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Author Topic: The Wars
Flowers By Irene
Babbler # 3012

posted 07 January 2003 01:45 AM      Profile for Flowers By Irene     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Last week I read The Wars by Timothy Findley.

Anyone else read this novel? Whaddaya think?
(For those who have not read it, I say go to the fricken library. A summary of the story: "Robert Ross, a sensitive nineteen-year-old Canadian officer, went to war - The War to End All Wars. He found himself in the nightmare world of trench warfare; of mud and smoke, of chlorine gas and rotting corpses. In this world gone mad, Robert Ross performed a last desperate act to declare his commitment to life in the midst of death.")

I must say this is one of the best books I have read in some time. Its kinda like digging through a shoebox full of sepia-toned photos, trying to piece together the life of someone you never knew, yet could have been your neighbour.

Some (to me) memorable excerpts:

'Yes Rowena?'
'Will you stay with me forever?'
'Yes, Rowena.'
'Can the rabbits stay forever, too?'
'Yes, Rowena.'

This was forever. Now the rabbits had to be killed.

Someone once said to Clive: do you think we will ever be forgiven for what we've done? They meant the war and what the war had done to civilization. Clive said something I've never forgotten. He said: I doubt we'll ever be forgiven. All I hope is - they'll remember we were human beings.

(We're all strange, Robert thought. Everyone is strange in a war I guess. Ordinary is a myth.)

I'm not very literary, but even I picked up the 'Fritzy boy' and a few other late 19th/early 20th century references. Anyhoo...

From: "To ignore the facts, does not change the facts." -- Andy Rooney | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 3178

posted 07 January 2003 11:55 AM      Profile for beibhnn     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I've read Findley's The Wars and most of his other novels. If you liked The Wars, you'll probably also like Famous Last Words which I think is one of the most interesting books I've ever read. It's set around WWII and offers a personal (albeit fictional) look at the savageness and humanity of some of the key figures of history involved in the interwar period, not to mention offering one of the most original methods of recording one's own history for posterity.

Findley's best book though, imo, is Not Wanted on the Voyage in which the biblical story of Noah and the Ark is somewhat turned around and dark is light etc. in the way that only Findley seems to get away with without seeming obvious or stupid.

From: in exile | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 2170

posted 07 January 2003 07:21 PM      Profile for swirrlygrrl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
My goodness would my high school English teacher love to see this thread - she used to call "the wars" her bible, and we spent perhaps a month or 6 weeks on it in my grade 12 year.

I haven't read it in a long time, though after Remembrance Day I went to take it out of the library, only to find that they didn't have a copy in St. Catharines (this is the library that has a book of critical analysis on the Invisible Man, but no copy of the book itself ).

What I do remember, though, was brilliant. I believe I read the book 3 or 4 times, each time getting a deeper read out of it. I still remember the walking through the fog on the muddy road scene - very powerful. You have inspired me though, FBI - I will be checking my local used book store during my lunch break tommorow.

From: the bushes outside your house | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
Sine Ziegler
Babbler # 225

posted 07 January 2003 11:45 PM      Profile for Sine Ziegler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yep I read the book in grade 12 English. SG, It must be in the Alberta Learning curriculum.

The book was very inspiring and I was awed at all the sensations and emotions I felt from reading it. That was six years ago and I can still remember the gut wrenching descriptions.

I don't think I would pick up the book and read it, or anything like it nowdays. As a designated book for getting your high school diploma, it was a gift. Otherwise though, I would rather read a Patricia Cornwall book.

From: Calgary | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Flowers By Irene
Babbler # 3012

posted 09 January 2003 12:12 AM      Profile for Flowers By Irene     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The next Findley book I'm going to read will be The Telling of Lies, but first I have to finish the book I'm already reading, Tariq Ali's The Clash of Fundamentalisms. (Very good so far, I'm like 1/4 - 1/3 through it.)
From: "To ignore the facts, does not change the facts." -- Andy Rooney | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged

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