The Absolutist

Boyne, John, 1971-

Book - 2012
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Absolutist
Tristan Sadler, a gay soldier, recalls his time spent fighting in World War I and the intensity of his friendship with Will Bancroft, a soldier who became a conscientious objector and was shot as a traitor.

Publisher: New York : Other Press, c2012
ISBN: 9781590515525
Branch Call Number: FIC B
Characteristics: 309 p. ; 22 cm.


From Library Staff

Tristan survived World War I — at least bodily. Safe now from the bullets, Tristan makes it a mission to meet the sister of a man he served in the army. Although The Absolutist is set during war, it is less about the battlefield and more about the psychology of war, and the way relationships deve... Read More »

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Mar 23, 2015
  • InvernessS rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Interest in WWI, but no great interest in issues of gay lit - so good thing I didn't pick up on this with synopsis. What snagged my interest was Norwich, the city itself, having spent a week walking the city myself & recognizing various features . I felt it was helpful in understanding what transpired, not just with the war itself, but with the primary issue of gay soldiers. I knew conscientious objectors were so horribly treated just not to this extent & the loathing of them. It didn't go into detailed account, but how one human loves another regardless of gender. The labeling of 'gay soldier' seems unfair to me - just tell the historical aspects without that tag, which puts off many possible readers. The audio version was so awful I switched to print. I did object to use of terms like teenager, item & others that don't fit with the era.

Aug 22, 2013
  • muffin0321 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

What a book!!! Great story - hard to put down. I loved his first book "the boy in the striped pajamas" and this held my attention just as well. I hope he continues to write - my favorite author.

Jul 12, 2013
  • MaisieMilo rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This novel is almost on a par with Pat Barkers *Regeneration.* The author peoples the cast of characters with a conscientious objector, regular army, and gay men, and the dual timeline explores both the war years and the ramifications thereof. Recommended.

Oct 31, 2012
  • suevi rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

If you rate a read by the degree you ponder its contents - whether characters, plot or language - then this deserves my 5 star rating. The story is as intriguing as it is gut-wrenching, and the issues it raises will linger long on your mind.

Oct 19, 2012
  • mogie rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

It was an interesting read. I've not read any of Boyne's books before nor has this compelled me to explore his writing further. It was well written and I liked it. The writing is clear and does not drag. I found it to evoke a range of emotions as I read.

Aug 03, 2012

At best, the author, John Boyne, has given us a sappy melodrama. Even worse, though, while seemingly sympathetic to his gay protagonist, Boyne's deeply flawed novel can be easily interpeted as a homophobic tract.

Jul 29, 2012
  • maven rated this: 1 stars out of 5.

Poor writing. Too much talking, not enough interesting going on, and the characters didn't feel like real people.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add a Notice

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Find it at NYPL


Other Formats

Buy It Now

Support your library, keep it forever!

View Purchase Options Learn more about this program

Your Cart

Hello! We noticed you have the following items in your cart right now:

If you'd still like to purchase the items you have in your cart, you can do that now.

You'll be able to purchase your eBook after you have checked out your current cart.

The Absolutist
Boyne, John, 1971-
The Absolutist

To continue with your eBook purchase immediately, you can clear your cart by clicking below.

All items will be removed from your cart.

I'd like to keep browsing! I'll decide later.

Explore Further

Browse the Shelf

Subject Headings