Friday, April 09, 2010


I was cruising the library yesterday before a final exam (I call it cramming) and found Passchendaele, which is by the director and main actor of the movie Passchendaele that came out in 2008. It was sort of odd, the concept of a book made off of a movie. You could sort of tell when reading it, but it looked good, and I haven't read anything like it recently.

I was pretty pleased with it all. I mean, there were some stuff that it could have done without, but the plot was good. It was about the 10th Regiment of Canadian soldiers in WWI, and in particular, one soldier's story. He had been to the trenches once before, and after being sent home to Calgary with a diagnosis of shell-shock, he sneaks his way back in. There's two love stories woven in through there, but it's an interesting perspective. It allowed me to glimpse into the thoughts of a woman who was in a relationship with a soldier and how it changed him, which, Lord willing, I will not experience.

Historically, it reminded me a lot of All Quiet on the Western Front, which makes sense. I mean, there's really not too much to write about other than trenches. WWI is a pretty unique war, in some regaurds. It was sort of a bridge between old and new fighting technique. At least that's how it seem summed up to me, the unhistorical mathematician.

If anything, it helped me to realize that my fear of war isn't so much people dying. We all die eventually. It's people coming home completely changed, especially in they don't deal with issues that they're faced with properly. It's hard to deal once you get home because your civilian company has no concept of the experience. My grandfather, who lied about his age to fight in WWII, still doesn't talk about it. In a way, that would seem worse to me than losing someone, because they continue to remind you of the past, while never being the same.

Anyway, it was a quick read. Probably 3.5 hours.

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