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Out of the Tunnel Paperback – 1 Aug 2007


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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: 12 x 1.9 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 147,152 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

‘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.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Leonora351 on 14 Aug 2007
Format: Paperback
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 By Jim on 30 July 2007
Format: Paperback
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 By C. Sudbery on 20 July 2007
Format: Paperback
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 By M. Hendy on 18 July 2007
Format: Paperback
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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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jamie Mackler on 14 Aug 2007
Format: Paperback
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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