Life Class In the spring of a group of young students gather in an art studio for a life drawing class Paul Tarrant and Elinor Brooke are two components of a love triangle and at the outset of the war th

  • Title: Life Class
  • Author: Pat Barker
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 306
  • Format: Paperback
  • In the spring of 1914, a group of young students gather in an art studio for a life drawing class Paul Tarrant and Elinor Brooke are two components of a love triangle, and at the outset of the war, they turn to each other After volunteering for the Red Cross, Paul must confront the fact that life, love, and art will never be the same for him Pat Barker is unrivaled in hIn the spring of 1914, a group of young students gather in an art studio for a life drawing class Paul Tarrant and Elinor Brooke are two components of a love triangle, and at the outset of the war, they turn to each other After volunteering for the Red Cross, Paul must confront the fact that life, love, and art will never be the same for him Pat Barker is unrivaled in her ability to convey simple, moving human truths Her skill in relaying the harrowing experience of modern warfare is matched by the depth of insight she brings to the experience of love and the morality of art in a time of war Life Class is one of her genuine masterpieces.

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    About "Pat Barker"

    1. Pat Barker

      Pat Barker was born in Thornaby on Tees in 1943 She was educated at the London School of Economics and has been a teacher of history and politics Her books include the highly acclaimed Regeneration trilogy Regeneration The Eye in the Door, winner of the Guardian Fiction Prize and The Ghost Road, winner of the Booker Prize as well as seven other novels Pat Barker is married and lives in Durham, England.

    443 thoughts on “Life Class”

    1. This is the first volume of Pat Barker’s second WW1 trilogy. I have managed to read the second volume (Toby’s Room) first, so I have hastily read this to catch up. It revolves around a group of painters at the Slade and starts just before the War. The fictional characters are based on a real group of artists at The Slade at the time (Mark Gertler, Dora Carrington, Barbara Hiles, Paul Nash, Stanley Spencer and Christopher Nevinson). Elinor Brooke is Carrington, Kit Neville is a mix of Nevinso [...]

    2. I love theRegeneration trilogy so much, but I just can’t get into Barker’s other work. Her latest novel struck me as weirdly unfocused: the first half follows Paul through art school and various romantic assignations, including a quasi love triangle thing; I didn’t find it particularly compelling. Even after Paul goes to war as an ambulance driver and hospital worker, I couldn’t latch on—I was never at all invested or even particularly interested in Paul and Elinor as a couple, and I f [...]

    3. This is a Pat Barker two, not an overall two. Probably an overall three. No one writes World War I and that period as well as Barker, and in general her prose is smooth and compelling. The problem is that the War becomes such an outsize character in this book that nothing else really fully comes to life. The book's episodic structure makes it seem unfinished -- the story of Teresa that provides the narrative impetus for the first part of the book feels like it is left hanging, as does the vaguel [...]

    4. 4 1/2 stars. Pat Barker is such an amazing author. I didn't like this one quite as much as her award winning Regeneration trilogy, which has made it onto my favorite books ever list, but this one is wonderful too. It's quieter in a way, but her vivid, flawed characters, realistic historical details, and flawless dialogue are consistent. And her writing! The only author I can really compare her to is Edna St. Vincent Millay whichwell, which probably makes no sense, since Millay was a poet rather [...]

    5. Life ClassI have a friend on GR to thank –Ta Laura – for pointing me in the direction of Life class as I was about to embark on reading Toby’s Room for a war and literature readalong. Did I realise it had some of the same characters as Life class she asked tactfully. In fact it really does help if you read Life class first. Although they can be read as standalone novels they work best together as a pair, rather like the brother and sister Toby and Elinore.Life class is about the world of t [...]

    6. I admire Pat Barker's writing and really enjoyed the Regeneration trilogy but I just couldn't connect with this book about art students and the different paths they take during WW1. The book asks if art is important during a time of war and while I think it is, Elinor (who seems to represent this side of the discussion by remaining committed to her classes and painting) distanced herself so far from a war that held her lover and brother in its grips that it was very hard to relate to her perspec [...]

    7. Pat Barker returns to World War I in this lovely and heartbreaking novel about war and art. The action starts just prior to the Great War at the Slade, a prestigous art school in London. Neville loves Elinor, but Elinor doesn't want marriage or any of the trappings of a traditional life. She is a modern woman, who values art over most other things. Paul is their friend, and in love with Elinor, as well. While Paul is not as good a painter as the other two, he does have good looks and an honest s [...]

