The Absolutist by John Boyne – Book Review

The Absolutist by John Boyne
Published by Other Press

It is 1919 and Tristan has survived WWI – at least bodily.

“I may not be buried in a French field but I linger there. My spirit does, anyway. I think I’m just breathing, that’s all. And there’s a difference between breathing and being alive.” -p. 137

Now that he is physically safe and has had some time regain his bearings in life outside of war, Tristan is on a mission to meet with the sister of a man he once served with. Ostensibly he wishes to return to her the letters she sent Will while he was enlisted, but in reality there is more to it than that; Tristan has a secret that he can no longer keep entirely to himself.

I actually believe that it is better not to know too much about The Absolutist going into it. Tristan’s story unfolds gradually, alternating between his trip to see Will’s sister and his time in training and on the battlefield. The Absolutist is about Tristan and Will’s relationship, the horrors of war, and the attempt to recover mentally from what one sees in war.

Boyne’s writing is beautiful, and he drags the reader immediately into Tristan’s world and life. The Absolutist is mesmerizing and difficult to put down, the reader can feel Tristan’s pain and the secret he harbors almost bodily, but Boyne still manages to keep The Absolutist from turning into  a morass of sorrow and pain.

The Absolutist is an absolutely beautiful, painful, and moving novel of war and humanity and I very highly recommend it.

Buy this book from:
Powells | Indiebound*

Source:Publisher, for BOOK CLUB .
* These links are all affiliate links. If you buy your book here I’ll make a very small amount of money that goes towards hosting, giveaways, etc.

Digiprove sealCopyright protected by Digiprove © 2012

6 comments to The Absolutist by John Boyne – Book Review

  • This one sounds good; I’m interested to read it. Best wishes on the twins today !

  • This sounds like it was written just to my personal specifications! I must get it from the library asap. Thanks for the recommendation.

  • I didn’t really think I would love this book so much, but I LOVED it! I was crying at the end, and I was shocked at how it all played out! I was so upset when I finished the book!

  • I’ve heard this is a good read for the WWI reading challenge, and I think I’ll have to check it out.

  • Jenn aka the picky girl

    I skipped this review until I finished the book…just now…at 3:15 am. It’s one I feel the need to talk about because it was so powerful. I hate that word, but I can’t think of a better one. Beautiful.

  • I loved this book, but completly forgot about the discussion on it. Work has been kicking my butt this week.