View Full Version : EoFF Book Club - September - The Man on Platform Five

09-02-2017, 12:15 PM

The Man on Platform Five by Robert Llewellyn

And now for something completely different.

After the often harsh memoir of a family in extreme poverty, we now go into something rather more comical (I think?). This is Bubba's suggestion for this month so I hope you all enjoy it!

The Blurb

Two posh girls, Gresham and Eupheme, are sitting on a train at Milton Keynes station when they see a trainspotter: a pathetic, badly-dressed saddo with a terrible haircut and a worse anorak. The two are half-sisters and have always fought: now their argument rages over the trainspotter. Is he doomed to eternal nerdiness or could he be taught to appreciate the finer things in life? Eupheme bets he can: in time for Gresham's engagement party she will have transformed him into a man that her sister would want to sleep with.

Where to find a copy

- Try your local library first of all. Nothing beats free reading!
- If they don't have a physical copy, check to see if they have a digital library and see if they have a eBook or eAudiobook.
- If that fails, check used book shops or used book websites online. You can often get a good deal. You could also use eReaders and apps to check their prices, like Kindle or Kobo.


Unlike regular book groups, I'll keep this thread open for discussion throughout the month for people to post first impressions and ongoing thoughts about the story.

Obviously, put such talk in spoiler tags. At the end of the month (I'm going to set a date for the 29th September), discussion no longer needs to be put in tags. Think of that date as the time we would meet up normally if this was a physical book club.

Anyway, I hope you all manage to find a copy. This book might be more challenging to find compared to the The Glass Castle.

If someone's really struggling, post about it and I'll see what I can do.

Book Order

Jinx - August - The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
Bubba - September - The Man on Platform Five by Robert Llewellyn
Mr. Carnelian

09-02-2017, 12:31 PM
There are no eBooks so it's physical copy or bust.

09-02-2017, 01:49 PM
Okay so my library has exactly one copy, held at its County Store, so that's my (and Mr. Carny's) copy sorted.

I was checking on Amazon and there are some used copies from $2.07 or from 0.01, depending on which country you're viewing from. A cursory look at my library's ebook service makes it very clear it isn't on there. My Kobo app doesn't register it either. I doubt it would be on Kindle, but I can get Mr. Carny to check.

So yeah, Shauna's right. Physical copies only for this one is what I'm seeing, but it shouldn't be too difficult to source a physical copy on the internet. Besides Amazon another good website I use is Waterstones Marketplace:


It also seems to stock a few good quality copies of the book as well, and I'm pretty sure they ship to America and whatnot.

Again, if anyone's struggling I can always source a copy for you!

09-02-2017, 02:02 PM
Looking forward to reading this again! Should be a nice change of pace after The Glass Castle.

Chibi Youkai
09-05-2017, 12:59 AM
This looks like it's going to be a challenge to track down. Going to hit the library tomorrow to look for it.

Edit: Just checked their online catalog, none of the libraries in my city have it. Amazon, it is.

09-05-2017, 03:16 AM
I can buy this from Amazon but won't get it until the end of the month, possibly October!

09-05-2017, 07:28 AM

09-07-2017, 05:06 PM

I am ready to go.

09-07-2017, 05:08 PM
tbh the dude on the cover is good looking and dresses like a hipster, so he'd probably be knockin' boots daily in modern times

09-07-2017, 06:32 PM
WHOO hoo! Enjoy Shauna :D

Chibi Youkai
09-08-2017, 01:02 AM
Lucky. Can't wait to hear your impressions on it. Mine'll be here sometime between the 14th and 29th. The cover does make me think of that one TLC show where they throw out your entire wardrobe and then force you to go shopping.

09-11-2017, 07:35 PM
How are we all getting on? Started again this morning and already whizzing through it. Have we all managed to find a copy? :lol:

09-11-2017, 08:03 PM
Still waiting on mine! On my tracking on Amazon it just says "shipping".

Chibi Youkai
09-11-2017, 08:44 PM
I got a notice yesterday saying that it would get here on the 29th. Any chance we can extend this month's discussion for a week or so?

09-11-2017, 10:30 PM
I got a notice yesterday saying that it would get here on the 29th. Any chance we can extend this month's discussion for a week or so?

Well, the discussion thread doesn't really get closed, so you're good. :)

09-11-2017, 11:14 PM
Also, whoever's next to recommend might want to think about doing it soon. If it's anything like my book we need all the time we can get :lol:

09-19-2017, 07:06 PM
So I finished it in a day, as I am wont to do.

