The Great Train Robbery, Week 4

Welcome to Week 4 of the Online Book Club discussion of The Great Train Robbery

Did the book end like you thought it would? Did you enjoy reading how all of the details and plans finally came together? I thought it was a satisfying ending. I thought there would be more scenes with the trial, but I wasn't sad that there weren't. I didn't think the trial was going to bring up any new information, so I wasn't upset that there weren't more courtroom scenes. 

This section starts with Pierce climbing across the top of the train to get to the gold. I thought it was hilarious that Pierce later said that he wore two pairs of undergarments to protect him from harm. Like an extra pair of underwear would really do anything! I thought it was interesting that Pierce planned meticulously for every single thing that could go wrong, and he planned the heist down to the last detail. But, he didn't consider the fact that he would get so dirty while climbing on the top of the train. It's a good thing that Agar was willing to share his clothes, or I think the whole thing would have been ruined. If you're curious about the climbing across the top of the train scene, check out the clip below. And, check out Michael Crichton's website page about the book. If you scroll down, you'll see the script for the scene, and you can read a description of how the filming went for Crichton and Sean Connery. 

The men successfully steal the gold by switching it with lead shot, and Pierce makes it off the train. I wasn't sure how it was going to go--I'm sure he looked a complete mess once he got off the train. It's lucky for him that his dirtiness translated to him looking sickly and not just dirty. After they steal the gold, it almost seems like nothing will come of the robbery. It seems like all of the authorities will just fight about it all and wouldn't get organized enough to look for a suspect. However, eventually, Pierce gets connected to the crime because Agar's mistress tries to get Agar out of prison by giving information about the train robbery. Were you surprised that Agar told what he knew about Pierce? I guess Pierce messed up by not giving Agar all that he was promised. 

In the end, Pierce is convicted, but when he heads to jail, he's able to escape. Do you think Miriam passed him the key when she kissed him in the court room? I definitely think that's what happened. I was glad Pierce escaped in the end--I think it was believable that he was able to trick everyone and stay out of jail. 

What did you think? Were you satisfied with the story? What do you think was your favorite part? Did you have a favorite character? 

If you'd like to read more about the real robbery that inspired the story, check out this site. You'll have to scroll to the bottom to get to the The Great Gold Robbery part. It's a pretty interesting story. How do you think it compares to the book we read? 

Finally, check out this museum description of the lead shot bullion box from the real robbery. Isn't that neat?

If you enjoyed this book and would like to read or watch similar items, check out this list I created. Make sure to let me know if you check out anything on the list! Or, let me know if you've enjoyed anything on the list. 

Thanks so much for following along this month! I can't wait to hear your thoughts about the book in the comments section. Next month, we're doing James Patterson and Dolly Parton's new book, Run, Rose, Run. There's no movie to accompany it, but there is a CD with original music from the book! Make sure to check out the Run Rose Run music CD to listen to while you read the book. I hope you'll join us again next month!