The Wars

The Wars

Book - 1977
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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. The Wars is quite simply one of the best novels ever written about the First World War.
Publisher: Toronto : Clarke, Irwin, 1977.
ISBN: 9780571207992
9780772011886
0772011885
9780773723641
0773723641
9780140050110
0140050116
Branch Call Number: FINDL
Characteristics: 226 pages

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From Library Staff

List - Stories of War
OttawaReads Nov 04, 2010

In 1915, Robert Ross, a young Canadian, enlists as an officer and begins a geographic and psychological journey through army training, troopship life, the slaughter at Ypres, a love affair in England, and the devastation of Belgium.


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SAPL_Teens Mar 30, 2021

A Canadian war novel with great character/thematic development, Findley’s ambitious fictional biopic resonates but bogged down by scope. It shines with its central character arc of Robert Ross as he struggles against the adversity proposed by WW1. Beautifully written when it focuses on Robert’s connection to his family and animals, but bogged down by the multitude of characters introduced throughout the novel. Other characters that stand out are Mrs. Ross and Eugene Taffler. Weather than spending time with interesting characters like the previously mentioned much is spent with many one-noted and literally copy and pasted archetypes. Narration is done by a female archivist trying to find the truth about Robert’s history and details her interviews with people like Juliet d’Orsay and Miss Turner. When the focus is placed upon them the pacing is grinded to a halt. Other positives are the usage of literary devices while incorporating the four environmental elements; presenting how aspects of life are corrupted during dangerous times. The Wars is a great character piece where thematic material is rich but is tainted with unnecessary fat. - 3.5/5 stars, Teigan, 18, SAPL Read It & Review Contributor

c
csrestall
Mar 18, 2021

This book is incredibly intense, however it is a curriculum book that can be used for grade 12 in alberta. Covers lots of intense topics, from homosexuality, to rape, to the horrors of war, death of animals etc.

Covers the character of Robert Ross during WWI. It discusses a little bit about why he joins the war and what happens with his training and then continues through the war until the end which is quite depressing. The entire book is quite depressing, but it is intensely important to read for its content and what it represents for Canada and veterans.

f
fpsutka
Nov 14, 2020

I hope that the OPL buys the DVD for this book. It was produced in 1983 and will be shown on the Encore Plus YouTube channel on Sat. Nov.14th at 8 p.m. The film will remain on the channel after the debut!

SPL_Robyn Mar 03, 2020

Blind Date with a Book 2020 comment by borrower:
"Surprised that I read and enjoyed this book. I couldn't put the book down. Characters and story were powerful."

d
dirtbag1
May 03, 2018

A Canadian classic written by Timothy Findley. This is a story written about the First World War and the senselessness of it. Barely 200 hundred pages it asks the question as offered in a conversation by two soldiers, that is, and I paraphrase, 'do you think people will ever forgive us for what we have done?' And the reply, 'they will never forgive us for what we have done I just hope they never forget that we were human'.

o
originofanna
Jul 08, 2016

This is so well written. There's a lot going on and I never lost interest.

r
ReadorDie42
Feb 16, 2016

I chose to read this book for my 12th grade English class, from a host of others, because it looked interesting. I had no idea. A wonderful, shocking, sad and incredibly memorable book.
"5x9 and framed in silver..."
I have no clue why that line is the one I always remember.

s
Sarica140
Jun 29, 2015

I feel like I can read this book again and see more than I did the first time. Great imagery and interesting storytelling.

e
Eosos
Apr 01, 2015

My overwhelming feeling when finishing this book was that it was far too full of symbolism for my taste. I really can't appreciate books like this as I miss a lot of the intended point to the story. Reading between the lines has never been something I was good at. So instead of enjoying the story I felt bogged down in the thoughts and expression.

g
greatwar100reads
Nov 22, 2014

The Wars explores the effort to remain human when faced with utter inhumanity. Findley depicts the lost innocence of a man and a generation, deliberately using ‘wars’ in the plural. He draws the horrors of war vividly – the mud, the corpses, the uncaring leaders. His use of symbolism – animals, the elements – is very powerful. Despite some flaws, the book is still a must-read almost 40 years after publication.

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Notices

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c
csrestall
Mar 18, 2021

Frightening or Intense Scenes: intense war scenes are described as well as scene of rape

c
csrestall
Mar 18, 2021

Sexual Content: homosexuality and rape

c
csrestall
Mar 18, 2021

Violence: war violence, violence towards animals

h
hur74Vety
Jul 19, 2010

Coarse Language: This title contains Coarse Language.

h
hur74Vety
Jul 19, 2010

Violence: War violence and assaults

h
hur74Vety
Jul 19, 2010

Sexual Content: Some pretty graphic scenes

nadian May 31, 2009

Coarse Language: This title contains Coarse Language.

nadian May 31, 2009

Violence: Vivid descriptions of war battles.

nadian May 31, 2009

Sexual Content: Vivid descriptions of sex and rape and sexual material.

p
pie
Jun 25, 2008

Coarse Language: This title contains Coarse Language.

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Age Suitability

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c
csrestall
Mar 18, 2021

csrestall thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

wafaaallam May 28, 2013

wafaaallam thinks this title is suitable for 43 years and over

c
carmenricard
Aug 25, 2012

carmenricard thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

h
hur74Vety
Jul 19, 2010

hur74Vety thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

nadian May 31, 2009

nadian thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

p
pie
Jun 25, 2008

pie thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

Quotes

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hur74Vety
Jul 19, 2010

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

h
hur74Vety
Jul 19, 2010

He stood where the gate had been and he thought: 'If an animal had done this - we would call it mad and shoot it,' and at that precise moment Captain Leather rose to his knees and began to struggle to his feet. Robert shot him between the eyes.

nadian May 31, 2009

"Instead, she waved from behind the glass and she watched her boy depart and her husband standing in his black fur coat- it seemed for hours- with his arm in the air and the snow falling down around him. 'Come on back to the raf', Huck honey.' And this was what they called the wars."

p
pie
Jun 25, 2008

Robert...Will you stay with me forever? Yes, Rowena.

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