War and Turpentine

War and Turpentine

Book - 2016
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The life of Urban Martien—artist, soldier, survivor of World War I—lies contained in two notebooks he left behind when he died in 1981. In War and Turpentine, his grandson, a writer, retells his grandfather’s story, the notebooks providing a key to the locked chambers of Urbain’s memory.
Publisher: New York : Pantheon, 2016
Edition: First American edition
ISBN: 9781101874028
Branch Call Number: FICTION Her
Description: 290 pages ; 25 cm
Additional Contributors: McKay, David 1973-
Alternative Title: War & turpentine


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Mar 25, 2018

This is a memoir of an ordinary man written by his grandson, a well-known Flemish poet. His grandfather grew up in poverty, was a hero in World War I and spent the latter decades of his life painting. The description of the experience of trench warfare is excellent. Overall, the book is elegant and very well-written. I enjoyed it.

Mar 28, 2017

Hard to believe this book is fiction. Beginning and end harder to follow due to unfamiliarity w/ all paintings. Middle a great synopsis of The Great War and being right in the middle of the War. A great story w/ inventive story line. I'd like to assume this is at least partially true.


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