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The Republic of Trees

3.31  ·  Rating Details  ·  261 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
This dark fable tells the story of four English children who run away to the French countryside to establish their own utopian community. All seems well in The Republic of Trees as the children hunt, fall in love and educate themselves in the principles of Jean-Jacques Rousseau's The Social Contract. But the sudden arrival of Joy and the new disciplines she brings, and the ...more
Paperback, 223 pages
Published March 17th 2005 by Faber & Faber (first published 2005)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 441)
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What a dreadful book. Four bored kids decide to run off to the forest and start their own republic where they make the rules and decide what is right and wrong. So we get the developing Republic with the hints of romances starting-and then it all goes downhill rapidly. The characters start talking complete nonsense, acting like idiots, bullying and intimidating each other...and the plot becomes so incomprehensible that I was thinking 'what the hell is going on?'. It was like an insane, weird, de ...more
Lil Cheeseball
Mar 31, 2008 Lil Cheeseball rated it it was amazing
Describes a horrifying story of four kids that run away from home and create their own "republic" in the woods. Scary what these kids come up with.
Jun 13, 2015 Alex rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who fancies messed up kids running around like mad
This was.. well, .. *insert nervous maniacal laughter here*

I guess I would say this is a bit umm.. horror-ish (?) but it's more "wtf" than actual horror to me. Or I guess just plain creepy. But I've honestly no idea what genre this book falls in

The main character's nuts, their plan is nuts, what they're doing is nuts, and throughout the whole book, I just went "Y'all are nuts wtf"
It's not the typical book is what I got from this.

Some kids run into a forest and start a "revolution" (for whatever
Jul 08, 2011 Sam rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
I'm not sure how I actually feel about this book, it's intense and disturbing yet has this strange dystopia undercurrent that adds an unusual and unique edge to the story. We follow four English teens, now living in France, as they decide to run to the forest and live their own way by their own rules. They are well organised, taking the food, water and equipment they will need and rapidly adapt to life away from civilisation. And all is going well, life is a dream of hunting, swimming and tree c ...more
Simon newson
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 21, 2014 Tanvi rated it liked it
Shelves: author-female
3.5 stars.

This was a book about a couple of kids who run away from home and, upon the arrival of a girl called Joy into their group, end up founding their own republic, free from the morals of mainstream society. But their paradise quickly turns into dogma and groupthink.

The Republic read like an odd mixture of 1984, what with the newspeak/dystopia and Lord of the Flies. For all that, it was a descriptive and dreamlike book. I think it tried to be about "the rise and fall of revolutions" and su
Apr 25, 2014 Katerina rated it it was amazing
Excellent Read! Gripping from start to finish. Magical blend inspired by George Orwell's 1964 as well as Lord of the Flies and other authors. Would definitely recommend it. It shows the nuances of teenage uncertainty and at the same time their adult experiences in the forest climax to an expectantly gruesome outcome.
Alejandro Shirvani
Dec 15, 2013 Alejandro Shirvani rated it it was ok
Can't decide whether I liked this book or not. I read it in one sitting, through a night, so it held my attention. I definitely wanted to follow the plot through to the end and thought it portrayed aspects of teenage growing up well, first love/crush experiences, wanting to break out of being a child and explore the world on your own initiative. I liked the building tension as the book took a darker turn with the introduction of one character, and I liked the references to Rousseau. The only dow ...more
Jan 25, 2011 Nicolle rated it liked it
Shelves: thriller, 2000s, european
I cannot start to imagine what this authors mind is like. I loved the idea of the four children making their own republic. Reading the blurb, I thought the children would have the difficulties of finding food, a few romances may occur ect, then they would give up and go home. I was quite disturbed by the easy way in which these chidren could kill a 'loved one'.
The language used and the images created including the eyes always watching you created such a dramatic atmosphere, despite the fact t
Nov 22, 2015 Antoine rated it it was ok
Shelves: owned-books
Very captivating quick read. Ideal for a vacation.
Disturbing. Not sure if I loved it or loathed it.
Andy Weston
Jun 20, 2012 Andy Weston rated it liked it
Though readable this is really a sensationalised version of Lord of the Flies, with some Tom Sawyer thrown in. Quite a bit of rubbish in it, but holds one's attention. (Lord of the Flies with drugs, sex and gore).

I have read all of Sam Taylor's books now. Amnesiac for me is the best, and Island at the Top of the World is extremely interesting although strange.
Aug 13, 2010 Mirrador rated it it was amazing
A different, unexpected plot coming from the author. The four kids involved are swept up by freedom, and their early unaccounted innocence is tainted, and twisted with the arrival of another. Their predicament slowly degenerates into something vile. Very good read, keeps the reader informed about the current situation, but only just.
Mar 04, 2010 Rachel rated it really liked it
Extremely odd book, talks about 4 kids running away in France to the woods where they make their own "country" basically. Includes odd sexual scenes but in the end I found the book very interesting on what children would do when they run off.
Lesley Tang
Sep 04, 2013 Lesley Tang rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I think this book is most enjoyable when you allow yourself to suspend disbelief at some of the stranger things that happen in the novel. Every re-read allows me to notice new things about the book, and I loved it because it made me think.
Apr 10, 2016 Sietske rated it really liked it
Shelves: school
I had to read this one when I was still in high school, and at the time I thought it was a bit of a weird story, but the more I think about it, the more I want to read it again.
Margot McGovern
The first 100 pages were amazing, it was like reading Nabokov, but the whole dystopia thing didn't work for me. It's been done before and done much better.
This (not very long book) has taken 4 years to finish. Not awful but i doubt I waould recommend it to anyone.
Hansyirah Takezur
May 10, 2013 Hansyirah Takezur rated it it was ok
The starting was clear but after the sentenced to Isobel, I get blurred and I didnt understand the ending
Luke Gillespie
Feb 11, 2013 Luke Gillespie rated it really liked it
Great book if your into the " not so normal " kind of books! Great ending too :)
May 11, 2013 Stuart rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is great. French Lord of the Flies-ness with a bit of Rousseau thrown in.
Sep 25, 2012 Kimmi rated it it was amazing
Strange but absorbing!
Saya Hashimoto
Sep 13, 2010 Saya Hashimoto rated it liked it
Kind of a postmodern 1984.
Brandon McCurry
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Sam Taylor was born in 1970 and is the former pop culture correspondent for the Observer. He lives in France with his young family.
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