Paths of Glory ePUB æ Paths of PDF/EPUB ²

10 thoughts on “Paths of Glory

  1. says:

    The paths of glory lead but to the gravePaths of Glory is one of the most perfect movies ever made Watch it on a nice large screen TV in Blu ray If you don't have that go out and get it Now It's worth it for this movie alonePaths of Glory the book on which the movie is based is a very fine book moving in many ways than the movie but stumbles a bit in some heavy handed scenes That can be forgiven though as the book succeeds in putting the reader in the trench on the western front and in the shoes of three soldiers in particular who are condemned to die in a most unjust fashion It is a close look at the general injustice that happens to any soldier in war That statement is a pun but true a musical accompaniment Masters Of War or With God on our Side The writing is simple and direct ironical but not distancing and many times humourous Here's a passage from a letter that one of the prisoners writes to his wifeHow I love you my only one The pocket book you gave me is in my hand I touch it It is something you have touched It will be sent to you I kiss it all over a sad attempt to communicate some kisses to you Poor worn greasy little piece of leather What a surge of love pours from me upon this forlorn object the only tragic personal link I have with you Tears rise and I cannot hold them back They pour upon the pocket book make it limp and ugly than ever There are beautiful scenes in this book haunting and terrible that you will never forget Imagine a dying man on the battlefield in the bottom of a chalk pit the reflection of the moon in a black stagnate pool of water The smell of horse dung rats scurrying about The slow realization what has happened to his body the shrieks of terror The final insult that nature offersThe penguin classic edition has a forward by David Simon most famous now for The Wire It is a general’s ambition It is a colonel’s sense of duty It is a lieutenant’s cowardice And it is a sergeant’s inability to refuse the most amoral order It is all of these things operating simultaneously sometimes in conflict sometimes in concert each small part of the killing mechanism playing its role and no But in the end the death of innocents is the fixed outcomeTo write his great tragedy Cobb needed no archvillains no great evils As the machine guns and poison gas of the new century bring forward the possibilities of mass extermination the story reuires only ordinary ambitions and commonplace vanities in order for good men to die And it is not so much a solitary and vile decision by any one scoundrel that condemns the innocent but the absence of a decision by so many others The inertia of the modern layered bureaucracy is immutable The institution demands blood and then by and large the individuals that comprise that institution simply shrug incapable of resistance or rebellion This edition has a good introduction It gives an explanation of the book's historical and moral background; also some history of WWI; the influence of Paths of Glory on Faulkner's A Fable; comparison to the movie; and some information and excerpts from Cobb's war diary

  2. says:

    A young Stanley Kubrick read this book and was impressed enough to return to it years laterand to turn it into one of the best antiwar films ever madeKirk Douglas fought to bring it to the screenputting up his own moneyIt ruffled some feathersit did not endear them to the French armyBut it is an awe inspiring filmand it is an unforgettable bookTo the authora great antiwar novel is one which depicts bodiesthe butchered and mutilatedthe betterHe focuses on the dehumanising effects of modern warfarewhere a million deaths become merely a statisticThe ambitions and vanities of generals must be satisfied and the common soldier must pay the priceSoldiers were led to their deaths by men they barely knewShooting by armies of their own soldiers for cowardice was often resorted toduring World War IThe battle depicted in the book resembles Verdunwith its wholesale slaughterA regiment is ordered to charge through a barrage of machine gun fireThe fire is so intense that they cannot advance and are mowed down near their own trenchesThe commanding general is not satisfiedand orders his own artillery to fire at their positions to get them to move forwardThe artillery commander refuses in the absence of a written orderAs the attack failsthe general wants a section from each company to be executed for cowardiceIt finally comes down to the selection of one man from each company to be executedOne is chosen by drawing lotsone for being a social undesirable and one because of his troubles with a lieutenantThe condemned men are given a sham trialthere is no hope for themThe account of their last moments is poignant as they rail against the sheer injustice of it allBoth the film and the book are masterful in their depiction of their hopelessness and their executionBut the filmin particulargave me goosebumpsThis book is a masterpiece and a classicone which deserves to be as well known as All uiet on the Western Front

  3. says:

