Suddenly in the Depths of the Forest
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Suddenly in the Depths of the Forest

3.4 of 5 stars 3.40  ·  rating details  ·  494 ratings  ·  66 reviews
In a gray and gloomy village, all of the animals--from dogs and cats to fish and snails--disappeared years before. No one talks about it and no one knows why, though everyone agrees that the village has been cursed. But when two children see a fish--a tiny one and just for a second--they become determined to unravel the mystery of where the animals have gone. And so they t...more
ebook, 144 pages
Published March 21st 2011 by Harcourt Brace and Company (first published January 1st 2005)
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Lisa Guidarini
Fairy tales appear deceptively simple, when, in fact, the reverse is true. They must work on more than one level: they must include interesting characters and a fast-paced plot to keep children interested; a moral a child can identify, and often there is a third layer - a moral lesson for adults to dig into in more detail, a take-away life lesson, for lack of a better term, to keep the story compelling enough to keep the adult reader reading.

Suddenly in the Depths of the Forest is an intricate s...more
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Suddenly in the Depths of the Forest reads like a folk tale/fairy tale, and actually frequently reminded me of a number of other stories, although it never actually turned into any of them. At one point, there was a clear reference to Persephone, for example. I expected a bit more fairy tale than folk tale, I guess, so I was a bit surprised to find it without a neat ending tied up in a bow.

The story is well-written and clever. I love stories about animals, even in their absence. Can you imagine...more
Matti and Maya, two children who live in a village in which all the animals disappeared years before they were born, set out on a quest up the mountainside to meet Nehi the Demon, who is responsible for the animals' disappearance.

Oh book, I am disappointed. This had such potential, but the story itself was so full of problems, that I just didn't enjoy it at all. The author wrote with such a passive style, that I often found myself zoning out and having to re-read passages two or three times. I d...more
Nesa Sivagnanam
Once upon a time, there was a little village, far away.

"The village was grey and gloomy. Around it on all sides were only mountains and forests, clouds and wind."

The village is a sad and lonely place, defined only by negation: "it was always eerily silent, no cow mooed, no donkey brayed, no bird chirped, no flock of wild geese crossed the empty sky, and the villagers barely spoke to each other beyond the essential things."

Long ago some terrible catastrophe has befallen the village, about which...more
Carol Catinari
An intriguing premise. There are no longer any animals in this particular village... and the allegory begins. Nicely written also. This is written for young readers and billed as a fable for the younger set, allegory for adult.
Rebecca A. Rogers
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ben lontano dai più caratteristici romanzi di Oz, D'un tratto nel folto del bosco è un affettuoso omaggio alla tradizione fiabesca, un inno alla capacità immaginativa dei bambini, alla loro spensierata innocenza che si traduce in uno scenario bucolico e arcadico, che sa di tempi lontani e andati.
Un villaggio, un bosco, un mistero - l'improvvisa, inspiegabile scomparsa degli animali. Nel rispetto affezionato del canone, Oz delinea in maniera netta i confini allegorici del piccolo villagio e del b...more
Constance Pappas
Mar 01, 2011 Constance Pappas rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Love an allegory>
Recommended to Constance by: Advance Reader's Copy
This book has layers like the Grand Canyon. Each band reveals something significant to the whole story. How is it that a village has no animals? How is it possible that the children in the village have never heard a dog bark, cat meow or goat bleat? The village in Oz’s story is cursed. The windows are shuttered at night and the children all understand, accept that Nehi, the Mountain Demon did it all. Emanuella the Teacher knows the truth, but no one will listen to her and over time she falls sil...more
Heidi Burleigh
This is a minor work by a major writer, Israeli author Amos Oz. As you would expect from a writer of Oz's caliber, the book reads well from the start: "Emanuella the Teacher described to the class what a bear looks like, how fish breathe, and the kind of sounds a hyena makes at night. She also hung pictures of animals and birds on the classroom walls. Most of the children made fun of her because they'd never seen an animal in their lives. ... Silently and sadly the village lived its simple life....more
Zohar -
“Suddenly In the Depths of the Forest” by award winning Israeli author Amos Oz (archive) is a short novel which you can read to your kids. Oz set out to write a folk tale and succeeded in more ways than one.

