Friday, 16 May 2014

Book Review | The Ghost Road by Pat Barker

1918, the closing months of the war. Army psychiatrist William Rivers is increasingly concerned for the men who have been in his care – particularly Billy Prior, who is about to return to combat in France with young poet Wilfred Owen. As Rivers tries to make sense of what, if anything, he has done to help these injured men, Prior and Owen await the final battles in a war that has decimated a generation The Ghost Road is the Booker Prize winning account of the devastating final months of the First World War. The third book in the Regeneration trilogy

Pages: 277 | Format: Paperback | Rating: 2/10 | Goodreads | Amazon

Ok. Where to begin? Let me start by saying that this book wasn't horrible. I didn't absolutely hate it, but as you can probably tell from the 2/10 rating, I didn't really like it either.
The thing is, when I read the synopsis on the back, I was really excited about this book. It's one that I have to study for my final essay for uni, but beyond that, I actually really wanted to read it. The story sounded really interesting, and exactly like the kind of thing I thought I would enjoy. Then I started reading it, and although I was getting through it pretty quickly. I just wasn't enjoying it.
One of my major issues with this book, was that I never really felt like I got to know the characters. Now, I'm well aware that this could very well be because it's the third in a series, and because this book was assigned to me for uni, I hadn't read, or heard of, the others. So I wasn't familiar with the story or the characters. However, I felt like, since this particular book was a set text and the other two weren't required reading, that I should be able to read this as a standalone, and the thing is, it was kind of written like one.
Everything was introduced, and laid out as if it were a standalone novel. I just didn't really feel as thought I knew the characters.
There were moments that I did like. The deeper looks into wartime life, and the effects of war on those who survived. There were some passages that were really interesting and held my attention.
On the whole though, I found myself having to force myself to keep reading, and it's not because the writing style was bad, it was written well, just for me, I didn't enjoy the story.

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