Forest Dark by Nicole Krauss

Forest Dark

Jules Epstein, a man whose drive, avidity, and outsized personality have, for sixty-eight years, been a force to be reckoned with, is undergoing a metamorphosis. In the wake of his parents’ deaths, his divorce from his wife of more than thirty years, and his retirement from the New York legal firm where he was a partner, he’s felt an irresistible need to give away his possessions, alarming his children and perplexing the executor of his estat...

Details Forest Dark

TitleForest Dark
Release DateSep 12th, 2017
GenreFiction, Contemporary, Literary Fiction, Literature, Cultural, Israel

Reviews Forest Dark

  • Elyse
    "But at a certain point the helplessness of our shared love for the children had reached a kind of apex, and then began to decline until it was no longer helpful to our relationship at all, because it only shone a light on how alone each of us was, and, compared to our children, how unloved"."In our own ways, we had each come to understand that we had lost faith in our marriage. And yet we didn't know how to act on this understanding, as one does...
  • Violet wells
    I’ve read all three of Nicole Krauss’ previous novels and one thing they all have in common is the writer is well concealed behind all the formal artistry. In this new novel of hers there’s a character called Nicole speaking in the first person with an intelligence at the height of its powers. So the first exciting thing about this was the feeling of intimacy with which Krauss seems to speak her mind. There are two narratives here. The writ...
  • Brina
    Last month I was finally introduced to the writing of Nicole Krauss. Craving Jewish themed books to read over the holidays, I had selected her National Book Award finalist Great House and neither the subject matter nor the writing disappointed. Shortly after completing this work starring a desk, I starting seeing reviews for Krauss' new book Forest Dark. Seeing that it is similar in format and that it takes place in Israel, I decided to make read...
  • Jill
    If I were a professional book reviewer—which I’m not—I might well have given Forest Dark five stars. After all, it’s cerebral, intelligently written, thought provoking, and brilliantly complex.But I am simply a reader who likes to capture my reading experience and share my thoughts with others. And for me, this book was a thing to be admired rather than loved.There are two parallel stories. One is the story of Jules Epstein, who goes miss...
  • Roger Brunyate
    The Empty SpaceI read this book eagerly and with absorption; my reactions ranged from admiration to love. All the same, I could easily describe it in such a way that no one would buy it: a first-person narrative by an author unable to overcome her writer's block, interleaved with the story of a wealthy lawyer who gradually withdraws from normal life. The two stories are not even connected, for heaven's sake! In the hands of a lesser writer, this ...
  • Rebecca Foster
    Impressive in scope and structure, yet rather frustrating. If you’re hoping for another History of Love, you’re likely to come away disappointed: while that book touched the heart; this one is mostly cerebral. Metafiction, the Kabbalah, and some alternative history featuring Kafka are a few of the major elements, so think about whether those topics attract or repel you. Looking deeper, this is a book about Jewish self-invention and reinventio...
  • Rachel León
    Nicole Krauss is hands down one of my favorite novelists. I'm in awe of her brilliance. Yes, she is a poetic writer who can writes well-crafted beautiful sentences, but her intelligence seems other worldly. She can craft such a rich story that appears simple on the surface, but is deceptively layered with meaning--such is the case with FOREST DARK. The story juxtaposes the lives of Epstein, a retired attorney, and Nicole, a novelist. The presence...
  • Lucy Banks
    I received a copy of this book from Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.Beautiful prose and a fascinating subject matter - but I was left wondering what the central point was...Right from the start, I was wowed by the author's stunningly elegant writing; such thought-provoking language, laid out beautifully in this novel which is half about people, half about the nature of Judaism (and indeed, theology in general). It's a story about Epst...
  • Ron Charles
    Some readers may wonder if there’s a connection between the narrator of "Forest Dark" and the critically acclaimed novelist Nicole Krauss, who also has two sons and is separated from her husband, Jonathan Safran Foer. Nothing in these pages discourages the assumption that Krauss is revealing her own laments about the failure of their marriage, which makes “Forest Dark” feel uncomfortably passive aggressive: an act of relationship revenge wi...
  • Marialyce
    "Midway upon the journey of our lifeI found myself within a forest dark, For the straightforward pathway had been lost" (Dante)Nicole Krauss has written a book of discovery, one that questions what life is and what one needs or doesn't need to lead a life well lived or possibly just plain lived. She has created two characters both of them searching for themselves in the land of Israel. She makes these characters go through an internal metamorphos...
  • Kathleen
    My review for the Chicago Tribune: Krauss' highly anticipated fourth novel, "Forest Dark," is preceded with a variation on the standard this-is-a-work-of-fiction disclaimer: "References to real people, events, establishments and organizations or locales are intended only to provide a sense of authenticity and are used fictitiously. All other characters, and all incidents and dialogue, are drawn from ...
