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Double Vision by Pat Barker

Double Vision (edition 2003)

by Pat Barker

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3831028,125 (3.48)16
Title:Double Vision
Authors:Pat Barker
Info:Hamish Hamilton Ltd (2003), Hardcover
Collections:Your library
Tags:1st, fiction, read 2007, read, anglophone

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Double Vision by Pat Barker



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It's not often that I agree with anything in the Telegraph, but the line on the cover "unputdownable and thought-provoking" describes my feelings on this book fairly precisely. A much more modern setting than many of her books, but issues of grief and guilt are again at the core of this book. Her writing is eloquent but never over wordy and she makes you savour many of her sentences. Highly recommended. ( )
  johnwbeha | Nov 18, 2015 |
Having covered it all, from Bosnia to Ground Zero, foreign correspondent Stephen has hung up his flak jacket and gone to ground in a cottage on his brother's land, in a rural north-east devastated by the foot-and-mouth disaster. Two things have particularly moved him - the body of a raped and mutilated girl on a stairwell in Sarajevo, and the death of his war photographer friend, Ben Frobisher, shot while taking his own last shot on a road in Afghanistan.
Ben's sculptress widow, Kate, lives nearby, neck in a brace from a road accident but determined to complete the huge figure of Christ she is making for the cathedral. Unwillingly, she has hired for the heavy work a young assistant, the personable but unsettling Peter Wingrave, who comes recommended by her philanthropic vicar friend. The vicar is father of Stephen's girlfriend, the much younger Justine, a fresh-faced, sensible girl who has a romantic history with the mysterious Peter. ( )
  dalzan | Apr 21, 2013 |
  kristel76 | Jan 29, 2013 |
As always with Pat Barker, reading just one page is enough for her to draw you into the book and the world she has created. Her characters are real people, some nice, some not so nice. Several stories intertwine: a widowed sculptor has a car accident and needs help to finish a commission, the war-correspondent friend of her deceased husband comes to spend some time away from London in his brother's holiday cottage nearby, trying to recover from PTSD on his own. The brother's family is not as happy as it looked at first sight, and there is a lovely au-pair, the not so chaste daughter of the vicar. All written expertly, keeping you going without effort. A very good read, posing some interesting questions ( )
1 vote mojacobs | Feb 15, 2011 |
Publisher's Blurb
Insomnia, exhaustion, recurring nightmares. Stephen Sharkey is suffering the after effects of his career as a war reporter, most recently in Afghanistan, where Ben Frobisher, war photographer and friend, has been shot dead on assignment. Hanging up his flak jacket and turning his back on the everyday reality of war, Stephen moves into a quiet and peaceful cottage in the north of England. It seems the perfect environment in which to write his book on the representations of war, one that will be based largely on Ben Frobisher's work. But Stephen's supposed isolation offers no protection from other people's suffering or the shattering effects of human brutality.

There were actually two threads in this novel: the Stephen Sharkey one detailed in the blurb, and another story in which Kate Frobisher, sculptor, widow of the dead Ben Frobisher, is central.

At the beginning of the story Kate is involved in an accident late at night on an icy road and she is severely injured when her car slams into a tree. Just before passing out she is aware of a man standing next to the car, peering in the driver's window. When she is later rescued by police and ambulance, the "watcher" is never mentioned, but Kate knows he did nothing about rescuing her.

Kate has recently been commissioned to create a large bronze statue of Christ for the local church, but she has been severely injured in the accident and has to employ someone to help her make the plaster cast for the sculpture. The local vicar finds someone for her - a man working as a gardener, who has a mysterious background.

I'm not sure why I thought this would be crime fiction. In my defence some of Pat Barker's novels are listed in crime fiction indexes. So I chose this recording on the basis of the author's name, and really should have read the blurb more carefully. The frustrating thing is that a crime is committed, but resolution is not central to the novel. ( )
  smik | Jul 27, 2010 |
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Pat Barkerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bekker, Jos denTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312424108, Paperback)

In the aftermath of covering 9/11, English war reporter Stephen Sharkey and photographer Ben Frobisher leave New York and part company. Stephen returns to the devastating discovery of the end of his marriage; while on assignment in Afghanistan Ben is killed. Retreating to the English countryside to write a book questioning the role of the war reporter and photographer Stephen enters into complicated relationships with Ben’s widow Kate, a sculptor, her disturbing and sinister young studio assistant, and a young au-pair. Set far from the literal theatre of war, Double Vision is nonetheless a novel about its representation and effects as Pat Barker once more lays bare the complexities of desire and violence.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:57:53 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Profoundly affected by the events of September 11th and its aftermath, two British journalists return to England to face different fates, in a study of the effects of violence on those who come in contact with it.

(summary from another edition)

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