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Double Vision: A Novel
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Double Vision: A Novel

3.41 of 5 stars 3.41  ·  rating details  ·  533 ratings  ·  63 reviews
In the aftermath of covering 9/11, English war reporter Stephen Sharkey and photographer Ben Frobisher leave New York and part company. Stephen returns to the devastating discovery of the end of his marriage; while on assignment in Afghanistan Ben is killed. Retreating to the English countryside to write a book questioning the role of the war reporter and photographer Step ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published December 1st 2004 by Picador (first published 2003)
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(showing 1-30 of 810)
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Laura Leaney
I read this book for a class I'm taking, with the requirement to pay particular attention to point of view. And the point of view is interesting. Barker chooses third-person close for two primary characters, switching between them at well chosen places in the narration, and veers off into what seems like omniscience at various points. She does this so smoothly that I had to pause and contemplate how it happened.

The story is good, a post 9-11 trauma set in the English countryside. Unfortunately,
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Theryn Fleming
There are two main characters in Double Vision: a burned-out war journalist who is grappling with the death of his photographer friend, and the photographer's wife, a sculptor, who is not only dealing with the death of her husband, but also recovering from a bad car accident. Their lives intersect when the journalist returns home to work on a book about his experiences. A romantic relationship does develop, but not between these two characters. It's an absorbing story on the surface level. But i ...more
Toto
Pat Barker has made a name for herself with her books on art and war -- sometimes together as a theme as it is here, sometimes standalone as in Life Class. Here the connection is oblique. The widow of a war journalist makes a huge Christ statue in her rural studio. During the making of it, she meets some side characters each of whom has a violent past. Their lives entangle and disentangle, and they move on.

Barker's books are always readable and suspenseful. She is particularly good at describin
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Deepti Patel
My first of Pat Barker, Double Vision is a novel that holds Within its pages - war, crime, murder, rape, love, hate, sex, artistry, creativity, duplicity, anger, tenderness, inspiration , and lot more.

The narration style is good. the author switches narrators with such ease that you'd not even notice the change . but somehow the book left me unsatisfied, sort of wanting for more. There was an absence of resolution for the characters issues, and the characters themselves. Stephan will always reme
...more
Ellen
I loved Pat Barker's trilogy about WWI soldiers. This book is set in post-9/11 England, shortly after the mad cow scare required the destruction of livestock across the country. I really enjoy her writing style and was starting to feel very involved in the characters when the book ended quite abruptly! Part of the challenge was that I was listening to an MP3 version in my car and had no idea how many "pages" were left, so I was completely taken aback to find that it was over. I'd love to know wh ...more
Paul Patterson
Double Vision is a superbly crafted novel concentrating on the horrendous cost of war on the lives and psyches of those associated with it. The story commences with the random accident of Kate Frobisher, a war widow, who although atheist herself is engaged in a sculpture of the crucified Christ for the local vicarage. Her freak accident on an icy road parallels the random death of her war photographer husband who suddenly died when hit in Afghanistan's crossfire. His friend Steven Sharkey the no ...more
Ashley Delgado
In the book Double Vision by Pat Barker, a man named Ben, the husband of Kate who is a sculptor, was a photographer. He would always cover topics such as war and conflict all over the world. One day his work came to an end. I can't imagine how that would feel if that happened to a loved one. They weren't in the war, they were just taking pictures, and never came home. On top of trying to recover from the loss of a loved one, I became disabled from an accident? I'm not really sure how I would've ...more
Lucy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dora Okeyo
Something about this book got me reading it hoping for some kind of ending- if not a perfect one but some kind of resolution at least. I didn't quite get what I wanted.

But: It's about a lot of people-there's Stephen the War Correspondent who's just divorced his wife-and keep seeing images of people and places that he took during various wars-and he is set to write a book about his experience as a photographer-and still mourns his best friend-Ben.
Then there's Justine the 19 year old Stephen loves
...more
Emily Harjo
Double Vision by Pat Barker, deals with the struggles of the characters as they wrestle with their personal issues. The image that haunts Stephan most is of a raped and murdered woman. One night while Stephan and Ben were making their way back to their hotel, they stumble on a sight that Stephan will continue to carry with him back home to England. Throughout the novel Kate is trying to come to terms with, her husband, Ben’s death. Unknowingly Kate hangs the photo that ultimately took Ben’s life ...more
Kerry
Within the first few pages of this book, I knew that I wouldn't be able to recommend 'Double Vision' to any of my male friends, this is a novel geared particularly at a female readership, exploring the complexities of relationships within a small-knit community.

