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Life Class by [Barker, Pat]
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Life Class Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 76 customer reviews

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Length: 322 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Set initially in 1914 before the start of WWI, Barker's first novel since 2004's Double Vision tells the story of two students at London's Slade School of Fine Art, Paul Tarrant and Elinor Brooke, along with that of Kit Neville, a promising young painter. Paul begins an affair with Teresa Halliday, a troubled artist's model, and Kit woos Elinor, but both men rush off to the Continent at the outset of hostilities to work with the wounded. The author's unflinching eye for detail and her supple prose create an undeniably powerful narrative, but her skills cannot compensate for a weak plot. What appear to be critical story lines (Paul's affair with Teresa, Kit's painting career) are almost abandoned once Paul and Elinor become lovers. And the book's main theme—war's impact on art and love—pales in comparison with the tragic experiences of those who fight and die in the conflict. Despite riveting passages depicting the waste and horror of WWI, this effort falls short of the standard set by Barker's magisterial Regeneration trilogy, the last of which, The Ghost Road, won the Booker Prize.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Bookmarks Magazine

It’s unsurprising that critics in the U.S. and U.K. compared Life Class to Pat Barker’s Regeneration Trilogy (Regeneration, 1990; The Eye in the Door, 1993; and the Booker Prize-winning Ghost Road, 1995) in its thematic exploration of World War I’s immediate impact. Reviewers generally agreed that Life Class does not live up to its predecessors, though it has its redeeming features. While the first half feels slow (and, according to New York Times Book Review, a bit trite), the second half—when Paul comes of age at the Western Front—kicks into high gear as questions about art and war, social class, and modern-day connections come into play. Tellingly, many critics mentioned as their favorite character one with little more than a walk-on—the real-life artist, teacher, and surgeon Henry Tonks, whom they hope to see more of in a sequel.
Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc.

Product details

  • File Size: 3510 KB
  • Print Length: 322 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor; Reprint edition (December 24, 2008)
  • Publication Date: January 6, 2009
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001NLKWYY
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #454,708 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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