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Absolutist
 
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John Boyne
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Absolutist

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4.01  ·  Rating details ·  7,665 Ratings  ·  1,200 Reviews
September, 1919. Tristan Sadler takes a train to deliver letters to Marian Bancroft. Tristan fought with Marian's brother Will during the Great War but in 1917, Will laid down his guns, became a conscientious objector and was shot as a traitor.
Paperback, 448 pages
Published February 1st 2012 by Paragon Publishers (first published 2011)
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Elyse
Jul 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Phenomenal!!!!! The nitty-gritty-reality..of what frickin war can can do - and not do--
oh how I LOVE JOHN BOYNE!!! My God... I had NO IDEA what I would discover when I started reading this AMAZING NOVEL...storytelling that is sooooo good!!!-- - so much I wish to say. I'm completely SPENT....EVERY EMOTION triggered!!!! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!!!
B the BookAddict
Aug 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hist-fiction

In his usual understated and deft manner, John Boyne has written a WWI story that is very different from all the others in this genre.

Two young men, Sadler and Barlow, train in the army together in England and are dispatched to the fields of Flanders in the same squad. They share a secret and taboo friendship that must remain hidden. But then a shocking case of barbarity by one of their squad finds the two friends on opposing sides of belief. One will find himself with an unthinkable task. One w
...more
Larry H
Jul 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite-books
Tristan Sadler, newly 21, travels to Norwich from his London home to take care of an errand he is dreading. He has promised to deliver a sheaf of letters his friend Will Bancroft received while they fought together during World War I to Will's sister. And while this errand dredges up memories of the fighting and the deaths that Tristan would rather not remember, it also forces him to confront his feelings, his actions, and the direction the rest of his life is going to take.

Spending the day with
...more
Dem
Jun 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this novel and found it an emotional read. While reading this book I exclaimed out loud and cried and for me this is the basis on which I award 5 stars, I try to write a review on a novel as soon as I can after putting the book down as I like my review to express my feelings of the book when I closed the covers be that good bad or indifferent. The absolutist had me so emotionally charged that I was thinking about the story even when I was not reading it.

The Absolutist is a wart
...more
Saleh MoonWalker
Onvan : The Absolutist - Nevisande : John Boyne - ISBN : 1590515528 - ISBN13 : 9781590515525 - Dar 309 Safhe - Saal e Chap : 2011
Erastes
I was immediately drawn to the book because it’s partly set in my stamping ground of Norfolk. The protagonist Tristan is on his way to Norwich at the beginning to meet a mysterious someone or other which is nicely protracted until it needs to be revealed. There’s a irritating and lengthy section in his boarding house which achieved nothing other than to tell the reader “oh no, homosexuality is verboten in England” as if they wouldn’t know and “people don’t like it” which of course they know too. ...more
Carol
May 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Carol by: Paul Kozlowski, Associate Publisher Other Press
Shelves: fiction
My enjoyment of The Absolutist took me by surprise. I honestly wasn't expecting to like it as much as I did. So much for preconceived notions.

The Absolutist is a war story, one that takes place during World War I, not one of my favorite subjects. But this one is so well written and poignant that it caught my attention immediately and kept me turning those pages, even when I couldn't bear the outcome. The opening scenes give us a glimpse of Tristan Sadler, a young war-weary soldier as he returns
...more
Vitor Martins
4.5

Essa é uma história bonita e ao mesmo tempo muito triste. Na maior parte do tempo ela é só triste. Mas triste de um jeito bonito, entende?

Aqui a gente vai conhecer a história de Trista, um soldado na Primeira Guerra, que acaba se apaixonando por outro soldado e tem que lidar com o sofrimento de ser gay numa época em que nem existia isso de "ser gay". Você só era uma aberração e olhe lá. Daí junto com esse drama todo existe uma GUERRA acontecendo e muita gente morrendo e você tem uma história
...more
Darlene
Nov 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I came across this book by chance. I picked it up and while reading the inside cover, I realized that the author, John Boyne, is also the author of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.... a book, which although seems controversial from reviewers' points of view, was one I really loved. This story takes place during the Great War and the time immediately after the war ends. War veteran Tristan Sadler, who is 20 years old in the fall of 1919, takes a train from his home in London to Norwich to deliver ...more
Ryan
Aug 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There aren't a lot of books that can break my heart. No matter how much I'm able to connect with the characters or find myself lost in the action, I don't make a habit of emotionally investing myself on such a visceral level. It's not something I make a conscience decision on, I just read so much that if I allowed myself to put my emotions into every book I read, I would be a basket case. But every once in a while, I can't help myself. I allow myself to fully invest in what I'm reading. I get so ...more
Carol
John Boyne brings the muddy trenches of WWI to life as twenty-one year old Tristan Sadler narrates the story of his young life and personal friendship with Will Bancroft. This unforgettable story has much sadness and heartbreak as Tristan unleashes his whopper of a secret, but OMGOSH, what a page-turner complete with vivid descriptions of the horrors of war and a horror of a father.

