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Regeneration by Pat Barker

Regeneration (1991)

by Pat Barker

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Regeneration Trilogy (book 1)

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3,498931,518 (4.04)582
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    pellethepoet: Brief biography of Dr. Rivers, the psychiatrist who treated Siegfried Sassoon at Craiglockhart War Hospital

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» See also 582 mentions

English (86)  Dutch (4)  German (2)  Finnish (1)  All (93)
Showing 1-5 of 86 (next | show all)
Review coming soon. ( )
  EarlGreyBooks | Aug 2, 2017 |
I’ve finally managed to read this book – my third attempt over several years. I know some people who rate it very highly but for me it’s too self-consciously analytical and rather tedious at times, especially when it comes to analysing all those dreams – Rivers, for example, analysing his own dream early in the novel. I also don’t much care for historical fiction as a whole. I did recently enjoy Macrae’s ‘His Bloody Project’ but this book, for all its emergence from research, only uses the historical background and gives the fictitious characters the breadth they need. I don’t know how far Barker has fictionalised Graves, Sassoon and Owen but it makes me uneasy to graft onto real people her own ideas of what they may have been like. Give me historical characters as they were as far as we can ascertain! And at the end of the book, in her ‘Author’s Note’, Barker seems to be justifying what she wrote, for example stating that Sassoon’s own writing is on Owen’s ‘Anthem for doomed youth’, showing that she had stuck to reality in having this happen in her book.

I guess that I’m not overly interested in discussions about war and duty and heroism. When I think of the trillions of dollars spent around the world each year on war, it all makes me reflect on how self-destructive we humans are, especially when you think about how that money could alleviate world problems. So while Pat Barker’s book does show the negative side of war, its focus on Rivers trying to work out where he stands is drawn out for me and I certainly shan’t be reading more of the trilogy. ( )
  evening | Mar 10, 2017 |
Novel set in World War I that explores the impacts of this war on definitions of masculinity and featuring the psychological treatments of the time. Simple language used powerfully and to great effect. ( )
  kale.dyer | Feb 14, 2017 |
When Siegfried Sassoon, an English soldier and poet, writes a letter protesting the war in 1917, a friend of his manages to get him sent to Craiglockhart hospital instead of getting court martialed.

I expected this historical fiction to be more about the war and the fighting, but instead it shows the many men whose experience of war was psychologically damaging. Dr. Rivers, a psychologist and anthropologist, and his patients show us the horror of war through each of their stories, experiences, and wrestling with conscience. Sassoon, for his part, claims not to be a pacifist and is known for his heroism, but articulately maintains that the war has gone on long enough, while Rivers sees it as his duty to convince him to go back. The tone is melancholy, and makes for difficult reading at times, but it is a well-done portrait of a time and characters who were real people: poets and soldiers who experienced the war. ( )
  bell7 | Jan 27, 2017 |
An oddly subdued and emotionally controlled book. Highly readable, and strangely interesting even from the start when the whole thing seems to be a sequence of interview texts. The torture scene later on was particularly well done; I had to stop reading afterwards to think about it. I think my enjoyment would have been enhanced if I knew the details of the events from history in more detail and as this is just part of a trilogy I suppose I've essentially just read a third of a novel. If I have a criticism (and I feel I have to offer one) it's that it occasionally falls back on the trappings of women's fiction. ( )
1 vote Lukerik | Jul 12, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 86 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Barker, Patprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kim, LuciaCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nevinson, CRWCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For David, and in loving memory of

Dr John Hawkings (1922 - 1987)
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I am making this statement as an act of wilful defiance of military authority, because I believe the war is being deliberately prolonged by those who have the power to end it.
Anna didn't believe in love. She thought when a man loved a woman it was as the fox loves the hare, and when a woman loved a man it was as a tapeworm loves the gut.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
From the book cover:
Pat Barker's Regeneration is the opening salvo in her trilogy of novels about the young men who fought in the First World War, the third of which--The Ghost Road--won the 1995 Booker Prize. Based on the real life meeting between the poet and anti-war protestor Siegfried Sassoon and army psychologist W. H. R. Rivers in 1917, Regeneration is a vivid evocation of the agony of the Front as well as a powerful anthem for doomed youth.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0452270073, Paperback)

Regeneration, one in Pat Barker's series of novels confronting the psychological effects of World War I, focuses on treatment methods during the war and the story of a decorated English officer sent to a military hospital after publicly declaring he will no longer fight. Yet the novel is much more. Written in sparse prose that is shockingly clear -- the descriptions of electronic treatments are particularly harrowing -- it combines real-life characters and events with fictional ones in a work that examines the insanity of war like no other. Barker also weaves in issues of class and politics in this compactly powerful book. Other books in the series include The Eye in the Door and the Booker Award winner The Ghost Road.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:14 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Set in a British military hospital during WWI, this novel blends fact and fiction, drawing its two protagonists from the pages of history. The author of Union Street (made into the film Stanley and Iris) portrays overwhelmed men who try to come to terms with their outrage of a futile war.… (more)

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141030933, 0141045523

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