Once upon a time there was a village. The village had no animals, no cows, dogs or pigs, not even worms, fish or spiders. None of the adults are willing to speak about that catastrophe and at night they bolt their doors of fear from Nehi, the Mountain Demon who is blamed for their misfortune....more
Jessica Harrison
via Cracking the Cover
Imagine a world with no animals. No dogs, cats, goats, fish or even snails. That’s the reality for people living in a small village in Amos Oz’s “Suddenly in the Depths of the Forest.”

All the animals disappeared in the middle of the night years ago. No one talks about their disappearance, and no one knows why they’re gone. The village, it appears, is cursed.

So when two young children suddenly see a fish, they have to question it’s existence. It was only for a second, but th...more
Totoptero Bastidas
Mi madre se preocupaba mucho cuando yo era niño. De su boca escuché por primera vez la palabra misantropía al momento en que me pidió, casi rogándome, que saliera de casa. Yo vivía todo el tiempo en mi cuarto leyendo libros, cómics y dibujando en hojas tamaño carta escenas de un final nuclear entre Estados Unidos y la Unión Soviética. En una acción desesperada, decidió convencerme de una socialización necesaria y me hizo ver cómo los miércoles en la biblioteca de la ciudad hacían una reunión que...more
A Book Vacation
I am sorry to say that I am not a fan on this novel, however, I believe it is perfect for middle grade readers. This novel is geared toward 10-14 year olds, and the writing is very clear and concise. When I first picked up the novel, I thought it would be similar to The Messenger and The Giver by Lois Lowry. In a way, it was similar, but it was also unique unto itself.

My main issue with this novel deals with the repetition and writing style utilized, but keep in mind that I am an adult reviewin...more
- This review is for the ARC -

Suddenly In the Depths of the Forest, by renowned Israeli author Amos Oz, is intended for ages 10-14 and reads like an old folktale. It has a sort of primitive, sing-song quality that is best rendered aloud.

The story is a moody allegory about a remote village where all the animals, domestic and wild, have disappeared. There is a great mystery surrounding this disappearance, whispered about by adults, but a young boy and girl, Matti and Maya, do not believe the expl...more
Dani Peloquin
I truly enjoyed this book. At a lean 120+ pages, Amos Oz crams in a fantastic tale about a village that has lost of all its animals to the Mountain Demon. The older residents of the village remember animals from the childhood, but their children have never seen a live animal. One day, two children from the village think that they see a fish. They are astonished by their finding and decide to venture into the forest in hopes of finding the other animals that were taken from them years before.

This review was originally published on:The Reading Fever.

I found Suddenly in the Depths of the Forest very charming, and reminiscent of an old cautionary fairy tale. There are hints of mystery and fantasy mixed in, and the characters are young, making it perfect for older middle-grade students.

The plot is unique; it's different from anything I have read, and Amos Oz shows his skill by creating a message about life: that we should not ridicule those who are different. He also brings up a very im...more
Melissa Roach
In a gray and gloomy village, all of the animals—from dogs and cats to fish and snails—disappeared years before. No one talks about it and no one knows why, though everyone agrees that the village has been cursed. But when two children see a fish—a tiny one and just for a second—they become determined to unravel the mystery of where the animals have gone. And so they travel into the depths of the forest with that mission in mind, terrified and hopeful about what they may encounter.

Julie Smith (Knitting and Sundries)
This book is a middle reader, targeted for the 10-14 year old age group. A few spots may be a bit tricky for the youngest in this group, however, for the most part, it is written in clear, concise language perfect for middle readers.

This is a sort of folk tale, about Maya, daughter of Lilia the Baker, and Matti, her best friend. They live in a cursed village where none of the children have ever seen animals ... not a bird, not a dog, not a fish, not a cat. Sometimes they can catch an adult sayin...more
La Stamberga dei Lettori
Ben lontano dai più caratteristici romanzi di Oz, D'un tratto nel folto del bosco è un affettuoso omaggio alla tradizione fiabesca, un inno alla capacità immaginativa dei bambini, alla loro spensierata innocenza che si traduce in uno scenario bucolico e arcadico, che sa di tempi lontani e andati.
Un villaggio, un bosco, un mistero - l'improvvisa, inspiegabile scomparsa degli animali. Nel rispetto affezionato del canone, Oz delinea in maniera netta i confini allegorici del piccolo villagio e del b...more
This is one of those books where I am perfectly aware that I am missing something here. I know I tend to prefer books to be more straightforward and focused on a story rather than lyrical and deep. The back cover blurb could have a promising plot, but this is not a plot kind of book. I still finished it because it can be a quick and easy read, but I didn't enjoy it for the poetry and philosophical text that it probably is. I am reasonably intelligent and I don't consider myself to be a shallow p...more
Renee Bush
Oz's prose is simply too beautiful to downgrade him to two stars, but this book is a yawner, otherwise. It is listed as suitable for upper elementary, but I know very few children that age, or even teens, who would stick with it long enough to get to the point. By the end, I myself felt as if "the point" had never been reached.
It took way too long for any action, as such, to take place, and there was never true resolution, just... despair, I think. I am not a fan of handing a child a book and sa...more
This is a rather unusual book. The intent seems to be fable-like with an underlying moral, but for me it came off as mostly a rather sad, depressing book. However, the writing is beautiful and credit needs to be given to both the author and the translator for that. I doubt though that the book will be picked up by kids on their own.

