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Into That Forest

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  597 ratings  ·  146 reviews
Me name be Hannah O'Brien and I be seventy-six years old. Me first thing is an apology - me language is bad cos I lost it and had to learn it again. But here's me story and I be glad to tell it before I hop the twig.

So begins this extraordinary novel, which will transport you to Australia's wild frontier and stay in your mind long after you've finished reading.
Paperback, 172 pages
Published September 1st 2012 by Allen and Unwin (first published January 1st 2012)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,604)
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Shelby *wants some flying monkeys*
I wavered on what to rate this book. I ended up going with 5 stars because this book for me was exactly that. Hannah and Becky get to have a "spend the night" which is rare because the area where Hannah lives in Tasmania is remote. Hannah's parents take the girls on a picnic/boat ride. During the ride a storm comes up and the girls end up alone.

They are taken in by a couple of Tasmanian tigers. (I had no clue about these animals before this book. They carry their young in their pouches similarl
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
Now seventy-six years old, Hannah O'Brien puts pen to paper to tell the story of her unique childhood: when she was just six years old, a tragedy leaves her and a friend, seven-year-old Becky, lost and alone in the bush. They are rescued by a female Thylacine - a Tasmanian Tiger - who takes them back to her den where her mate is. For about four years they live in harmony with the pair of Thylacines, learning to hunt and communicate through grunts and yawns - the distinctive wide-open mouth. Hann ...more
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Pages read: 25

Nope. I cannot. This book is not my thing on so many levels. The premise made me think of Life of Pi which I loved, but, sadly, I hadn't seen a sample of the writing.

Insurmountable obstacles between me and Into That Forest:

1. Dialect - alone, this might not have been a dealbreaker. It seems decently well done here, but it's not my favorite style ever, and slows my reading significantly, since I mentally edit.

2. There are no chapters. I like having regular breaks to process and put
This was an unusual book. Easily read in a single sitting, it spins the tale of two little girls taken in and raised by a pair of Tasmanian tigers. It illustrates the remarkable resilience of the spirit as well as the ability to revert to pure animal behavior in order to survive.

The story was sad, as it almost had to be. The dialect may put off some readers, but it fit the storyline and was not difficult to follow. As a rule, I am not into cover art, but this one is particularly striking.

Warning: this book will break your heart.

In college, as a sociology minor and over all sociology groupie bum, I became aware and a little obsessed with the happening of feral children. There were cases of children who had been locked in one room for all their developmental years, knew nothing of language or social interaction, and later, either their remains were found, or they were rescued and the long process began of assimilating these children back into society. There were cases of children
So the in general story, two girls are marooned away from civilization in Tasmania and taken in by a couple of "tigers" (pretty sure they don't mean tigers like the rest of the world thinks of tigers, as they also refer to them as Tasmanian Tigers and Dingos, but they are never very clear) who help them survive in the wild for four years. After they are re-claimed by humanity, the story follows their struggles in re-learning how to be people.

So a couple of reviewers have hit on two of my issues

There have been plenty of plot summaries of this book, some describing this story in a repulsive, disgusted sort of sense as if the book itself presented a threat on some very visceral level, while choosing to ignore content altogether and instead seemed preoccupied with the author's writing style and chose not to finish the book but rated it anyway, a practice I personally don't hold with. How can you fully assess a books merits if you've jumped ship? I choose to file these books as abandoned ...more
Vincent Ripley
If you have read any of my previous posts, then you will have seen that I've been very fortunate to read some cracking books at this start of this new year, already. Yet again (if this book is anything to go by) then we are in for another feast of delight. It would be fair to say that I was not expecting this book - it was a very delightful surprise. In fact I knew nothing about it, or the author, until it arrived on my doorstep. Therefore, I would like to send a big thank you to Egmont for send ...more
SJH (A Dream of Books)
'Into That Forest' was a wonderful book, unlike anything else I've ever read before. The story takes the reader on an incredible journey through the Tasmanian outback with friends Hannah and Becky. Thoughts of this book lingered with me long after turning the final page and I'm looking forward to passing it onto others who haven't yet discovered such an amazing title.

The story is narrated by seventy-six year old Hannah, who is looking back on her early life. Nothing could prepare me for the tal
Wow, what a book. This was by far one of the most unusual books I have ever read. Louis Nowra certainly deserves his standing in the Australian literary landscape. I was completely drawn in to the world of Hannah and Rebecca - after a slow start. This book kind of creeps up on you like a stalking thylacine, and that is as it should be.

Hannah and Becky, awkward friends, lost and alone after a shipping accident, are washed up on a strange shore and are cared for by a family of Tasmanian Tigers, D
So this book actually has 232 pages but on goodreads its different. Anyway i am surprised and loved this book, you really do get into the world. One thing that was different about this book is that the writing is so unique, its like the character from the beginning is telling then story but instead of using my she uses me. Once you read it you will get what u am talking about. A big big recommendation to everyone out there, who is a fan of animals.

