Book cover from Regeneration (Contemporary Fiction, Plume) by Pat Barker
Book cover 'Regeneration (Contemporary Fiction, Plume)'

Regeneration (Contemporary Fiction, Plume)

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Author(s): Pat Barker
Format: Book › Paperback all formats
Edition: 1
Published: 12-31-2013
ISBN: 0142180599
Pages: 256
Publisher: Plume
List Price: $16.00

BooksToRead Review

English writer Pat Barker has written three novels in the nineties about World War One: Regeneration (part one of the Regeneration Trilogy) (1993, about a poet who is treated in England for shellshock from his experiences in the trenches); The Eye in the Door (1994, in which an officer develops a split personality from his experiences at the front); And The Ghost Road (1995, the impressive closing of the triptych). In a clear narrative style, the writer of the trilogy paints a vivid picture of the horrors of this man-to-man war and the traumatic consequences for those who survived.

It is 1917. In a public statement, Siegfried Sassoon, poet and officer in the British army, takes a stand against the futility of the war. His provocative charge, addressed to the politicians responsible for the slaughter at the front, does not get him court marshaled. Instead, Sassoon is submitted in the military hospital Craiglockhart, where a conflict arises between him and Dr. Rivers.

Book description

"The trilogy is trying to tell something about the parts of war that don't get into the official accounts" –Pat Barker

The first book of the Regeneration Trilogy and a Booker Prize nominee
 
In 1917 Siegfried Sasson, noted poet and decorated war hero, publicly refused to continue serving as a British officer in World War I. His reason: the war was a senseless slaughter. He was officially classified "mentally unsound" and sent to Craiglockhart War Hospital. There a brilliant psychiatrist, Dr. William Rivers, set about restoring Sassoon's "sanity" and sending him back to the trenches. This novel tells what happened as only a novel can. It is a war saga in which not a shot is fired. It is a story of a battle for a man's mind in which only the reader can decide who is the victor, who the vanquished, and who the victim.
 
One of the most amazing feats of fiction of our time, Regneration has been hailed by critics across the globe.  As August 2014 marks the 100-year anniversary of World War I, this book is as timely and relevant as ever.

Book review

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.

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