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10 thoughts on “Strange Meeting

  1. says:

    I don't think this is a very well known or celebrated book but with the exception of Barker's Regeneration Trilogy I can't think of another World War I story that has moved me as deeply While in many ways a subtle novel missing a lot of the overblown overwrought movie moments found in other war novels it seamlessly captures the agony and ugliness of a war that devoured a whole generation of young men It in no w

  2. says:

    Strange Meeting Afterword

  3. says:

    I had not read Susan Hill before but when I've seen her titles I thought she veered toward ghost stories As I chose to read this because it continues my exploration of WWI I wasn't sure what to expect from her It w

  4. says:

    A deeply moving and beautifully written story set during World War 1

  5. says:

    Set in the First World War Beautifully written it almost reads like a poem if not exactly Wilfred Owen's poem of the same title Trench horror contrasts with the unreality of life in Blighty experienced by one of the chara

  6. says:

    Despite the inevitability of their being sad and depressing I will persist in reading novels about the First World War Maybe I’d stop if there wasn’t so much well written fiction about the war and indeed wars in general In this case 'Strange Meeting' is an account of the relationship between two officers over a relatively short period in training camps and trenches Said relationship is ambiguously homoerotic but I read it as

  7. says:

    This sad and haunting tale of the deep friendship which evolves between two officers serving in the trenches during WW1 is so well written and has such sensitivity that it couldn't fail to be movingOf the two men one is already emotionally scarred by his experiences but the other is as yet untouched by this dreadful war and has yet to discover what it meant to serve on the front lineI've read many books about this confli

  8. says:

    Once I knew I was going to write Strange Meeting it actually fell into place remarkably easily I suppose there are two ways a writer can tackle such a subject One way is to write a very long panoramic historical novel attempting to capture the whole sweep of the war But there was no way I could have done that or wanted to I have

  9. says:

    WWI officer John Hilliard returns to France after spending several months in England recovering from a serious wou

  10. says:

    A short but beautiful book It doesn't have the scope of All uiet on the Western Front or other war related books like For Whom the Bell Tolls It's very focused on a short space of time and only two real locations The first is England the home of a recuperating John Hilliard recently invalided out of the Trenches

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FREE READ ✓ PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB ô Susan Hill

Barton The lyrical beauty of Hill's narrative draws the reader in and doesn't let go This little novel is a gem compelling and moving a treat for all readers of fiction. WWI officer John Hilliard returns to France after spending several months in England recovering from a serious wound He is shocked to find that of the officers he had previously served with most are dead or disabled and those few who are not suffer from severe mental and emotional wounds rage bitterness despair madness He tries to isolate himself emotionally to avoid breaking down but is brought out of his shell by David Barton a friendly warm hearted officer who has not yet seen combat The two uickly become close friends and John suspects that the feeling between them may be than friendship But as the time approaches for them to go up to the front line he is terrified that the war will destroy David either through death or psychological trauma so deep David will never recoverAn unusual memorable war story neither about honor courage and patriotic duty nor the senseless slaughter of combat but about psychological even spiritual survival amid death and destruction and how strong bonds between people can help them endure unimaginable horror The author avoids sentimentality with a clear matter of fact tone and by not shying away from the ugly details of the war or the less pleasant aspects of her characters The relationship between John and David which is in a gray area between friendship and romantic love is portrayed sensitively and develops believably despite their very different personalities David helps John who is aloof and intimidating learn how to connect with others and John helps David who has been sheltered by his large affectionate family cope with his initial reactions to the carnage of the war

