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The Ghost Road (Regeneration Trilogy Book 3) [Kindle Edition]

Pat Barker
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
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Book Description

1918, the closing months of the war. Army psychiatrist William Rivers is increasingly concerned for the men who have been in his care – particularly Billy Prior, who is about to return to combat in France with young poet Wilfred Owen. As Rivers tries to make sense of what, if anything, he has done to help these injured men, Prior and Owen await the final battles in a war that has decimated a generation …

The Ghost Road is the Booker Prize winning account of the devastating final months of the First World War.

The third book in the Regeneration trilogy

Books In This Series (3 Books)
Complete Series

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    Product Description


    An extraordinary tour de force. I'm convinced that the trilogy will win recognition as one of the few real masterpieces of late 20th-century British fiction (Jonathan Coe)

    From the Back Cover

    1918, and Billy Prior is in France once again, a real test case for the 'shell-shock' therapies practised at Craiglockhart War Hospital where, with Wilfred Owen, he was a patient. Prior experiences a late-summer idyll, some days of perfect beauty, before the final battles in a war that has destroyed most of his generation. In London, Prior's psychologist, William Rivers, tends to his new patients, more young men whose lives and minds have been shattered. And remembers the primitive society on Eddystone Island where he studied as an anthropologist before the war. Gathering together both experiences, he sees the gulf between them narrow… Challenging and harrowing, brilliantly incisive yet always compassionate, Pat Barker's Booker Prize winning novel is magnificent listening.

    Product details

    • Format: Kindle Edition
    • File Size: 348 KB
    • Print Length: 292 pages
    • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0452276721
    • Publisher: Penguin (9 Aug. 2012)
    • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B008NBQWLE
    • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
    • X-Ray:
    • Word Wise: Not Enabled
    • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
    • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
    • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #81,637 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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    More About the Author

    Pat Barker's books include Union Street (1982), winner of the 1983 Fawcett Prize, which has been filmed as "Stanley and Iris"; Blow Your House Down (1984); Liza's England (1986), formerly The Century's Daughter; The Man Who Wasn't There (1989); Another World; Border Crossing; and the highly acclaimed Regeneration trilogy, comprising Regeneration, The Eye in The Door, winner of the 1993 Guardian Fiction Prize, and The Ghost Road, winner of the 1995 Booker Prize for Fiction. Her latest novel is Life Class.

    Barker's powerful early novels Union Street (Virago) and Blow Your House Down (Virago) memorable books celebrating the individuality of the lives of 'ordinary' women. After this the focus of her writing shifted slightly and her Regeneration trilogy was widely praised for its astute and unflinching portrayal of issues of violence, sexuality and class against the backdrop of World War One. The violence of the First World War also coloured the backdrop of Pat Barker's next novel, Another World, which looked at its effects on following generations and this theme is picked up again in Border Crossing.

    Pat Barker was born in Thornaby-on-Tees in 1943. She was educated at the London School of Economics and has been a teacher of history and politics. She lives in Durham.

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    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars The weakest part of the Regeneration Trilogy 5 Feb. 2011
    By Ian Shine VINE VOICE
    Pat Barker's Regeneration Trilogy begins with 1991's 'Regeneration', is followed by 1993's 'The Eye in the Door' and ends with 'The Ghost Road' in 1995. I read them back-to-back in 2011 and, even though I expected the trilogy to improve on the phenomenal start it made with 'Regeneration' - considering 'The Eye in the Door' won the Guardian Fiction Prize and 'The Ghost Road' won the Booker Prize while `Regeneration didn't win any prizes - I found it actually became less engaging and less focused with each book, particularly with the final book.
    All three books are set during World War I. 'Regeneration' focuses on the war poet Siegfried Sassoon as he recovers from shell-shock in a war hospital in Scotland and is treated by Dr Rivers (who is the main character throughout the trilogy); 'The Eye in the Door' is based more on life in the UK during the war, looking at the issues facing homosexual men and those sheltering deserters and/or pacifists; while 'The Ghost Road' sees Billy Prior, a soldier who was in the war hospital in 'Regeneration' and involved heavily in 'The Eye in the Door', return to the war front. This final book is split between Prior's accounts of the war, Dr Rivers's work in a war hospital and Rivers's flashbacks/recollections of his early anthropological studies among a tribal culture.
    The main themes binding the books are the sense of futility and hopelessness that drove soldiers to insanity; the emasculating effects of being stuck in a trench (or any place) where you are ordered to do things and have your fate taken out of your own hands.
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    1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars A study of casual violence 16 July 2012
    By Stewart M TOP 1000 REVIEWER
    I may have made a mistake by reading this book without first having read the others in what I now I understand to be a trilogy. However, I doubt if I am alone in having done this - so I will continue with the review.

