Double Vision is Pat Barker's thought-provoking Booker Prize-winning novel of modern warfare. Provocative, intense and deeply moving, Double Vision is a powerful story of one man's quest to find redemption amidst the horror of twenty-first-century war. Returning to Afghanistan after his photographer friend is killed by a sniper, war reporter ...
Double Vision is Pat Barker's thought-provoking Booker Prize-winning novel of modern warfare. Provocative, intense and deeply moving, Double Vision is a powerful story of one man's quest to find redemption amidst the horror of twenty-first-century war. Returning to Afghanistan after his photographer friend is killed by a sniper, war reporter Stephen Sharkey seeks release from his nightmares in an England seemingly at peace with itself. Questioning man's inhumanity to man both abroad and at home, and whether love really can be the great redeemer, Double Vision is a searing novel of conflict in modern times. "Full of brooding tension. Barker is one of our most significant contemporary novelists". (Daily Telegraph). "Barker writes superbly. The reader is drawn on, from page to page". (Economist). "Barker has a quite extraordinary ability to combine complexity and clarity and to make both seem parts of the same whole". (Sunday Times). "The characters grab hold at the beginning and never loosen their grip. Barker holds us by the sheer beauty of her writing". (Financial Times). Pat Barker was born in 1943. Her books include the highly acclaimed Regeneration trilogy, comprising Regeneration, which has been filmed, The Eye in the Door, which won the Guardian Fiction Prize, and The Ghost Road, which won the Booker Prize. The trilogy featured the Observer's 2012 list of the ten best historical novels. She is also the author of the more recent novels Another World, Border Crossing, Double Vision, Life Class, and Toby's Room. She lives in Durham.
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Publishers Weekly, 2003-11-10 The quaint English village of Barker's 10th novel is a world away from the wars in Bosnia, Afghanistan and elsewhere that have scarred its main characters, but the specter of violence still looms. Kate Frobisher, a sculptor working on a monumental figure of Jesus, is recovering from a car accident and grieving for her husband, Ben, a war photographer killed in Afghanistan. Stephen Sharkey, a journalist (and friend of Ben's) suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome after covering Bosnia, Rwanda and other conflicts, has left London and a failed marriage to write a book about "the way wars are represented." An ensemble cast gathers around these two haunted figures: Stephen's brother Robert and his family; Alec Braithewaite, the friendly vicar, and his Cambridge-bound daughter Justine; and Peter Wingrave, Kate's studio assistant and Justine's ex. A predictable mix of domestic drama (the Sharkeys' marital woes, a romance between Stephen and Justine) plays out against the backdrop of current events, but the real theme of this insightful, harrowing novel is violence: its impact on victims, but also on those who witness it and those who tell the tale. As Barker's characters are forced to acknowledge, aggression and brutality are close at hand. And Barker spares no unsettling effect animals are turned into bloody heaps of roadkill; Kate grows paranoid about solitary Peter; Justine is the victim of a terrible beating. The effect of such unrelenting darkness is to render the story less dramatic and convincing, but this is still a gripping novel, noteworthy for the author's gifts as a stylist and her formidable, engaged intelligence. (Dec.) Forecast: Barker's fictional take on the psychological costs of contemporary warfare bests other recent efforts (Michael Ignatieff's Charlie Johnson in the Flames [Forecasts, Sept. 15]; Gil Courtemanche, A Sunday at the Pool in Kigali [Forecasts, Sept. 8]), and should benefit by association with Barker's brilliant evocation of WWI in her popular Regeneration Trilogy. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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