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Summary

September 1919: 21-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 in 1917 Will 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.

©2011 John Boyne (P)2011 Random House Audio Go

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Brilliant and deeply touching

A fantastic book that centres on a rarely explored area of the war and told by an incredible storyteller. Narration was generally excellent but slightly the wrong intonation at times.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful

Talented writer and a good reader. Skilfuly structured book. Powerful, emotional story. Would recommend it highly.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Brilliant!!

John is a genius. I couldn't stop listening. Michael Maloney's narrative brings the story to life. I absolutely enjoyed this book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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You must read this book.

Would you listen to The Absolutist again? Why?

What incredible characters, the whole theme of the book was something I didn’t think I’d go for but it’s more than that. Love, friendship, betrayal, everything. I think if I were to listen to this again, I’d hear more of the story.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Absolutist?

Near the end, but I don’t want to give anything away.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

I can’t pick out one single scene.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It will make you smile, it will make you gasp in horror and it will make you very sad. It did for me.

Any additional comments?

This is a wonderful story captured over the years of two boys, young soldiers making sense of war. Their bonding, their lives. I loved this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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outstanding

a very interesting and sad story , I am glad people are alowed to be who they want to be now

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True to form

John Boyne has become Mr Dependable for me. His work is generally engaging and this novel is no different. Get it. Read it. It's 8 hours of enjoyment no sitcom can match

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what a writer Boyne is..

‘The Heart’s Invisible Furies’ is in my all-time top three - nothing can compare.
On saying that - The Absolutist is beautifully crafted, it grows - and grows & it becomes immense.
Dont be fooled by the gentility & by
a relatively gentle pace..
The Narrator does a truly splendid job - as should be the case presenting a work of Boyne. Excellent. Highly recommended.


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Intolerable, unfair, unjust, bloody, muddy etc etc

There are so many adjectives that come to mind when reflecting back on this book. Set in the First World War when fixed attitudes were handed down by our "betters" and a man was on Earth to do his duty, the story made me seethe with suppressed anger at times. I never lost my sympathy for the main character despite his cowardice (perhaps because he was the narrator). I am left with pointless, useless sorrow once again for the loss of so many young boys.

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Excellent

Loved this, Michael Maloney is wonderful.
Not quite as good as John Boyne's book - The Heart's Invisible Furies, hence the 4 stars.
Well worth it though.

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Boyne surpasses again - just superb.

Love Boyne and I am never disappointed. That last killer line is a wonderful habit of his!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-02-12

Just good

Michael Maloney is fine reader & he & the author keep interest up through all this good but not very good book. Do not approach expecting another " Birdsong" but those who are taken by novels of the Great War will want to read this.