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Flanders, by Patricia Anthony

The novel is set in the trenches of WWI. The main character is Travis Lee Stanhope, a Texan sharpshooter who serves in an English unit and sees ghosts. He writes to his brother at home, and we see the war through his letters, life that's at turns desperate and funny and innocent and brutal and haunting and loved.

One of the reviewers said that he would've read the book the whole way through, if his tears had let him. And that says it all, really. I stayed up to finish this book and now I can't sleep because I can't let go of the story.

It's so achingly beautiful and I didn't want it to end, not like it did.

Date: 2003-09-27 05:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] damson.livejournal.com
Jeez, another book to add to my ever lengthening 'to read' list! ;)
Thanks for the rec.

Yes!

Date: 2003-09-29 07:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fable.livejournal.com
Go and read! You'll love this book, you really will. If there's one book I could have everyone read, it would probably be this one - it's that good.

Date: 2003-09-27 09:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scot-ty.livejournal.com
My mom always read whatever book I was reading for school and insisted we talk about it. I think it gave her something to connect to during my teen years. I bucked and snorted then, but I loved having someone to talk to about it. I miss that to this day.

Date: 2003-09-29 07:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fable.livejournal.com
That does sound wonderful. I'd love to have people to talk with about this book, but I seem to be the only one who's read it. So, I'm going on a foisting campaign!

Date: 2003-10-16 12:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] daegaer.livejournal.com
I'll definitely read this, thanks for the rec. Have you read Pat Barker's Regeneration trilogy (Regeneration, The Eye in the Door, The Ghost Road)? Fabulous and draining. I also noticed a new YA novel set in WW1 in the shops - I'll go and find its title later.

Date: 2003-10-16 11:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fable.livejournal.com
I'll definitely read this, thanks for the rec.

You're welcome. I do have to warn you, though, that it is very brutal in places. It provides an unflinching and very disturbing view of not just the war, but also the soldiers in it (including the narrator).


I'll definitely read this, thanks for the rec. Have you read Pat Barker's Regeneration trilogy

I've read the first couple of books in the trilogy, and had mixed feelings about them. This is probably because I read them right after reading "Flanders", and was expecting something more visceral. I loved her character Billy Prior, and the parts when he was in the book, but none of the others - Sassoon, Rivers, Owens - really came alive for me. Which is a bit ironic, considering that Prior is the only fictional character among those four.


I also noticed a new YA novel set in WW1 in the shops - I'll go and find its title later.

I'd be very grateful if you did.

Date: 2003-10-16 01:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] daegaer.livejournal.com
It's Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo.

Barker also has a fourth WW1 novel, which I haven't read, Another World, which is about a man's life after the war, and how it effects his children and grandchildren.

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