This book was AMAZING, I just loved the way the story was woven, told in a primal way through the memory of a girl who survives being lost in the bush due to the kindness of a furry marsupial Tasmanian Tiger. It's set around the early 1900's, with the Tigers being hunted for killing sheep.

Hannah has an affinity with animals and, when the Tasmanian Tiger rescues her and Becky, she quickly builds a strong bond with the creatures who saved their lives. Becky finds it harder to "give in" to her
There are very few books that I have ever read that 1. Literally make me cry 2. Make me think long and hard about it and 3. One that you don't just walk away from thinking hey, that was a good book.
So let's start with how the book was written. It is narrated from a woman who doesn't speak perfect English. (You will find out why later in the book). And so she talks quite informal, not slang if that's what you are thinking, but uses words such as "cos" and "it was 'bout time" and "I were covered i
Hannah and her friend Becky are on a picnic with Hannah's parents when a storm ends up killing Hannah's parents and sweeping the girls into the forest of Tasmania. They are rescued by a Tasmanian tiger who cares for the two girls as if they were her own cubs. The tiger and her mate teach the girls how to survive in the forest. They learn to hunt, lap water, run on all fours, and curl up with their adopted tiger parents for warmth and safety. While surviving in the forest, they lose a lot
After being shipwrecked in an awful freak storm, 6 year old Hannah and her 7 year old friend Becky are adopted by two Tasmanian Tigers. When they finally have contact with civilization again, they rebel against humanity in favor of the animals who have become their family. Into That Forest is narrated by Hannah, now 76 and still struggling with human language, in a simplified dialect that transforms it into a memoir that makes it seem like a true story.

I've seen a lot of style complaints, and th
First off (and unrelated to the book), I always find it entertaining when reviewers complain about the use of dialect in a book, but they have multiple misspellings in their review. Like, OMG I COULD NOT RED THIS IT WAS HORIBLE. THEY SOUND SO DUM. HOW THEY NOT WRIT GUD?

Definitely a 4.5 for me. There were parts when it was pushed along as a story because it was more of a 'short story' instead of a novel, and there just wasn't the space or time for more detail.

It's told from the PoV of Hannah. Ha
Helen F
I am very baffled about how I feel about this book. On one hand, it was so totally different from anything else I have read and was actually quite shocking in parts but in others I struggled with the viability of the plot and engaging with the characters. There were definitely moments that made me cringe at the reality of how the girls had to adapt, especially with feeding, and I thought it was great that they didn't adapt at the same rate or in the same ways most of the time. It was almost Life ...more
This was not a "fun" book to read, but presumably someone would gather that if they read the description. I take exception to the book's detractors who complain about the "grammar". It's not a grammar issue; the book is narrated in Hannah's dialect.

1) She LOST her English, and this is how she relearned it;
2) The time period in which she relearned it was in the '30's;
3) It was in the '30's *in Tasmania*.

We can't exactly place modern day American English on the parameters of the setting.

Come to th
Alexandria  Ang
Please check out my online blog for a full review and a character analysis!
Into That Forest review:

For me, this book started off a little bit slow. The anecdotal beginning was pleasant, yet very very elongated and was exhausting to read. All throughout the beginning of the book I was chanting, get to the action, get to the action. It was like the author had nothing else to write about and instead of getting straight to the point, the author wanted to gi
Renee Hall
Doesn't exactly add anything new to the wild-children trope, but the style of narration, and the fact that there are two children involved instead of just one, kept me interested in what might happen next. While there are the usual themes of civilization versus savagery (and which categories humans and animals fall into at times), the story strikes me as really about the girls' bond with each other, even more so than the bond they have with their adoptive animal family.
Stephanie Cover2CoverBlog
This is one of those books that I will likely remember snippets of forever, but it was a strange book on so many levels. I enjoyed the book, it was interesting... however there were a lot of things I was not too fond of.

So the likes: this was an interesting story, girls living with tigers and how they adapt. I found it neat how they became so animalistic and how they learned to interact with the tigers.

My ehhhh moments: this book was so sad, everything about it was kind of depressing. First the
Amanda O'Shea
I loved this book because it was unique. Two girls are separated from their families and are taken into care by a pair of Tasmanian Tigers. The voice in this story, told through the first person viewpoint, was earthy and engaging. Tasmanian history was cleverly woven into the story providing readers with information about Tasmanian Tiger Hunts and whaling. This story was a refreshing read and would appeal to both boys and girls for different reasons.
Johnny Baillie
Into that forest is a compelling novel of two best friends, Rebecca and Hannah who follow a tiger into that forest and survive using the techniques from two tiger companions they meet. Into that forest has many compilations like the death of Hannah's parents, getting lost in the forest, a bounty hunter shooting tigers and becoming civilized again after being rescued from the forest.

