Insomnia, exhaustion, recurring nightmares - Steven Sharkey is suffering the after-effects of his career as a war reporter, most recently in Afghanistan, where Ben Frobisher, war photographer and friend, has been shot dead on assignment. Hanging up his flak jacket and turning his back on the everyday reality of war, Stephen moves into a quiet and peaceful cottage in the north of England. It seems the perfect environment in which to write his book on the representations of war - a book that will be based largely on Ben Frobisher's work.
Here Stephen meets Kate Frobisher, Ben's widow, and the mysterious Peter Wingrave, who seems to generate nothing but unease in those around him - and Justine, a woman twenty years Stephen's junior, with whom he soon finds himself involved. Even far from the war-torn countries he has left behind, Stephen's supposed isolation offers no protection from other people's suffering or the shattering effects of human brutality...
In Double Vision Pat Barker brilliantly explores the ways people succeed in achieving balance and hope in lives disrupted by violence.
It is not often a book of this genre impresses me, however this was most assuredly one of those times.
The book is not a high-energy thriller, but it does build up to many minor climaxes, giving you a sense of continuing plot. With an ending both a little predictable, and yet still surprising.
With many small crisis points, love, lust, therapy, wierdness, suspense and release, this seems to have a bit of something for everyone. With a few disturbing patches (Watch out for Peter's short stories) and a few moments that provoke some serious thought for any married person, you should be able to enjoy this book no matter what your tastes.
Not sure whether the pricetag would appeal to everyone who might be captured by the story, but it certainly is not above and beyond other books of this size and style, so it's affordable. Would make a good gift for someone stuck in bed for health reasons, I would suggest. This is a book that once you get stuck into it, you won't want to put it down.
Overall, I was very happy to be reading this, despite my prior misgivings. I am a die-hard fan of Sci-Fi (heavy on the Sci) but with a bounty of new books in a wide style of genres available to me through this site, I am rapidly become quite an eclectic reader.
Random listing from 'Books'...
'The girl from the future told me the sky is full of dying worlds'
As the world struggles through the middle years of the 21st century; global warming, the end of oil, Michael Poole is being haunted. By the far future. Or a far future at least.
A future where the Transcendents have made themselves into ... more...
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"Apathy rules! Well, it would, if it could be bothered to try."