    Paths of Glory the basis for the powerful Stanley Kubrick movie starring Kirk Douglas is a fact based novel about an injustice in the French front lines during The Great War Told from multiple points of view Cobb paints a portrait of the stupid and evil things that men are drawn to do during wartime not necessarily deliberately but through laziness or vanity or just plain thoughtlessness as well as the bureaucracy that stifles clarity of thought and sends innocent men to their death “That spot on the road was the place where he had ceased to be a boy” he thought to himselfHaving seen the movie a lot of the impact of Cobb's story was diminished as Kubrick and Jim Thompson combined to present a slick bleak observation but also excising Cobb's penchant for having characters talk to themselves a trait he seems to have utilised as an excuse to put his deep insights on the absurdity of war in to the text in as craftless a way as possible “Rarely said Dax to himself does a soldier see with naked eyes He is nearly always looking through lenses lenses which are made of the insignia of his rank”It's a book worth its place on the list of important war fiction especially as comparatively little fiction that isn't boys own adventure type stuff seems to have been written on WWI

  4. says:

    Forgive me for beginning with a long excerpt'And then they call the business of going with a woman the instinct of self reproduction when all it is is the instinct of going with a woman Do you want a child every time you tear off a piece? You do not and you take good care not to have one It's the finest indoor and outdoor sport there is and there's no need for any further justification of it Why do people have to go round trying to make it a noble thing by saying they are reproducing their species when all they're doing is having some fun?' 'Well if they acted the way you talk the race would die out' 'All right and who'd be the worse off for that? Plenty of races have died out and nobody seems to be mourning them Ours will too and I can bet the animals will be delighted when the day comes' 'What about the unborn children?' 'What about them? I wish I was an unborn child this minute' 'That's because we're going to attack tomorrow' 'D'you think you're doing anybody a favour by creating them out of nothing for the very doubtful joy of living a life of misery and pain in the world of men the most savage of the predatory animals?' 'It's nature's law I've got nothing to do with it' 'Take this war' Langlois continued 'Do you think our parents would have had us if they had foreseen the things they were sentencing us to?'As brilliant as this book is I still have to place it on my the movie is better shelf The changes made by Jim Thompson and Stanley Kubrick in adapting it were intelligent ones except perhaps for dropping that anti natalist dialogue Having said that Paths of Glory is a beautifully grim anti war novel of World War One much powerful and enjoyable and shorter than Parade's End which I recently tackled It has a deliciously pessimistic tone throughout with a light dose of moral outrage thrown in and it holds up a lot better than I expected It has aged well in other words which is the exact opposite fate to that of Parade's End The blasphemous atheistic scene of the priest's visit also makes it feel modern a book before its timeMy borrowed copy was pretty old and dusty dog ears breaking off but the text itself was sparkling Highly recommended

  5. says:

    Much better than the film which was good in it's own right However the film tried to build up the character of Col Dax in order to give the film a hero The book is freed from this necessity Also the book doesn't feel the need to offer any small measures of justice or redemption A powerful book

  6. says:

