A Long Long Way
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4.15 / 5

"A Long Long Way" Quotes

By Sebastian Barry

fiction | 292 pages | Published in NaN

Irish author and playwright Sebastian Barry has created a powerful new novel about divided loyalties and the realities of war.In 1914, Willie Dunne, barely eighteen years old, leaves behind Dublin, his family, and the girl he plans to marry in order to enlist in the Allied forces and face the Germans on the Western Front. Once there, he encounters a horror of violence and gore he could not have imagined and sustains his spirit with only the words on the pages from home and the camaraderie of the mud-covered Irish boys who fight and die by his side.  Dimly aware of the political tensions that have grown in Ireland in his absence, Willie returns on leave to find a world split and ravaged by forces closer to home. Despite the comfort he finds with his family, he knows he must rejoin his regiment and fight until the end. With grace and power, Sebastian Barry vividly renders Willie’s personal struggle as well as the overwhelming consequences of war.

ISBN_13:9780571231829

Quotes

But it was his father who had put him on the path to soldiering. And it was his father who had brought him to the front door of this world of blood and terror.

Sebastian Barry

And there is a great beauty in that, in disowning the land, in giving oneself up to a new life, a new body, a new family, a new country.

Sebastian Barry

Nothing of any good could come of this war, he had always felt. Any fool could see that. It was the work of madmen.

Sebastian Barry

It was a salutary lesson in the value of human life against the backdrop of war, where all the old rules of decency seemed to be suspended.

Sebastian Barry

This was the war then, a world of lies and imbecilities and distortions, at the heart of which was the vain, deluded figure of his father.

Sebastian Barry

He was not a hero, he was not a warrior, he was not a soldier. He was a messenger boy, a runner, a boy who carried a message and would bring back another.

Sebastian Barry

His own death, his own physical end, had been something he had never considered. It was utterly outside the realm of his imagination.

Sebastian Barry

Sometimes I felt like a bit of a ghost myself, wandering through the world, unseen, unnoticed, like one of those invisible spirits the poets write about.

Sebastian Barry

In a war, a man's soul is as expendable as his body. And that was the pitiless lesson. The pitiless lesson of war.

Sebastian Barry

He had felt the earth move under him. The earth was a living thing, he thought, and this was its pulse.

Sebastian Barry