At the heart of it all are two key characters: Stephen and Kate, who are both profoundly affected by the death of Ben, their respective colleague and husband who was killed in Afghanistan. My expectation was that this consequently would
...more
Karen
Another excellent book by Pat Barker. She conveys the psychological details of her characters so clearly. It's a joy to pick up any of her books.

This one (like so many of the others) explores some heavy themes. She delves into the responsibility of journalists and artists in conveying acts of violence. She also examines how violence and loss can transform lives and what the moral response should be.

I absolutely love her style of writing and her approach in dealing with large themes like war, d
...more
Leigh
Jun 21, 2008 Leigh rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: furies
One of Barker's best novels, I think, especially in the strength of its characterization and the purity of its prose, which is lucid and poetic and devoid of artifice. Look at this:

He drank [coffee] sitting by the window, the hot fluid delineating his oesophagus, another part of his living body reclaimed from the dark.... All the time he was debriefing himself, sorting out the dream. He knew if he didn't take time to do this, it could stain and corrupt the whole day.

Also notable: the thoughtfuln
...more
Clairekelly
Previously read on Sept 20 2011

In Barker's novel, the effect of trauma is a doubling of vision. The self leaves the self or sees the self as separate, schism-ed. That's the doubling I focused on the first time I read the novel.

This time, I noticed another doubling. The one were a traumatic event becomes a news event. And another when a reported store becomes a consumed story. The changes that take place at each doubling reminds us that are memories are not tangible.

Although 'Double Vision' is t
...more
Alistair Candlin
The second Pat Barker novel I've read, and I will definitely read all her stuff. She's not flashy: style never gets in the way of the story. As with Regeneration, she explores the big themes here, but in a small-scale context — Double Vision is set in a village somewhere near Newcastle, and the border of Scotland. I don't think she names the place, though.
zespri
A perfectly good story, but did not engage me nearly as much as the Regeneration trilogy which I loved did.

A similar theme is introduced, namely, the effects of war on those involved - whether directly or indirectly. This time, one of the main characters is a foreign war correspondent who is recovering from a divorce and the loss of a photographer friend from sniper fire. He has also become disillusioned with his work and has decided to take a complete step back from it and to write a book.

He mo
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The Wee Hen
I have really become pedantic about what I like to read. This was just a little too "novel-y" for me. It was described as a psychological thriller and it just only barely fulfilled its promise. Far too much mithering about with high-mindedness and deep, introspective thoughts about war and violence and representation and not enough crime drama. We never know who committed the central crime in the book and we don't seem to give a damn. One of the characters seems very dodgy and suspicious but it ...more
sisterimapoet
Feb 10, 2008 sisterimapoet rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to sisterimapoet by: Mew
Shelves: fiction-2008
For me the main weakness of this book was the plot. I enjoyed about three quarters of the book, expecting some neat resolutions and things falling into place in the last part - but that never happened.

I feel that Barker starting writing without knowing where she was heading. There were interesting parts that would have made good books in themselves (the sculpter/assistant storyline and the returning war correspondent/Goya thread) but they got such a glancing touch as to fall by the wayside.

Overa
...more
Angie
An ok read here from Pat Barker who I have always admired. Maybe its because her major works are set in fairly traumatic backdrops that they have had more of an impact on me (Regeneration Trilogy as an example, however Union Street is one of my faves and isn't set in a war-torn backdrop unless you count 1970's - 80's Thatcher's Britain as one!) but this story seemed a little weak at times.

