Audiobooks The Absolutist (Audio Download): John Boyne, Michael Maloney, Random House AudioBooks: Audible Audiobooks By John Boyne –

September year old Tristan Sadler takes a train from London to Norwich to deliver some letters to Marian Bancroft Tristan fought alongside Marian s brother Will during the Great War, but inWill laid down his guns on the battlefield, declared himself a conscientious objector and was shot as a traitor, an act which has brought shame and dishonour on the Bancroft family But the letters are not the real reason for Tristan s visit He holds a secret deep in his soul One that he is desperate to unburden himself of to Marian, if he can only find the courage As he recalls his friendship with Will, from the training ground at Aldershot to the trenches of Northern France, he speaks of how the intensity of their friendship brought him both happiness and self discovery as well as despair and pain The Absolutist is a novel that examines the events of the Great War from the perspective of two young soldiers, both struggling with the complexity of their emotions and the confusion of their friendship

8 thoughts on “The Absolutist (Audio Download): John Boyne, Michael Maloney, Random House AudioBooks: Audible Audiobooks

  1. R T Twinem R T Twinem says:

    The Absolutist is a conscientious objector, one who refuses not only to be involved in the dirty business of taking arms against an enemy but also to help in any way the war effort by carrying out ancillary tasks They were nicknamed Feather men The notion of a white feather representing cowardice goes back to the 18th century, arising from the belief that a white feather in the tail of a game bird denoted poor quality To show the white feather was therefore to be unmanly Tristan Sadler and Will Bancroft two fresh faced recruits meet in Aldershot as they prepare for life in the trenches, the defining image of World War 1 In Aldershot they weren t teaching us how to fight, they were training us how to extend our lives for as long as possible John Boyne s writing is magnificent as always, his scenes of young raw recruits standing like lambs to the slaughter, or waiting to be butchered by the enemy s machine gunfire, is heartbreaking to read We forget that we have very nearly died today as we wait to die again tomorrow Each of us fell at a different point on the spectrum from pacifism to unremitting sadism At the start of the story Tristan is travelling to Norwich to meet Will s sister and deliver some personal letters, he is also hoping to unburden himself by revealing a secret, a secret that he has held within him for many years The narrative alternates between the start and finish of WW1 and those who survived returned home deeply traumatized to a country unable to cope with or indeed understand the repercussions of shell shock commonly known today as PTSD Twenty boys And only two came back One who went mad and myself But that doesn t mean we survived it I don t think I did survive it I may not be buried in a French field but I linger there..The Absolutist is about friendship, unrequited love, the morals of the time, and what happens if we try to live outside what society views as righteous and good It is about the evil and brutality that humans can inflict on each other and in its graphic descriptions it illustrates what life if we can call it that was like for young men in the trenchesmost would be lucky to survive than 6 weeks. I close my eyes for a moment How long will it be, I wonder, two minutes, three, before I am over the sandbags too Is my life to end tonight In the last chapter we meet Tristan as an old man, success as a writer has done little to ease his conscience or dampen the memory of those bygone days The final sentence is probably one of the most poignant I have read for many years A truly outstanding novel John Boyne once again asserts himself as not only a gifted author but possessing an uncanny understanding of the human spirit and what is to live to love, and for that love never to be returned Highly, highly recommended

  2. new kindle owner new kindle owner says:

    I really could not put this book down I read voraciously but rarely write reviews as I find most novels i read have very little to say This one however was gripping, had great context and a genuine message in the narrative The descriptions of WW1 were graphic and quite horrifying The underlying themes of the love that dare not speak its name and conscientious objections to warfare are strongly, thoughtfully and carefully threaded through the book I read it in one sitting and am now a total John Boyle groupie.

  3. insomniac insomniac says:

    I tend to avoid novels set during wartime but, persuaded by positive customer reviews and having liked other novels by Boyne, I gave this a go and wasn t sorry Beautifully written, the horrors of the trenches are brought vividly to life with the added dimension of unyielding and unsympathetic attitudes toward difference Boyne takes the reader right inside the head and heart of Tristan Sadler.And the soldiers brief argument over the young German PoW, precipitating the catalyst incident, succinctly encapsulates the irrationality of war He s the bloody enemy You know what our orders are We kill the enemy Not the ones we ve captured, we don t, That s what separates us, or it s supposed to We treat others with respect.

