A Thousand Flappers and Hobbledehoys

My name is Doug Wykstra, and this is some of the stuff I've read and watched.

The Ghost Road: Review

The following post was taken from my Goodreads review:

Barker’s trilogy ends with a volume that feels far more expansive than either of the two preceding volumes, despite taking place during what seems to be a shorter period of time. We follow Rivers back to his youth as an anthropologist, studying the Pacific tribes whose way of life is dying out in the face of missionary intrusion, and follow Billy Prior as he returns to a front that has been altered by the new emphasis on mobile, fast combat that tanks, new leadership, and other innovations were making more common near the end of the war.

We also get a bit more time with Wilfred Owen, who had a small part in Regeneration and returns here. But unlike with Siegfried Sassoon in the first two books, Barker doesn’t really attempt to develop Owen into a full character—presumably the real-life Wilfred Owen’s death in the war left her short of materials with which to create him.

All the same, the three books stand as a monument to the intersection of scholarship and fiction, and the way Barker is able to draw the lives of extraordinary Englishmen into a narrative that dramatizes the horrors of colonialism and war is the sort of accomplishment that deserves the Booker Prize that this novel got. Barker would always sooner wait for her readers to understand her point of view than preach, would always rather show than tell, and is good enough at both that what she chooses to show you, and what she gets you to understand, has a rare accumulative power.

Interested in reading this? I’m an Amazon Affiliate, meaning that I link products from Amazon, and if anyone clicks those links to buy the product, they pay me a commission. If you’re interested in purchasing The Ghost Road, click the link below:

The Ghost Road (Regeneration Trilogy)

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This entry was posted on 29 September 2019 by in Elegant Extracts and tagged , , , .
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