This is my third JB novel and definitely won't be my last. The powerful ending made it a 5 star read for me.

Chrissie
Jul 01, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Chrissie by: Sandy (CA)
The author draws the First World War’s trench warfare with a deft hand. We are in the trenches of Picardy, France.

The second theme is the taint of homosexuality as viewed by people of this time. Here the setting is Chiswick and Norwich, England.

The third theme is opposition to the war – pacifism versus staunch patriotism. To be labeled as a featherman, conscientious objector or absolutists was to be scorned by all. Absolutists were those who would in no way involve themselves with war, not eve
...more
Miles
Jun 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews
How does one begin to review “The Absolutist” by John Boyne? To say I am, forgive me while I use a World War one descriptive, shell shocked, would be an understatement. Sitting quietly in the corner of the living room merely an hour after finishing the book, subdued lighting my only company and a book jacket design I find hard to tear myself from, I gorge in its simplicity, its effectiveness, its evocativeness. Breath-taking.

The British Army, by the end of “The Great War”, had dealt with 80,000
...more
Sandy (CA)
I motored through this book much more quickly than I usually read a novel. The story was compelling; the dialogue moved me along quickly. Off the top of my head, I can say that the book was not "enjoyable" -- but considering the subject matter, it was probably not meant to be. I didn't "like" the characters. Liking or not liking them was not the point. They were all human beings, dealing with a variety of stresses. How could they be likeable? Life was a struggle. Life was hell. The point is that ...more
Cher
Oct 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 stars - It was great. I loved it.

John Boyne is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. I found this novel to be evocative and thought-provoking. And while it is certainly a despondent read as well, never so much so that the reader hesitates to pick it back up. I found myself thinking of the characters while not reading it - always a great sign.

Coincidentally, it was a very fitting selection for a Memorial Day weekend. God bless our soldiers across the world, but especially those souls t
...more
Rachel
The Absolutist is a tender and harrowing exploration of love, betrayal, bravery, and cowardice, set in the trenches in France during World War I. The story begins in 1919, with twenty-one-year-old Tristan Sadler making a trip to Norwich to deliver some letters to the sister of a man who had died in the war, Will Bancroft. Through a series of flashbacks, Boyne explores the relationship between Tristan and Will, and while it's clear from the beginning that there isn't going to be a happy ending, i ...more
Susan
Sep 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, fiction
The Absolutist is a beautifully written heart wrenching story set in the midst of World War 1. The story is Tristan Sandler's, a boy who at 17 1/2 years old lies about his age to enlist in the army to fight Germany and who's life is altered forever by his experiences. Tristan meets Will Bancroft in bootcamp and their relationship becomes Tristan's anchor and his torment throughout his time fighting in trenches in France. After the war and some years later, Tristan meets Will's sister and has the ...more
Dianne
Aug 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best-of-2015
Interesting World War I historical fiction narrated by a man carrying a tremendous burden. The narrator, Tristan, is pitch-perfect but some of the other characters seemed too broadly or inconsistently sketched and felt "unreal." Nevertheless, a real page turner and I liked it.

One observation - it wasn't really about the absolutist. Shouldn't it have been called "The Feather Man?"
Cynthia
Jun 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yes or No?

It sounds over simplistic but much of life's choices do come down to a yes or a no. Some things are non-negotiable. Our hero, Tristan Sadler, knows who he is, he's always known. His problem is how others react to that. Though it's a gift that he's become clear about his values he still has to fit into the world and he has a sincere desire to connect with others. "The Absolutist" is a coming of age story set against the First World War. This might sound dated but Tristan's dilemmas are
...more
Em Chainey (Bookowski)
Dünyaya erkek olarak gelseydim, bu dünya görüşumle, şimdi olduğum gibi bir vicdani redci olurdum. Şimdi bir de 1. Dünya Savaşını düşünün. O gencecik erkekleri, militarist görüşe karşı vicdani redci olmayı... Ve bir askerin başka bir askere aşık olmasını. Diğerinin bunu kullanıp inkâr etmesini.
"Sanki hepimiz şiddete karşı bağışıklık kazanmışız"
Öyle olmasın diye çok üzülüyorum ama bazen şu hengamede, sadece susup oturduğum oluyor.
Savaş-Barış; Aşk-Nefret; Şiddet-Siddetsizlik... Dünya zıt kutuplar
...more
Patrice Hoffman
Aug 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I try not to write reviews that consist of the phrases "a must read" or "it was an awesome book" only because people who read reviews want to know more. I initially did not write a review because I wanted to be lazy. Nor did I want to have to go into detail about all the themes that are presented in this novel. Themes such as true love, betrayal, cowardice, finding ones self, homosexuality, and basic human nature (good and bad).

