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Book Information: Ghost Road, the

Ghost Road, the (1995) [Novel]
by Pat Barker Rating: No votes (Rate!)
Reviews: 1 (show them) Review!

Series: Regeneration Trilogy
Part: 3

Summary :

Central to this novel are two men divided by class and experience, but sharing a mutual respect and empathy. One is Lieutenant Billy Prior, cured of shell shock by famed psychologist Dr. William Rivers at Craiglockhart War Hospital, and determined to return to the front in France even as the war enters its final ferocious phase in the late summer of 1918. The other is Dr. Rivers himself, consumed by the medical challenge and moral dilemma of restoring men to health so that they can be sent back to the battlefields and almost certain death. Billy Prior is a working-class man on the rise, a "temporary gentleman," who inhabits a sexual, social, and moral no-man's-land. His sexual encounters with both women and men are tinged with a cynical fatalism that the war has engendered. Still, he is eager to join a fellow Craiglockhart "graduate," the poet Wilfred Owen, in France in time to participate in the great English offensive, the "one last push" intended to redeem all the shining heroism and senseless slaughter that has gone before.

Original title: The Ghost Road
Original languages: English

Quotes:

Genre: FictionHistoricalWorld War I

Edition #1: Ghost Road, the

Ghost Road, the (1995)
Edition Details (From the publisher):

August 1918: Lieutenant Billy Prior is on his way back to France. Passing through London, he says goodbye to his psychologist, William Rivers, who tells him that those who recover from "shell shock" and return home from fighting are the real test cases for the therapies practised at Craiglockhart War Hospital, where Prior had been a patient.

Back in France, together with his follow 'test case' Wilfred Owen, Prior believes that war can do nothing to surprise him. But from the idyllic week he spends among the ruins of Amiens to the moment when, staggering out of the line after the battle of Joncourt, he watches the setting sun rise again, he is continually astonished. He survives to face, the crossing of the Sambre-Oise canal, an action even the ferocious Colonel Marshall describes as insane.

Meanwhile Rivers, feverish with Spanish influenza, remembers Eddystone Island, where he lived before the war among a community of former headhunters. Across the gulf between his society and theirs, he starts to form connections which cast new light on his experence of war.

"The Ghost War" challanges our assumptions about the relationships between classes, between doctors and patients, men and women, and men and men. Pat Barker's "Regeneration" was described in the TLS as 'one of the most impressive novels to have appeared in recent years';"The Eye of the Door," the winner of the 1993 "Guardian" fiction prize, 'extended', said the "Sunday Telegraph," 'the boundaries not only of the anti-war novel, but of fiction generally'. "The Ghost Road" completes the author's brilliant exploration of the First World War, and is a timeless depiction of humanity "in extremis".

Language: English

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Manifested in:

Ghost Road, The (December 1, 1995)

Format: Hardcover
Place of publication: London, England
Publisher: Viking
ISBN: 0670854891
Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.6 x 1.1 in
Pages: 276

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