Summary

Winner of the Booker Prize, 1995. 
This novel 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.
©1996 Pat Barker (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Johanna on 23-12-12

An amazing finish to this trilogy

A brilliant look at the effects of that terrible war on all that participated. Wonderful detail and characters.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Mukesh on 03-10-12

Very Good

I recommend the whole 3 books. They are very moving. I listened to the book now twice.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Jean on 12-01-16

Man Booker Prize Winner

I have read the other two books in the trilogy and now have completed book three. The book won the 1995 Man Booker prize and many other prizes. The series is about the physical and mental trauma on the British soldiers from World War One. I have spent the past 10 years studying World War One, reading all I can find on the subject. This series is a novel but dramatically tells of the carnage the War had on the men. I think I liked the first book the best in this trilogy.

The historical fiction had two real poets in the story Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen, as well as the author Robert Graves. The psychiatrist Dr. Rivers was also a real person not fictional. By the second year of the War the unprecedented carnage was so great the British soldier’s felt no one could find the words to explain it anymore. There grew a divide between available language and actual experiences. In spite of or because of it countless letters, poems, and diaries were written by the soldiers accordingly it became known as a prodigiously literary war.

Barker, in her novel wrote a section that really hit home with me. “Lt. Billy Prior sits listening to the sounds of pens scratching and pages turning---at least two would-be poets in the hut alone---and, in his own diary, tells us why the men write: ‘I think it’s a way of claiming immunity. First person’s narrators can’t die’.”

In the first two books Lt. Prior and the poets are under treatment by Dr. Rivers for mental problems related to the War. In this book they are back fighting in the War. The title of this book speaks to the ghost both seen and unseen, in all of us. Barker has created a tale of the effects of WWI on the mental health of the British soldiers and its effect on British society. Peter Firth did an excellent job narrating the series.

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6 of 8 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Jeff Lacy on 12-04-17

Superior across the board

Peter Firth does a superior job narrating this trilogy. One of the best performances I have heard. He brings the story to life-sensitive to phrasing, dialogue, and character distinction (finding the voice of each character). As such, he does a great service to Pat Barker's trilogy that is written with great imagination, painting the story and characters with care and balance.

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