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In the Forest
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1001 book reviews > In The Forest - Edna O'Brien

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Kristel (kristelh) | 3801 comments Mod
I read this in 2011, it is based on a real event in history set in Ireland. The story is about a man who commits a triple homicide. The story is well told but also was very controversial. It was felt by some that Ms O'Brien was capitalizing on their tragedy. She had stated that when she was taken to the forest where the murders occurred, she had to write the story.

Ms O'Brien writes with economy of style, makes the characters real, the tragedy real and the forest itself is a presence in the story.


Amanda Dawn | 893 comments Overall I liked this book and gave it 3 stars. The way the book unravels the murderers history of abuse and how it contributed to his crimes was interesting and well executed, and the prose really contributed to a sense of impending doom that worked well when it cumulated in the murders. One thing I didn't love about the story was how it is another representation of a murderer with schizophrenia. I wasn't able to find info saying this was a factor in the real story, and I feel like the "psychotic killer" is a harmful overdone trope as people with mental illness-including psychosis- are far more likely to be the victims of violent crimes than the perpetrators. I felt that addition was unnecessary.


Diane | 1918 comments Rating: 3.5 stars


Not my favorite of her books, but still good. It is a novel based upon a true story of a triple murder in County Clare, Ireland. I understand how this was perceived as controversial, but I also understand how such an event can create inspiration in an author and the need to tell the story. Her multiple narrative focus helps the reader see the crimes and the killer from various points of view. While this doesn't justify the killer's actions, it does shed light on the events that shaped him into the person he became.


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