Strange Meeting

  • by Susan Hill
  • Narrated by Joe Jameson
  • 6 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

'Things like this don't happen often in a lifetime...'
John Hilliard, a young subaltern returning to the Western Front after a brief period of sick leave back in England blind to the horrors of the trenches, finds his battalion tragically altered. His commanding officer finds escape in alcohol, there is a new adjutant and even Hilliard's batman has been killed.
But there is David Barton. As yet untouched and unsullied by war, radiating charm and common sense, forever writing long letters to his family. Theirs is a strange meeting and a strange relationship: the coming together of opposites in the summer lull before the inevitable storm.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Moving story, beautifully written

This book is about war on a very personal level. It's about how ugliest human death and gore became so commonplace in the daily experience of soldiers in WWI that it desensitized those in the midst of it, and later kept them from being able to face thinking of or speaking of it again. It is about the emotional and mental changes young soldiers had to go through as they struggled daily with mass killing at "trench level," unprepared by anything in their lives up to then.

In this story, death and chaos are juxtaposed in the minds of the young men with thoughts of their families at home--people who can have no idea of what is being experienced by the beloved young people they sent off to war--in some cases because those young people protect their families from the truth by not telling them.

It explains why even now so many who have been to war can never really go home again, because the experience of war can change and ruin young lives well before it takes them in death.

The descriptions gradually introducing these young men to the reality of life and death in the trenches are horrific and heartbreaking. As their growing friendship and love for each other enriches them, we realize it is born less of similarities in their upbringing than of their shared experience and profound change--in the midst of daily slaughter and futility, they understand each other as nobody else ever can.

The building of this story of the deepest sadness and loss and love brought me to tears.

I was very much touched by this book.
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- PickyPicky


A beautiful, transcendent novel about the underbelly of war (WWI), and the friendship and love that sometimes grows. Because the novel takes its time, its power in revealing the sorrow, folly,, and sometimes transcendence of 'the human condition' will remain with me.
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- Diane

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-11-2014
  • Publisher: Audible Studios