    8. In Pat Barker's latest novel she returns to the horror of WWI, the setting of her highly acclaimed Regeneration trilogy. The novel follows a trio of art students and their preoccupations with love and lust, which pale to insignificance as the momentum of war gathers pace. Paul and Kit both volunteer for Red Cross duty at the front, and process their experiences into their painting, whereas in contrast, Elinor joins the circle around Lady Ottoline Morrell, society hostess to pacifists, conscienti [...]

    9. Disclaimer: I love Pat Barker. Regeneration is one of my favourite books so I had mixed hopes for this. Mixed as in, when one of your favourite authors writes someone new in the same genre, you’re always going to be comparing to what they’ve done previously, so I did approach this with slight trepidation (and after the disappointment of Philip Pullman’s latest offering which I had also recently read, how could I not?). However, I was not disappointed. Barker is a master of evoking the sigh [...]

    10. Like Pat Barker’s hugely successful Regeneration trilogy ‘Life Class’ is set just before and during the First World War. As the novel opens Paul Tarrant an art student studying at the Slade School of art takes his place in the life drawing class tutored by the difficult Henry Tonks. Paul has a tough time under Tonks, leading him to even question his talent in his frustration. Paul and his artistic friends spend many evenings at the Café Royal, where he is introduced to Teresa, a beautiful [...]

    11. Pat Barker's books set in World War One continue to blow me away. Her “Regeneration” trilogy (“Regeneration,” “The Eye in the Door” and “The Ghost Road”) - centred on lightly fictionalised versions of the famous British war poets - were gruelling and transfixing, set on the front lines and in a psychiatric hospital for soldiers. "Life Class" is (relatively) less grim, revolving as it does around the lives of a group of Slade art school students at the outbreak and into the war.Th [...]

    12. Since I am now working on a novel about World War I, I was very interested to read Pat Barker’s Life Class. I’ve also been meaning to read her trilogy. Not sure that I will now. Life Class was such a disappointment on many levels. Firstly I had trouble getting into the head of both male characters. We initially spend a lot of time with Paul, his feelings and observations about people and things. That’s fine but his observations about the other male character Neville just don’t add up. He [...]

    13. "Life Class" was somewhat inchoate, rather like the relationship between Elinor and Paul that develops, peaks, and dissipates. I am assuming that there is another book to come that will make this one more satisfactory albeit as a part of a series like Ms. Barker's excellent "Regeneration".If one reads a sonnet, there is a point that's called a "turn", I believe. Sometimes, often, the poem's power depends on the "turn". For me, it is even more powerful when the "turn" seems to go off on a subject [...]

    14. Givent that I completely adore theRegeneration trilogy, it is really upsetting to me that Pat Barker's other fiction leaves me feeling, for the most part, somewhat cold. I was hopeful that Barker's return to the WWI era would mean that this book would be as amazing as Regeneration et al, but unfortunately, it was a bit of a disappointment.The best way to describe this book is slight: everything about it feels very lightly sketched, and what's more, as if seen from a great distance. I could never [...]

    15. Paul Tarrant and Elinor Brooke are students at the Slade School of Art. Art is their lives, especially so for Elinor. Paul doubts his own ability, a doubt apparently shared by his tutor Sir Henry Tonks. It is early 1914, and Paul is determined to get to know Elinor better. Elinor appears disinterested, and Paul's affections transfer to artist's model Theresa. The hot summer descends upon them, and suddenly it looks as though the country will be going to war in Europe. As the men begin talking of [...]

    16. Life Class counterpoints the life lessons learned by a set of young English men and women first in an art school, the Slade, with bits of externality coming into the picture as the protagonist, Paul, becomes involved with a woman whose abusive ex succeeds in stalking and then attacking him. Later the war gathers up these lives and shuffles them about. Paul gets to see not only the horrors of life in a continent on fire, but is confronted with the unwillingness of the object of his affections, El [...]

    17. Seeing the forthcoming publication date for this trilogy's third volume has reminded me that I miss reading Pat Barker! I'm finally prepared to accept that nothing else she writes may come close to the perfection of the Regeneration trilogy. I shall read this with an open mind . . . . Upon completion: I enjoyed this immensely because I knew that the lives of Paul, Elinor, Toby, Catherine, and Kit were only partially drawn and would be continued in future volumes of the trilogy. If this had been [...]

    18. This was a good book, but not a great one. I'm not sure what was missing, but there is a distance in her writing that makes the characters unengaging and seem almost aloof. I much preferred the Regeneration books and Another World.Having said that, I'm still glad I read it. She's one of the best writers I can think of for evoking the calamity that was the period between 1914 and 1918.

