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The Ghost Road by Pat Barker
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The Ghost Road (original 1995; edition 1995)

by Pat Barker

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2,083433,175 (3.98)270
Member:lilianboerboom
Title:The Ghost Road
Authors:Pat Barker
Info:E. P. Dutton (1995), Edition: 1st, Hardcover, 256 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
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The Ghost Road by Pat Barker (1995)

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English (40)  Dutch (2)  German (1)  All languages (43)
Showing 1-5 of 40 (next | show all)
It was on the New Classics list but I didn't enjoy it much, just not interesting. Easy to read, but also a bit mixed up in jumping between characters without much of a hint that the view has changed. ( )
  deldevries | Feb 9, 2016 |
This is a superb trilogy. Beautiful writing and character development. the depiction of life in the trenches during World War 1 is vividly drawn. ( )
  HelenBaker | Feb 3, 2016 |
too all over the place literally for me. so many people, i can only remember 3-- rivers, some guy whose name i can't remember, who was bisexual and HALLET. ( )
  mahallett | Aug 2, 2015 |
This book is the final book in the WWI anti-war Regeneration trilogy, and winner of the Booker Prize in 1995.

Once again, the fictional Billy Prior takes a central role in this book, as he did in The Eye in the Door. Real life psychologist and anthropologist William Rivers also features prominently in the story. Prior and real life poet Wilfred Owen have been "mended" and are headed back to the front in France for the final push. Rivers is feeling the pressure of pronouncing these men "fit" which means sending them back to a war in which he no longer believes. As a younger man and anthropologist, Rivers had been living with a tribe of headhunters in the South Pacific. Now suffering from influenza, in his fevered state, he keeps remembering their rituals surrounding death. Barker transitions between these memories and entries in Prior's diary in an effective way.

The first book was centered at the Craiglockhart War Hospital. the second was centered in London with Prior doing intelligence work, and the third takes place on the battlefield in France and in Rivers' memories of the South Pacific. All three books are brutal in their own way. Barker writes the books from a man's perspective, and makes it all seem as gritty as possible. Prior is bisexual, and Barker uses some very graphic sex scenes in the second and third book to get this point across.

My favorite book of the trilogy was Regeneration, and I think that the Booker Prize may have been a recognition of the trilogy in its entirety. I gave The Ghost Road 3.5 stars, but would give the trilogy a 4.

Read Oct 2013 ( )
  NanaCC | Jul 26, 2015 |
“Ghosts everywhere. Even the living were only ghosts in the making. You learned to ration your commitment to them. This moment in this tent already had the quality of remembered experience. Or perhaps he was simply getting old. But then, after all, in trench time he was old. A generation lasted six months, less than that on the Somme, barely twelve weeks.”

This is the third book in Barker's Regeneration trilogy and for me the fastest paced. This book concentrates on war and struggle both internal and external but mainly how different view death. Although a few of the former residents of the mental hospital Craiglockhart are mentioned this book generally revolves around psychiatrist Charles Rivers and former patient, commoner turned officer,Billy Prior with each chapter alternating between them.

Billy a former resident of Craiglockhart and patient of Dr Rivers continues to see him as an outpatient in London as he struggles with his demons. He returns to France for his fourth tour of duty despite being at one time invalided out and offered a safe desk job in the UK. It is unclear quite why he returns to France other than fighting is all he knows and questions his place in society. He is someone who lives in the present grabbing sex wherever and whenever he can get it both with women and men. Dr Rivers in also haunted by his own demons but these are more rooted in his past and in particular his time on Melanesian island of Eddystone where he sees a very different outlook on death.

Once again this is a well written book and a worthy finale to this enthralling trilogy and perhaps one of the best things that I can say about it is that despite virtually all the characters are male at no time is it obvious that they were written by a woman. These books deserve all the praise that they've received ( )
  PilgrimJess | Feb 7, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 40 (next | show all)
Pat Barker has incorporated many of the actual words of the war's most eloquent narrators in her complex and ambitious work . . . too striking as hybrids of fact and possibility, easy humor and passionate social argument to be classified as anything but the masterwork to date of a singular and ever-evolving novelist who has consistently made up her own rules.
 

» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Barker, Patprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dijk, Edith vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Now all roads lead to France
And heavy is the tread
Of the living; but the dead
Returning lightly dance

~ 'Roads', Edward Thomas
Dedication
For David
First words
In the deck-chairs all along the front the bald pink knees of Bradford businessmen nuzzled the sun.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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This book challenges our assumptions about relationships between the classes, doctors and patients, men and women, and men and men. It completes the author's exploration of the First World War, and is a timeless depiction of humanity in extremis Originally published: London: Viking, 1995.… (more)

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2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 014103095X, 0141399376

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