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Lethargica by Edward Carpenter

Lethargica (edition 2012)

by Edward Carpenter

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2012515,329 (4.32)2
Authors:Edward Carpenter
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Lethargica by Edward H. Carpenter



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This is such a bittersweet story, and I thought that it was very well done. I liked the romantic aspects of the story just as much as I did behind the science and medical parts of it. It tugged at my heartstrings quite a bit, especially at the end. I am familiar with some of the author's other works, and I definitely was not disappointed with this one at all. ( )
  sealford | Aug 27, 2014 |
Interesting novel with two anonymous characters divided by an ocean during the 1st World War. The man , an American soldier on the Western Front has left his home and bride and volunteered to fight for the Allies. His wife , slowly falls into a lethargy and develops Encephalitis lethargica , which claims her life. Her husband in despair at the slaughter of soldiers in trench warfare , wounds himself to get invalided home but he is too late to save his wife. A sad story but well crafted. ( )
  tbrennan1 | May 29, 2014 |
Lethargica is an excellent and well-written short story set during World War One. The story is told from the perspective of a soldier; you never learn his name and in fact, apart from a doctor and maybe a couple more characters, nobody is really named. The story awesomely depicts the drudgery of warfare; the long lulls between battles, the pointlessness of war.

The main character is an American who volunteered to join the war leaving behind the woman he loves. As I just mentioned, the book describes the drudgery of war very well, the soldier who signed up because he believed in the cause, and the woman he left behind. As the story progresses, the soldier wonders why his love has stopped writing and he decides to enact a plan that will ensure that he will be sent home.

Once he is home he discovers that his love is bedridden and unresponsive. The story then takes a turn and describes a disease that had afflicted many people. This story was very surprising and sad - I had no idea that this had even happened or had heard of encephalitis lethargica. ( )
  slimy07 | Sep 27, 2013 |
When I started reading this book, I had no idea that encephalitis lethargica was a real condition. I thought this story was just 100% fiction. This disease claimed many lives during WWI but was over shadowed by war death and the Spanish flu.

This disease sounds like the paralysis a person in surgery could wake up in: the brain is awake, the senses are awake but the body can not move. Scary.

But this short story is about a volunteer soldier and the woman he loves that he left behind. By the time he is released from service, he finds his love in the hospital with this disease. He loves her, she loves him and can feel his touches and hear his voice, but cant respond. She eventually passes. ( )
  lizamichelle1 | Apr 4, 2013 |
It is 1914, World War I, France; an American Volunteer soldier is desperately looking for a way home. He has stopped receiving any word from his wife and knows he needs to go to her. His wife has what is called Lethargica, which is a mysterious disease that was randomly claiming victims during the WWI and Spanish flu days. Lethargica is when the victim can hear and feel everything, but cannot move, answer or perform basic functions (blinking, toilet, etc). This is a love story as well as a history lesson on the unusual. At first it comes off kind of stuffy and overly-descriptive. I even looked up amazon.com to see if it was going to get any better. I saw lots of stars and rave reviews. So I kept reading. After the first 3 or 4 pages the reader will fall into a rhythm with it and fall in love with it. Wonderful, yet heartbreaking story. I recieved this book for free from www.librarything.com. ( )
  beckiestoneking | Dec 21, 2012 |
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