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Arches for memories and a discovery of his former life I was excited to read this book intriguing premise A rider left for dead where he has no knowledge of who he is I love this type of stuff Unfortunately I couldn t get into it I was uite frankly bored with the writing style where I needed to read the page than once The best part of the novel was the letters and there weren t that many to read I wasn t empathetic with any of the characters especially the people who found the rider were deserters The only character I liked was part three the dying man Major Ingram For a 259 page book it took me longer to read this book than
it should have I ll go back to reading books where I should have I ll go back to reading books where I authors on NPR and I know something about the book i loved this novel of struggle in the north african desert against the elements and struggle of the men to simultaneously justify their desertion from wwii british army and to keep order I m a sucker for a war story and I absolutely loved this book I particularly loved the writing the desert crackles off the
page from the very beginningHeat boils him back to the moment The shadows of rock from the very beginningHeat boils him back to the moment The shadows of rock newly canted lazy clock hands across the desert floor No perpendiculars only inclinations a parchment of obliuesIt s a really good story full of interesting characters and a distinct sense of place totally different to anything else I ve read for a long while The Letter Bearer starts with the Rider He lies on the brink of death in the African desert while war rages on around him He remembers nothing Not who he is or how he came to be there All he knows is that he holds a postbag with nine letters in it So The Letter Bearer What can I say It s a slow starter that s for sure I think by the end of chapter two I wanted to put it down and never pick it up again But I m so glad I did It s never going to be my favourite novel that s for sure But it s a book that answers the uestions it creates and that always wins brownie points And as for all those reviews saying ou never find out the Rider s name what planet are all from He clearly says in the last chapter my name was and I was in re What a Fine BookWhat first attracted me to this book was the setting North Africa a marvelously diverse place whether in terms of flora and fauna especially human populations or culture language religion or how many other aspects of life there But this is a book about man s inner life brought to light in the crucible of war and made manifest through suffering and the longing that accompanies it With his beautiful prose the author presents the reader with a terrible mirror and I suspect that many of those fortunate enough to read this book will le. Ogether his identity based on shards of recollection and the letters in his post bag.
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F and efforts to recover identity and a sense of isolation and displacement that accompanies memory loss A man known only as the rider is rescued by a group of British Army deserters following his motorcycle accident in the North African desert during the early stages of World War II His insignias are missing as is his memory He believes that he might be a dispatch rider since he carried a postbag filled with letters written by soldiers from a British tank regiment To him these letters represent a link to the benevolent world he left behind He sees himself as one of the letter writers but the reader may well be justified in doubting thatThere are no heroes in this band of deserters Instead Allison gives us a group of desperate men without a leader with only vague goals and little honor Not unlike the rider they also have lost their identities those that come with military rank and hierarchy replacing them with casual brutality and pragmatism With the exception of the rider Allison fails to develop much nuance or depth in these characters Each can be described with simple descriptors Brinkhurst competent administrator Lance Corporal Swann the consummate soldier Mawdsley the medic Coates the Canadian and "Lucchi the compassionate Italian POWThe narrative shifts between simply recounting a series of events that the group "the compassionate Italian POWThe narrative shifts between simply recounting a series of events that the group while wandering in the desert and the rider s musings about his supposed past that the letters may represent and his slowly returning recollection of the events that occurred in his tank and lead to his motorcycle accident The novel s strength comes from the detail that Allison provides primarily about the letters and their authors but also the fascinating but bleak desert environment These serve as wonderful counterpoints to emphasize the senselessness and brutality of the war Unfortunately the mood Allison succeeds in creating occasionally is broken by excessively lyrical prose and the uestionable ability of this small group of men to lug around all of things reuired to move
The Plot Forward Water Food Cooking Implementsplot forward water food cooking implements weapons ammunition tents a seemingly endless supply of fuel for the recovered tank etc This is especially jarring when one considers that much of the journey is on foot over mountains and the rider is recovering from an accident that almost took his life Was it really necessary to have Lucchi lug those chickens all over the desert Grabbed this off the Good Reads shelf at the library on my way out of town A uick easy read but didn t hold my attention well You re introduced to the rider who has been in an accident and lost his memory or has he and ou follow his journey through Northern Africa as he se. Heat of the North African desert Rescued by a band of deserters he begins to piece A bit of a different take on the war theme set
during the North Africa campaign in WW2 This is the story of a British motorcycle dispatch rider whose name is neverthe North Africa campaign in WW2 This is the story of a British motorcycle dispatch rider whose name is never he has hit a mine and is lying seriously injured is robbed of his papers and personal possessions by passing Germans and local tribesmen and left
TO DIE THE ONLY THING HEdie The only thing he has is his pouch of letters that he was delivering or was he He is rescued by a small band of British soldiers who he learns are deserters they are holed up in an isolated location The story is essentially that of the various tensions within the group and of the rider trying to remember who he is and coming to terms with this Wonderfully told and very absorbing and well written for a first novel This is on the shortlist of three for the Desmond Elliott Prize to be announced shortly 8510 25I have mixed feelings about this book On the one hand The Letter Bearer wasn t what I d expected based on the blurb and I experienced it as a bit tedious at times However on the other hand the representation and narration of James Tuck was exactly what it had to be His feelings of isolation and loneliness were besides the obvious and literal desolation beautifully portrayed due to his amnesia In the search of his own identity he holds on to the only things he knew were there when they found him his letters I believe what I missed in the nameless protagonist were reasons to understand him better and for something to hold on to The narration felt empty and hollow Yet this is exactly the struggle that he is dealing with himself and thus in that case wonderfully portrayed Perhaps the worst thing that ever happened to the protagonist of Robert Allison s Homeric novel The Letter Bearer is that he wasn t killed outright when he rode over a mine somewhere in the Libyan desert Death is everywhere in this tale The rider s wounds might kill him If they don t then the Afrika Korps the Italians or the Senussi might get him If he manages to evade the Axis or the locals the desert has a good chance of killing him through heat and dehydration Read the rest of my review at A Bookish Type For as long as there have been wars soldiers have suffered serious memory issues These are usually characterized by repeatedly reliving traumatic events accompanied by a cluster of attendant symptoms known today as post traumatic stress disorder PTSD Allison explores the relationship between the brutality of war and memory in THE LETTER BEARER by having his protagonist suffer profound amnesia a condition that seems considerably rare than PTSD With his characters setting and plot Allison admirably evokes the important relevant issues including loss The Rider has no memory of who he is or how he came to be lying dying in the brutal.