  4. Richard Latham Richard Latham says:

    There are some mixed reviews about this book, especially in reference to the episodes about the training and fighting in the Gret War Please don t let them put you off and make your own mind up by reading this wonderful story for yourself.It is a story from Tristan Sadler s perspective he narrates the account and on reflection despite references to his own cowardise by others demonstrates that if nothing else he strove to tell the truth He may at times have taken an easier path, but he was true to himself even if he thought he betrayed others.From that perspective it reflects upon how each of us choses to live and reveal ourselves to others In Tristan s case his life is complicated by feeling homosexual at a time when he couldn t be truely open about his sexuality a young life where he went to war and had to endure the death of others in his group and ultimately his best friend who confronted by war laid down his arms and refused to fight or assist the war effort.The book examines these issues of identity, sexuality and conscience in a thought provoking and moving way.I am so pleased I read it and feel it has the potential to influence others like most good fiction can It reflects on the war but for realism perhaps one should seek out Goodbye to All That or Memoirs of a Fox Hunting Man.

  5. Nick Hart Nick Hart says:

    Great idea for a story but I wished a good editor had been through it as it meanders in places It s set in WW1 and the 20s and there s a bit where a women excuses herself and says she is going to the bathroom while in a cafe which no one in those days would have said There are a few other moments like that which completely break the spell so although i wanted to like it I just couldn t believe in it Give it a try though and if you are less fussy than me you will probably enjoy it

  6. Mrs. Gm Johnston Mrs. Gm Johnston says:

    This is a heart rending tale of two young men in WW1 Those who are familiar with John Boyne s novels will not be surprised that there is a theme of homosexuality though the descriptions are not overt These boys, in truth little than children, are coping with the confusion of their emerging sexuality amidst the alien and horrific setting of trench warfare An interesting but sobering read.

  7. TimZ TimZ says:

    Spoiler Alert sorry can t help it This is a very good book with an unjust and flawed ending IMO The story of boys who meet during military training and their journey to the trenches of France, it is also their tale of coming to terms with themselves as young men under great stress and at sudden speed all the while living in a hell that must bring shudders to every reader John Boyne is exceptionally good in describing all of this.Set in England in 1916 the story is told through the lives of Will and Tristan, the former the son of a vicar, the latter the son of a butcher Tristan has been ejected from home because of a misplaced kiss with a school boy and joins the army Will and Tristan become friends at Aldershot and just prior to being sent overseas apparently experience a romantic moment.Over the next 3 months in the trenches the hell of war results in the deaths and murders of friends and foes Will and Tristan appear to remain friends and have one romantic encounter, at the instigation of Will, though with the loving approval of Tristan Will, however, protests against the injustices he sees and refuses to fight He is sentenced to be shot for cowardice.By chance, after beating another soldier in an attempt to defend Will, Tristan is confined with Will Tristan tries to persuade Will to change his position and talks about what they had done together Will viciously rejects Tristan, despite Will s initiating the liason, leaving Tristan furious and bewildered Will is ultimately shot in circumstances that we discover only at the end.The story continues as a conversation between Tristan and Will s sister, first in 1919 and again in 1979 At their final meeting the author would have us believe that while Will was accused of cowardice and died because of it, Tristan was the true coward I don t buy that forced conclusion at all Indeed, with the sweep of hindsight a century on, I can only see Will, if he had returned to England, fighting his past by becoming, perhaps, a barrister and politician, espousing hypocritical and homophobic rhetoric in the guise of principled Tory morality With that in mind I do find significant fault with Boyne as he concluded the final pages of his story I think it is a grievous and unjust conclusion that is not warranted by the tale that has been spun For this I can give only 3 stars.

  8. Tracesprite Tracesprite says:

    John Boyne is a superb story teller He knows how to weave strands from the past and the present so that you constantly want to know what happened after this, and after that, too He describes the intensity of battle, its chaos and desperation, the utter exhaustion that leads men to no longer care And he describes those who can t stop caring, agonizing and grasping at strands of the past And then there s the ending of the story when I suddenly felt I had parted company from the author, that he saw things differently from how I see them, even though my seeing was the result of reading his book I m left feeling uncertain But the book was an extraordinary journey that I m glad I took and I m glad I explored places where certainty isn t likely despite the title, The Absolutist.