    A game designer I admire Ted Raicer has a specialty in World War I designs and has named two of my favorites after anti war movies Grand Illusion is based on Jean Renoir’s 1937 classic La Grande Illusion and Paths of Glory is based on both Stanley Kubrick’s 1957 classic Paths of Glory which in turn is based on Humphrey Cobb’s 1935 novel of the same name Cobb’s Paths of Glory could easily be renamed Paths of Gory because it is not afraid to describe the ugliest parts of war Of course for me the ugliest part of World War I may be the obstinacy and arrogance of the French officer corps and Cobb demonstrates that in fiction in much the same way as Barbara Tuchman did in her non fictional Guns of August To be sure there is physical gore such as Lt Paolacci being simultaneously shredded by an incoming shell and thrown back into a chalk pit such that his leg folded diagonally beneath him When he smelled horse dung he discovered that it was on his own boot resting close to his face p 53 At another point one the same page a rat starts to devour the under lip of a corpse Morbid humor accentuates the horror when a trench named Boyau des Perdues either “Courage of” or “Intestine of the Lost” is explained to be the site of a heroic emasculation by a shell and with the missing word “Couilles” for “Intestine of the Lost Balls” p 83 The slaughter of men who had bunched together in fear of the shelling the opposite of the logical was said to be “The fatally gregarious instinct of troops in the face of the enemy” p 81 Even the dreaded venereal infection was invoked in a brief reference to the use of permanganate of potash for prevention of venereal disease and the “dry guillotine” with its reference to self injury to avoid continuing active duty p 111The horrors of bureaucracy are introduced as one general orders an artillery officer to fire on his own trench lines because in the opinion of the former the regiment had refused to advance When the artillery officer refuses to do so without a signed written order he is relieved of command But when the charge fails the artillery officer who was relieved becomes a scapegoat for the general who ordered the barrage against his own troops but refused to sign for it pp 149 150 As one of the enlisted men who survived the failed assault observed “It’s the officers Are we safe from them?” p 151 When subordinate commanders are ordered to choose one man to be summarily court martialed one officer considers consigning his rival a soldier passed over for the promotion this officer received undeservedly to this fate “The fly in this ointment is that my personal wishes coincide too closely with my duty” p 170 I really liked the response to the pretentious officer who considered this as an intellectual exercise of “playing God” “You speak of yourself and God as if you were messmates It’s in poor taste to say the least And after all the role is not an unusual one Every officer who has commanded troops in the line has been responsible for the fate of his men at one time or another” p 172 While mentioning life or death issues there is one there’s always one character early in the book who not only states that he isn’t afraid of death In his words “I’m not afraid of dying only of getting killed” p 113 but when a companion says that nobody wants to die he asserts otherwise “Personally I’d rather like to It’s the only absolute thing in life It has a mystery and perfection all its own I have a strong curiosity about it So strong at times that I’ve thought uite seriously of suicide” p 115 Later his resolve is tested and he isn’t uite as sure But that’s something readers will need to discover on their ownThere is an abominable miscarriage of justice in Paths of Glory and even though the characters and military units are fictitious the events and the discovery decades later of that miscarriage of justice were true as noted in the afterward Paths of Glory is truly about the horrors of war Unfortunately some of the enemies are supposed to be on our side

  7. says:

    Paths of justificationI suspect that many people who are familiar with Stanley Kubrick's classic film 'Paths of Glory' are unaware that it was based upon a novel by an author who is mostly forgotten Humphrey Cobb was born to American parents talked his way into the Canadian army and fought in World War I in 1915 two years before the US entered the war 'Paths of Glory' like 'All uiet on the Western Front' was written by someone who actually survived that war Published in 1935 five years after 'All uiet on the Western Front' Cobb's novel contained a cynicism that probably did not sit very well with Americans that were just recovering from that war only to contemplate the even greater looming threat of Hitler and the NazisThe narrator is omniscient and God like enters the minds of multiple characters and renders the mental processes and rationalizations that each character tells himself even the vainglorious commander who dreams up the insane idea of attacking an impregnable German fortification—the 'Pimple' In that sense he is much like Tolstoy in 'War and Peace who similarly rendered very vividly the subjective experience of various participants in war The Commander Assolant hopes that this attack will bolster his reputation and convince French soldiers that they are breaking a stalemate in the fighting Meanwhile the ones directly involved in the fighting ie those further down the chain of command have a realistic impression of what is really at stake Colonel Dax the commander of the regiment lodges a futile protest but must follow orders and lead the attack As expected the assault is suicidal As though beating a horse with a broken leg and ordering him to get up and keep galloping Assolant urges French artillerymen to fire shells on their own men to spur them into action As a way to avoid taking responsibility and bearing the shame of failure Assolant contends that the men were cowards If the fort was really impregnable the dead bodies of all of them would be the proof The fact that soldiers survive is evidence that they were cowards and did not press the attackThe wave of bureaucratic buck passing results in an order for company commanders to select one person from each unit to be charged and tried for cowardice Cobb delves into the consciousness of each of these company commanders to explore the labyrinths of their mental processes for determining who they would submit as a sacrifice for the company One commander refuses to comply stating that none of his men were cowards and all acted bravely His punishment for refusal is never explored but we know that he will pay for his defiance in some way This leaves three men The account of how each of them is chosen is fascinating and leads into a rumination on how each commander handles 'playing God' To put it simply chance personal vendetta and existential reasoning all contribute to the decision makingUnsurprisingly the trial is a farce One decision Kubrick made with his film which not only rendered the story cinematic but streamlined the plot and allowed the viewer to follow one protagonist was by making Dax both reluctant commander of the assault and defense attorney for the accused In the novel the attorney is another character Etienne who says all the things Dax says in the film pulls out all his defense strategies realizes he has fought a lost cause and disappears from the actionThe Christian overtones of an innocent being sacrificed are not lost on Cobb The parallels with a crucifixion are noted by one of the condemned as he sees that there are three posts resembling crosses to which each man will be tied and executed by the firing suad This is no spoiler to anyone who has seen the film or knows much at all about this story The inevitable conclusion becomes apparent as soon as Assolant tries to justify his decision and gets support from upper level command to conduct a court martial for cowardiceI am mystified as to why this novel not only fell out of print but failed to be considered an existential meditation on a level of 'The Stranger' or 'The Trial' I don't know enough about its publishing history or its author to speculate intelligently about the lack of enthusiasm for this powerful novel especially in the wake of the highly acclaimed film It certainly deserves to continue to be read by anyone who feels drawn to consider the convolutions of military reasoning that is universal regardless of a specific war

