Sunday, July 08, 2007

Out of the Tunnel: first reviews

\o/ I have had some reviews!

dc007 was the very first reader review - commenting on this blog! (Thank you!)
(1)''It's a rare thing for my to start a book and not be able to put it down. Apart from opening a bottle of wine at 6.00pm, I haven't been able to stop (just realised I'm very hungry - just finished the book!)It is very easy to read and very addictive. It is, of course, a harrowing tale but also surprising witty in places, for example when the hippy goes to the toilet and the city executive takes her seat - 'I'm sorry I think that seat is taken' had me laughing out loud. It also makes me realise how tough it has been for you - something that never really came across as a casual reader of your blog.I really hope that this day - the second aniversary of what happened in 2005 has not been too much for you - your story is an inspiration and I think you need to prepare yourself now... This is definitely going to be on the bestsellers list very soon.''

Davide at Netherworld has the first ever blogger review...(thank you again D!)
(2)''In short, it's excellent. I couldn't put it down and had to put other things on-hold until I had finished reading it. It's not often I can say that about a book. Rachel describes the horror and confusion of July 7 in vivid detail. She also describes her struggle with the inevitable Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that followed the bombings. Three years prior to being blown up on the London tube, Rachel had been viciously attacked, raped and left for dead in her home and this horrific episode is woven into the narrative. She was reading her own account of this assault in a magazine when her carriage exploded.

In fact I found the description of that attack one of the most moving parts of the book and I was wincing as every blow was recounted. Much of the book though is about Rachel's coming to terms with both of these traumatic events and the title, Out of the Tunnel is very apt. As the story progresses we see how these life-changing events transformed Rachel from helpless victim to strong campaigner and author. Rachel used the medium of blogging as part of her therapy and from this discovered and then honed her talent as a writer. One of the things this book does well is highlight the problems of PTSD which are not well known. Rachel was fortunate enough not to suffer serious physical injury on July 7 (unlike 800 other survivors of that attack) but the survivor guilt and the flashbacks had a detrimental effect on her job, her personal life and general well-being. If Out of the Tunnel helps people to better understand PTSD, then that alone is a valuable service.

This is a book I would recommend to anyone. Despite the awful experiences described, the overall message is positive. I was moved to the verge of tears on several occasions. Oddly, the times when I found my eyes welling up were when reading about the numerous acts of kindness from people either after the rape or in the aftermath of the bombings.
I urge people to read this book and I challenge anyone not to be moved by it
And has three reviews, all five-stars (including the one by Davide which is also on amazon),
(3)''If this book does not tear at your heart, nothing will. Hard to believe there can be such animals walking among us as to put another human being through what Rachel went through only a few short years ago and then to be in the midst of such terror as 7/7. Certainly, she probably could have been killed by both ordeals (and was literally left for dead following her attack). I am profoundly impressed by her ability to regain her sense of being, and her willingness to reach out to others. If it is the last thing you do today, you should get this book. I also want to agree with the reviewer below on PTSD, the book "One Unknown" and the book "The Convention". Each are about the horrors of terrorism and the human spirit to overcome. I do believe that we must have Angels on on shoulders, even during the darkest hours.''
(4)''This woman (Rachel North) has overcome more terror than many of us can bare to listen to on the evening news. Beginning with a person attack against her, which was extremely viscious and with no regard for her or her life, she overcame and used the experience as an inspiration to others. But that's not the end of the story. She was then nearly killed on 7/7 and healped other during that ordeal, and continues to help others to this day. There is a lot of detail in this book and I suspect that in some parts you will gasp. I think however, it is a testiment to her strength that she does the things to help others through very difficult times..

and has a single ( five-star) review too!
(5) ''I got this yesterday morning and read it straight through for 5 hours, I could not put it down. I cried 3 times in the first 3 chapters!The most amazing thing about this book apart from the story is how incredibly well-written it is. Usually books about survival are not as well-written as this, it is like a novel but it is all TRUE!
WARNING Some of the images she uses are disturbing and will stay with you because they are so vivid. That one woman can come through all of this is mindblowing.
I have never read a book like it.''

Out of the Tunnel is not actually officially on sale in shops until 13 July ( the launch, which is just going to be a riotous pub session with pals and blog readers is on 12th July in a Soho bar - email me for details, there's a few places left), so it was amazing to see it on shelves in Borders already, and to hear back from people who have actually read it. I will not deny that I have been absolutely cacking myself wondering what people's reactions will be. So it was and is a huge relief to get such positive responses.

And I would like to thank (again)my first reviewers for making me very, very happy and proud ( and a bit weepy). If you want to review Out of the Tunnel on amazon, , or your blog, then I would be very grateful, and of course I will link and blog regular updates. I am sure that I will also get negative reviews - everyone does. And when I do I will have a stiff whisky, and kick things. But to be out of the blocks with reviews like this is such a wonderful feeling. Wow. I think a few drinks are on me...and I can't wait to buy them., and also stock Out of the Tunnel which is available from all good book stores. I am being a good author and doing my publishing contract publicity uncomplainingly with the help of the nice Rachael from my publisher's PR company, Midas PR. So the book was serialised on Saturday, and you can also hear an interview on Capital Radio, and on BBC World Service Outlook ( which led to one of the most moving comments I have ever had, in this post from The Thinker)



Blogger Graham the Funky Aardvark said...

Good news on the reviews

Looking forward to my copy getting here :)

Enjoy the good stuff that life can offer!


July 08, 2007 11:10 pm  
Blogger janinsanfran said...

Will the book be available in the US? I checked our amazon -- not showing up yet.

Long time lurker here, much moved by the way you've recounted your struggles.

July 09, 2007 3:44 am  
Blogger Rachel said...

sorry Jan I think you will have to order it from amazon UK, as it is not out in the US...

...thansk for the lovely feedback !

July 11, 2007 8:35 am  

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