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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5 thoughts on “Regeneration by Pat Barker”

  1. Review by Gosport Bookworms Reading Group:
    This book brings home the human cost of conflict and its life changing effect for many. A sombre but excellent read!
    Star rating: ***


  2. Review by Kings Somborne Reading Group:
    Very much enjoyed by nearly all. We found it insightful and revealing and (most) enjoyed the mix of fact and fiction with the author’s sensitivity enlightening our understanding of the psychological outfall of the war and Sassoon’s objections.
    Star rating: ****


  3. Review by Anton U3A Bookies:
    This book had a mixed reception from the group. We thought it was well written with fiction interwoven well with the factual background. There was considerable discussion even though only one person really liked the book. We felt it was a difficult book written about an extremely tragic period of world history.
    Star rating: ***


  4. Review by Wednesday Reading Group:
    Highly recommended. Beautifully written, quite compulsive. A detailed account of the sufferings caused by the horrors of the trenches in WWI. Some fascinating cameos.
    Star rating: ****


  5. Review by Morning Tide Group, Lee-on-the-Solent
    A book about the first world war telling what happened to a soldier if he had post-war stress but described then as shell-shock or mental breakdown. Although the group thought the book well-written, two thirds were unabe to give it more than 2 stars.
    Rating: **


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