Penguin Modern Classics The Wars

Paperback | June 28, 2005

byTimothy FindleyForeword byGuy Vanderhaeghe

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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.

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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.

Timothy Findley (1930-2002) was one of Canada's most compelling and best-loved writers. He is the author of The Wars, which won the Governor General's Award and established him as one of Canada's leading writers, as well as Pilgrim and The Piano Man's Daughter, both finalists for The Giller Prize. His other novels, Headhunter, The Tell...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:216 pages, 7.8 × 5.15 × 0.6 inPublished:June 28, 2005Publisher:Penguin CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0143051423

ISBN - 13:9780143051428

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Customer Reviews of Penguin Modern Classics The Wars

Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from The Wars I read this Canadian novel for my English summer school class and I really enjoyed it! (Don't let the 3 stars fool you though, I would say I liked it if asked my opinion and that's what 3 stars is....) The novel follows Robert Ross, a young Canadian soldier fighting in the madness that is WWI. The author has a very descriptive style, tending to give large amounts of detail with short choppy sentences. The narration isn't typical as it changes viewpoints several times, from an archivist reconstructing the life of Robert Ross through photographs, to made up interviews with characters who recount what they remember of Ross, to the perspective of Robert Ross himself. As the novel (and war) goes on, readers can see the changes in Robert's character. The novel doesn't romanticize the war, telling it for what was really is- horrible and full of death- not just some boys hoping for an adventure. It's dark, yes, but then again, so is war and innocence doesn't have a place in it. The novel doesn't necessarily focus on any particular battles, instead, it emphasizes more on the corruption of innocence. And just as a forewarning, there are a couple scenes that might be considered 'graphic'. I'd say give it a try. It deserves to be read.
Date published: 2009-07-31
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Mixed feelngs... The Wars is often louded as Findley's greatest achievement, his masterpiece. But while the novel does present a chilling and detailed vision of the horrors of the first World War, it lacks some stylistic elements that I think could make it more satisfying. In telling the story as a collection of facts and first-hand accounts Findley once again displays his affection for the Story Telling (Fact vs. Fiction), What-actually-happened vs. What-the-story-teller-tells-us motif. And while it worked Famous Last Words, that methods seems to muddy the otherwise purity of Findley's vision. The character of Robert is at once our little brother and a complete stranger. We get no sense for what Robert actually feels or thinks, only his actions. And perhaps this a metaphor the war itself, it is not measured by what the soldiers think, its what their told to do. There are some truly horrifying moments in the novel, but I'll leave those for you to discover. All in all, definitely one of Findley's better novels, and it certainly has a lot of insight to share with us in the twenty-first century.
Date published: 2008-07-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Canadian Classic In 'The Wars,' Timothy Findley gives us Robert Ross, a hero whose tale is told through a kind of mythical archvist trying to reconstruct his tragic story. Periperhal people who knew Ross - who was a soldier in World War I - are interviewed. Photographs are described, articles discovered, and tapes are recorded. At the same time, we follow Robert Ross through what really happened, and this character is so wonderfully crafted that you fall completely into empathy. His plight, his struggles, and his actions all seem very real, and the overall story - which warns you from the start of tragedy - feels like a kind of inevitable fall from grace that somehow maintains a beauty and depth throughout. Gorgeously written, even as such a short tale, this grabbed me and held me hostage for the journey. I'm very glad to have read it, even if it is nowhere near a 'pick me up.'
Date published: 2008-07-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I am glad that I have read this book The Wars (Penguin Modern Classics) is the story of a young Canadian officer, Robert Ross, thrown in the midst of war, violence and death. I like the language, the sentences, the vision that Findley demonstrated in this novel. I am glad I have read this book.
Date published: 2008-01-27