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Strange Meeting

A heart rending tale of friendship in wartime that deserves a place on the shelf beside the great books of wartime literature The trenches of the Western Front are the. I don t think this is a very well known or celebrated book but with the exception of Barker s Regeneration Trilogy I can t think of another World War I story that has moved me as deeply While in many ways a subtle novel missing a lot of the overblown overwrought movie moments found in other war novels it seamlessly captures the agony and ugliness of a war that devoured a whole generation of young men It in no way glorifies the war and presents it as what it is unadulterated irrational horror snuffing out promising lives without either meaning or grace The beauty of the book is instead found in the rare meaningful friendship that forms between two young soldiers in one tiny corner of the war It s the kind of extraordinary intrinsic friendship that even a lucky person might find only once in life and the author rendered it and both wonderful characters brilliantly This is a uiet painful utterly beautiful book and than once it reminded me of a poem by A E Housman Like this novel it s simpler and restrained than a lot of the famous war poems and like this novel I find it to be incredibly moving and trueHere dead we lie Because we did not choose To live and shame the land From which we sprung Life to be sure Is nothing much to lose But young men think it is And we were young The Forgotten Memoir of John Knox ugliness of a war that devoured a whole generation of young men It in no way glorifies the war and presents it as what it is The Illusionists unadulterated irrational horror snuffing out promising lives without either meaning or grace The beauty of the book is instead found in the rare meaningful friendship that forms between two young soldiers in one tiny corner of the war It s the kind of extraordinary intrinsic friendship that even a lucky person might find only once in life and the author rendered it and both wonderful characters brilliantly This is a Planet of the Bugs uiet painful Fishes of the Open Ocean utterly beautiful book and than once it reminded me of a poem by A E Housman Like this novel it s simpler and restrained than a lot of the famous war poems and like this novel I find it to be incredibly moving and trueHere dead we lie Because we did not choose To live and shame the land From which we sprung Life to be sure Is nothing much to lose But young men think it is And we were young

FREE READ ✓ PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB ô Susan Hill

Setting for this story of the extraordinary devotion that develops between silent morose John Hillard full of war's futility and his as yet unscathed trench mate David. Despite the inevitability of their being sad and depressing I will persist in reading novels about the First World War Maybe I d stop if there wasn t so much well written fiction about the war and indeed wars in general In this case Strange Meeting is an account of the relationship between two officers over a relatively short period in training camps and trenches Said relationship is ambiguously homoerotic but I read it as an intense romantic friendship It was very moving to see the two young men find comfort in each other s company in appalling conditions Their conversations about how to bear the pointless and cruel loss of life all around them were very powerful Perhaps the most notable aspect of their relationship is that they are totally honest with each other for Hillard the older officer this is something he has never experienced with another person The two can admit to weakness in each other s company in a way that they cannot to others It is repeatedly noted in the text that there is particular pressure on officers as they generally lack the supportive bonds of brotherhood that enlisted men have Moreover they have to enforce orders that they know are stupid wrong and will lead to pointless deaths This monologue from Barton to Hilliard will stay with meThat Private who was snipered looking at him I could have wept and wept he seemed to be all the men who had ever been killed John I remember everything about him his face his hair his hands I remember how pale his eyelashes were and I thought of how alive he d been how much there had been going on inside him blood pumping round muscles working brain saying do this do that his eyes looking at me I thought of it all how he d been born and had a family I thought of everything that had gone into making him and it wasn t that I was afraid and putting myself in his place down there on the ground I just wanted him alive again it seemed the only important thing I just wanted to stay there and look at him I couldn t take it in that he d been so alive and then he just lay spouting out blood and that was that he was dead nothingOf course the especial pain of reading WWI novels is that they never end happily and this one is no exception It s elegantly written and very moving though I also appreciated the author s afterword Hill comments very straightforwardly that the thing she is most often asked about it is whether the two main characters have a sexual relationship She says she didn t write them with that intention but if they did it would not change anything about the narrative Moreover she doesn t see either of them as entirely straight or gay This refreshing response allows the reader to interpret as they prefer As she says though it doesn t really matter as the point is that the two love each other and that helps them cope with the horrors of the trenches Their sense of alienation from normal life clearly intensifies their relationship and it is this sense of estrangement from normality that is captured brilliantly by the narrative Strange Meeting is a miniature masterpiece