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Caroline

Thanks for participating and for a great review.
The quotes you shared brought back other aspects of the novel on which I focussed less in my review. It's an astonishingly complex little book, isn't it? Hard to believe it's so short. There's more in it than in many longer books. I was glad for my foreword and afterword, to be honest.
I still remember the places reserved for the mutilated in the old metro carriages in Paris. As a kid, I didn't fully understand what they meant but they scared me. In the back of my book they give a number of how many came back disfigured or with limbs missing.
I found the animal chapter 12 hardest.

Danielle

I had class last night so I have not been online for a couple of days, so I have some catching up to do on post reading.....darn, my book does not have an intro or an afterword, but it did have helpful notes on certain aspects of the text--the translator gave some really good information on the events and places in the book. I wish I would have had more--I think there was a lot I missed as it really is very complex and I feel like I sort of missed some of the important things. Interesting about the metro carriages and how there were places set aside-do you think it was more for the wounded to not feel like they were being looked at, or if it was more for those who had no idea of what happens in war---to keep those people from view? The translator gave links to websites to look at some of the things that are referred to in the book, that I still must go and check out. When I think I surely must have read all there is to know about the social aspect or the awful little details of WWI I find there is still always more. I think I sped through that animal chapter and sort of skimmed--why is it so hard to read about cruelty to animals/how war affects animals? I mean the carnage to men is horrific, but to animals it seems equally bad. I really liked reading Echenoz and must try one of his other books sometime--have you read his other work? So glad I am reading along this year--I would never have found either author otherwise, I think, and I have never read James Salter either.

LizF

Being a bit of a coward, I think I might give this one a miss or if I do read it miss out the chapter about the animals.
I find it very hard to read about the carnage of war but especially the suffering of animals and when I had to attend the unveiling of a memorial to all the animals that died in the two World Wars for work, I rather embarrassed myself by crying all the way through - wuss that I am!
I know very little about the Korean War other than that one of my uncles served in it so I am tempted to look out the Salter book.

Danielle

You might actually do better with this one than you think. There were a few squeamish scenes but you could easily skim over them, I think. It was interesting to read his take on things and learn some new things about the war--I feel like I have read so many WWI books that surely what more is there that could be different in another book? Apparently there is always something new. You are not a wuss and I have read some really awful things about animals in war--especially horses in WWI. Did you read (and now the author's name escapes me), the book written from the horses perspective? It was definitely modern fiction and I struggled with it on several fronts, but it does make me shy away from that aspect of the war--still an interesting way to tell a story. I don't think I have ever read anything about the Korean War and really very little even about the Vietnam War, so I am looking forward to the Salter--and it is another fairly slim book. I have it on my bedside pile, too!

Caroline

About the carraiges - it was to guarantee that they can sit and since there were so many, there were a lot of places reserved for them. To be entirely honest - I don't remember whether they still exist. They still existed in the 90s but I haven't been in Paris in a while, almost 8 years actually and the last time I didn't pay attention.
I haven't read Echenoz before but I want to read his Goncourt winner.. Guy said that his book Big Blondes was very good. Maybe it's a crime novel. I think he wanted to or did write crime.

Kailana

I had planned to read this and then I forgot! I am so bad at read-alongs. It was nice to read your thoughts about it. I am sure I will get to it one day!

Danielle

Ah, that makes sense and I am glad it was not to keep them away or others away from them. That would be really awful. Like so much from earlier times I would be surprised if there were any still around--at least not in circulation. I wonder what his other books are like--a crime novel by him could be very good--maybe more psychological than detective story type. I will have to look his other books up--my library has a few and I think Big Blondes might be one of them.

Danielle

I am not so good at readalongs either and I think last year I didn't manage a single one of Caroline's Lit and War books, but this year has been pretty good for me surprisingly. I really like, too, the sound of the books she chose, which helps as well!

Stefanie

Sounds good! And how fun to have another author to explore. I wonder what his other books are like?

Danielle

I wonder, too. He seems quite popular in France and I get the feeling he has something of a signature style. Hopefully eventually I'll get to try one of his other books.

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