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Out of the Tunnel [Paperback]

Rachel North
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
RRP: 6.99
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Book Description

1 Aug 2007

Out of the Tunnel is the emotional and inspirational story of one woman's incredible experiences, her battle with, and victory over PTSD first time round and her remarkable ambition to use that experience to bring herself and her co-survivors out of the wreckage of carriage 1 on July 7th 2005.

Dramatic and traumatic, Rachel North skilfully and grippingly entwines the trauma of a vicious rape attack in 2002 and the unimaginable horror of being a passenger in the first carriage of the underground train that exploded at Kings Cross on 7 July 2005.

Barely recovered from the ordeal of a two-year trial that saw her attacker finally jailed in December 2004, Rachel was, by dreadful coincidence, reading the story of her rape in Marie Claire magazine when Germaine Lindsay detonated his bomb within a few feet of her.

Remarkably, Rachel escaped without serious physical injury, but the images from the tunnel that day have remained seared in her memory. Rachel found therapy in writing about her ordeal and is author of a critically acclaimed blog, the content of which forms the basis of part of this book.

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Out of the Tunnel + Into the Darkness: An Account of 7/7
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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: The Friday Project (1 Aug 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905548753
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905548750
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 449,851 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


‘In the terror of July 7th Rachel North found her own capacity for courage and discovered that she had extraordinary gifts as a writer, not the least of which is her powerful honestly.’
Fergal Keane

About the Author

Previously an advertising strategy director, Rachel is now a full-time writer. She lives in North London with her husband 'J', and her cat, Miff.

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Customer Reviews

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4.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving and courageous 14 Aug 2007
I first came across Rachel North via the blog she started writing after the events of 7 July. As a fellow Londoner, her experiences touched a chord with me. It could just as easily have been me or any one of my friends and family caught up in that horror. Rachel has brought the same vividness and honesty to telling her story in this book as she does to her blog writing. To learn that she had also suffered a rape attack a few years earlier only increased my admiration for her strength and courage. This is the story of the emotional and physical survival of an ordinary Londoner caught up in the kind of violent events we hear about too often on the news and pray never touch us. She does not dwell on the gruesome details, but tells us about the efforts and daily struggle it took to put her and others involved in the London bombings on the road to recovery. As she says towards the end, 'Other voices in the dark can help you carry on, and to continue your journey afterwards.'

I hope Rachel will continue to write in the same generous spirit.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gritty, yet compelling, and ultimately uplifting 30 July 2007
By Jim
While the subject matter in this autobiography is, at times, gruelling in the extreme, the power of North's writing and the force of her narrative make this an extremely compelling read. The accounts of the two attacks are honest, detailed, and harrowing, but North's insight into and belief in the strength of human nature shine through.

In one passage, North recounts writing a feature for the Sunday Times: "It was very hard to write. Not chewing-the-pencil-can't-think-what-to-say difficult, I mean that it made me cry. It hurt to write.... But the words flowed almost effortlessly; in that sense it was not hard to write at all." This is a perfect reflection of the experience of reading this book: at times it is painful to share in the traumatic experiences being described, yet the words flow from the page in such a way that it is almost impossible to stop.

Ultimately, this is an uplifting story. North chronicles the progression through PTSD toward recovery and the power gained through working in the support group she established. Both by her argument and her example, she leaves the reader with the sense that the human spirit is simply too strong to be defeated by violence. She maintains that she is "just an ordinary person," and while she may not be that different from any of the rest of us, she is clearly far from that. Perhaps the final message of this book is that we all have the capacity to be extraordinary.

A highly recommended read.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No Sympathy Needed Here 20 July 2007
Rachel North is a woman to feel sorry for. Three years after being the near-dead victim of a horrific rape, she found herself in a tube carriage, on 7th July 2005. The only thing which saved her from death was the crush of passengers between her and the suicide bomber a few feet away.

You would expect her story to make you cry, and feel immense pity.

I didn't. But I did find myself utterly gripped from the moment I started reading. I was carried along by this extraordinary woman's ability to tell a story, by wanting to know what would happen next - despite knowing most of it already.

And far from feeling pity I felt admiration, and was inspired. She has felt anger, of course she has. And despair, and fear, and sick dread. But she has never drawn the conclusion that Islam is to blame, and the last thing she wants is to fear her neighbours. And despite the pull of pessimism, she tries to focus on the people in the dark. Those fellow tube passengers who never even looked at each other until they faced that horror together and held each other's hands.

