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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One man coming to terms with the spirituality of war & death
Similair to Birdsong in its following of a young man in the the unbelievable carnage and madness of the trenches of World War One. The passage of the main character from idealistic young farmboy from America, looking for adventure in the battlefields of Europe; then the realisation that honour and courage are rare and sanity non existent as thousands of young men are...
Published on 9 April 2001 by cymru03@globalnet.co.uk

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A character-driven piece set in WWI
Although well-written, I found Anthony's take on a soldier's experience of the First World War trenches much too mystical and fanciful to really strike a nerve. The main character, Stanhope, is not particularly believable, and the style of using his letters home to tell the story is less than convincing. Too much of the book is spent describing Stanhope's bizarre...
Published on 12 July 1999


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One man coming to terms with the spirituality of war & death, 9 April 2001
This review is from: Flanders (Paperback)
Similair to Birdsong in its following of a young man in the the unbelievable carnage and madness of the trenches of World War One. The passage of the main character from idealistic young farmboy from America, looking for adventure in the battlefields of Europe; then the realisation that honour and courage are rare and sanity non existent as thousands of young men are desicrated in the low lying fields of Flanders. Hallucinatory images of the dead in a garden waiting for the journey that will take them to heaven, of how angels wait over and guard the fallen are how the soldier copes with the traumas and how he finds sanity amongst the insane.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A thoughtful, intelligent book about war & spirituality, 23 Jan 2000
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This review is from: Flanders (Paperback)
I have just finished reading this book and very much enjoyed it. Travis Lee Stanhope is a jaded American who, dissilusioned with life as a country boy among the shallow sophisticates at Harvard, opts to join the British Army in order to experience life. On the front line in Flanders Travis encounters other outcasts, first his commanding officer Captain Miller who is Jewish (and a closet homosexual); then the homicidal French Canadian Le Blanc, scarred by his experiences in a Montreal orphanage. Travis, although officially a Baptist and in reality a borderline atheist, also develops a unique friendship with the batallion's Irish Catholic chaplain, Father O'Shaugnessy who believes that Travis has the gift of second sight - he can see and communicate with men after they have been killed. There are some interesting plot twists, the only thing I found implausable was the narrative which takes the form of letters to Travis' younger brother Bobby (where would somone in the midst of battle find the time to write such detailed letters?) - however thinking about it, and the revelation that Travis never posts most of the letters, I think Travis was carrying on a dialogue with himself - the letters are perhaps his way of keeping a diary. I also found the British accents a bit too cliched - a little too music hall Cockney, however having said that I think it's an excellent book and would reccomend it. This is the first Patricia Anthony book I have read, I will be interested in reading more, as well as other novels by contemporary authors about the First World War ("Birdsong" and "The Regeneration Trilogy" are two I have ordered as a result of reading "Flanders").
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4.0 out of 5 stars Anthony finds Flanders fields troubling, 20 Jan 2004
By 
Billy J. Hobbs "Bill Hobbs" (Tyler, TX USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Flanders (Paperback)
It was touted as "the war to end all wars"! Young Texan Travis Lee Stanhope has
volunteered to join a British regiment in the spring of 1916 for "a piece of
adventure," he says. He soon re-defines his own idealism and discovers that instead
of "acts of nobility" that "war is hell."
Patricia Anthony in her novel "Flanders"
vividly recounts this tragedy with a poetic sense of style--and justice. The storyline depends upon a series of letters that Travis Lee writes to his younger brother, still at home in Harper, Texas. A crack sharpshooter, Travis tries to be assimilated into the ranks of his British comrades (despite the differences in the common language!) who
have found themselves in the trenches in Flanders. He soon recognizes the sheer
horror, depravity, uselessness, and stupidity of this war and turns to booze,
unleashed sexual appetite, and even ritual violence.
As the war is a tragedy (isn't
there tragedy is all wars!), Anthony seems to have captured the essence of this one,
from the muddy, bloody trenches themselves to the relationships between the
soldiers, who seem to come in every shape and form.
As war itself is disquieting, so it is
in "Flanders." It is not an easy book to read, nor to digest, but it is a book that is
not easy to forget. Anthony's poetry loving (and reciting) Texan-among-the-Brits in
far off Flanders fields is one character who's memorable.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Anthony captures the Flanders trenches!, 25 Nov 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Flanders (Paperback)
It was touted as "the war to end all wars"! Young Texan Travis Lee Stanhope has volunteered to join a British regiment in the spring of 1916 for "a piece of adventure," he says. He soon re-defines his own idealism and discovers that instead of "acts of nobility" that "war is hell." Patricia Anthony in her novel "Flanders" vividly recounts this tragedy with a poetic sense of style--and justice.
The storyline depends upon a series of letters that Travis Lee writes to his younger brother, still at home in Harper, Texas. A crack sharpshooter, Travis tries to be assimilated into the ranks of his British comrades (despite the differences in the common language!) who have found themselves in the trenches in Flanders. He soon recognizes the sheer horror, depravity, uselessness, and stupidity of this war and turns to booze, unleashed sexual appetite, and even ritual violence. As the war is a tragedy (isn't there tragedy is all wars!), Anthony seems to have captured the essence of this one, from the muddy, bloody trenches themselves to the relationships between the soldiers, who seem to come in every shape and form.
