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Life Class | [Pat Barker]

Life Class

In the spring of 1914, a group of young students gather in an art studio for a life-drawing class. Paul Tarrant and Elinor Brooke are two components of a love triangle, and at the outset of the war, they turn to each other. After volunteering for the Red Cross, Paul must confront the fact that life, love, and art will never be the same for him.
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Publisher's Summary

In the spring of 1914, a group of young students gather in an art studio for a life-drawing class. Paul Tarrant and Elinor Brooke are two components of a love triangle, and at the outset of the war, they turn to each other. After volunteering for the Red Cross, Paul must confront the fact that life, love, and art will never be the same for him.

Pat Barker is unrivaled in her ability to convey simple, moving human truths. Her skill in relaying the harrowing experience of modern warfare is matched by the depth of insight she brings to the experience of love and the morality of art in a time of war. Life Class is one of her genuine masterpieces.

©2008 Pat Barker; (P)2008 BBC Audiobooks America

What the Critics Say

"Calls to mind such early moderns as Hemingway and Fitzgerald....some of the most powerful anti-war literature in modern English fiction." (The Boston Globe)
"Pat Barker understands the dynamics of psychic trauma and shutdown as well as any living writer." (Esquire)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.3 (31 )
5 star
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3.3 (9 )
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3.8 (8 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Cariola Chambersburg, PA USA 07-28-09
    Cariola Chambersburg, PA USA 07-28-09 Member Since 2005

    malfi

    HELPFUL VOTES
    703
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    332
    159
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    280
    6
    Overall
    "In Love and War"

    Like Barker's Regeneration Trilogy, Life Class is set during World War I. The first half involves the blithe lives of a group of young art students, including Paul and Elinor, whose friendship develops into something more. As the war wages on, Paul attempts to sign up; when he is rejected, he volunteers as an ambulance driver. The novel encomppases some of the horrors of war familliar to Barker readers/listeners, but the intent here seems to be to show how the experience of war changes people and their relationships. A fine listen.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonelle Camp Hill, PA, United States 06-06-10
    Jonelle Camp Hill, PA, United States 06-06-10 Member Since 2008

    A librarian who loves to read, whether in print or in the air

    HELPFUL VOTES
    72
    ratings
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    59
    39
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    "World War I"

    Barker writes interesting character studies of the British during World War I. This one is good, but her Regeneration Trilogy is even better.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sam Dardanelle, AR, United States 03-15-14
    sam Dardanelle, AR, United States 03-15-14 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
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    132
    10
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    "disappointing"

    This really was a letdown after The Regeneration Trilogy. The story is not particularly compelling and, try as I could, I simply found it hard to care much about the characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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