It would make an interesting assigned reading or read-a-loud, with much to discuss: courage, hope, revenge, anger, and loss are all topics that come up in this book....more
Non avevo mai letto nulla di Amos Oz, e sinceramente, dopo aver letto questo libretto, non so se e quando gli darò un’altra possibilità. Le premesse erano buone, le prime pagine accattivanti, in un certo senso magiche: ma poi tutto diventa di una noia mortale! L’autore non fa che ripetere in continuazione le stesse cose, rendendo la lettura pesante e per nulla interessante: la morale presente è sicuramente importante, ma uno arriva al termine della lettura talmente estenuato da farci a malapena...more
A perfectly nice book, though it's one of those translations that sort of fade from your brain mere moments after having finished with it. In a cursed town, two children set out to discover why it is that all the animals (even the bugs and the fish) left. It takes a somewhat heavy-handed look at the dire effects of teasing. I suppose you could even call this an anti-bullying allegory. The open ended finish leaves some room for hope, but it's a toss of the dice as to whether or not kids will part...more
Amoz Oz parece modificar su habitual estilo narrativo en esta historia. Aquí utiliza (intencionalmente claro está) un tono infantil e ingenuo para relatarnos una historia fantástica que deja vislumbrar sus reflexiones sobre las contradicciones humanas, nuestro ancestral temor-rechazo hacia lo diferente y nuestra eterna unidad con la Naturaleza.

¿Qué me atrae de este autor? Indudablemente, su capacidad de elaborar ideas sin pretender imponerlas y de reflexionar sin dejar de lado el sentido del hum...more
It was an interesting, but short read. The format was unique. Dialogue was not separated or marked with quotations. I'm not sure if this was because it's a translated edition, I don't see why it would be. I'm also not sure what the author's purpose was in doing this. There was very little diaglogue though and it's from the viewpoint of children, so maybe just reinforcing the simplicity of the idea of the book. Read it and tell me what you think!
This book was probably the most interesting book I've ever read because nearly the whole book was an anecdote. For the first one-hundred pages the whole book was just a recap of previous events. The last thirty pages however drew you into the book and then hung you over a cliff with the last few pages making you hungry for more. The style of this book is so that you aren't sucked in, but you want to keep reading.
Beautiful story, Oz once again showed his pacifist soul. Even though blurb says it will be interesting to children and adults, I disagree. This is a fairy tale for adults, those adults who still remember their childhood, but also remember that we are all connected, and that we can not live one without the other, without love,tolerance and understanding. Wonderful story, beautiful sentences, wonderful insights.
The sparse, yet beautiful, tone of the story conveys itself as a creepy fairy tale of sorts. Ultimately, it does fall a bit flat, and feels forced towards the end. Still, the book has a solid 3.5 star rating from me.

I couldn't help wondering about the bees that had disappeared so long ago, and how did the village people grow fruits, vegetables and orchards with no bees?

This is a nice short reading for kids. It was written like a tale and it felt like a tale too, it bore several important message that children (and adult) could related themselves to, such as bully. However I don't like the amount of 'moral message' in this book. It was too much and too explicit it became preaching. I prefer more subtle and inferred message.
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La Stamberga dei ...: D'un tratto nel folto del bosco di Amos Oz 1 5 Dec 07, 2012 04:31AM  
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Amos Oz (עמוס עוז) is an Israeli writer, novelist, and journalist. He is also a professor of literature at Ben-Gurion University in Be'er Sheva. Since 1967, he has been a prominent advocate of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In 2008 he received an Honorary Degree from the University of Antwerp. He also received the Dan David prize in 2008 for "Creative Rendering of the Pa...more
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