Laura's Reviews > The Absolutist

The Absolutist by John Boyne
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's review
Mar 28, 2014

it was ok
Read from April 03 to 05, 2012

Well written historical fiction is one of my favorite genres, but stories set during the World Wars don’t appeal to me as much as those set during other historical periods. That said, my interest in the World War I era has been heightened lately, thanks to Pat Barker’s Regeneration Trilogy. So I picked up The Absolutist as a result, and while I preferred the 1st half of the book to the rest, I am still glad that I did.

Despite sharing the World War I setting and anti-war theme, if I was to compare this book to another it actually reminded me more of While England Sleeps. There are a few plot/theme comparisons, and the tone is also somewhat similar. But in my opinion The Absolutist lacks the depth and honest, painful beauty of While England Sleeps. It’s an interesting book with flawed, interesting characters, but the plot twists in the last couple chapters didn’t sit right with me. They cheapened the book for me a bit…and didn’t seem to fit the tone of the earlier chapters.
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Richard Pat Barker sparked my interest in WWI, she's become one of my favorite writers. Not sure what kind of music you like, but you should check out PJ Harvey's "Let England Shake" album. It touches on WWI quite a bit.

Laura That's a wonderful rec, thank you! I just listened to a few "sample" clips on Amazon, and I will definitely need to put that album on my list. Thanks!

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