Danielle's Reviews > The Absolutist

The Absolutist by John Boyne
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Feb 20, 2016

it was amazing
bookshelves: favorites
Read from March 31 to April 28, 2012 — I own a copy , read count: 2

Norwich, September 1919. War veteran Tristan Sadler meets up with Marian Bancroft. Tristan wants to return the letters Marian wrote to her brother William during the war. Will Bancroft didn’t survive the war. He was executed for cowardice. According to Tristan Sadler however, Will was braver than he ever will be. But how reliable is the view of a man who loved Will?

The trenches of the First World War serve as a scene for a dramatic love story between two different characters and temperaments: Tristan and Will. Yet, Tristan and Will have something in common: they stick to their ideas and views. This leads to an impulsive act that Tristan deeply regrets.

What I like so much about ‘The Absolutist’ is what Boyne leaves out. Yet everything, down to the smallest detail has its importance. As you see things from Tristan’s point of view Will seems to stay rather mysterious. Yet with the meet-up in Norwich Tristan learns more about Will which makes what happened even more dramatic.

At the end, the story makes an enormously leap forward in time. In 1976, Tristan - a celebrated writer- is awarded with a literary prize. On this occasion he meets up with Marian Bancroft, an encounter that will result in a final dramatic development.

In short: ‘The Absolutist’ is the kind of book that makes you wonder whether you fully understood everything about Tristan's personal drama. Besides the drama, 'The Absolutist' also deals with themes as cowardice, bravery and being true to your ideas/views in extreme circumstances.
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Quotes Danielle Liked

John Boyne
“We're accustomed to the older generation looking down on the younger and telling them that they know nothing of the world. But things are rather out of kilter now, aren't they? It is your generation who understands the inhumanity of man, not ours. It's boys like you who have to live with what you have seen and what you have done. You've become the generation of response. While your elders can only look in your direction and wonder.”
John Boyne, The Absolutist
tags: war


Reading Progress

04/03/2012 page 98
32.0%
02/20/2016 marked as: read
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