    The book is set in the final stages of WW I and follows the lives William Rivers - a psychiatrist - and two of his patients - the poet Wilfred Owen and Billy Prior. Interlaced with these stories are recollections from Rivers of his time as an anthropologist.

    The general arc of the story is not unpredictable, with the fate of Owen being too well known to come as a surprise or a shock. What does come through is the fatalism that holds sway over many of the characters within the book - they have seen too much already not to know the truth of the war. In this way many of the things they do feel like the preparations for death - and this seems be the link to the anthropological memories of rivers. What we are witnessing in the war and on the tropical islands are the rituals of death.

    The story deals with the casual barbarity of the war on a psychological rather than physical level, and is all the more troubling for that approach. This casual indifference also seems to pervade all the references made to sex within the book, with most being depicted as unequal power relationships about revenge or humiliation. I suppose my surprise at these sections could have been heightened by not reading the other books in the series, but I doubt it.

    Overall, this is an interesting investigation of people who have been forced to stare into the abyss of human violence. But in the end I found the inevitability of the plot distracting.

    Recommended, but with a few reservations.
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    1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Haunting 1 Sept. 2010
    By Sam Quixote TOP 500 REVIEWER
    "The Ghost Road" is set in the closing months of WW1 and alternates between a traumatised soldier, Billy Prior, and his physician WHR Rivers. Rivers' treatment of Prior's physical and mental wounds leaves him more or less sane but determined to return to the Front while Rivers continues his work, helping physically and mentally damaged men overcome their problems.

    The book's focus on trauma and it's effects has never been done so well as in this book. Barker's presentation of soldiers who have seen hell on earth never once diminishes what they've gone through or who they are afterwards, they each retain honour in their fragile states. One line towards the end sums up the mindset of a traumatised soldier: "Loos, she said. I remember standing by the bar and thinking that words didn't mean anything anymore. Patriotism honour courage vomit vomit vomit. Only the names meant anything. Mons, Loos, the Somme, Arras, Verdun, Ypres." (p.257).

    Barker's characterisation of Prior and Rivers is brilliant. Each man is flawed and heroic in their own ways. Prior's bedroom antics, especially the last encounter he has at the end, might make him seem almost sociopathic but this is juxtaposed with the way he looks after the men he's in charge of, as well as his decision to return to the Front despite being given the chance to avoid it. Rivers is the kind and understanding doctor who, through flashbacks to an earlier life in the Solomon Islands, is also shown as flawed in his own ways via the journey he took to become the great man he was.

    Lewis Carroll, Wilfred Owen, and Siegfried Sassoon all play minor parts and are brought to life fantastically well.
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    5.0 out of 5 stars You have no choice - you must read this one too...
    I read the whole trilogy in three weeks! This is the first book that I have ever gone quickly to the last pages to find out the final fate of one of the characters!! Read more
    Published 2 months ago by Victoria Walsh
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    good quality , fast delivery
    Published 2 months ago by T. J. Howard
    4.0 out of 5 stars A good read
    A set text on an OU course, which I'd read before when I read the whole trilogy. I'd forgotten most of it, and I do think that we read and understand books in a different way at... Read more
    Published 6 months ago by Mrs. Sylvia Warhurst
    5.0 out of 5 stars A very good novel about war and its terrible personal
    It makes you think deeply. A very good novel about war and its terrible personal consequencies
    Published 8 months ago by Joan Descals Esquius
    5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
    All the books in this trilogy are tremendously good. I would recommend them highly. Thoughtful, sensitive, intelligent, robust: historical and deeply creative at the same time.
    Published 10 months ago by BELLE
    4.0 out of 5 stars First read of Pat Barker ... Unsure so far but carrying on ....
    Cover 3/5 nothing to me to see the book.

    Contents. I suppose I am starting the wrong end of the trilogy. Strange but compelling ... I read on ... Read more
    Published 10 months ago by Alexander Kreator
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Great book
    Published 11 months ago by emba
    5.0 out of 5 stars world war 1 remembered
    The whole trilogy is a 5

    Particularly poignant reading it on the anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War. Read more
    Published 11 months ago by Ann Heather Nash
    4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
    excellent read
    Published 11 months ago by B. Whitehead
    4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
    posted as advertised and on time
    Published 12 months ago by alhaze
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