I don't want to give anything away so I will say that this it was an
...more
Lynn Beyrouthy
Jul 17, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
When I added this book to my want-to-read list on GR, it was for the following reasons: 
1. It takes place during world war 1 thus it must be teeming with enriching historical insertions that I take in with relish.
2. It is a gay romance, thus it must vigorously investigate homosexual liaisons and the torment of their clandestinity during the Great War.

For those reasons, I had presumed that The Absolutist would appeal to my tastes. 
But, as my one-star rating would suggest, this book did not impres
...more
Bill
Jul 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I had heard of this novel through the Books on the Nightstand podcast. I believe both Ann and Michael were highly recommending it.

I finished it last night, and as I sit here pondering what to write about it, I'm also torn between giving it one or five stars.
Yeah, you read that right. I can't decide if I didn't like it or if was it amazing.

Well, I can't give it one star. This is a book that will stay with me a very long time. In my world, that criteria ranks five stars.

However:

Here's where things
...more
LeAnne
Aug 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really lovely, but depressing tale of a young veteran of the first World War. The time frame swaps back and forth between his post-wartime visit to the sister of a fallen comrade and the boys' actual time together in training and in the trenches. They were best friends, he reports, and he is coming to return the letters she wrote her brother over the time of his military service. He has another piece of information to share, and his anxiety over this news is tense - the author does a nice job in ...more
Alyce (At Home With Books)
The Absolutist begins with a soldier named Tristan traveling to visit the sister of his friend Will, who fought with him in World War I. Then it flashes back to Tristan’s experiences in basic training where he meets Will for the first time and they form a close friendship. From that point on the story alternates between the two time periods.

Early on in the novel it becomes obvious that Tristan’s affections for the male friends in his life mean more to him than just normal fond feelings of camara
...more
Lisa
This book was brilliant! It was everything I was hoping for and a whole lot more besides.

Set predominately in the year 1919, the story unfolds through the eyes of former soldier Tristan Sadler as he struggles to come to terms with events in his past, namely his experiences in the trenches during the First World War in 1916 and his intense, complicated relationship with fellow soldier Will Bancroft, all of which is told through a series of flashbacks. Through these flashbacks, the horrors and tra
...more
Lane
Jul 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bestselling author of Boy in the Striped Pajamas, John Boyne, returns to the theme of examining a period in history throu...gh the eyes of two boys. Conscripted into the army at eighteen years of age, Will Bancroft is the son of a vicar, raised in the genteel English countryside. Seventeen year old Londoner Tristan Sadler, having been kicked out of home early in life by his abusive family, lied about his age and illegally enlisted in the army. The two meet in bootcamp at Aldershot and quickly fo ...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
This is the second novel I've read by John Boyne (the other being A History of Loneliness) and already I feel like they were both written to a formula. Moving backwards and forwards in time with a terrible secret only revealed in the end. I always am surprised to see Boyne's youngish face in his author photo, just a few years older than me, because his novels always feel as if they are coming from someone who has lived their entire life.

The main character and narrator is Tristan Sadler, a Briti
...more
Laura
Sep 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love starting the new year with a 5 star book. This book was so hard to put down. Such a page turner with some surprises. Very well done.
Noeleen
Jul 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Absolutist is set during one of my most favourite historical fiction time periods, the first World War. It tells the story of the relationship between two young soldiers Tristan Sadler and Will Bancroft, from their time training at Aldershot to the battles in the trenches in France during the war. The story begins after the war in 1919 when Tristan arranges a meeting with Will’s sister, Marian, to return letters that Will wrote to her during the war. The story alternates between the meeting ...more
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John Boyne (born 30 April 1971 in Dublin) is an Irish novelist.

He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, and studied Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, where he won the Curtis Brown prize. In 2015, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters by UEA.

John Boyne is the author of ten novels for adults and five for young readers, as well as a collection of short stories.

His novel
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“I think i'm just breathing, that's all. And there's a difference between breathing and being alive.” 57 likes
“ I can't bear to be on a train without a book", she announced. " It's a form of self-defence in a way" .” 25 likes
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