Customer Reviews


9 Reviews
5 star:
 (4)
4 star:
 (3)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really Powerful Piece
At a time when gory stories of police hunts of predictable killers abound, it is a literary event to read a 'thriller' that is truly memorable. O'Brien's use of real events to create a novel that is terrible and tragic, with a protagonist that is an understandably monstrous, almost fairy-tale bogeyman spawned by a society dark in violence and retribution, is a feat only...
Published on 22 May 2002 by G. L. Smerdon

versus
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A disturbing read
This novel is set in the countryside of Western Ireland and based on a true story which occurred in the Spring of 1994; it's a deeply disturbing read and one I felt uncomfortable with.

A young boy, Mich O'Kane, unhinged by the death of his mother and abused by a priest, is failed by an inadequate welfare society and eventually locked up for a serious crime...
Published on 2 Sept. 2010 by Isola


Most Helpful First | Newest First

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really Powerful Piece, 22 May 2002
By 
G. L. Smerdon (South Africa) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: In the Forest (Hardcover)
At a time when gory stories of police hunts of predictable killers abound, it is a literary event to read a 'thriller' that is truly memorable. O'Brien's use of real events to create a novel that is terrible and tragic, with a protagonist that is an understandably monstrous, almost fairy-tale bogeyman spawned by a society dark in violence and retribution, is a feat only the best of writers could accomplish. The forest itself, enduring image in fairy-tale and folklore, is a central symbol, lair of the outcast Mich and home to Eily, victim of his wrath against the forest of the world that, unable to cope with its demons, has rejected him. The writing is taut and controlled, yet powerful enough to take the reader into the heart of the horror, to recognise it and understand it. This novel should re-establish O'Brien as one of the best writers of this generation, and deserves the highest recommendation.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vintage O'Brien, 21 Dec. 2010
This review is from: In the Forest (Paperback)
If you read books by Edna O'Brien,you must be prepared to come up against hard realities.While her first books presents young women finding their own way in the world and free from the often severe restraints placed on them normally at home,they can appear frivolous and even irresponsible.However ,the dark family secrets which have weighed them down are very apparent.
Her 2002 book ,"In The Forest",is for me the most upsetting,shocking book she has written.Having read several of her previous books,one is aware that she is a passionate investigator of the subjugation,humiliation,restrictions and physical and sexual abuse that too many women/children receive from the very people who should be nurturing and protecting them,namely,fathers,male relatives,priests ,nuns and male neighbours.This doesn't mean that she does not portray good people--she does ,but the burden of her fiction is the revelation and dissection of these familial and social ills.
"In The Forest"extends her sphere of interest to the tragedy of a neglected,wayward boy,who is bullied and sexually abused and who becomes schizophrenic.Receiving neither help nor guidance from the relevant authorities,he commits two horrific murders.The author has developed a narrative skill which weaves the different strands into a satisfying whole.Descriptions are telling,rich even poetic,not fillers,but relevant ,lucid,essential.Location is vital,characters memorable.
i found this book deeply disturbing and shocking.However,the humanity and compassion of the author shines through it.Therefore I recommend it.Edna O'Brien was much criticised,as she has been all along by church and public opinion,for adapting the true story of an actual murder,However,I feel she chose to do so because it embodied her profound concerns.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A disturbing read, 2 Sept. 2010
By 
Isola (Wiltshire UK) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: In the Forest (Paperback)
This novel is set in the countryside of Western Ireland and based on a true story which occurred in the Spring of 1994; it's a deeply disturbing read and one I felt uncomfortable with.

A young boy, Mich O'Kane, unhinged by the death of his mother and abused by a priest, is failed by an inadequate welfare society and eventually locked up for a serious crime. Upon release he becomes obsessed with a young, red haired free spirit, Eily Ryan, who is living with her young son in a dilapidated cottage where he used to sleep rough.

Nick-named 'The Kinderschreck' (one who frightens children) he abducts his victim and child to subject them to unspeakable horrors in the woods. He then brutally murders them, along with a young priest he has enticed with a 'last rites' lie.

I found this novel to be a hair-raising tale; a confrontation between evil and innocence, with frightening glimpses into the killer's deranged fantasies.

The writing was graphic, indeed brilliant, with good use of myth, symbol and local lore but it was an ugly, repulsive story; tragically based on real life.

It may be insensitive to the grief of the victim's families, although I personally feel the author is trying to understand what happened, not exploit it. I just did not enjoy reading this controversial novel.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping from the start, 25 Jan. 2008
By 
Sonia (Delft, the Netherlands) - See all my reviews
This review is from: In the Forest (Paperback)
Based on true events where a young mother, her child and a local priest were brutally slain in Ireland, In the Forest tells the story of a perturbed young man, who has spent most of his life in juvenile institutions and prison.
O'Brien skilfully paints the picture of a lonely child, seriously distraught after his mother's death, whose wild actions start as pranks but become more serious as he grows into manhood, until he commits the ultimate crime. By revealing the perpetrator's background and life experience the reader is somewhat forced to view him perhaps not with sympathy, but certainly as a human being.
I could not put this book down. Reading it was rewarding for its beautiful and remarkable prose, but it was first and foremost agonizing, as I could not help feeling horrified, distraught and sad at the victims' agonizing deaths.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark Beauty, 20 Aug. 2007
By 
Ray "Take Five" (Wiltshire, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: In the Forest (Paperback)
This was the first book I had read by Edna O' Brien and it was sensational. Chapters in first person interchange with those in third person. The first person is not always the same character. This makes for a clever and enjoyable read. The subject matter is very dark but the cleverness of the writing keeps you engrossed. I have subsequently read more of her books but this one is outstanding
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Creepy but great characterisation, 14 Nov. 2007
By 
Book Worm (Dublin, Ireland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: In the Forest (Paperback)
I found the first chapter a bit disturbing, how it was written but you relaly got a sense of why Kinderschrek became the sort of deranged individual he became. I felt so sorry for him, and the disappointments he had to deal with in his life, it was heartbreaking to read all that rejection and cruelty. His menace was so well depicted and his mounting frustration and obsession almost claustraphobic. The other characters were believable and the tension built nicely. Overall I found it a depressing tale of a suppressed community. Very believable and opressive.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very dark stuff, 29 Dec. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: In the Forest (Paperback)
While Edna O'Brien leaves physical violence to the imagination she places the chilling reality of real murder squarely in front of the reader. I found a reluctance to follow where the story was leading, but still I had to go. Very chilling, very interesting and I will read it again I'm sure.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars A difficult but rewarding read, 8 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: In the Forest (Paperback)
This is the first time I have bought a secondhand book on Amazon. This book was out of print but I really wanted to read it having just finished Edna O'Brien's memoir, Country Girl. She is a brilliant writer with an incredibly precise and economical style which seems to get to the essence of something so effectively. In the Forest is a harrowing and uncomfortable read, inspired as it is by a notorious case in Ireland. However, I do think she explores the larger questions and issues beneath the surface of these terrible crimes and provokes important questions about community and fear and responsibility. The book has really stayed with me.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2.0 out of 5 stars Does what it says it will do, 20 Aug. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: In the Forest (Paperback)
I'm very happy to rate products that I have purchased through Amazon. I will rate as agreed via the star rating and will rate according to the cost, the availability, the value for money and the overall value of the product. I will not however write a review, the star rating is I feel perfectly adequate for the purpose of identifying value for money and good companies to deal with through Amazon.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

In the Forest
In the Forest by Edna O'Brien (Paperback - 6 Mar. 2003)
£8.99
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews