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4.5 out of 5 stars
29
Out of the Tunnel
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on 1 October 2015
good read but very sad
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on 17 February 2015
I love this book
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on 5 January 2015
Excellent !!!!!
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on 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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on 24 November 2015
A strange book, somewhat devoid of cohesion with a narrative that feels patched together at times, but some strong prose and intimidating imagery mean that, if nothing else, it's at the very least memorable. The first third is a hodge-podge of ideas, but it improves as it goes on.
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on 16 April 2013
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.

She clearly remembers those traumatic events and has written precious details of the attacker in 2002, how she was injured, the drastic changes of the tube's atmosphere, what she saw after the explosion, how she and fellow passengers walked on the truck, and how prompt and dedicated the underground staff and hospital staff were on 7 July 2005.

It is really upsetting to hear the news channels even BBC 1, the station of which the majority of English speakers believe the gospel of the news channels kept telling something different from what survivors like Rachel North had seen the wreckage cars. With her gifts of writing, she started writing the details of the wreckage cars after the explosion, dreadful scene, etc, and her feelings and thoughts of the media
people who were not telling the truth and submitted blogs. These blogs did not only appeal the British media but also inspired the fellow passengers who were in the car where the bomb detonated.

It is understandable that she was frightened of getting on the tube and needed to take taxi during the part of the commuting journey for a while.

"Out of the tunnel" gives a reader pictures of how incredible experienced affected her life and how she overcame from those events. This is a truly inspirational memoir of one of the survivors of 7 July 2005, and her story should not be disregarded.
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on 14 August 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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on 23 August 2007
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 as though I know her - or feel as though I know something of her.

So when I picked up the book I thought it was going to be difficult to write a dispassionate, objective review.

It wasn't, it was very easy.

And this is entirely due to Rachel's relaxed style of writing, her easy narrative and how unafraid she is of facing deeply painful, personal horrors.

The situation surrounding her rape is awful, Rachel's detachment is exemplary.

And then she is caught up in the 7th of July bombings on the London underground.

Rachel details the events and aftershocks of the two cataclysmic events; her rape and physical assault and the aftermath (both medical, investigative and legal) of the event that occurred when a stranger forced his way in to her flat...

And - is if that wasn't enough - the event of and aftermath surrounding her involvement on the King's Cross underground train explosion when it was blown up by Mohamed Siddique Khan on 7/7 (or 7th of July if you speak English rather than American) is very moving.

The author pieces together in a thoughtful, carefully considered manner `who-did-what' (and sometimes `who-didn't-do-what'), and goes six months beyond the bombings to a happier time in her life.

One sad aspect of Rachel's tale lies outside the harrowing scenes.

The horrendously poor quality of life that she and J endure.

There are a number of examples that go to highlight how poor the quality of their work/life balance is, yet this fact is unremarked upon.

I hope Rachel's emergence as an author acts as a catalyst for change in this area.

Out of the Tunnel is a well told story brought to us from a gifted, naturally talented writer.

But occasionally she tries just a little too hard and when she does it shows.

In places the book is in need of a bloody good edit - displaying slight signs of tiredness and being occasionally just a little metaphor-heavy.

However I put these minor niggles down to Rachel's immaturity as a writer; I feel she is so talented that as she grows in to the role she will - as all authors must - become an even better story teller.

But it's a worthwhile read - for the way Rachel deals with the events in her life and for the example she sets in the way she conducts herself (both as a victim of outrage and in the way she deals with governmental attitude).

Out of the Tunnel by Rachel North.

I look forward to reading many more of her works in the future.
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on 30 July 2007
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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on 21 August 2007
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 want to happen to anybody else. She tell us about sitting on a tube train, reading an article she's written for a magazine about coming through the experience of being raped and left for dead. Extraordinary enough, except the day is the 7th July and as she is reading, the tube carriage she's on is blown up as part of the terrorist attack on London.

What follows is a story of courage and honesty as Rachel picks her way back through this double trauma, as she and the fellow travellers of Kings Cross United find their way back out of the tunnel. But what really makes the book for me is the way the author manages to connect back to common experiences that we can all share in and identify with.

She's writing about a time, about times of our lives that have been critical, that have shaken us, that have seen us watching TV news 24/7, devouring news headlines, reading blogs and first person accounts. (Perhaps you will also realise with a shock of recognition that you have read some of Rachel's words before. I know I did.)

This is a book that makes a powerful connection with its reader. Getting us to think about the way we respond to some of the big changes that are going on in the world. Creating a strong emotional connection with someone who has gone through huge traumatic events, lived through them, and had the courage to tell us her story. And sharing the power of writing, of using and choosing our own words, to share what happens to us, to create something different, better, stronger out of it, to connect our stories.

One person's story, extraordinary shocking events - but the words that help us make sense of what it means for all of us.
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