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Derailed | [James Siegel]

Derailed

Every day Charles Schine rides the 8:43 into New York City to do the job he has done for over a decade...until the day he is late for his regular train, and sits down across from the woman of his dreams. He is about to discover that once you leave the straight and narrow, getting back on track is the most perilous journey of all. And for Charles, that journey - of lies, terror, and deception - has just begun.
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Publisher's Summary

Every day Charles Schine rides the 8:43 to do the job he has done for over a decade in a New York advertising agency. With a wife and an ill child who depend on him, Charles is not a man who likes changes or takes risks...until he is later for his regular train, and sits down across from the woman of his dreams.

Her name is Lucinda. Like Charles, she is married. Like Charles, she takes the train every day to work in New York City. Her train is the 9:05, and tomorrow she will be on it again, and so will Charles. For there is something about Lucinda, the flash of thigh beneath her short skirt, the way every man on the train is eyeing her, something about this time of the morning that will make Charles take a chance he shouldn't take, break a vow he shouldn't break, and enter a room he should never enter.

In a matter of days, a flirtation turns to a passion, and Charles and Lucinda are drawn into the dark side of the American Dream. In a matter of weeks, Charles's life is in shambles. A man is dead. A small fortune is stolen. Charles's home is violated and everything violently spirals out of control.

But Charles is about to discover that once you leave the straight and narrow, getting back on track is the most perilous journey of all. And for Charles, that journey - of lies, terror, and deception - has just begun.

©2003 James Siegel. All Rights Reserved; (P)2003 Time Warner Audiobooks

What the Critics Say

"The buzz is warranted: this story of a middle-class professional whose life goes incredibly, criminally awry is one of the most exciting thrillers in years. With its clean prose, high-velocity plotting and just the right amount of emotional shading darkening its sharply drawn characters, this novel is the bomb." (Publishers Weekly)

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What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (106 )
5 star
 (39)
4 star
 (31)
3 star
 (24)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (9)
Overall
3.7 (13 )
5 star
 (3)
4 star
 (6)
3 star
 (2)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (1)
Story
4.1 (12 )
5 star
 (5)
4 star
 (4)
3 star
 (2)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (0)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    J 03-11-03
    J 03-11-03
    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    93
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "its just ok"

    The first few chapters and setup are great, but the book goes downhill quickly and then into the downright unbelieveable and stupid and finally into the just plain absurd. Also, the turning point in the book early on, is described in far too much graphic detail. More detail than is used through the rest of the book's writing style. Not worth a selection. As in the other comments, I don't knon where the hype came from..except from the publisher's own PR department.

    15 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marilyn Bellevue, WA, USA 03-08-03
    Marilyn Bellevue, WA, USA 03-08-03 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    24
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Skip This One"

    I don't understand the "buzz" about this book that is touted on the website review. The initial premise is interesting, but once the dilemma is set up, the hero's choices are increasingly absurd and frankly, unbelievable! A frustrating and unsatisfying read.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William New York, NY, United States 06-26-03
    William New York, NY, United States 06-26-03 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    84
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    133
    23
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Kept me on track"

    I liked this book - there was enough suspense to keep my interest and I didn't have to suspend disbelief to accept the plausibility of the plot. The reader was excellent - he added to my enjoyment of the book. Note to author and editor, however: be sure you know the meaning of police radio calls - receiving a "10-4" is not an emergency call, but an acknowledgement of message received.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike Altobello medford, MA USA 05-02-03
    Mike Altobello medford, MA USA 05-02-03 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    34
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "disappointed...way out there."

    When I came across this book (I think it was one of audible's recommended books), and saw the comments from Publisher's Weekly, etc..., I couldn't wait to read it. It started well enough...great really. The author and narrator do a great job setting up the story, bringing you into the character's life, and showing why he got caught up in this nightmare. They do a great job describing the nightmare. The main character's response is frustratingly weak, but that's just the character, right? So why only one star...?

    As a reviewer on amazon said "imagine the space shuttle falling out of the sky and hitting the bad guys on the head...". This describes the major plot twist that saves the main character. If you read "Derailed" now, you'll likely be waiting for this twist. Sorry about that, but if you're likely to get disappointed by a really good setup, that takes a far-fetched turn then limps weakly to the ending, better not to bother with it.

    I've read (and listened to) books that i liked less than derailed, but few that I thought so highly of halfway through.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kevin Boise, ID, USA 04-22-03
    Kevin Boise, ID, USA 04-22-03
    HELPFUL VOTES
    31
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Derailed"

    If you want to listen to a book about a guy that by all accounts gets his ass kicked multiple times then download. I half expected to find out that he had a sign taped to his back that said 'kick me alot'. I found the book so frustrating that I had to stop listening. If the author wanted us to feel sorry for the main character, then he failed. This book wasn't a gripping, exciting tale, but rather one about a mouse of a man that didn't roar.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard J. Riker Southampton, NJ USA 03-14-03
    Richard J. Riker Southampton, NJ USA 03-14-03 Member Since 2000

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    130
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    72
    27
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    4
    2
    Overall
    "A real page-turner (if we had pages)"

    I can understand some of the earlier reviewers' comments about the main character in this book. Charles is not strong! He is not clearly focussed! He makes some really stupid choices! Is that all that unrealistic a description of many people in the real world -- maybe even some of us?

    I found "Derailed" to be generally fascinating. It was often frustrating when Charles did something that I could not agree with but I had little problem in seeing his own changing motivations. The greatest book ever written? Hardly! An excellent and fun (often disturbing) read? Absolutely.

    I would be remiss if I did not comment favorably on Gregory Harrison's reading. Excellent! He made me really hate that bad guy. I myself might even have . . . Well, we'll skip that.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Boyce Brentwood, TN, United States 06-04-14
    Boyce Brentwood, TN, United States 06-04-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    45
    29
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    9
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Dark, very dark!!"
    Would you listen to Derailed again? Why?

    This is the second time that I listened to it. The first time was about 8 years ago. Really a good read. Major suspenseful twist that I never saw coming the first time. One of the reasons I reread it was because I kept thinking about that twist and I wanted to listen again to how it was developed.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The big twist mentioned above.


    Who was the most memorable character of Derailed and why?

    Charles. The story was told from his perspective. Gregory Harrison is an excellent narrator. Did a fabulous job.


    Any additional comments?

    Yeah....I also saw the movie about ten years ago. Guess I really like the story. Oh...Jennifer Aniston starred as Lucinda, so I was seeing her as I listened to the book. Made it even better. I think it is one of her best movies.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DWR Minnesota, USA 07-09-13
    DWR Minnesota, USA 07-09-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    19
    19
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Gave up after first improbable violent situation."

    I don't give up on a book often but this one soon left me dry. It is so contrived that I wanted to yell at the author to get real; but if it had reality, this would been a very short story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aleksandr Kirkland, WA, United States 12-01-11
    Aleksandr Kirkland, WA, United States 12-01-11 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    31
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Surprisingly interesting"

    The story is very interesting.
    The only unprovable event is the explosion in the hotel, and its timing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lorna deland, FL, USA 03-04-10
    Lorna deland, FL, USA 03-04-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    77
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Terrific!"

    One of the best books I have listened to in the last year.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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