The Regeneration Trilogy

  • Type: Books
  • By: Pat Barker
  • Age Category: Adults
  • Genre: Historical Fiction
  • Recommended by: Morgan D.
  • ISBN/UPC: 0452270073
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Three astonishing novels about the moral costs of war

Pat Barker’s Regeneration trilogy (composed of Regeneration, The Eye in the Door, and The Ghost Road) is set during the First World War, in Great Britain, moving from a Scottish hospital for shell-shocked soldiers; to a domestic intelligence agency; to the Western front. Based almost entirely on actual historical events and characters, the trilogy is as unusual as it is brilliant. Barker’s style is heavily restrained: she doesn’t rely on authorial tricks, or over-polished prose. With the exception of Billy Prior, one of the few original characters in the trilogy (and perhaps one of my favorite characters in fiction), she’s not much concerned with deep characterization. And for all that she’s often been touted as an author of “anti-war” novels, the books are emphatically not polemical. All she does (and it is a tremendously difficult thing to do) is write about historical events in such a way that the myriad ideas and philosophical positions of the time are given space to play out in front of the reader.  Barker is a treasure, and her books only improve with time and repeated readings.