I consumed Out of the Tunnel eagerly, and what I got was an honest, touching and beautifully-written account, not just of suffering but of how to keep going and why, even if you have had your life threatened twice by random strangers, it's still worth trusting your fellow man.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't go back to your old job! 14 Aug 2007
When I heard Rachel had quit her well paid city job to become an author I thought it was a very brave move. However after reading 'Out of the Tunnel' that decision pales into insignificance. To recover from a rape attack which left her nearly dead was incredible. To then face a second attack on her life is something no person should ever have to do.

The fact that she has come out the other side as the person she is and is actually able to write her most harrowing yet inspiring story is nothing short of amazing. She may claim to be a normal every day girl but I'm not so sure about that. What I am more sure about is her talents as a writer.
A superb book which I hope everyone reads.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Coming out of the tunnel 30 July 2007
Rachel's style of writing is easy to digest, clearly communicative and a joy to read.

There was only a couple of pages that brought tears to my eyes but apart from that it is a pure rendition full of gritty honesty about her journey.

I would recommend that everyone read this.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
I have been a reader of Rachel's blog for a few years now and have followed her progress in writing this book with interest. I pre-ordered it from Amazon and to be honest was ever so slightly concerned that it would not live up to the build up; after all, Rachel gave up her day job to become a writer. Well this book does live up to it's build up and some. It is well written, flows beautifully, is powerful, shocking and compassionate. The rape scene shocked with it's powerful language and blunt frankness. The events in the hours after the explosion only a few feet away from where she stood are vivid yet stoic, and Rachel manages to capture raw emotion and wit in her narrative. I was thoroughly transported to the moment in the Aussie filled bar where Rachel diffuses the ranting man with the line "do you think, sorry, would you mind, not being so loud, only I've got a headache and I'm still in shock, there was a bomb on my train, I'm a bit freaked out, a bit shaken up still..."
I read this book in two sittings and would recommend it wholeheartedly.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational story
I've lost my heart while reading "Out of the tunnel" by Rachel North, who experienced being severely raped and survived after the deadly bomb explosion on 7 July 2005. Read more
Published 15 months ago by superblues
5.0 out of 5 stars Out of the Tunnel
I met Rachel last summer, when she taught a pole dancing workshop. She zipped up her sugar pink vinyl platform boots and swung round the pole, hair flying, then taught us to bump... Read more
Published on 15 Feb 2008 by Coco Forsythe
5.0 out of 5 stars Out of the Tunnel
This is a truly honest & compelling read. Certainly some parts make for disturbing reading on account of the candid explicit detail of the horror Rachel experienced. Read more
Published on 5 Nov 2007 by JJ
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read
I have been reading Rachel's blog for a number of years and was looking forward to this book and I was not disappointed, it was an excellent read, in some parts it was an... Read more
Published on 20 Oct 2007 by Elf Leader
5.0 out of 5 stars An incredible piece of work.
I read this book slowly, taking in every word written by the author. Rachel North described her rape, where she was left for dead in 2002 in such graphic detail that left me in... Read more
Published on 15 Oct 2007 by Zoe McCarthy
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful - thank you Rachel
This is just simply a great book - a true story told with honesty, insight, passion and clarity. It must have been very hard to write - - hint - keep a box of tissues handy. Read more
Published on 9 Sep 2007 by johnthefatman
4.0 out of 5 stars Rachel's continuing journey
I have been a regular reader of Rachel North's blog since she began it following the events of 7th July 2005. Read more
Published on 26 Aug 2007 by I. Connell
5.0 out of 5 stars A major talent: I hope she keeps writing
I was given this book before I went on holiday by my girlfriend who reads North's blog. I do not like 'misery memoirs' though I like biogs. Read more
Published on 25 Aug 2007 by R. Tully
4.0 out of 5 stars Not tunnel vision
The strapline on this books reads:
`Before and after 7/7: one woman's extraordinary story'

I have been reading Rachel's blog for years, and in this small way I feel... Read more
Published on 23 Aug 2007 by Mr. B. Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars When extraordinary things happen to ordinary people
Rachel North is telling us an 'everyman' story. She writes with courage and honesty about some of the extraordinary things that have happened to her - and that she would never... Read more
Published on 21 Aug 2007 by J. H. Young
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