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Double Vision (2003)

Double Vision (2003)

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3.42 of 5 Votes: 1
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0374209057 (ISBN13: 9780374209056)
farrar straus giroux

About book Double Vision (2003)

Double Vision is a superbly crafted novel concentrating on the horrendous cost of war on the lives and psyches of those associated with it. The story commences with the random accident of Kate Frobisher, a war widow, who although atheist herself is engaged in a sculpture of the crucified Christ for the local vicarage. Her freak accident on an icy road parallels the random death of her war photographer husband who suddenly died when hit in Afghanistan's crossfire. His friend Steven Sharkey the novel’s chief protagonist lives and suffers survivor guilt. The thread that connects the novel’s events and characters is arbitrary victimhood. The Christ, Kate, and Stephen and his young girlfriend Justine suffer for no real intrinsic reasons. They are victims of violence beyond their control. Each character, including the sculptured Christ, is subjected to a series of indignities from Kate's innocent hiring of Peter Wingrave a psychotic cross-dressing handy man, to Stephen's girlfriend Justine who is savagely attacked by burglars in the mid-afternoon, and his son Adam a victim of Aspberger’s syndrome. The suffering of Stephen Sharkey is the bond at the centre of the novel that gives Double Vision a consistent theme. While there is really no resolution in the book, it hangs together on the experience of witnessing violence and how this violence is interpreted to others. Stephen's proposed book on the representation of violence in war concerns how we represent violence; victimhood and meaningless in any context. The message seems to be that evil ought not to be given a coherent meaningfulness through art, literature or life - evil strikes where it will. Suffering is not made purposeful in Double Vision. Unfortunately, what strikes the reader as the substitute for meaning and purpose is sex.. Stephen says as much when he describes his sex permeated days and nights with Justine, the luscious vicar's daughter. Huge sections of the book focus on this diversion which provides a sensual detraction from suffering. Justine and Stephen do transcend their physical attraction and move on to a more solid base of relationship. That base ironically might be understood as the kinship of those who suffer unjustly and through hope move beyond it. Kate's persistence as an artist and a mournful widow is only slightly more elevating. The moral tone of Double Vision in my opinion leaves a reader straddled between meaningless victimhood and mind-numbing pleasure. Like Stephen's proposed book it was a excellent depiction of the representation of violence but will little relief in the end, other than prurient fascination. The plot could have been improved by a prolonged contemplation on Kate’s realistically crucified victim whose sacrifice makes suffering mysteriously meaningful. Her Christ in not toned down religious version of the crucified but could be seen as a victim of political cruelty who had become a source of hope for other victims. Kate however does not envision this hope her conclusion is, “the strong take what they can, the weak endure what they must, and the dead emphatically do not rise".

Double Vision by Pat Barker, deals with the struggles of the characters as they wrestle with their personal issues. The image that haunts Stephan most is of a raped and murdered woman. One night while Stephan and Ben were making their way back to their hotel, they stumble on a sight that Stephan will continue to carry with him back home to England. Throughout the novel Kate is trying to come to terms with, her husband, Ben’s death. Unknowingly Kate hangs the photo that ultimately took Ben’s life in her studio, but only Stephan knows its significance. Justine and Stephan are both trying to get over their past relationships by being together, although that motif isn’t suggested. Justine’ ex Peter left her out of the blue and she’s still struggling with his absence. My opinion of the book Double Vision is that it left its reader unsatisfied. There was an absence of resolution for the characters issues, and the characters themselves. Stephan will always remember what he saw that night, Kate will continue to mourn Ben’s death, and Justine was left with her feelings for Peter. If your looking for satisfaction go eat a package of Oreos, because Double Vision will leave you feeling like your on the Jenny Craig diet.QUESTION;How are past relationships influential in present or future relationships?

Do You like book Double Vision (2003)?

One of Barker's best novels, I think, especially in the strength of its characterization and the purity of its prose, which is lucid and poetic and devoid of artifice. Look at this:He drank [coffee] sitting by the window, the hot fluid delineating his oesophagus, another part of his living body reclaimed from the dark.... All the time he was debriefing himself, sorting out the dream. He knew if he didn't take time to do this, it could stain and corrupt the whole day.Also notable: the thoughtfulness of its examination of art and the position of spectatorship, particularly related to war photography. "The shadow says I'm here"; the observer effect is inescapable. When you consider how much Barker writes about war and violence (and how she had the audacity to write a war she didn't even witness in the Regeneration trilogy), it's a pretty daring commentary.And finally, there is nothing, nothing, that I don't love about this description of Justine:No mention of grades. Bright and modest, or so perfectionist that no grades were good enough? There was nothing sharp or quick about her, nothing obviously clever--she seemed, if anything, rather hesitant. Young for her age. Painfully young. He kept getting this sense of pain from her--and yet she sounded cheerful enough.Read the Regeneration trilogy first, especially if WWI is your bag; but after you've absorbed that, come back for this quieter book.

Pat Barker’s Regeneration trilogy was a favourite of mine while in college, and I always have high hopes when I come across other novels by her. I thought I may have found it on reading ‘Winner of the 1995 Booker Prize’ on the front cover of Double Vision. As I into the novel though I began to think this couldn’t be true. For one thing the book spoke of 9/11 which of course hadn’t happened in 1995. On further research I found that Barker did win the 1995 Booker award, but for The Ghost Road, not

My first of Pat Barker, Double Vision is a novel that holds Within its pages - war, crime, murder, rape, love, hate, sex, artistry, creativity, duplicity, anger, tenderness, inspiration , and lot more.The narration style is good. the author switches narrators with such ease that you'd not even notice the change . but somehow the book left me unsatisfied, sort of wanting for more. There was an absence of resolution for the characters issues, and the characters themselves. Stephan will always remember what he saw that night, Kate will continue to mourn Ben’s death, and Justine was left with her feelings for Peter. Justine and Stephan get into a relationship to get over their past relationships, but that isn't specified. At the book's end , Kate is still trying to get on with her life post Ben's death, Stephan's sis in law is working to save her marriage .... and a list of unresolved issues of all the characters.If you are looking for satisfaction this isn't a book to pick.
—Deepti Patel

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