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on 18 March 2014
This book was a wonderful, enriching surprise. It's a long time since I've not been able to put a book down, or since I've really looked forward to the next opportunity to dip into its pages. The unusual viewpoint taken, that of Dr Rivers' therapeutic interaction with prominent figures like Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen, had me gripped from the start. I found the psychiatric insights fascinating. They provided a vehicle for the reader's familiarisation with the characters on a deep and personal level as well as adding enormously to the impact on the reader of the utter waste of young lives (undoubtedly on both sides) in the 'Great War', and of any war. I did not initially expect that one of the two main characters (the other being Rivers) would turn out to be that of Billy Prior. His inevitable death left me mourning the loss of a totally ordinary yet exceptional man caught up in the tragic devastation of the war.
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on 4 May 2003
As a student studying war literature, i've had to wade through a fair bit, but this trilogy was a delight. Whilst her earlier work tends to jar a little, Pat Barker has obviously developed her characterisations since the days of Union Street, and it shows. The novel provides a useful insight into the historical background of Sassoon and Owen during their times at Craiklockhart (although it's by no means biographical), and would be just as interesting to psychologists as historians or literatre enthusiasts. Each novel takes a slightly different focus - the first is (loosely) centered round Sassoon's anti-war protest, the second around 'conchies' and the third on Rivers's missionary work in Africa. This gives Barker great scope to develop various themes, without falling into the trap of making sweeping generalisations. I can't recommend this book enough.
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on 16 August 1999
I could not put it down and read it in a single long haul flight over night. The description of life during the first world war, both in France and at home was both realistic and thought provoking. Although the eye in the door was weaker than the others in the trilogy, the whole is much greater than the sum of its parts, encompassing every part of the human condition. The accounts of Rivers' work was as enthralling as the action in the trenches, altogether a stunning piece of literature, fully deserving the booker prize
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on 26 October 2015
She's a very realistic writer. Given the research and interest currently being given to post traumatic stress disorder (which is today's name for shell shock etc) this book gives an excellent description of the problem and the brutal methods used by some, but not all, medical people to "cure". She also builds in very gripping story lines. Definitely a great read.
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on 12 May 2016
Everyone should read this, It is such a true description of the stupidity asnd brutality of war. I know this book is about the first World War and its effect on humanity but I dont think much has changed. Hopefully our soldiers get better medical treatment physically and mentaly but there is still war everywhere. A great read and very harrowing but should be read.
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on 16 October 2014
Quite a feat to get through all three sections in one go, as the subject matter is at times fairly disturbing. As a glimpse of life in an era of intolerance and fear, with much of the book based on fact, it is a triumph. Well written and researched. Recommended for anyone seeking a good account of life around the time of the first world war.
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on 6 January 2016
A very haunting and powerful trilogy of novels. I was surprised to discover the first in the series was written as long ago as the 1960s; I found myself wondering why I hadn't really heard of it before. It is shocking, moving, compelling and also in places funny - and stays with you long after you have read it. Very much recommend.
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on 16 November 2014
This collection of stories, Regeneration, The Eye in the Door and The Ghost Road, is a fantastic compilation which manages to be both interesting and disturbing in equal measure. These are all classic war stories and I hope it is enjoyed by generation after generation...It is harrowing, original and magnificent. Just read it.
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on 21 October 2014
Having just visited the battlefields of Somme and Arras and found it such a moving experience, this trilogy has enhanced this experience. It is wonderfully written and portrays the horror and wastage of war and depicts the psychological impact on the soldiers with great depth understanding and compassion
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on 6 November 2014
Excellent. These three linked novels paint a vivid portrait of the realities of the First World War, and the key character of Dr Rivers shows an enlightened approach to the treatment of post traumatic stress disorder. A really good read.
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