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Oh, I loved reading this post, not just because it's a really good post but because I too love The Wars -- it's a Canadian classic, of course, and I think it was the first WWI literature I ever read. I was assigned it in my u/g days, and assigned it several times in my own intro classes. You make me think I should bring it back.


I read this post sort of breathlessly and have already found out I can request The Wars through ILL. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.


I read this book many years ago and you make me think I should do so again. Timothy Findlay is one Canada's finest authors,imho.

Claire (The Captive Reader)

Wonderful review. Findley is one of the only CanLit giants I've never read anything by but you've made me excited to track this down!


I can see why it is a classic--I think this is the only (so far) book I've read about WWI from a Canadian perspective. I would love to read this in a classroom setting as there is so much to the story that I am sure I didn't quite catch on to--impossible to try and attempt to write about it here. Have you read his other work? And what would you recommend for something else by him now/


I'm so glad you can get your hands on a copy. I was thinking about you as I was reading--I think you would like it very much. You'll have to let me know what you think when you do get to it. I am sure I'll read it again, and I don't often say that about the war books I read!


If his other books are equally good, I think I need to read them as well! I can see why this would be taught in school--there is so much to think about and how he wrote it and told the story is really impressive--even though the story was told in pieces it is so tightly controlled nonetheless. I'm so glad I got an opportunity to read him and will read more of his work now.


Thanks! How did I miss him before? I was very impressed and now I am excited to read more by him and CanLit in general! It is always exciting finding an exceptional writer like Findley!


I'm so glad that we agree on this. I was thinking the same, it must be one of my favourites of all the books we've read so far. I have hardly ever read a more assured writer. It's amazing how well this is constructed, how original and profound.
I hope my review is making this as clear as yours which I like very much.
I had to rush reading it a bit and was really sad about it. It's such a rich book. I'm glad I discovered this writer and need to get back to him soon. It was harrowing and beautiful.


I don't know how I can't read this, Danielle, and I don't know how I can. You have crafted such an intriguing post about The Wars, making me want to learn more. It is, of course, now on my TBR list.


What a gorgeously written post! The books may be hard going sometimes, but they bring out the best in your reviewing, Danielle. I love reading these reviews as I get to know a great deal about a novel I'm not sure I'll ever read myself. That's extremely useful!


Your enthusiasm for the book and that you count it the best book you have read so far for the Lit and War readalong has made me add it to my TBR list. Plus, I want to know what Ross did!

Buried In Print

I want to get a copy of that edition to read GV's thoughts in detail; the only thing as good as actually reading this book is reading about other people (you too!) reading it. I'm curious to see which of his books you will want to explore next, and I really enjoyed re-reading this one along with you. I'm off to check out Caroline's post on it now, too.

Debbie Rodgers @Exurbanis

I loved this, too. The copy I borrowed from my library was an original, so I missed Vanderhaeghe's intro :-(


I'm glad you chose this one as well--I had heard of Timothy Findley (I even have a copy of his book Pilgrim somewhere...), but I hadn't really thought of reading him anytime soon. This turned out to be such a pleasant surprise, despite some of the difficult scenes in the book. It was very skillfully crafted--I was also really impressed. It's definitely one that needs to be reread I think. Now I am off to read your post--I only went and skimmed it to see what you thought and was happy, too, to see you also liked it!


I know exactly what you mean. I have become really wary of war books--sometimes they can be really emotionally draining and it can be hard to get through them. This is really beautifully done, and I think the beauty of the story far outweighs those few unpleasant scenes. I do hope you'll give it a try! :)


Thank you. I sometimes feel like I am very good about talking about books without actually saying much of anything. And there is so much that can be discussed with this story, but I didn't want to ruin it for anyone who might want to read it later. And I know what you mean--sometimes knowing just a little bit about a book or author is just enough to be satisfying without actually reading it yourself.


Even though this is not turning out to be a good year for finishing books I want to finish (as fast as I'd like to finish them that is), it is turning out to be a really good year in terms of reading some really excellent books. This will most definitely be in my best reads list at the end of the year! And I think you would like it--and Robert, too!


For some reason I didn't realize that there was an introduction to the book until I was getting ready to sit down and write about it (which is why I had looked for books of criticism at my library--neither of which I have actually cracked open and read from--though I think I still will at least do a little skimming to see what more I can learn about it). I broke down and ordered The Piano Man's Daughter--have you read that one? And I just realized that I have The Pilgrim somewhere on my shelves--or at least I used to--it was a review copy from years ago when I worked in a I hope I held on to it. I enjoyed reading this along, too, and hope we can still talk about it....


I have a beat up used copy and was so happy to see an introduction--they help me immensely with books like this. I'm glad to hear so many others loved this book, too!


I love books that touch me so that I have to underline, flag and/or dogear the pages. Even though this sounds like sobering reading, I can tell from this beautiful post that it was worth it. The best thing about books is the way they they can touch and change us.

WWI has been on my mind, as I just saw the stage version of War Horse (set in WWI). My friends and I came away from that mostly saddened by the fact that nearly 100 years later we (humanity) are STILL at war--nothing has really changed. What a waste.

On a lighter note, one of the Anne of Green Gables series books, Rilla of Ingleside, touches on WWI from a Canadian point of view. It's one of my favorites of the whole series.


Someone else mentioned Rilla of Ingleside and I bought a used copy--thanks for the reminder as I am looking for some Canadian lit to read at the moment (along with all my other reading plans...). This book is sobering, but it is so well done--very worthy read. I have been curious about the movie War Horse (was it a book first?), but I am not sure I can see it--was the stage version good? Books are easier for me to take when it comes to war stories than films--which are so much more visual. Maybe it was in the intro to this book...but there was mention how we have been at war almost continuously through the 20th century (and I suppose before then, too--very sad indeed).

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