The Absolutist

By John Boyne
(Other Press (NY), Paperback, 9781590515525, 309pp.)

Publication Date: July 10, 2012

List Price: $16.95*
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Description

“A novel of immeasurable sadness, in a league with Graham Greene’s The End of the Affair. John Boyne is very, very good at portraying the destructive power of a painfully kept secret.”
John Irving

A masterfully told tale of passion, jealousy, heroism and betrayal set in the gruesome trenches of World War I.


It is September 1919: twenty-one-year-old Tristan Sadler takes a train from London to Norwich to deliver a package of letters to the sister of Will Bancroft, the man he fought alongside during the Great War.

But the letters are not the real reason for Tristan's visit. He can no longer keep a secret and has finally found the courage to unburden himself of it. As Tristan recounts the horrific details of what to him became a senseless war, he also speaks of his friendship with Will--from their first meeting on the training grounds at Aldershot to their farewell in the trenches of northern France. The intensity of their bond brought Tristan happiness and self-discovery as well as confusion and unbearable pain.

The Absolutist is a masterful tale of passion, jealousy, heroism, and betrayal set in one of the most gruesome trenches of France during World War I. This novel will keep readers on the edge of their seats until its most extraordinary and unexpected conclusion, and will stay with them long after they've turned the last page.




About the Author
John Boyne is the author of "Crippen, The Thief of Time, Next of Kin", and the "New York Times" and internationally bestselling "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas". Boyne won two Irish Book Awards (the People's Choice and the Children's) for "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas", which has recently been made into a Miramax feature film, and his novels have been translated into more than thirty languages. Ireland's "Sunday Business Post" named him one of the forty people under forty in Ireland "likely to be the movers and shakers who will define the country's culture, politics, style and economics in 2005 and beyond." Crippen was nominated for the "Sunday Independent" Hughes & Hughes Irish Novel of the Year Award. He lives with his partner in Dublin.


Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com

CONVERSATION STARTERS

  1. When Tristan first enters the Cantwell Inn, Mrs. Cantwell's son, David, presents the question of morality and describes the incident that happens in room four as "a personal indiscretion". Which characters does Boyne present as judges of morality in The Absolutist? How does Tristan's complete avoidance of their judgments define his character both negatively and positively?

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