I don't know my feelings on it. It reads very dated, and I'm not sure if it's a good thing. I kind of enjoyed it, but I also kind of didn't? I definitely enjoyed the first half more than the second half, at the very least.

I'll give it some time to sit, then will try and articulate again.

09-19-2017, 07:23 PM
Also Mr Carny should get a book picked so we can start getting that ordered in. x}

09-19-2017, 07:36 PM
I think he already has!

Update for me! So it arrived yesterday so I've just started. The character of Gresham is hilariously ascerbic, she's a delightful bitch. Eupheme, or 'Yoofeemee' seems pleasant, if somewhat 'I can change the world' in attitude. Only 40 pages in, so I'll keep reading and see how this challenge pans out.

09-19-2017, 07:42 PM
Oh what book has he picked out for us? :O

09-20-2017, 08:15 PM
Finished last week and it's still a fun read after all these years :D

Mr. Carnelian
09-21-2017, 04:38 PM
Where do I say what the book for October is? Is there a dedicated place where we're putting the book picks?

Anywho, the book is Babel 17 by Samuel R. Delany. It's probably his most readily-accessible novel - it would be unfair to hit you with Stars in my Pocket like Grains of Sand right out of the gate.

Babel 17's got a bold and intelligent female protagonist in Rydra Wong, polyamory, bisexuality, cyber-prostitutes and musings on the interconnected nature of language and thought. Plus, it's not that long. Aren't I good to you.

Haven't read your book yet, Bubba, but I'll be right on it as soon as Formy's finished. Shouldn't take me more than two days at the most.

09-21-2017, 06:36 PM
After some time to let it all sink in... I can't say that I'd pick it up again.

I guess my main problem is that I just didn't find any of it all that funny (which I assume it was meant to be), which left me with just taking it all at face value. Things that could be just waved off as "Silly fun!" I just am completely unable to do so. My enjoyment definitely peaked during the make-over part of the book. The latter half I can't say I liked at all. I felt that the characters were doing things that made no sense in the grand scheme of things.

Eh. What can you do.

I'm glad I read it though! Always enjoy consuming all the media even if I don't end up liking it in the end.

Neat. Got the book on my Kindle, awaiting October! :excited:

09-21-2017, 06:41 PM
Gotta be honest, didn't read this month's book because it was just so hard to get a hold of. But I might read it sometime in the future and I'll post my thoughts.

09-21-2017, 06:59 PM
I'm still waiting on it. My tracking thing on amazon is lame and just says "SHIPPED" so I have no idea where it is in transit.

Looks like Mr Carny's will be easier to find though so that's good news!

09-21-2017, 07:56 PM
About 200 pages in now, definitely into the meat of the book.

I think so far it reads very much like a rom-com film. It does read dated, but I think that's because it was written in what, the 90's or something. If anything, the fact that it reads as it does is a benefit: it kinda adds to the kooky, romcom stretches of belief that Shauna mentioned.

It is all a bit contrived, but for light reading it's perfectly enjoyable.

09-22-2017, 10:11 AM
Ordered Mr Carny's book, should be here for the start of October :D

09-25-2017, 01:01 AM
OKAY! I just got this in today! (technically yesterday but I didn't check the mail)

Mr. Carnelian
09-26-2017, 10:14 PM
I quite enjoyed this. Up to about halfway through, I was enjoying it a lot. But at the tail-end, an entirely unnecessary misogynistic strain became more and more prominent.

Honestly, I didn't find any of the characters terribly likeable, overall. They all had their likeable moments, but at the end of the book I was left with the overwhelming impression that pretty much all of them were fundamentally unpleasant. Eupheme has an underlying conviction that she's "better" than other people. Gresham is only interested in other people for what she can get out of them. Ian thinks that women are these strange creatures who can be reduced to a trumped-up Excel spreadsheet.

All that being said, this was quite good fun and easy to read. Not the sort of thing I normally read, so it was nice for a change.

09-26-2017, 10:28 PM
I'm only a few chapters in but good god is this book so incredibly british

Chibi Youkai
09-30-2017, 04:51 AM
Hey, my copy of the book came in sometime while I was at Disney. I have a 24-hour shift on Sunday, so I'll take it with me and hopefully be able to read a good chunk of it then.

10-04-2017, 06:26 PM
How is everyone getting on with Babel-17?

Mine came through a few days ago and it turns out I'd ordered a copy in French :|

I'm just waiting for my replacement to arrive!

10-09-2017, 11:11 AM
Smurf I knew I forgot to do something on EoFF. Making that thread now!