Thursday, May 03, 2007

The Reprieve - post IV

The war continues to loom large and as France reacts to its pledges with Czechoslovakia and as a result calls up its reservists the tension spreads far and wide. Almost no one is left untouched by the feeling of apprehension with bar owners questioning when to shut up shop and relationships between men, women and parents and children getting seperated.

Bullet points between pages 180 - 285

* Lola and Boris find themselves in an emptying hotel as guests fearful of war head home and leave the two together with Boris being particularly loving towards Lola because he has decided that the relationship will all be over in a year

* Using a butterfly approach the story lingers on Charles and the rest of the evacuated hospital patients as they get loaded onto a train and head away from an area that is going to be on the front line

* On the way Charles makes friends with a woman lying next to him and he starts to struggle when he needs to carry out natural functions and keeps his pride intact not wanting to use the bed pan in front of her

* On the political stage the French are on their way to see the British government and the Czechs again make a plea for resistance against Germany commenting that they refuse to be enslaved by another country

* Gomez heads off to see Mathieu who has yet to report to the army but most of the other characters are in transit heading to their respective singing on points and Boris is still stuck in his thinking about age and wondering what the war will cost him in terms of missed opportunities and lifespan

* Boris works out how many omelettes he will eat and drinks he will consume before being killed believing that he was born to die young in war

* The evening is dominated by Hitler making a speech in which he harangues the Czech government and calls for rights for Germans living outside the mother country and ends up giving an ultimatum that unless the Czech’s back down it will be war

* All of the characters listen, except Phillipe who has been kept in a room by a prostitute he slept with and the crescendo of the speech is reflected in the reactions of different characters among them Mathieu who is finally on his way to report for duty

More tomorrow…

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