Lisa's Reviews > The Absolutist

The Absolutist by John Boyne
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's review
Jul 03, 2012

really liked it
Read from July 03 to 10, 2012

Like most -- all? -- war stories, this one is more about the telling of the story than the tale itself. Boyne has really interesting pacing here, and where I thought I knew how it was going to play out I was a little surprised at the depth of it. The Absolutist is set in training camp and the trenches during World War I and circa 1980s-era England, with a tight little tale of love and loyalty, bitterness and betrayal between young men... but it's not quite as cut and dried as it appears at first, and that makes the story far more interesting in the end than it would have been with flatter characters. And Boyne's a very nice writer, with an easy flow and a good sense of physicality (and no, I don't mean sex; Boyne is almost frustratingly discreet).

Nothing jaw-dropping at work here, but the book is well-written and moves along smoothly. Socks don't always need to be knocked off; Boyne acquits himself nicely and it's well worth reading.
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