The book is written in first person perspective and hence with improper grammar from re-learning English after forg
I listened to the audiobook rather than reading the book; the narrator's convincing performance and Tassie accent may be partly responsible for my absolutely loving every minute of this heartbreaking story. I'd heard about Into that Forest from the knowledgeable staff of Gleebooks in Sydney in 2012, but at that point it was only available in ARC, which I was not able to get before my return to the US. Given the choice between the simple survival instincts of the thylacines and the lack of compas ...more
Alison Condliffe
One of the most original books I have ever read. The story of two girls saved and living with Tasmania tigers sounds far fetched but when I was reading it I became so involved. Another view on the brutal history of Tasmania but also a very moving book. I read this in a morning as I had to know what happened.
Tania Gee
3.5 Stars
I am generally a person who despises dialectical novels, especially dialects that sound illiterate, but this book won me over. Hannah is now an old woman, telling the tale of the time she spent with the tigers and her language has never really recovered from that time. The story shows us our very real capacity to develop our animalistic side, while also showing how desperately we cling to our civilization. The relationship between the two girls is done very realistically, and the adve
Två flickor adopteras av två pungvargar och överlever likt Mowgli utan sina föräldrar i det vilda. Tja, det kan väl bli trevlig jullovsläsning, tänkte jag och drog med mig denna snygging hem. Och även om just “mysig” kanske inte är det ord jag vill beskriva den med så blev jag minsann inte besviken. Jag säger inte att det är en oförglömlig bok, den är nödvändigtvis inte olik allt annat, men den är fin, kort och tar inte alltid de vändningar jag förväntat mig. Än en gång lönade det sig att döma b ...more
I tried over and over to try and latch onto this book but I simply cannot finish it! After reaching page 99 I simply cannot continue with this book. I see no reason in me pursuing something I can't connect with and have no desire to pick up and read. Therefore I have given up. For someone who loves books of adventure and mystery the blurb saying "we are lost, and the only thing that could help is were the tiger" made it sound to me like a gripping book which I instantly picked up from the shop. ...more
Cynthia Ulmer
I'm not really sure how to rate this book. I have mixed feelings on it. As a child, one of my favorite novels was The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling. I loved it and read it many times. I was hoping this would be similar. My problem with this isn't Hannah's lack of proper grammar, but rather she does not talk like a five year old child. Very few five year old children would be as vulgar describing body functions as she does. They would use more childish terms--especially for the time period. On o ...more
This review originally appeared on my blog,


INTO THAT FOREST is a book that requires a lot of suspension of disbelief, but once you get past the idea of two girls being rescued and raised by tigers, it’s quite a ride. Almost as wild as the one Hannah and Becky take, living in the bush and becoming more tiger than human.

The advanced review copy I read was only 153 pages, making INTO THAT FOREST a short but powerful book. I know it’s one of those books that I’ll randomly think about m
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Who did you relate to more? Becky or Hannah? 3 8 Apr 06, 2014 07:00AM  
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Louis Nowra (born 12 December 1950) is an Australian writer, playwright, screenwriter and librettist. His most significant plays are Così, Byzantine Flowers, Summer of the Aliens, Radiance, and The Golden Age. In 2007 he completed the The Boyce Trilogy for Griffin Theatre Company, consisting of The Woman with Dog's Eyes, The Marvellous Boy and The Emperor of Sydney. Many of his plays have been fil ...more
More about Louis Nowra...
Così Summer Of The Aliens Ice The Golden Age Radiance

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“Where were me parents? Where were Becky? I felt so alone, so lost that I could
not see. By that I mean, everything round me were a blur, everything inside me
were a blur of fear and shock. I heard meself crying and moaning, My oh my, my
oh my . . . I still have nightmares ’bout that time. I still feel like a sharp piece of
ice has stabbed me heart real deep. I was filled, filled to the brim with utter baffle
and utter loneliness. p. 15”
“…a wolf creature with yellow fur and black stripes. It were about the size of a real
large dog. I can remember it to this day, cos it were the first one I had ever seen.
It had a long muzzle and stripes on its sides like a tiger. The tail were thick and
the fur so fine and smooth it were like it didn’t have hair. It’s like a wolf, I heard
me mother say and indeed it looked like those wolves I seen in me fairytale books.
It stared at us with huge black eyes, then it opened its jaw real slow til I thought it
could swallow a baby. I’ll go bail if it were not the most bonny, handsomest thing I
ever seen..”
More quotes…