Tiffany's Reviews > The Wars

The Wars by Timothy Findley
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's review
Jan 02, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: 2011, canadian-fiction, way-overrated, i-want-my-time-back
Read from January 03 to 08, 2011

I struggled to appreciate this book in the beginning because I found no beauty in the writing. It was straightforward, simplistic, even a little patronizing at times. (Like we know 1916 was a leap year if the date is February 29. Thanks.) The characters lay flat for the most part, and I scoffed at the suspense Findley was attempting to construct surrounding "the event with the horses", which I knew would probably disappoint me. I didn't come away feeling like I had become acquainted with the main character, Robert Ross, whose brooding nature seemed like a way to escape real character development. He came off as fairly stock, to be honest.

Then Robert Ross went to war and things picked up. While the writing remained elementary, it also strangely managed to describe trench warfare in a vivid way. The Wars contains tiny pockets of prose that made me squeamish, which I both thoroughly enjoyed and didn't expect. But I wouldn't say these parts were compelling enough to make this worth a read, as the novel dies as soon as it looks like it's gaining life. Most of what happens comes off as irrelevant padding, and secondary characters do almost nothing to add to the intrigue except to foreshadow the book's disappointing climax.

In a nutshell: who cares about what Robert Ross did or didn't do? I certainly didn't.
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03/01/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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Manda Ruzicka I disagree with you. I found that the simplicity of the writing added to the atmosphere of the novel substantially. The story itself is simple, so why not tell it in a simple way? By telling it like it is, readers can connect to Robert on a level as if they, too, are one of the simple characters involved.

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