Pat Barker's Regeneration Trilogy is one of those books (er... set of books, seeing it's a threefer) that has made me want to do more research about the topic and read them whenever possible.
I had read the first book, Regeneration in college (what feels like sooo many years ago.. We're talking 2004, though), for an English class. The class itself, "Madness Thru Literature" was still in transit. The students who took it that year were the guinea pigs, because it was a new school offering. Needless to say, there were some great books and novels to come out of that course, and Pat Barker's trilogy was one of them.
Then again, we only read the first book.
Which I ended up re-reading this past summer so I (finally) read the two latter books (7 years later). I admit, though, that I do like to read up on various forms of history. I like to see what people can write about the situation and keep it interesting, whether or not they include real facts. History peaks my interest and there really are alot of fictional stories out there that are loosely based on the real event. But those suggestions are fit for another entry.
Regeneration takes place in Britain during World War One at Craiglockhart War Hospital. A head psychiatrist is working with various soldiers, however, the novel revolves around one in particular (Seigfried), but seques into another (Billy). The main patient is absolutely against the war, while the second has a speech problem.
The characters, in my opinion, are written well and you do get to know who they are and what they stand for.
In 1917 Seigfried Sasson, noted poet and decorated war hero, publicly refused to continue serving as a British officer in World War I. His reason: The war was a senseless slaughter. He was officially classified "mentally unsound" and sent to Craiglockhart War Hospital. There a brilliant psychiatrist, Dr. William Rivers, set about restoring Sassoon's "sanity" and sending him back to the trenches. This novel tells what happened as only a novel can. It is a war saga in which not a shot is fired. It is a story of a battle for a man's mind in which only the reader can decide who is the victor, who the vanquished, and who the victim. It is one of the most amazing feats of fiction of our time. "Regeneration" is the first novel in Pat Barker's acclaimed World War I trilogy, which continues with "The Eye in the Door" and culminates in the 1995 Booker Prize-winning "The Ghost Road."
I don't want to write anymore about the book, as I may spoil it, nor do I want to tell the series, but I do highly suggest them if you are a history buff, book person, or just curious to read another side of what we all think about when "WWI" is said aloud. They are paperbacks, and pretty easy to follow, but I must warn you: It's not in American English, for those in the States. It's British English, so you'd see "colour" instead of "color". But if you can stand the variations of words, I am sure you will find the books just as interesting as I did.
Hey, if you do end up reading them, come back to this page and let me know what you thought! :)
(link to books via Amazon: Regeneration [Paperback], The Eye in the Door [Paperback], The Ghost Road (William Abrahams) [Paperback])