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af Pat Barker

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9551921,921 (3.32)60
Roman om hvordan begravede hemmeligheder og traumatiske begivenheder i fortiden kommer til at ødelægge tilværelsen for en familie i Newcastle.

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» Se også 60 omtaler

Viser 1-5 af 19 (næste | vis alle)
Didn't start well but got into the swing eventually. However it didn't really hang together. A mishmash of stuff that could have been interesting on it's own but didn't really fit together and allow the narrative to breathe. And why the ghost story? No need for it really. ( )
  Ma_Washigeri | Jan 23, 2021 |
Read this book for Reading 1001, BOTM Nov 2019. I have read Regeneration by the author. In this book, set in more contemporary times we have a blended, dysfunctional family that has moved into a Victorian house in Newcastle upon tyne. The other story line is the aging grandfather, 101, impending death. He is a WWI vet who suffered PTSD. There is a overlying sinister mood in this story. The family finds a picture of the previous owner of the home that portrays violence and hatred and the that this family on the wall reflects the undertones of the current family. I also enjoyed the second story line of the aging WWI vet, grandfather who is dying and also struggling with thoughts that he is tortured by to the point that his finally words, "I am in hell", are the last words Nick has from his grandfather. Themes of effects of violence on following generations, issues of violence, ideals of innocence and goodness, and sexuality. While I liked both stories, I did not feel that the author was successful in piecing them together. ( )
  Kristelh | Nov 2, 2019 |
I am glad that this is the last book on my shelf by Pat Barker, because I found this to be such a depressing read. It was published in 1998 some three year after Ghost road which was the final part of her Regeneration trilogy. Another World could almost be an addendum to the Regeneration books because one of the themes of the book is an old first world war soldier’s (Geordie is 101) difficulties of coming to terms with incidents from the war. Juxtaposed with his struggles as he stares into the face of his own demise is his sons own struggles with his extended family. Nick is in the unenviable position of having to help look after his deteriorating father while trying to keep his second family from imploding: tiredness and exhaustion exasperate an already fraught situation.

In my opinion there is too much going on in this story which barrels along leaving its characters strewn in its wake. The most developed character is Geordie who heroically faces his mortality while harbouring a terrible secret: usually where two threads of a storyline are run in parallel one can see connections of plot or theme, in this case the only connection seems to be the family connection, Geordie’s struggles seem to have very little bearing on the problems of Nick’s second family apart from adding to Nick’s tiredness. Barker is adept at touches of observation that seem so right and her dialogue can be spot on, but where she struggles in my opinion is in her analysis of the issues created by her storyline and this is not helped by a continually changing POV. We get snatches of characters feelings, wants and desires, but overall there is little depth to them and their actions are not always consistent in the way that Barker has presented them. There is also her theme of ghosts either from the past or in the present that seem little more than vehicles for her plot.

A story about a struggling family and a first world war veteran stricken with cancer is not going to be a fun read, but Barker wants to rub her readers noses in the dirt and the filth. Sex and of course there is sex in Barker’s books is totally joyless, family members go out of their way to create problems for themselves and Geordie’s illness is graphically described . A centre of calm is provided by Helen an author and psychologist who has been recording Geordie’s war time experiences, but she is little more than a stock character. For me Barker’s eagerness to tell a story and to create a realistic scenario has resulted in a book that lacks depth. A bit of a disappointment and so three stars. ( )
3 stem baswood | Mar 12, 2019 |
Gripping and painful - an unfliching description of the most banal and terrible difficulties of new and fractured families, set against the shadows of the First World War and the immanence of death
  otterley | Jul 15, 2018 |
“Another person's life, observed from the outside, always has a shape and definition that one's own life lacks.”

The central theme of this novel is how wounds of the past have the ability to affect the present. Nick, a Newcastle teacher, is the central character but much of the plot revolves around his 101 year old grandfather, Geordie. Geordie is dying of cancer and is deeply disturbed by memories of his time in the WWI trenches, in particular that he killed his brother there. Nick is deeply attached to his grandfather but is also suffering difficulties closer to home. Nick, his pregnant wife, stepson and son have recently moved into a Victorian house which seems to be haunted by the apparition of a young girl who was once suspected of killing her younger brother. On top of this, Nick's daughter from his first marriage has come to spend some of the summer holidays with them which seems to only inflame his stepson's, Gareth, jealousy and aggression towards his baby brother. This in many respects is the 'modern' dysfunctional family.

There are obvious parallels between the generations but, perhaps surprisingly given the adept way that the author handled the Regeneration trilogy plots, these appear peculiarly forced relying as it does on two books. One which features the murder of a child in the house that the family now lives in and the other the transcript of interviews that Geordie has given to a researcher friend of Nick's. Consequently the plot feels somewhat unwieldy rather than like jigsaw pieces gradually slotting together.

Equally the author seems to flit between the various characters, rather like a bee in a buttercup meadow, giving the reader a little taster of each but without really giving them any real sense of flavour meaning that they all seem to be pulling in very different directions as they struggle with their own individual issues. This largely caused me frustration rather than sympathy for any of them.

The only time that the narrative seems to really come to life is when Barker plunges into the legacy of guilt that Geordie suffered because of his traumatic experiences in the trenches, his confused relationship with his brother and simply the fact that he had survived when so many others had not. He does not have an easy death either, 'I am in hell,' are his dying words.

Overall Barker has created a disturbing tale which has glimpses of the power and passion that she has brought to previous pieces of work. However, its execution rather lets it down meaning that it feels contrived and lacking in something truly vital. ( )
2 stem PilgrimJess | Mar 29, 2018 |
Viser 1-5 af 19 (næste | vis alle)
This is exactly why Barker is so impressive: she accepts contradiction. Her novels reach for the truth, but she never pretends to have found it. A mystery always remains. That is all the truth there is; and besides, mystery is better to read about than proclamations of certainty.
"Another World'' demonstrates the extraordinary immediacy and vigor of expression we have come to expect from Barker -- brilliant touches of observation, an unfailing ear for dialogue, a talent for imagery that is darting and brief but wonderfully apt. . . The narrative pace is superbly maintained -- this is a novel that doesn't allow you to miss a sentence.

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Roman om hvordan begravede hemmeligheder og traumatiske begivenheder i fortiden kommer til at ødelægge tilværelsen for en familie i Newcastle.

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