Regeneration (Regeneration, #1) Regeneration discussion


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Novels about WWI

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Matthew Williams Since this book has only discussion thread so far, I thought I'd volunteer to start one. Since this is one of my favorite novels on the subject of The Great War, it also seemed appropriate to appeal to people to offer other examples of books on the subject. Which have you read that you felt were particularly awesome, inspiring, or even crappy? And while we're at it, how did they measure up to this book?


message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

Strange meeting, by Susan Hill, is a good one. I picked it up years ago as it had the same title as the Wilfred Owen poem, which is one of my favorites. Memory of the book is hazy, but I recall that I liked it. Then of course there is the truly magnificent (and much discussed on this site) Journey to the end of the night, by Celine. I also read and liked the regeneration trilogy. But all of these are a bit sad for "every day" reading.


Marion Husband Hello Matthew
I know it's cheeky, but could I suggest my own novels The Boy I Love and All the Beauty of the Sun, both about men who fought in www1, and both have had very good reviews here on godreads and elsewhere...
Best wishes
Marion husband


message 4: by Zac (new) - rated it 5 stars

Zac I can recommend Robert Graves' autobiography "Goodbye to All That," which in large part deals with his experiences in the trenches, sometimes alongside Siegfried Sassoon. Sassoon himself wrote a novel based on his experiences, "Memoirs of an Infantry Officer." I haven't read it yet - it seems to be out of print - but plan to pick up an old copy.
All Quiet on the Western Front is perhaps an obvious one but essential for anyone interested in WWI literature. Powerful but unrelentingly grim.
I'll check out Strange Meeting and perhaps revisit "Journey..." - it's been a while since I read it - so thanks for the tip, Andy.


Richard as crass as it sounds the Ben Elton book - The First Casualty - wasn't too bad. it's not literature but it's a well written argument

in comparison to Regeneration though it falls quite short. you read the other 2 Pat Barker books I assume?


message 6: by Matthew (last edited Sep 26, 2012 08:54PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Matthew Williams Marion wrote: "Hello Matthew
I know it's cheeky, but could I suggest my own novels The Boy I Love and All the Beauty of the Sun, both about men who fought in www1, and both have had very good reviews here on godr..."


Damn you, Marion! You are indeed a cheeky monkey and you've hit me where I'm softest, being an indie writer myself. I'll let that self-promotion slide... for now ;) You got free samples? We're gonna need free samples if we're going to compare.


Matthew Williams Lot of poetry being mentioned here too. In that vein, I shall mention E.E. Cummings, who was not featured in Regeneration, but was nevertheless a wartime poet. You ever read "i sing of Olaf"? Poignant, sad, and also quite funny:

i sing of Olaf glad and big
whose warmest heart recoiled at war:
a conscientious object-or

his wellbelovéd colonel(trig
westpointer most succinctly bred)
took erring Olaf soon in hand;
but--though an host of overjoyed
noncoms(first knocking on the head
him)do through icy waters roll
that helplessness which others stroke
with brushes recently employed
anent this muddy toiletbowl,
while kindred intellects evoke
allegiance per blunt instruments--
Olaf(being to all intents
a corpse and wanting any rag
upon what God unto him gave)
responds,without getting annoyed
"I will not kiss your fucking flag"

straightway the silver bird looked grave
(departing hurriedly to shave)

but--though all kinds of officers
(a yearning nation's blueeyed pride)
their passive prey did kick and curse
until for wear their clarion
voices and boots were much the worse,
and egged the firstclassprivates on
his rectum wickedly to tease
by means of skilfully applied
bayonets roasted hot with heat--
Olaf(upon what were once knees)
does almost ceaselessly repeat
"there is some shit I will not eat"

our president,being of which
assertions duly notified
threw the yellowsonofabitch
into a dungeon,where he died

Christ(of His mercy infinite)
i pray to see;and Olaf,too

preponderatingly because
unless statistics lie he was
more brave than me:more blond than you.



Matthew Williams Sandyboy wrote: "as crass as it sounds the Ben Elton book - The First Casualty - wasn't too bad. it's not literature but it's a well written argument

in comparison to Regeneration though it falls quite short. you ..."


Oh yes, Eye in the Door and The Ghost Road? Totally, and loved them all, thought not equally. Harsh thing to say, but it's true.


Richard Matthew wrote: "Sandyboy wrote: "as crass as it sounds the Ben Elton book - The First Casualty - wasn't too bad. it's not literature but it's a well written argument

in comparison to Regeneration though it falls ..."



not harsh at all, i agree. the first book was spellbinding and the electroshock sequence towards the end still haunts me. the other 2 i found gave diminshing impact


Regina Testament of Youth - Vera Brittain - not fiction but amazing memoir.


Matthew Williams Anybody ever heard of Three Day Road? I've been dancing around it, hoping someone else might mention it. Definitely one of the best novels on WWI that I've personally read, comparable to Regeneration, but also personally poignant in that it deals with Canadian and Cree history.


message 12: by Zac (new) - rated it 5 stars

Zac Pat Barker's latest gets a glowing review in the NYT Book Review, today: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/07/boo...


message 13: by Troy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Troy I think it's fair to say that, not only is Regeneration my favorite novel about WWI, it's also one of my favorite novels.

With that said, I want to recommend a novella by Dan Simmons in his collection titled LoveDeath. The story I have in mind is called "The Great Lover." It is told from the perspective of a fictional poet fighting in the trenches.

While there are some weird stories in this book (especially the one taking place in Bangkok), I found "The Great Lover" to be one of the most compelling short pieces I've ever read.

For those not familiar with the exceptional Dan Simmons, this collection provides a good introduction to an author that writes brilliantly in several genres.


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