HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Ghost Road by Pat Barker
Loading...

The Ghost Road (original 1995; edition 1995)

by Pat Barker

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,196492,954 (3.99)281
Member:lilianboerboom
Title:The Ghost Road
Authors:Pat Barker
Info:E. P. Dutton (1995), Edition: 1st, Hardcover, 256 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

Work details

The Ghost Road by Pat Barker (1995)

None.

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 281 mentions

English (46)  Dutch (2)  German (1)  All (49)
Showing 1-5 of 46 (next | show all)
Tragic and enthralling conclusion to the trilogy. ( )
  kale.dyer | Feb 18, 2017 |
Devastating. ( )
  jalbacutler | Jan 10, 2017 |
In this last book of Pat Barker's much acclaimed REGENERATION trilogy, she gives us a more complete history of central character Dr William Rivers with flashbacks to his time as a medical researcher in Melanesia, working with a remote tribe of head hunters, blending this backstory seamlessly into his current job treating shell shocked soldiers back from the French front in 1918. The home front propaganda battle against pacifism and homosexuality continues to be important elements in THE GHOST ROAD. Billy Prior and Wilfred Owen are semi-central to this part of the story, while Sassoon is only peripherally present. All of these characters are 'in hiding' regarding their sexuality - and there are subtle implications that Dr Rivers himself may also be homosexual. Prior in particular is once again shown to be torn about his sexual identity, holding tender feelings about Sarah, his fiancee, while still indulging in some rather brutal and unfeeling homosexual encounters.

The shell-shock, or PTSD, part of the story remains important too, as evidenced in Prior's journal entries about how unreal it feels to come back home after experiencing the brutality of battle, likening it to Rip Van Winkle waking up after years, or the children who followed the Pied Piper -

"Children do go into the mountain and not come back. We've all been home on leave and found home so foreign that we couldn't fit in. What about after the war? But perhaps it's better not to think about that. Tempting fate."

Another line near the end of the book hit home for me. It comes shortly after Prior is compelled to kill a young dog in cold blood because of the noise it's making just before a major advance.

"Then they were moving forward, hundreds of men, eerily quiet, starlit shadows barely darkening the grass. And no dogs barked."

That last sentence chillingly echoes the title of Canadian Farley Mowat's WWII memoir, AND NO BIRDS SANG.

Chilling. Perhaps that best describes Pat Barker's trilogy of the far-reaching and long-lasting effects of the awful nightmare of trench warfare in WWI. Of the three books, I still think the first, REGENERATION, is the best. But I will strongly recommend the entire trilogy.

- Tim Bazzett, author of the Cold War memoir, SOLDIER BOY: AT PLAY IN THE ASA ( )
  TimBazzett | Jan 7, 2017 |
The third book of the trilogy seems as if it could stand on it's own. I can understand why this book, above the first two, won the Booker Prize. Going back and forth between Billy Prior's narrative in France and Rivers' memories as an anthropologist in the Torres Straits, Barker brings her point on war home. There is little difference between the head-hunting cultures in the Torres Straits and the barbaric war fought in Europe. The hypocrisy of England's disgust of the native "savageness" while sending a generation of men to die shines through the narrative.

The first book was still my favorite, mainly because it dealt with the psychological trauma in the setting of a "looney-bin," as Prior calls it. The intimate setting allowed us to see how much damage can really be done even if one survives the battlefield. The third book was a great ending to the trilogy, though the romantic in me wishes for a different ending. ( )
  Sareene | Oct 22, 2016 |
Here Barker flawlessly displays her ability to move her audience by not one jot. I came to it with some expectations; not just because of the Booker but also because here was the culmination of the trilogy / long novel. What I got was a finger nail paring. A smooth and highly readable paring but a paring nonetheless. ( )
  Lukerik | Jul 12, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 46 (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
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
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.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Book description
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

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)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
4 avail.
64 wanted
3 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.99)
0.5 1
1 4
1.5
2 15
2.5 7
3 78
3.5 35
4 196
4.5 34
5 130

Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 014103095X, 0141399376

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 114,407,902 books! | Top bar: Always visible