    19. I always enjoy Pat Barker's writing and this is no exception. Slightly meandering in places, but overall an excellent read.

    20. I am so on the fence about this book. Which, I suppose, in theory, is a good thing. I read Toby's Room about a month ago and really enjoyed it. It was the first of Barker's work that I have read and I found it enthralling and compelling and thought provoking and all of the things that I love in literature.And so, I was trolling for a new book a few days ago and saw Life Class sitting on the e-shelf and picked it up. A few pages in, I was confused; about 50 pages in, I was keeping notes of poor e [...]

    21. Enthralling and visceral writing about art students in WW1. Barker's style of careful, accurate but devastatingly gripping writing is going out of fashion somewhat, as writers are obliged to reach for 'clever' pithy writing that has some deep but preachy meaning. Barker just gives you her characters, writes you her novel. Two more to go in the trilogy, can't wait.

    22. This novel is the first volume in Pat Barker’s second trilogy focusing on England at the time of World War I. The primary characters are three art students who are forced to navigate their way through their time of study just before the outbreak of the war and then through the war’s first couple of years.Barker has long been considered an author having a special affinity for this period of history, and this novel confirms her interests and insights. She is able to convey the sights, sounds, [...]

    23. Pat Barker is perhaps best known, and rightly so, for her Regeneration Trilogy, one of, to my mind at least, the most effective works on the First World War I have read. The First World War's cultural significance is difficult to overstate, with fiction bleeding into fact in our perception of what is THE key event of the 20th Century. The glory of Barker's works is, of course, that this process works the other way. Fact bleeds into fiction. Most famously, this is to be seen in the depiction of t [...]

    24. Post Listen Review: I have to say that I would have enjoyed this more if the people next to me at work were quieter so I could have actually heard a bit more of it. But of course that has nothing to do with the book itself. I enjoyed this book quite a bit. It's certainly better than a lot of books out there. It's about art students in a, you guessed it, Life Class just before world war one. It is very striking how it goes from a beautiful setting with leisurely art and calm times of people havin [...]

    25. I loved Pat Barker's Regeneration trilogy, and this book, set at the beginning of the 1st WW, feels like an addition - almost a prequel - to that canon. The story looks at how people responded to the outbreak of war, and how it changed some lives, unsettled others and didn't seem to affect some people one jot. I didn't feel it was quite as well structured as the others. Characters move in and out of focus, as Paul Tarrant, a working-class strudent at the Slade, and Elinor Brooke, an scholarship [...]

    26. Historical fiction -- part romance, part WWI story, part depiction of the early twentieth-century English art scene. Although the war material is disturbing in its violence, somehow the romantic material in the first of half of the book was more unsettling still. On the down side, the two halves of the book don't quite hold together. But the main problem is that "Life Class" inevitably recalls Pat Barker's "Regeneration" trilogy, also about WWI, which is probably the best and most frightening wo [...]

    27. Perhaps not quite as good as her Regeneration Trilogy, Life Class is still a wonderful book. It takes place (as did the trilogy) during World War I in both England and on the continent --- specifically in Belgium. This is a love story -- both between two young artists and for art itself. Ellena strives to break out of the stifling expectations of her class and sex (she is to marry and art is simply dabbling). Paul, a talented draftsman, has managed to make his way to London and the Slade though [...]

    28. In Life Class, Pat Barker explores the nexus between art and war. The first half of the book concerns three young people studying in a prestigious art school in London. These students are suffering from the anxieties typical of youth. Class barriers, the pressures of the school's demands, their professional futures, and ever at the forefront, their sexual desires? They spend their time going from class to cafe to night club ignoring the war clouds on the horizon. When it becomes impossible to ig [...]

    29. My fourth Pat Barker book and probably my favorite so far. The Regeneration Trilogy dealt with the same time period, although perhaps later during World War One and the main characters were poets rather than artists, but all deal with the meaning of life, love and art and the relevance of the latter during war times. Other common themes include patriotism, pacifism, realism and idealism. Life Class follows three London art students, Paul, Elinor and Neville from pre-war 1914 until late in 1915 w [...]

    30. Paul is an art student in London leading up to the outbreak of World War I. He is dating a model but also enjoys the company of fellow student Elinor. Elinor is also being pursued by another art student. They sometimes go to her parents country house. Sometimes they go out drinking. Paul spends a lot of time worrying about the model's ex-husband. Once they go to the carnival. Really.The first half of this book was a one star and I wasn't sure I was going to finish it. The pacing was slow (even f [...]

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