I quite enjoyed it and it was a fairly eerie thriller but I felt it lacked the final denouement which I was
...more
Mike
Not like the previous books of hers which I've read - the Regeneration Trilogy was superb. Don't feel this is as well written. Some of the prose is cliched and occasionally grates. Strange story revolving around a foreign correspondent returning to Britain, a sculptor whose husband has been recently killed in a war zone, and young woman about to go to university. All affected in various ways by a shady character whom they each know in different ways. I'm no fan of pat endings to a novel, but thi ...more
Evelyn Leong
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel -- set in the events of 9/11, the novel dealt with the aftermath of covering war and how the individual characters swirled around one another and yet were truly alone in their anxieties and fears. Barker has a lovely way of letting her readers get to know the characters by having other characters react and describe them. This is a novel about very lonely people, lonely by choice and by circumstance. Each has glimpses of moving past their grief and, in a way, their ...more
Patricia
I enjoyed this book very much. I found the characters well drawn and the setting well set out. I particularly enjoy a book when I come away with a thought that was in it. In this particular book I agreed with the comment that no one is particularly good or particularly evil. We fight everyday to stay on the side of good but sometimes we fail. This insight was given by a minor character who was constantly fighting his own inner evils and failing from time to time.

I highly recommend it as a good
...more
Debra
Mar 14, 2011 Debra marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Stephen King recommended book and author. He says: "Ms. Barker, best known for her Booker Prize-winning Regeneration trilogy, has written three novels since. This harrowing story of an injured artist who realizes that her half-crazed assistant is trying to step into her personality (and her talent) is probably the best of them. Seen small, it's one hell of a nail-biter. Seen large, it's an uncomfortably accurate picture of the escalating climate of violence and madness in our post-9/11 world."

Rob
Pat Barker has always appealed as the author of novels of nuance and subtlety but which don't become over-literary in a "school of creative writing" way. But she excels herself in this book. It's about lots of things: why people cover wars and what covering wars sometimes does to their minds; about love and loyalty. But it's also a very good yarn. Pat Barker has an old-fashioned and utterly welcome belief in plot and comprehensibility. Double Vision is a very good read - plus a lot more.
Jeanoc
Interesting exploration of violence and loss. My library has a slip in the back of some books for people to write comments. The comments for this book included complaints that the plot was convoluted and unresolved. I didn't find this to be the case. There is an atmosphere of mild suspense so maybe people were expecting more of a thrilling ending. The writing is excellent and I was easily carried along by the story and the characters.
Forbes George
Not the first time I have read this book but keep being drawn back to it. War reporter, Stephen Sharkey, returns to the countryside in the north of England to recuperate from and write a book about his experiences covering 9/11 and more particularly his experiences in war-torn Bosnia. Barker examines how being part of such violence, even as an observer, impacts our lives and our relationships with others.
Colin
A beautifully written book, but I was struck by the fact that it is written as if there is to be a dramatic denouement - and then nothing really happens. There are flashes of the unflinching images that characterized Regeneration. Overall, from a narrative standpoint I felt as if my energy expended in engaging with the characters was unwarranted, but can't help admire the technique nevertheless.
Stephen Barker
Would have given two and a half stars in reality. Overall couldn't manage a 3 star as too many niggles and disappointments. First Pat Barker I have read, will be interested to take a look at her Booker winner.
Lisa
this is a well written book, but i found too many unresolved and underdeveloped issues. Peter is not that menacing of a character... and he could have been [which would have been immensely more interesting]. the ending is kind of hallmark movie of the week atrocious. it's a good, fast, distraction of a read.
Donald
As usual, Barker delivers an excellent, well-written novel. She has a subtle way of giving her characters depth without the reader even realizing it. You just feel like you know them or recognize them. In my opinion, the only shortcoming was the "mystery" of the attacker.
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4000
Pat Barker was born in Thornaby-on-Tees in 1943. She was educated at the London School of Economics and has been a teacher of history and politics.

Her books include the highly acclaimed Regeneration trilogy Regeneration ; The Eye in the Door , winner of the Guardian Fiction Prize; and The Ghost Road , winner of the Booker Prize; as well as seven other novels. Pat Barker is married and lives in Du
...more
More about Pat Barker...
Regeneration (Regeneration, #1) The Ghost Road (Regeneration, #3) The Eye in the Door (Regeneration, #2) Toby's Room Life Class

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