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The Regeneration Trilogy Paperback – International Edition, March 4, 2014

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Editorial Reviews


Harrowing, original, delicate and unforgettable Independent A masterpiece ... fiction of the highest order Sunday Express A new vision of what the First World War did to human beings, male and female, soldiers and civilians. Constantly surprising and formally superb -- A. S. Byatt Daily Telegraph One of the few real masterpieces of late twentieth-century British fiction -- Jonathan Coe One of the most distinguished works of contemporary fiction -- Barry Unsworth

About the Author

Pat Barker was born in 1943. Her books include Another World, Border Crossing, Double Vision, and the highly acclaimed Regeneration trilogy: Regeneration (1991), which was made into a film of the same name; The Eye in the Door (1993), which won the Guardian Fiction Prize; and The Ghost Road (1995), which won the Booker Prize. More recently she has published a second fiction trilogy comprising Life Class, Toby's Room, and the final novel in the series, Noonday­. Pat Barker lives in Durham.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Hamish Hamilton (March 4, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 024196914X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0241969144
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1.6 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #326,700 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Wayne Symes on November 16, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Having just finished reading this trilogy in one volume I would find it hard to read any of the books individually. Barker really builds on characterisation and plot as each of the stories progresses. Set in Scotland during World War 1 at Craiglockhart (an institution for miltary personnel suffering from shellshock) in `Regeneration', and moving first to England (`The Eye In The Door') and then to the front in France ('The Ghost Road') this is an excellent look at the impact of that war upon the individual. The series is based on historical meetings between W.H. Rivers (anthropologist, psychologist and childhood acquaintance of Lewis Carroll), Siegfried Sassoon (British poet) and Wilfred Owen (poet, killed shortly before the end of the war in 1918) and comes complete with historical notes at the end of each volume and further recommended reading about the people involved.
Barker is a fascinating writer with an obvious interest in the way that the human mind works, and particularly how it reacts to trauma. Some of the descriptions of the breakdowns that individuals suffer, and the incidents that cause them, are horrific and make this (at least in my mind) anti-war literature. Having said that, each of the major characters, both real and fictional, possess a longing to be part of the war even though some have already experienced the horror of being there. I was constantly trying to reassess my own viewpoints in the light of such responses.
The only real disappointment I felt concerned some of the more graphic descriptions of sex (both homosexual and heterosexual) which illustrated characters responses to events, but occasionally struck me as gratuitous in their detail. Having said that, if you are interested in reading `The Ghost Road' because of it's status as a Booker Prize winner, then I definitely recommend reading it in this format, with the other books in the series.
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By S. Calhoun on November 25, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Throughout THE REGENERATION TRILOGY Barker does a phenomenal job of detailing the psychological consequences of trench warfare during the Great War. Set in London, Scotland, and France, the three volumes focus on the principle characters of Prior, Sassoon, Owens, and the renowned Dr. Rivers. Both their personal relationships with each other and with the First World War are examined. The reader is provided a glimpse into the terrible conditions of trench fighting, and how the medical establishment viewed shell-shock as a medical diagnosis and how it was treated. Through the poetry of Owen, Sassoon, etc, the world can begin to understand the personal horrors they have witnessed of a war that many soldiers did not understand. Based loosely on historical events and characters, Barker has created a perspective of modern warfare that does not contain the quintessential happy ending.
I believe each volume of the Regeneration Trilogy should be read in chronological order (REGENERATION, THE EYE IN THE DOOR, AND THE GHOST ROAD) to fully appreciate the merits of each volume. Although the plot is re-summarized at the beginning of each book, the main characters are continually being developed throughout. I just finished reading GHOST ROAD, and I have to admit that it's not my favorite of the three. I don't understand how this volume was awarded the Booker Prize when I believe REGENERATION is the strongest of the bunch. I also enjoyed THE EYE IN THE DOOR because of the exploration of societal issues during The First War, especially scape-goating of homosexuals and pacifists.
Overall, this trilogy is a wonderful glimpse into the atmosphere of Britain during the First World War.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By John W. Chuckman on April 6, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The Regeneration Trilogy is both wonderful and disappointing, an odd combination of characteristics for a set of novels, but then the First World War itself was characterized by heroic exhileration and utter dispair, by encrusted tradition and unanticipated revolution, by invention and backwardness.

Ms Barker takes us to an institution, a quiet and somewhat remote place, seemingly safe from the savagery of the Western Front, where damaged men are sent in hopes of recovery. She quickly has us involved in several fascinating characters, the full extent of whose experiences she only gradually reveals. Most interestingly, the characters of the men themselves are only gradually revealed, as often to our horror as satisfaction.

After reading the first volume, I could hardly wait for the second. It was the third volume I found disappointing. The disappointment comes through what she does with characters we have become intensely interested in, but I'll not reveal any details and leave it to new readers to see whether they agree.

The characterizations of the first two volumes are wonderful (although I am not a great fan of mixing real people in with fictional characters, the practice does not feature too heavily), and Ms. Barker gives us a remarkable sense of what that terrible war meant, particularly in ordinary lives on the home front.

Ms. Barker's trilogy is highly recommended for those interested in history, students of human psychology, and those who enjoy good writing and a gripping story.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Inquiring Mind on June 19, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Several years ago a friend recommended Regeneration; after reading it I immediately read the second two books in the trilogy. The story so moved me that I began reading all the published work of Sassoon, Owen and Brooke. After the beginning of the Iraq war, I was asked to participate in an arts project begun in my state (Wisconsin) called "Epidemic Peace Imagery." A friend who is a textile artist and I created a collage of images and words. Sassoon's declaration is central, and we incorporated old photographs taken by soldiers in France in WWI. The EPI exhibit has traveled for nearly three years now. Pat Barker's books were the stimulus for our contribution.
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