Toby's Room

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Toby's Room

by Pat Barker

Hamish Hamilton | November 7, 2013 | Hardcover

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Toby's Room is the second novel in Pat Barker's Life Class Trilogy, returning to the First World War in a dark, compelling examination of human desire, wartime horror and the power of friendship When Toby is reported 'Missing, Believed Killed', another secret casts a lengthening shadow over Elinor's world: how exactly did Toby die - and why? Elinor determines to uncover the truth. Only then can she finally close the door to Toby's room. Moving from the Slade School of Art to Queen Mary's Hospital, where surgery and art intersect in the rebuilding of the shattered faces of the wounded, Toby's Room is a riveting drama of identity, damage, intimacy and loss - this is Pat Barker's most powerful novel yet. 'Heart-rendering return to the Great War . . . On every level, Toby's Room anatomises a world where extreme emotion shatters the boundaries of identity, behaviour, gender. Through the mask of Apollo bursts an omnipresent Dionysus' Independent 'Once again Barker skilfully moves between past and present, seamlessly weaving fact and fiction into a gripping narrative' Sunday Telegraph 'A gripping and moving exploration of the lasting effects of war' Woman & Home 'A natural storyteller . . . the reader [will be] torn between wanting to linger over the sheer pleasure of the writing and the desire to rush towards the end to discover how it all pans out' Daily Mail

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 272 pages, 9.5 × 6.4 × 1.05 in

Published: November 7, 2013

Publisher: Hamish Hamilton

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0241144574

ISBN - 13: 9780241144572

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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– More About This Product –

Toby's Room

by Pat Barker

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 272 pages, 9.5 × 6.4 × 1.05 in

Published: November 7, 2013

Publisher: Hamish Hamilton

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0241144574

ISBN - 13: 9780241144572

Read from the Book

1Elinor arrived home at four o’clock on Friday and went straight to her room. She hung the red dress on the wardrobe door, glancing at it from time to time as she brushed her hair. That neckline seemed to be getting lower by the minute. In the end her nerve failed her. She hunted out her pink dress, the one she used to wear for dancing classes at school, put it on, and stood in front of the cheval mirror. She turned her head from side to side, her hands smoothing down the creases that had gathered round the waist. Oh dear. No, no, she couldn’t do it, not this time, not ever again. She wriggled out of it and threw it to the back of the wardrobe. Out of the window would have been more satisfying, but her father and brother-in-law were sitting on the terrace. She pulled the red dress over her head, tugged the neckline up as far as it would go, and went reluctantly downstairs.Father met her in the hall and hugged her as if he hadn’t seen her for a year. Outside the living room, she hesitated, but there was no point wearing a red dress and then creeping along the skirting boards like a mouse, so she flung the door open and swept in. She kissed Rachel, waved at Rachel’s husband, Tim, who was at the far side of the room talking to her mother, and then looked around for Toby, but he wasn’t there. Perhaps he wasn’t coming after all, though he’d said he would. The prospect of his absence darkened the whole evening; she wasn’t sure she could face it on her own. But then, a few minutes l
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From the Publisher

Toby's Room is the second novel in Pat Barker's Life Class Trilogy, returning to the First World War in a dark, compelling examination of human desire, wartime horror and the power of friendship When Toby is reported 'Missing, Believed Killed', another secret casts a lengthening shadow over Elinor's world: how exactly did Toby die - and why? Elinor determines to uncover the truth. Only then can she finally close the door to Toby's room. Moving from the Slade School of Art to Queen Mary's Hospital, where surgery and art intersect in the rebuilding of the shattered faces of the wounded, Toby's Room is a riveting drama of identity, damage, intimacy and loss - this is Pat Barker's most powerful novel yet. 'Heart-rendering return to the Great War . . . On every level, Toby's Room anatomises a world where extreme emotion shatters the boundaries of identity, behaviour, gender. Through the mask of Apollo bursts an omnipresent Dionysus' Independent 'Once again Barker skilfully moves between past and present, seamlessly weaving fact and fiction into a gripping narrative' Sunday Telegraph 'A gripping and moving exploration of the lasting effects of war' Woman & Home 'A natural storyteller . . . the reader [will be] torn between wanting to linger over the sheer pleasure of the writing and the desire to rush towards the end to discover how it all pans out' Daily Mail

About the Author

Pat Barker was born in 1943. Her books include the highly acclaimed Regeneration trilogy, comprising Regeneration (1991); which was made into a film of the same name; The Eye in the Door (1993), which won the Guardian Fiction Prize; and The Ghost Road (1995), which won the Booker Prize, as well as the more recent novels Another World, Border Crossing, Double Vision, Life Class and Toby's Room. She lives in Durham and her most recent work is Noonday.

Editorial Reviews

Praise for Toby's Room:"Barker...has pursued [World War I] through a remarkable series of novels: the much-admired "Regeneration" trilogy...Life Class and now Toby's Room.... [T]hese novels go far beyond a demonstration of the powers of the historical imagination. Like most good works of fiction, they’re not so much about the events they depict as about the resonance of those events, the way certain actions ripple through people’s lives.... Toby's Room takes large risks. It’s dark, painful and indelibly grotesque, yet it is also tender. It strains its own narrative control to create in the midst of an ordinary life a kind of deformed reality—precisely to illustrate how everything we call ‘ordinary’ is disfigured by war. And it succeeds brilliantly."— John Vernon, New York Times Book Review"[T]he writing is lucid and often beautiful."—Thom Geier, Entertainment Weekly"A tantalizing and moving return to wartime London."—Joanna Scutts, Washington Post"You get a glimpse inside Toby’s room in Pat Barker’s poignant novel of the same name, but what you remember are three real and very different English landmarks — the Slade, London’s prestigious art academy; Cafe Royal, frequented by the likes of Oscar Wilde, Winston Churchill and Virginia Woolf; and the Queen’s Hospital, opened in 1917 to serve injured British soldiers in need of facial reconstruction.... No one evokes England in all its stiff-upper-lip gritty wartime privation like Barker. She is as uncompromising as Henry Tonks, a
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