  • switterbug (Betsey)
    Nicole Krauss has always delivered 5 star books, but FOREST DARK is easily her best and most mesmerizing one to date. Poised, elegant, and numinous, it also moved me close to tears and left me exhilarated. She explores that liminal space between darkness and light, the internal and external, emptiness and fullness, and between life and death. Two unrelated but connected characters and their stories are linked thematically in their quests for spir...
  • Sid Nuncius
    I thought Nicole Krauss's Great House was excellent and I was looking forward to this very much. Sadly, I thought Forest Dark was self-regardingly flashy and ultimately empty.The book centres around two Jewish characters who are, in their different ways, having crises of identity and reassessing both their lives and their relationships with Israel and Judaism. Jules Epstein is a hugely successful businessman who begins to give away his possession...
  • Fiona
    I've given up 30% through this book. It's not that I didn't find some enjoyment in reading it, it's that it became harder and harder to pick it up. I'm not a fan of the two thread novel format generally and, for me, this is a clear example of why.Essentially we have two unrelated people, a female author who feels trapped in both her domestic and professional lives - she's held as an icon by the Jewish people who feel she champions them in her wri...
  • Sam
    Review TK.
  • Matt
    I 95% chalk this rating to user error, but I honestly have no idea what was going on in Forest Dark. That's not to say that I couldn't follow the plot. I could. Mostly. The story, though? I am at a complete loss on the significance--the meaning--of the whole thing. I have a strong sense that someone more versed in/familiar with Israel and Judaism's scripture/stories would be able to decode what Nicole Krauss is going for. To me, however, the plot...
  • Leah Rachel
    I adored The History of Love when I read it in 2010, its poetic language and twisting tale washing over me like ocean waves. So I was thrilled when I heard that Nicole Krauss was releasing a new novel this September called Forest Dark, and even more thrilled when it arrived in my mailbox a few weeks ago in exchange for an honest review. Forest Dark is an incredible piece of artwork that tells two tales of personal transformation. A lawyer, Jules ...
  • Kirsty
    Krauss is one of my favourite authors, and her newest novel, Forest Dark, was one of my most highly anticipated reads of the year. Her prose is wonderful, and the entire book has been beautifully, richly, and sensuously written. The characters are all multi-layered, and teem with complexities. Krauss' newest work is filled with a plethora of philosophical and scientific ideas, of psychology and the practices and processes of weiring. The use of t...
  • Mary Lins
    “Forest Dark”, by Nicole Krauss, is a very unusual novel in structure, plot and tone. It’s my first time reading Krauss, so I can’t compare it with her highly acclaimed previous novels, but I did enjoy its uniqueness.The novel is structured with two alternating narratives. In the first, we have Epstein, a 68-year old Jewish man; father of three adults and recently divorced. Epstein is a complex character “resistant to easy categorizatio...
  • Greg Zimmerman
    Fiercely smart, incredibly personal, gorgeously written. So much to keep in your head, so much to puzzle out. I'm not sure I did either very well.
  • Jessica
    Whee, thanks Edelweiss!
  • Myndi
    I’ve never liked The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Despite having read it several times, the story simply annoys me. But my gods, Fitzgerald knew how to pen a sentence. Before Fitzgerald, it never occurred to me that some books are constructed of the most beautiful sentences ever written, and that alone makes them worth reading, never mind how they play out collectively. Nicole Krauss is a modern-day Fitzgerald. The way she puts words to...
  • Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
    Forest Dark is two stories with two narrators; the paths of the narrators never cross. (I kept waiting. You kind of expect that, don't you?) Both narrators are at crossroads in their lives. The story of the rich old man was very compelling, as we follow him during his later years, abruptly, inexplicably, divorcing after a long marriage, giving away all his possessions, and moving to Israel. The second story is that of a well-respected writer who ...
  • Patty Shlonsky
    " Israel no one can ever agree on the way the world appears, and despite the violence of the never-ending argument, the basic admittance of discord had always been a relief to me."Forest Dark is about two very different people, completely unconnected, searching for some sense of something in Israel. Jules Epstein, a wealthy, loud, opinionated and boorish retired lawyer, is recently divorced. He is struggling with who he is, the personalities...
  • Sue
    With thanks to Bloomsbury via NetGalley for the opportunity to read this. I am not averse to a bit of theology in my reading and Nicole Krauss has some interesting things to say about the Jewish faith and the Jews’ creation of their own myth and history. ‘…we didn’t invent the idea of a single God; we only wrote a story of our struggle to remain true to Him and in doing so we invented ourselves. We gave ourselves a past and inscribed ours...
  • Dolf Patijn
    Nicole Krauss is a great writer. I love her writing style and how she can create atmosphere in just a few words. This book seems to be a vessel for a lot of reflections on life, memory and identity and is also a portrait of Israel. It is an interesting book but I didn't find the story as engaging as "The History of Love".