All quiet on the Western front by Erich Maria Remarque

About the book

This story is told by a young soldier in the trenches of Flanders during the First World War. Through his eyes we see the realities of war. Incidents are vividly described, but there is no sense of adventure, only the feeling of youth betrayed.

Reviewed by The Page Turners

Everyone should read this book – a beautiful translation of a moving and harrowing WW1 story; an opportunity to delve into history, memoirs and poetry and consider the possible effects of combat particularly on young men.

**** 4 stars

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Was your ancestor a soldier?

Was your ancestor a soldier?. Hampshire Record Office is running a workshop to show the many ways that they can help you research your ancestors who served as soldier.

  • 2:00pm Friday 25 Sep 2015
  • Find out more about the soldier in your family tree with this workshop revealing the many types of records which throw light on your army ancestors. 2-4pm
  • Cost: £13 per person. Advanced booking required
  • Venue: Hampshire Record Office
  • Telephone: 01962 846154

Regeneration by Pat Barker

About the book

Craiglockhart War Hospital, Scotland, 1917, and army psychiatrist William Rivers is treating shell-shocked soldiers. Under his care are the poets Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen, as well as mute Billy Prior, who is only able to communicate by means of pencil and paper. Rivers’s job is to make the men in his charge healthy enough to fight. Yet the closer he gets to mending his patients’ minds the harder becomes every decision to send them back to the horrors of the front. Pat Barker’s Regeneration is the classic exploration of how the traumas of war brutalised a generation of young men.

Reviewed by Ems Valley U3A Reading group:

Only one reader disliked the book and put it down after 20 pages! Promoted lively discussion at meeting especially by the men who couldn’t understand how a woman could write about men in such a way, dealing with war and its aftermath. Most people keen to read the next book in the trilogy.

Star rating: ***

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The Eye in the Door by Pat Barker

About the book

London, 1918. Billy Prior is working for Intelligence in the Ministry of Munitions. But his private encounters with women and men – pacifists, objectors, homosexuals – conflict with his duties as a soldier, and it is not long before his sense of himself fragments and breaks down. Forced to consult the man who helped him before – army psychiatrist William Rivers – Prior must confront his inability to be the dutiful soldier his superiors wish him to be …

Reviewed by U3A Book Circle No 2 Reading Group:

Not a book to be enjoyed as it is very disturbing, but it gives a real insight into the traumas suffered by the young in the First World War, especially by pacifists, conscientious objectors and homosexuals. It provoked a lot of discussion and is well constructed and beautifully written.

Star rating: ***

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The Ghost Road by Pat Barker

About the book

1918, the closing months of the war. Army psychiatrist William Rivers is increasingly concerned for the men who have been in his care – particularly Billy Prior, who is about to return to combat in France with young poet Wilfred Owen. As Rivers tries to make sense of what, if anything, he has done to help these injured men, Prior and Owen await the final battles in a war that has decimated a generation …

Reviewed by Museum Group:

A disturbing read, which several members found difficult as they had family members involved in the First World War. It was hard not to feel the pain and loss. The awful waste of it all. The medical side of the book with the treatment of shell shock was fascinating. One will want to explore this further.

Star rating: ***

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