Strange Meeting (book)

novel by Susan Hill

Strange Meeting (1971) is a novel by Susan Hill about the First World War. The title of the book is taken from a poem by the First World War poet Wilfred Owen.

Part I edit

  • He thought I want to go back for there was nothing for him here.
  • Then he thought that he could hear the thudding of the guns. But there were so many noises now, imagined or remembered.
  • He tried not to count over all the possible ways in which, after tomorrow, he was going to die.
  • She was like the others. Understood nothing.
  • He knew that when he left here, he would not be able to believe that it would all continue to exist.
  • …pieces of a past belonging to some stranger.
  • There is no one that knows. Don’t go.
  • He thought, we need him, he has something that none of us have.
  • He was almost beside himself in a rush of dread on Barton’s behalf.

Part II edit

  • Had seen that Barton has appalled by the sight of Feurvy, as he had not been by the sight of the dead pilot in the crashed plane.
  • We can imagine it thats all.
  • But wasn’t Harris better off? For would he not have gone through terror after terror in the front line, only to meet a death less sudden, more painful, more clearly foreseen?
  • But I have been ashamed of myself for getting so thoroughly hardened so quickly.
  • They seem like some dream country which we inhabited long ago.
  • John says one of the most difficult things is getting used to new faces, new faces.
  • Oh it was like meeting ghosts.
  • This agony of feeling on behalf of someone else was entirely new to him.
  • His initial excitement had gone long since.
  • He wanted to take the body … and dig a grave for him… for would that have been more purposeful, would he have done the first thing of vague since coming into this war?
  • Isn’t that why you read him to try and make some sense of all this?
  • The War? I shouldn’t think that’s possible.
  • I’ve been trying…give it a point and purpose when there are none.
  • That day it hit me, that I’d been feeling nothing. I’d become entirely callous.
  • You can’t feel everyman’s death.
  • I’m afraid of myself, of what I’m becoming.
  • I love you John.

Part III edit

  • We are drones not fighting men.
  • John says he may have a head to lose but certainly not a heart.
  • He can’t wait to get his bayonet into someone, which I find very chilling, and more so because he is basically a nice chap.
  • the old familiar stumps of rotten black teeth.
  • It is the constant possibility of accident which erodes ones courage most of all.
  • There will never be another war.
  • Men could never be so stupid, John! After all this!
  • We had better not start building castles in Spain.
  • The letters were so full of formal expressions of love and sympathy.

External links edit

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