Alline's Reviews > Regeneration

Regeneration by Pat Barker
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Sep 07, 2009

it was amazing

One of the most affecting, most poignant books about WWI, trench warfare, and the emotional devastation it caused. A compelling, interesting read, I learned so much about how "shell shock" (now PTSD) was viewed, WWI poets, and what might have really happened to my grandfather in Flanders. VERY highly recommended.

This description from Library Review (via amazon) does a much better job:
In 1917, decorated British officer and poet Siegfried Sassoon wrote a declaration condemning the war. Instead of a court-martial, he was sent to a hospital for other "shell-shocked" officers where he was treated by Dr. William Rivers, noted an thropologist and psychiatrist. Author Barker turns these true occurrences into a compelling and brilliant antiwar novel. Sassoon's complete sanity disturbs Dr. Rivers to such a point that he questions his own role in "curing" his patients only to send them back to the slaughter of the war in France. World War I decimated an entire generation of European men, and the horrifying loss of life and the callousness of the government led to the obliteration of the Victorian ideal. This is an important and impressive novel about war, soldiers, and humanity. It belongs in most fiction collections.
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