Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Regeneration by Pat Barker // Book Review 2018


"I am making this statement as an act of wilful defiance of military authority, because I believe the war is being deliberately prolonged by those who have the power to end it. 



Before I begin, I think I should let you know that this is an incredibly difficult book to describe. I'm not even sure how to describe it or even what words to use to sum it up. This has been one of the books sitting on my bookshelf for a very long time and I finally decided to pick it up and give it a read. You can't go wrong with a classic orange penguin cover, am I right? Well, sadly, this book wasn't really for me. It was always going to be tough, considering I read this after falling in love with Nancy Mitford's novel {see my review here}, but I found it particularly hard to warm to this book, perhaps for obvious reasons. 

Regeneration by Pat Barker, is the first in a series of novels that deals with the psychological effects of World War 1. The book explores the treatments that were used on soldiers recovering in hospitals during the war, and also details the story of one highly decorated solider in particular, Siegfried Sassoon, who is sent to a military hospital after he declares he will no longer fight in the war. 

This book is quite harrowing at times as you follow the lives of various soldiers who find their themselves in the main hospital of the book, Craiglockhart. The narration dives from one character to another, making it quite hard to follow at times, and parts are quite difficult to read (especially when one soldier must endure electronic treatments), so I would not say this book is for the faint-hearted. The continual shift in narration made it hard for me to get attached to any of the characters. 

Whilst it is quite gruesome at times, and it certainly is not one of my favourite books, I would encourage everyone to give it a read at some point. Although a tad morbid at times, this book was incredibly interesting really helped to give a frightening insight into some of the things solider in WW1 had to endure, and I am glad that I am now knowledgeable about their plight. 

That's all that I'll say about Regeneration for now. It's a hard one to talk about unless you have read it and experienced it for yourself. I'm glad I've read it but I don't think I'll ever read it again. 

More soon, 

Helen
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Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment, I really appreciate it! Helen x

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