ountains and Plains Independent Booksellers Association: Lovely and appalling, encouraging and daunting, this story while unusual and inventive fits a classic mold.
Date: Jul 1 2015
For such a small book this one contains a great deal about many large subjects. Faith, honor, loyalty, courage, misguided idealism, disillusionment, love and betrayal all contribute to this delicate handling of human hopes and fears.
A war-weary French major is called to a small town after WWI to investigate the imprisonment and impending court martial of a local man revered as a war hero, now disgraced. When he arrives he finds a battered and scarred mongrel posted in the square outside the barracks now being used as a jail. The dog will not cease his vocal mourning, his master the one and only prisoner. Obviously, this is a complex situation and one freighted with emotion. What emerges from his search is a poignant and surprising revelation of war and the men who fight it.
This is a translation from French by Adriana Hunter, and judging by the power of the prose emerging from the pages, it is a good one. Lovely and appalling, encouraging and daunting, this story while unusual and inventive fits a classic mold. War, its horrors and surprising humanity seemingly has the ability to fascinate us, even at the remove a century. Once again this most excellent publishing house has brought us a gem.