  8. says:

    The action in this literary one hit wonder written in 1935 takes place in the French army during World War I An exhausted regiment is charged with the task of seizing an impregnable German stronghold The mission fails with 50% casualties enraging the egomaniac general who promised victory to his superiors; three soldiers as division representatives are subseuently court martialed and executed for cowardiceThe book can be divided into two distinct parts separated by the disastrous attack During the first phase the author presents different characters' back stories and points of view We see the dreamy and naive aspirations of new recruits the jaded perspective of seasoned veterans who have lost friends and family and the officers' hunger for medals War is ugly random violence showing no favor or discretion and Cobb provides graphic descriptions of the wounded and deadThe army's hierarchy is clearly established during the early portion of the book and its machinery goes into action during the second part Someone must pay for the the thwarting of the general's ambitions everyone has a role to play in this drama and they know itStephen Tabachnick's afterword is an intriguing analysis of the book praising both its intricate crafting and its cautionary message about the dangers of institutional power and control Cobb had a somewhat embittered view of human nature and the armed forces that was clearly shared by other writers victims of the same warMy friend you would not tell with such high zest To children ardent for some desperate gloryThe old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est Pro patria mori Wilfred OwenExcellent book

  9. says:

    This book totally surprised me I found it at a used book store and didn't know anything about it Honestly one if not the best book about war and its absurdities that I have read There was nothing extraneous or unnecessary I can't believe it was written as long ago as it was Totally recommend

  10. says:

    TheTrial Catch 22 The Things They Carried This book sneaks up on you As powerful a war book as I have ever read If Charge of the Light Brigade were a whole book this would be it

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Paths of Glory [PDF / EPUB] Paths of Glory The anti war masterpiece that became an iconic motion picture now with a foreword by the creator of the acclaimed HBOtm series The Wire Familiar to many as the Stanley Kubrick film starring Kirk Dougl The anti war masterpiece that became an iconic motion picture now with a foreword by the creator Paths of PDF/EPUB ² of the acclaimed HBOtm series The Wire Familiar to many as the Stanley Kubrick film starring Kirk Douglas Paths of Glory explores the perilous complications involved in what nations demand of their soldiers in wartime Humphrey Cobb's protagonists are Frenchmen during the First World War whose nightmare in the trenches takes a new and terrible turn when they are ordered to assault a German position deemed all but invulnerable When the attack fails an inuiry into allegations of cowardice indicts a small handful of lower ranked scapegoats whose trial exposes the farce of ordering ordinary men to risk their lives in an impossible cause A chilling portrait of injustice this novel offers insight into the tragedies of war in any age.

  • Paperback
  • 304 pages
  • Paths of Glory
  • Humphrey Cobb
  • English
  • 24 November 2014
  • 9780820308845

About the Author: Humphrey Cobb

Humphrey Cobb was a screenwriter and novelist He is best known for writing the novel Paths of Paths of PDF/EPUB ² Glory which was made into an acclaimed movie by Stanley Kubrick Cobb was also the lead screenwriter on the movie San uentin starring Humphrey Bogart.