The Ghost Road by Pat Barker

The Ghost Road was first published in 1995 and it won the Booker prize that year. It is the last book of the Regeneration trilogy.

In it Billy Prior is hoping to be pronounced fit enough to go back to the fighting in France. Although he has been offered a safe job by Charles Manning at the Ministry of Munitions in London he turns it down. Despite having such bad asthma that he is nicknamed the canary by his men, because his chest was affected by the least whiff of poison gas, he is passed fit for the front. He is attached to the 2nd Manchester Regiment along with Wilfred Owen.

Although Billy’s enthusiasm for sex is so rampant that he seems to look for opportunities anywhere and with anyone, he has got engaged to Sarah.

In this book we find out more about Dr. Rivers’s experiences studying tribespeople in Melanesia, before he got the job of piecing shell-shocked soldiers’ minds together again.

I loved the first book Regeneration, the second one The Eye in the Door somehow didn’t quite hit the same mark for me. However with The Ghost Road and the return to the madness of the war, Barker is on terrific form and if you are interested in World War 1 her books are essential reading.

2 thoughts on “The Ghost Road by Pat Barker

    • You’ll not believe this but I just started reading Life Class this afternoon. I bought it at a recent library book sale. I’m at page 76 but a few things have annoyed me so far.Elinor’s hair which is described as being cropped at the nape then bell shaped and then long enough to be tied back with ribbon. Nit picking I know, can’t help it.

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