't have the immediate compulsive grab of Doughty's

    , it ends up being a more mature book by the end. Do stick with it, though - I found the first 25-30% hard going and difficult to pick up the tail of the narrative: but by the time Lisa starts telling her own story of her life with Matty, I was hooked.

    There are definite shades of

    and

    , and a strength is Doughty's forensic application of detail and specificity as Lisa's fairy-tale romance starts to drip-feed unease before turning down some dark routes.

    It's only gradually that the range of characters introduced at the start begin to make sense - and I love the way Doughty balances a troubling vision with something more life enhancing and positive. A page-turner, then, that also deals intelligently with emotive and important topics.

    Many thanks to Faber & Faber for an ARC via NetGalley.

  • Paromjit

    This is an unnerving, chilling and deeply unsettling novel from Louise Doughty, a literary blend of haunting ghost story and thriller revolving around two suicides that take place on the eponymous Platform Seven at Peterborough Station. In the very early hours of a bitterly cold November morning, a man makes his way to an isolated part of the station, far from any member of staff, thinking himself entirely alone as he walks purposefully to the edge of the platform. He is not alone, he is closely

    This is an unnerving, chilling and deeply unsettling novel from Louise Doughty, a literary blend of haunting ghost story and thriller revolving around two suicides that take place on the eponymous Platform Seven at Peterborough Station. In the very early hours of a bitterly cold November morning, a man makes his way to an isolated part of the station, far from any member of staff, thinking himself entirely alone as he walks purposefully to the edge of the platform. He is not alone, he is closely observed by the ghost of Lisa Evans, a secondary school teacher who had herself committed suicide there, but she is unable to intervene and prevent the tragedy that ensues. Unusually, the story is narrated by Lisa's ghost.

    Amidst the background of every day life, conversations and ordinariness of the busy Peterborough Station, we learn about the repercussions of the suicides on station staff and others, such as a young police officer. As the narrative unfolds, we learn of Lisa's disturbing relationship with Dr Matthew Goodison, a man who turned out not to be who he first appeared to be, a controlling, coercive and abusive man, and members of Lisa's family. In a painfully realistic manner, Doughty outlines the difficulties of leaving abusive partners, and that unfortunately, justice is not always the end result. Despite the harrowing nature of the subject matter, Doughty manages to infuse the book with the spirit of hope that makes reading this a bearable experience.

    This is a compulsive read, beautifully written, with vibrant characterisation, sensitive in its approach to its emotionally upsetting issues. It touches on tragedies, grief, love, hate, loss, suffering and domestic drama, and of finally understanding that we are not as alone as we may think. This is an emotionally engaging read that touches on a vitally important issue in society, a roller coaster of a book which packs a punch. Many thanks to Faber and Faber for an ARC.

  • Lou

    Platform Seven is Ms Doughty's ninth thriller and this time the paranormal plays a substantial part in the story as our narrator is actually a ghost. It's a very dark and unsettling read with a real sense of mystery and a fiendishly twisty narrative full of surprises. It broaches some important issues sensitively and compassionately too and given that we rarely see the issue of suicide depicted in a fictional manner (although Peterborough Station is very much real) I thought it was brave and adm

    Platform Seven is Ms Doughty's ninth thriller and this time the paranormal plays a substantial part in the story as our narrator is actually a ghost. It's a very dark and unsettling read with a real sense of mystery and a fiendishly twisty narrative full of surprises. It broaches some important issues sensitively and compassionately too and given that we rarely see the issue of suicide depicted in a fictional manner (although Peterborough Station is very much real) I thought it was brave and admirable. The atmosphere was built up until it became quite oppressive and the story genuinely chilling. I rarely get rattled by a book, but Doughty has penned a disturbing ghost tale that really got under my skin. Despite this, it was a compulsively readable and exquisitely written tale that deserves a wide readership.

    The unnerving story follows two suicides that have taken place on Platform Seven and the impact that they had on not only the family and friends of the victims but all of the people involved including station staff, police and medical professionals. Sadly, as with all things, these deaths are only present in people's minds for a short time and then he busyness of the station and everyday life once again takes over. The narrative also touches on Lisa's experience at the hands of an abusive partner; it's not an easy read by any stretch of the imagination because of the potent topics it explores, but somehow the feeling of hope is still alive and kicking despite this. Overall, Platform Seven is an emotional story with characters that leap off the pages and into your heart and a plot that is as original as it is gripping. Many thanks to Faber & Faber for an ARC.

  • Pauline

    The ghost of a girl killed by a train at Platform Seven is trapped in the station. She spends her time observing the passengers and staff. Early one morning a man at the end of the platform falls in front of a train.

    Slowly Lisa's memory begins to return and now she remembers her name and the events leading up to her death.

    This was a slow moving tale about relationships and consequences.

    Thanks you to NetGalley and Faber & Faber for my e-copy copy in exchange for an honest review.

  • Liz Barnsley

    Platform Seven is beautifully written I sank into the writing of it - and the premise was clever and involving. Told from the point of view of a ghost, haunting a train station, there is a mix of mystery and drama that was immediately engaging.

    A 5* rating seemed likely, however I became less enamoured with the actual story by the time I was at the halfway stage. The prose and the way Louise Doughty uses language is second to none but genuinely I did feel it went on a bit. And on..and then on a b

    Platform Seven is beautifully written I sank into the writing of it - and the premise was clever and involving. Told from the point of view of a ghost, haunting a train station, there is a mix of mystery and drama that was immediately engaging.

    A 5* rating seemed likely, however I became less enamoured with the actual story by the time I was at the halfway stage. The prose and the way Louise Doughty uses language is second to none but genuinely I did feel it went on a bit. And on..and then on a bit more. As the ghostly figure endlessly drifted and self contemplated so did my mind wander.

    The character drama elements were wonderfully done as you learned more about the people working at the station, the background to the Platform Seven suicides, but I do feel a good chunk of the middle had too much nothing happening.

    Overall a good read that in my personal subjective opinion could do with a more hefty edit - beginning and ending magnificently but losing cohesion at the centre.

    Still recommended though. Especially if like me you live for those odd quirky beautiful sentences that hit you when you are reading a genuinely talented writers work.

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