As war itself is disquieting, so in "Flanders." It is not an easy book to read, nor to digest, but it is a book that is not easy to forget. Anthony's poetry loving (and reciting) Texan-among-the-Brits in far off Flanders fields is one character that's memorable.
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4.0 out of 5 stars War on an individual level,good and evil, visionistic, 21 April 2000
This review is from: Flanders (Paperback)
Read this book and enter a world where death is so much a part of life that the two are almost inseperable. Seen through the eyes of an American volunteer, this is war on an individual level, harrowing in it's detail. Played out in the suffocating stench of the trenches, it explores human nature both good and evil. Through the rain and cold and the cloying mud of Flanders fields, this one man has a vision of what follows, a place of silent beauty that promises a much longed for tranquility.
Enter this world and you will become bruised and battered, but the experience of the reality and the vision may leave you mystified or elated. Richard D. Mills
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4.0 out of 5 stars An emotional and personal account of The Great War., 23 July 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Flanders (Paperback)
Having just finished reading 'Flanders' I have to say how impressed I was. Much better than Pat Barker's 'Regeneration' series. The book focusses on the day to day lives of soldiers in the trenches - the mud, lice and hardships. Vivid descriptions of the living conditions and the futility of the conflict. The book builds to an inevitable conclusion, with an interesting twist. I found this compelling reading, making me want to seek out some of Patricia Anthony's other work. Even better as I'd bought the book on a whim.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful book with a powerful storyline., 12 Aug 2013
By 
J. T. Williamson (Suffolk, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Flanders (Kindle Edition)
This is one of my all time favourite books. It's beautifully written with a clear, protagonist, Flawed but compassionate. The spirituality of this book fits so well with the sorrow and anger of the setting.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A character-driven piece set in WWI, 12 July 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Flanders (Paperback)
Although well-written, I found Anthony's take on a soldier's experience of the First World War trenches much too mystical and fanciful to really strike a nerve. The main character, Stanhope, is not particularly believable, and the style of using his letters home to tell the story is less than convincing. Too much of the book is spent describing Stanhope's bizarre thoughts and dreams, which become increasingly far-fetched. This is really a psychological drama set in World War One, and although prefectly readable, not as gripping as I had hoped.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not up to par, 1 Sep 2004
By 
Christian Spriet "Chacklee Chack" (Bruges, Belgium) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Flanders (Paperback)
Remarque, Manning, Barbusse, more recently: Faulks, Morpurgo and Barker. When the FWW novel is concerned, these are the stablished pick of the basket. Any author/editor should be well aware he sticks his neck out when ranking his work with the above-mentioned.
Flanders (even 'the one' of the Western Front) being our home base, we ventured out to read the homonymous novel, with an eagerness which soon ended in disappointment.
To begin with, intending for her story to gain directness through a combined eyewitness + letter-writing narrative instance, the author apparently bit off more than she could chew. Trying to get across a content dating back 80-odd years ago through a letter-writing protagonist-annex eyewitness is a laudable attempt to boost directness, but unavoidably a letter-writing procedure in itself implies considering things in retrospect. And direct speech, on-the-spot emotion or mental distress just turn out to remain incompatible with this. Ergo: the technique fails to exert the pretended impact; ergo: the reader ends up dissatisfied.
What compounds this drawback is the equally hapless effect of literary motif. A cemetery with a glass roof (the protagonist's existential fears) and the calico girl (his longing for safety) are bleak clichés; their effect, if any, does not exceed the superficiality of their explicitness. Again: read Remarque or Barbusse and mark the bluntness, or Faulks and Barker and let their subdued expression strike your responsive chord.
Likewise, and for her benefit, the author ought to have used understatement: less is more, and any statement by one who 'lived to tell the tale' (read Lyn MacDonald or any collection of first-hand testimonies) will teach one that only suggestion can contribute to making sense of the unwordable and unthinkable.
There is an amount wrong with this book, and this is the major stumbling block the reader will trip over: the lack of empathy, the repetitiveness, the predictability. Like the final, fateful letter to the home front which 'needs must' be dated Xmas Eve, 1916.
'This' Flanders sadly remains without the slightest trace of a couleur locale, which offered a wealth of approaches (think of Blunden) that would so logically have merged with the authentic desolateness while staying aloof of sentimentalism.
Any allusion of this novel ranking with the top achievements is word play.
The author is into writing classes, one reads. At the risk of sounding blunt: unavoidably one is inclined to think: "Well. How about some..."
Just not worth it, not even the single star that Amazon is wont to give to underachievers.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Well intentioned but not one for the Historians, 5 Oct 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Flanders (Paperback)
To be brief, this book is filled with some really great images and gives some interesting dream sequence ideas, but its not only the letter style type of writing which leaves this book fragmented. What I get from reading this is that the whole book is missing the dirt factor, the whole story dispite its setting, is too clean, too hollywood. Interesting for all the bits not about the war.
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Flanders
Flanders by Patricia Anthony (Paperback - April 2000)
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