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Republic of Trees by Sam Taylor
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Republic of Trees (original 2005; edition 2005)

by Sam Taylor

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912132,676 (3.29)15
Member:Daibhi
Title:Republic of Trees
Authors:Sam Taylor
Info:Faber and Faber (2005), Paperback, 192 pages
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The Republic of Trees by Sam Taylor (2005)

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An abrupt ending but suited to the story. Begins (as you'll see from browsing different internet reviews) like an Enid Blyton novel with 4 teenagers who run away to their woods. All is fun and exciting to begin with and then they begin to follow Rousseau's 'The Social Contract'. What follows echoes George Orwell's 'Animal Farm' and '1984' plus shades of 'Lord of the Flies' - completely agree with the other reviewer on here. It is a memorable book which is weird giving it just 3½ stars but that's possibly because it echoes so many other existing novels. Clearly open to another story should there be one but I do think it would spoil it. Mostly well-written but at times a little tedious. Told through the ideas of children narrators which perhaps explains some of the obvious questions about the plot details that adults would have. Worth a read. ( )
  SmithSJ01 | Aug 24, 2016 |
This is a dark tale about 4 teens, from 2 families, who live in France. They run away together to a forest in order to set up their own utopian community, which they name The Republic of Trees. Their bible is The Social Contract by Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Their life becomes filled with days hunting for food; tree climbing, swimming, map making, gardening and creating rules for their community to live by. All seemed to be going well, until a 5th person turns up, another girl, and then things start to turn awry, with sexual tensions, sibling jealousy and finally a power struggle begins. Events take a turn for the worse when they have to start making raids on other dwellings to stock up on essentials that are running low, and gradually they seem to lose their sanity and their ways of thinking become warped. From then on, with the introduction of a guillotine that the children build, their story loses its dreamlike quality of a heavenly existence and instead takes on a nightmare feel. The ending is an extremely shocking and gruesome one, which will leave you gasping with horror.

In all, I found this a disturbing but compelling read and was gripped by every page. It has comparisons with Animal Farm, 1984, Lord of the Flies and even Peter Pan, yet is unique in it own way. ( )
3 vote kehs | Aug 23, 2008 |
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This dark fable tells the story of four English children who run away to the French countryside to establish their own utopian community. But the sudden arrival of Joy and the new disciplines she brings, and their increasingly intense, obsessive and erotic relationships alter the mood of the camp irrevocably.… (more)

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