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Last Updated September 5, 2023.

The Wars is a novel by Timothy Findley. It was written in 1977. It follows the journey of Robert Ross, a young Canadian who enlists at the age of nineteen, through World War I.

Some of the quotes from the novel include:

That’s Eugene Taffler, you idiot.

Clifford Purchas, a school-friend of Robert and later a fellow soldier, says this to Robert as a way of introducing Eugene Taffler who holds the rank of captain, has already been wounded in France, and who before the war was a champion athlete.

Don't they even arm you?

Thomas Ross, the wealthy father of Robert Ross, asks this in a letter to Robert when the latter requests that he be supplied with an automatic pistol. This exchange highlights the fact that Robert chose to be a part of a people's army where soldiers and officers had to provide for their own uniforms and weapons.

This is what I’m paid for. To make ya happy. O.K.?

Ella, one of the girls at the brothel run by Maria Dreyfus, says this to Robert after he gets paired with her when he visits the establishment with his friends. Robert is nervous and has a natural distrust of redheads. His uptight demeanor prompts Ella to utter the words above.

I’m sorry to say so, Mister Ross, but one of them horses of yours has gone and broke its leg.

Battery Sargent Major Joyce informs Second-Lieutenant Robert Ross about a horse having broken its leg. The task of putting the animal out of its misery falls on Robert, and he is traumatized by the thought. He misses several shots before managing to euthanize the animal.

Enklesh! Enklesh! Vous êtes anglais? Maudit anglais!

The agitated Flemish peasant at Asile Desolé thinks that Robert is an Englishman and calls him a bandit. The poor peasant has lost two cows and feels that this is the handiwork of English soldiers in the vicinity.

Anyone could be blowing a bugle.

Levitt, the new junior officer who has just arrived from England and is a part of Robert's party headed to Wytsbrouk, says these words to Poole, who is the bugler of the party. Three men and seven horses are on a dike that is quickly collapsing, and Levitt takes it on himself to go ahead and warn Robert. He uses the bugle in the foggy weather to announce his presence to fellow soldiers and enemy Germans; his reasoning being that Germans would be unlikely to shoot a bugler.

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