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Download Toby's Room Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample Tobys Room (Unabridged), by Pat Barker
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Pat Barker Narrator: Nicola Barber Publisher: AudioGO Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Toby's Room opens in the July of 1917, three years after the events of Life Class. Elinor Brooke is still painting, but her brother Toby is shipping out to the front as a Medical Officer, a fact that she cannot bring herself to accept. Toby finds himself on the same Channel crossing as Kit Neville, a close friend - and aspiring suitor - of Elinor's from before the war. Intent on cementing his reputation as an artist, Kit never intended to serve overseas. Conscripted nonetheless, he becomes a stretcher-bearer assigned to assist Toby. It's exhausting, dangerous work, and Kit resents Toby's frequent decisions to risk their own lives in attempting to save the wounded.

Confronted daily by their mortality, both men find solace in sexual exploits, but Toby pushes the envelope further by seeking out men, risking a great deal in the process. When Kit sees Toby having sex with another soldier in the ruins of Ypres, he tells the chaplain. Two days later, Toby goes missing (presumed dead) during a bombardment as he runs to the aid of a soldier.

News of her missing brother destroys the indifference Elinor has cultivated for so long. She tracks down Kit, who is by now wounded and back in London, but she doesn't believe his version of events. That Kit is cracking up doesn't help; he is soon transferred to a convalescent home where he goes spectacularly mad. Elinor instead turns to her German friend Catherine for comfort, even as Catherine struggles to cope with her own burdens, not least her nationality.

Pat Barker is one of Britain's very finest novelists, and in Toby's Room she once again demonstrates her ability to eloquently convey simple, moving truths. A multi-layered exploration of identity, Toby's Room develops the already empathetic and engaging characters of Life Class, exploring at all levels - and across all divides - what it means to be human.

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Gill | 2/19/2014

    " Fantastic book, the characters are so real, fits beautifully with Life Class, hope this is going to be a trilogy ! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Ron | 2/13/2014

    " Same basic plot, same basic outcome, same formulaic development as THE ABSOLUTIST. Very predictable outcome. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Carolyn | 2/11/2014

    " Excellent author! Looked at the Tonks site on line and it was amazing and yet terrible "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Becky Vowles | 2/9/2014

    " Combining the themes of 'My Dear I Wanted To Tell You' and 'The Absolutist', this is a return to the impact of the First World War for Pat Barker. The novel focuses on the death of a Medical Officer, and show the impact this has on his family as a whole, but especially on his sister, with whom he had had an intimate relationship prior to an incident in 1912. A secondary, but interwoven, storyline is that of the offical War Artists commissioned to produce approved and 'official' images of the front. Often these men were drawn from those too badly wounded to return to active duty, and their experiences of the war coloured their work. The story draws in attitudes towards sexuality as well as towards those disfigured by their injuries, bringing the work of Gillies and Henry Tonks in recording and attempting to repair the facial injuries caused by the war. This is a stark novel, and tackles some difficult issues, readers who enjoyed Barker's Regeneration series will find the style unaltered here. "

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