Ghost Road

Ghost Road

Book - 1995
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Baker & Taylor
As World War I winds to a close, two men--Dr. William Rivers, a psychologist whose dedicated healing sends men back to the brutal front, and Billy Prior, a shell-shocked soldier determined to rejoin the final English offensive--are profounded affected by the events of the era. Winner of the 1995 Booker Prize. 35,000 first printing. $35,000 ad/promo.

Blackwell North Amer
Central to this novel are two men divided by class and experience, but sharing a mutual respect and empathy. One is Lieutenant Billy Prior, cured of shell shock by famed psychologist Dr. William Rivers at Craiglockhart War Hospital, and determined to return to the front in France even as the war enters its final ferocious phase in the late summer of 1918. The other is Dr. Rivers himself, consumed by the medical challenge and moral dilemma of restoring men to health so that they can be sent back to the battlefields and almost certain death.
Billy Prior is a working-class man on the rise, a "temporary gentleman," who inhabits a sexual, social, and moral no-man's-land. His sexual encounters with both women and men are tinged with a cynical fatalism that the war has engendered. Still, he is eager to join a fellow Craiglockhart "graduate," the poet Wilfred Owen, in France in time to participate in the great English offensive, the "one last push" intended to redeem all the shining heroism and senseless slaughter that has gone before.

& Taylor

Dr. William Rivers at the Craiglockhart War Hospital faces the moral dilemma of curing men like Lieutenant Billy Prior of shellshock so that they can return to the fighting

Publisher: New York Dutton Books 1995
ISBN: 9780525941910
Characteristics: 278


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Oct 19, 2018

Brilliantly written novel, articulately expressing the grotesquness of war and its consequences. Particularly enjoyed the authorĀ“s detailed grasp of locale and texture.

Nov 03, 2016

*Read third* in Regeneration series

May 07, 2014

I've been reading about WWI at this time of anniversary & find Pat Barker's writing a bit difficult to follow, however, enlightening historically. War makers never pay attention to history. I wasn't 'that' interested in the sexual interests or actions & squirmed a lot. To each his own.

Dec 05, 2010

This should be read as the conclusion of the trilogy which begins in Regeneration and continues in The Eye in the Door. I think you'd miss too much if you read it alone. The entire trilogy is one of the best things I've ever read. It's moving, thoughtful and intelligent. The characters are British men - several of them poets (Siegfried Sassoon, Wilfred Owen), several of them gay - who fight in WWI and end up in a hospital being treated for shell shock. In the 1st book, the gov't is trying to paint Sassoon as unbalanced for his opposition to the war; still, he prefers facing the danger of the trenches with the men he leads to the hypocrisy he sees at home. The psychologist is a really interesting figure with a backstory of life in the south seas. Caring relationships, moral dilemmas, horrors of war, government manipulation, all beautifully written.

Feb 28, 2010

Depressing and really didn't catch with me.


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nadian Aug 21, 2010

The Third Book in the Regeneration Trilogy:
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...

-Taken from the back cover

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