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The Wars Book Review Summary

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Wars

In the 1970s a researcher is trying to understand the full story of what happened to Robert Ross in WWI. He shares his findings with the reader. Ross joins the Canadian Army at 19 in response to the accidental death of his beloved handicapped older sister, Rowena. He completes his training, and has an abortive sexual inititiation in Lethbridge, Alberts; then he is sent overseas. During a hellish, stormy voyage on a crowded troopship carrying 140 horses to Great War, he has to shoot a wounded horse; this event traumatizes him, for he is sensitive to suffering in animals as well as humans, and has an exaggerated sense of responsibility. Ross's experiences in the trenches include a gas attack (during which he saves his men by rigging makeshift gas-masks from urine-soaked cloths); the shooting of a German soldier who turns out to have been peacefully watching birds, not reconnoitering; and the bombing of a dugout which has become home to him and other soldiers. These individuals suffer various horrors; Rodwell, for example, is later sent "down the line" to a very traumatized group of men whose cruelty to animals causes him to commit suicide. Deaths are mostly meaningless, accidental, and pitiful. Ross has an affair with Lady Barbara D'Orsey in England, where he is further traumatized by meeting the officer he admired during training, and discovering he has been horrifically wounded and he would rather die than survive maimed.
The review of this Book prepared by a Level 1 Blue Jay scholar
Robert Ross is a sensitive young man from Canada. The nineteen-year-old fights in the First World War, where he is exposed to unbelievable violence, constant death and the insanity of trench warfare. Ross is himself victimized, and he sees many around him die or go mad. Eventually, he is accused of betraying his country. An odd story, almost a myth, circulates about Ross's attempt to save horses at the cost of men during the war. The unravelling of the events suggests that Ross saw that war turned humans into brutes.
The review of this Book prepared by brian



Robert Ross is a sensitive young man from Canada. The nineteen-year-old fights in the First World War, where he is exposed to unbelievable violence, constant death and the insanity of trench warfare. Ross is himself victimized, and he sees many around him die or go mad. Eventually, he is accused of betraying his country. An odd story, almost a myth, circulates about Ross's attempt to save horses at the cost of men during the war. The unravelling of the events suggests that Ross saw that war turned humans into brutes.
The review of this Book prepared by A. Antonow








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Chapter Analysis of The Wars

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   depressed Time/era of story    -   1900-1920's Internal struggle/realization?    -   Yes Struggle over    -   conduct in war Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book War/Revolt/Disaster on civilians    -   Yes Conflict:    -   War, WW I

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   infantry soldier Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   Canadian (Aboot!)

Setting

How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   2 () Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   France The Americas (not US):    -   Yes The Americas:    -   Canada

Writing Style

Sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references only    -   rape/molest Amount of dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog

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Timothy Findley Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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