Ex Libris Kirkland

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First Written 1935
Genre Fiction
Origin US
Publisher Penguin
My Copy penguin paperback
First Read September 23, 2023

Paths of Glory

Just noting to myself that the phrase 'his trusty charger' really rings differently today.

Noted on September 27, 2023

Despite the intro that says the book will NOT highlight any heroism, the men’s bravery to actually do their duty does seem honorable, especially at the court martial where they are getting steamrolled.

Noted on September 27, 2023

A WW1 book that attempts to be non-heroic, showing the banality and evil of the war itself. My Americentricism tripped me up for a while, I was slow to realize the soldiers we were meeting on the front lines in France were... French. Sure they had French names, but so do many Americans. But it was the 'killing time for 4 hours at a cafe when they were supposed to report for duty' bit where I thought: wait a minute, are all these dudes FRENCH?

Noted on September 27, 2023

A bandy-legged officer with bristling moustaches, wearing a general's oak leaves on his cap, had stopped there to telephone on his way up to see the King of the Belgians. "Foch speaking," he had said. At one time or another most of the higher officers of the allied armies had stayed there. Joffre had dined there, silently but with gusto, and then had gone to bed and slept undisturbed by any nightmares of Verdun. Haig had sat his charger at the lodge gates and had taken the salute of Canadian regiments on the way up to the Passchendaele butchery.

Quoted on September 27, 2023

Who said anything about justice? There's no such thing. But injustice is as much a part of life as the weather.

Quoted on November 7, 2023

Retrospective reasons were normal by-products of the general's decisions, and he always accepted them as additional tributes to his sagacity without ever recognizing their spuriousness as such.

Quoted on September 27, 2023

Ex Libris Kirkland is a super-self-absorbed reading journal made by Matt Kirkland. Copyright © 2001 - .
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