The Letter Bearer: Book summary and reviews of The Letter Bearer by Robert Allison

The Letter Bearer

by Robert Allison

The Letter Bearer by Robert Allison X
The Letter Bearer by Robert Allison
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  • Published in USA  Mar 2014
    272 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

A letter bearer wakes in the desert, unable to remember who he is or where he came from.

The Rider has no memory of who he is, or how he came to be lying - dying - in the brutal heat of the North African desert. Rescued by a band of deserters, the Rider begins to piece together his identity, based on shards of recollection and the letters in his post bag. The Letter Bearer is unlike any other novel of World War Two. It asks profound questions about trauma, warfare and the experience of desertion. This gripping story asks us to consider how men build hope when they have nothing left - not even a name.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Elegantly and exactingly written. A touch ponderous at times but oddly—beg pardon—unforgettable."- Kirkus Reviews

"This is a tremendous second world war novel. With thickets of intense, opaque prose and some striking, hallucinatory descriptions of the desert... Allison writes powerfully - often thrillingly - about the nitty-gritty of conflict. A finely crafted debut." - Financial Times (UK)

"Allison's debut is a beautifully written investigation into alienation, guilt and the will to survive. The desert is a character itself, brilliantly alive and vividly depicted. This is a gripping exploration of one man's travails - and through him, those of millions other men trapped in the terrible mechanism of war." - The Independent (UK)

"One of those rare novels that merits a second reading." - Paul Bailey

"Infused with the head and dust of the North African desert, this is a haunting, lyrical novel that hovers in the mind like a glittering mirage, long after it has finished." - Roma Tearne

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Author Information

Robert Allison

Robert Allison has been a theatre director, a film and music reviewer and a copy-editor. He lives in London

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