Into the Forest

Narrated by: Alison Elliot
Length: 5 hrs and 35 mins
Categories: Literature & Fiction
3.9 out of 5 stars (108 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Now a major motion picture

Set in the near-future, Into the Forest is a powerfully imagined novel that focuses on the relationship between two teenage sisters living alone in their Northern California forest home. 

Over 30 miles from the nearest town, and several miles away from their nearest neighbor, Nell and Eva struggle to survive as society begins to decay and collapse around them. No single event precedes society's fall. There is talk of a war overseas and upheaval in Congress, but it still comes as a shock when the electricity runs out and gas is nowhere to be found. 

The sisters consume the resources left in the house, waiting for the power to return. Their arrival into adulthood, however, forces them to reexamine their place in the world and their relationship to the land and each other. 

Reminiscent of Margaret Atwood's A Handmaid's Tale, Into the Forest is a mesmerizing and thought-provoking novel of hope and despair set in a frighteningly plausible near-future America. 

Praise for Into the Forest

“[A] beautifully written and often profoundly moving novel.” (San Francisco Chronicle)

“A work of extraordinary power, insight and lyricism, Into the Forest is both an urgent warning and a passionate celebration of life and love.” (Riane Eisler, author of The Chalice and the Blade

“From the first page, the sense of crisis and the lucid, honest voice of the....narrator pull the reader in....A truly admirable addition to a genre defined by the very high standards of George Orwell's 1984.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review)) 

“Beautifully written.” (Kirkus Reviews

“This beautifully written story captures the essential nature of the sister bond: the fierce struggle to be true to one’s own self, only to learn that true strength comes from what they are able to share together.” (Carol Saline, co-author of Sisters)

“Jean Hegland’s sense of character is firm, warm, and wise...[A] fine first novel.” (John Keeble, author of Yellowfish

©1999 Jean Hegland (P)1999 Random House, Inc., Banta Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing, A Division of Random House, Inc.

What listeners say about Into the Forest

Average Customer Ratings
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Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Into the Forest

I enjoyed this book very much. It was an interesting look at what is a probable outcome of our current course of living in terms of natural resources, war, disease, etc. To go from great abundance and regress to pioneer-type existence. It also caused me to reflect on appreciation of the simple things and more awareness of wastefulness. I enjoyed the development and growth of the characters. A great listen.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Try it.... you'll like it!

I have a weakness for post-apocalyptic fiction and this was the very book that started it all 12+ years ago. Over the years I often thought of this book so I decided it was time to revisit it as a listener. I don’t usually go for abridge since I am one of those people that want it ALL! I just don’t get who decides which parts of a story should be cut out and why? However it was the only version available at the time so I went for it.

The story is about two sister’s survival in a changed world. The changes start slowly with rolling electric blackouts and then one day the electricity never comes back on and things you depended on slowly disappear. It’s told in the perspective of the oldest sister and has an almost poetic tone to it.

I did have a couple gripes!

My first one being the music! There are these little tunes that just pop out, sometimes it’s a harmonica others times it’s a piano and I swear once I heard an accordion. There were a few times when they started it scared the bejeebies out of me. Maybe they put it there to make sure you were awake and listening… not sure.

My second gripe … these sisters did some things that sisters just don’t do or even think about doing and anyone with a sister would know this. I am thinking the author in no way had a sister.

I still think this book is worth a listen and I would listen to the story again.

On a final note -The father in this story was hilarious! I can’t help to think had it been told in his perspective this book would have been a major hit because he was a hoot!

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great listen

I listened to this three times to ensure I had heard all of the nuances of the plot and characters. The story arc and conclusion entranced me. I want more.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Best book I have ever read

I never wanted this book to end. They dynamics between father and then sisters were powerfully expressed. This end of the world story has a hopeful and healing ending

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Beware! Poor audio quality! Decent book though!

First things first... this book is hard to listen to. The narrator is fine, I enjoyed the way she read it. But just the recording itself sounds bad, like low bit-rate. I tried downloading a higher quality version, no improvement. Its tiresome on the ears and actually can be hard to understand. Its the worst I've found on audible so far.

Now for the story: It really is a good book, I'd give the book itself a solid 4 stars. Its short, its surprising, its powerful, but leaves you wanting more.

I wont dive into detail because other reviews do that just fine. Its a well written book with an interesting little story. One of the more memorable in the genre, even though it was very short, and the audio quality was poor.

Get this book the recording it deserves!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great story, Poor Audio Quality

Great story of survival as two girls overcome all odds to ensure their survival in a new world in which they must leave themselves behind.
Prepare yourself for audio quality you last heard on tape cassettes or AM radio, though. Made it difficult to hear while on the highway in my car.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Didn't like the ending....at all.

I feel like I was left hanging....
I didn't realize this was only a 10 chapter book. There was so much more that could have been added. It was almost like the author was over writing the book and just ended it abruptly. I hope the movie is better. # reallydissapointed

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

skipped almost a 1/4 of the book.

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

no one, it leaves out to much.

Has Into the Forest turned you off from other books in this genre?

if the audio books don't reed everything.

What didn’t you like about Alison Elliot’s performance?

skipped every other paragraph

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

anger.

Any additional comments?

I cannot reed very fast and i use this to help me with my English class. so while audible is playing i follow along. but you cant follow along if she does not reed everything.