Literature and War Readalong April 29 2013: The Wars by Timothy Findley

The Wars

On my intro post to the Canadian Book Challenge John, the host of the challenge, suggested I read Timothy Findley’s The Wars. There are quite a few Canadian WWI novels and this is said to be a Canadian classic.

Tomothy Findley wrote novels, plays, short stories and non-fiction. Many of his novels received prestigious prizes.On the back of my copy it says that he is Canada’s greatest living writer. That was back when the book was printed, in 2001. Findley died in 2002.

I must admit the first sentences make me feel anxious. Horses in WWI novels and movies are hardly ever a cheerful thing.

Here are the first sentences

She was standing in the middle of the railroad tracks. Her head was bowed and her right front hoof was raised as if she rested. Her reins hung down to the ground and her saddle slipped to one side. Behind her, a warehouse filled with medical supplies had just caught fire. Lying beside her there was a dog with its head between his paws and its ears erect and listening.


The discussion starts on Monday, 29 April 2013.

Further information on the Literature and War Readalong 2013, including all the book blurbs, can be found here.

26 thoughts on “Literature and War Readalong April 29 2013: The Wars by Timothy Findley

    • It’s great that you will join.
      I’m worried because of that sentence. I know there are a few excellent books on WWi but when they focus on horses I’m a wimp.

  1. That’s a great opening … I’ve read one book by Findley (Pilgrim? Or some title like that) which I enjoyed. I’d happily read more and this opening would attract me to reading this one (if I ever found the time!)

    • Glad to know you liked Findley.
      It would be wonderful if you would find time to join but I understand. It’s a short book though.
      The opening speaks for the quality of his writing, I’m just worried there will be a lot of animal suffering.

  2. I totally get what you mean with horses and fiction. Hopefully nothing will be too traumatic. Honestly, that is enough of a concern to keep me from reading something like this.

    I look forward to reading your commentary on it.

  3. I can’t take anything that deals with harming children or animals. Hopefully that won’t be the case here. Have never read anything about Canada and WWI, so look forward to your review, Caroline.

  4. I like that first lines. It’s far easier to understand than the previous book.
    Look forward to read the review.

    ps. When will you have your trip? No Caroline and No TBM this month will make April a bit quite

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  7. Interesting choice for this month’s readalong, Caroline. I read about Timothy Findley when I did some research on Canadian authors last month. He seems to be one of the greats. Looking forward to reading your thoughts on Findley’s book. Happy reading!

  8. I just wish the last novel had horses in it. It would have been great if the main characters could have been caught in a stampede.

  9. I have owned this book for ages and never read it. I have bad luck with Findley. I start his books and never finish them… And not even because I am not liking them. It just kind of happens…

  10. I am reading it now and the writing is really wonderful. I think it is indeed going to be very good, but yes, probably not a terribly happy book. Still, I think it is an excellent choice!

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