All Quiet on the Western Front

Erich Maria Remarque
Paul Baumer enlisted with his classmates in the German army of World War I. Youthful, enthusiastic, they become soldiers. But despite what they have learned, they break into pieces under the first bombardment in the trenches. And as horrible war plods on year after year, Paul holds fast to a single vow: to fight against the principles of hate that meaninglessly pits young men of the same generation but different uniforms against each other--if only he can come out of the war alive."The world has a great writer in Erich Maria Remarque. He is a craftsman of unquestionably first trank, a man who can bend language to his will. Whether he writes of men or of inanimate nature, his touch is sensitive, firm, and sure."THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW


Reviewed: 2017-10-31

This booked helped me to understand the thoughts of a person enduring years of war, and how they cope with the death of their friends, the seeming insensibleness if it all, the horror of killing others, the simple pleasures in life, and how war indelibly changes a person such that they will never be the same nor will they be understood by those who haven't experienced war.

Reviewed: 2017-04-02
I read this as a sophomore in high school. I had never really considered that the people fighting against the allies may not have all been evil people. It changed my way of thinking about the concepts of good versus evil, enemies versus friends, and what war means for the relatively helpless pawns of the governments.
Reviewed: 2017-03-03
I do remember reading this book sometime in primary school. Can't remember details but do remember that it made a great and lasting impression on me.
Reviewed: 2015-08-25
Ayres, Lew, 1908- > Performances > German fiction > Translations into English > German language > Readers > Germany > Fiction. > 1871-1918 Germany > History > 1871-1918 > Fiction > Historical fiction > Historical fiction Large type books > Large type books Lobby cards > American > 1930-1940 > Lobby cards Motion picture posters > American > 1930-1940 > Motion picture posters Prints > Color > 1930-1940 > Prints Remarque, Erich Maria, 1898-1970. Im Westen nichts Neues > War stories > War stories Wolheim, Louis > Performances > World War, 1914-1918 > Campaigns > Western Front > Fiction > World War, 1914-1918 > Fiction > World War, 1914-1918 > Fiction World War, 1914-1918 > Trench warfare > Fiction
Reviewed: 2015-07-25

All Quiet On The Western Front follows nineteen year old Paul Bäumer, a German soldier in WW1, and his classmates who have all been convinced by their headmaster that it would be a great honour to volunteer for the army.
When reaching the front it dawns on them that war is not as honourable and glorious as their elders have promised. Bäumer tells of death – the ones that die instantly and the ones that die slowly. He tells of the horrible living conditions a soldier is given and the ever distancing connection to reality. He describes how men turn into animals for the sake of survival – how a man would do most anything to save himself or a comrade. Yet he also tells about the suffering of the enemy, the other side, the people behind the guns that fire at them. He pities and relates to them and in the end he and his friends are all left with the same questions: What good is a war?

This book is very difficult for me; I do not like war related stories – be it fictional or not. While I feel comfortable enough with wars in fantasy or medieval setting – perhaps the fact that more modern wars are closer to where I am at now is what makes them all the more disturbing for me.
I would not have read this book willingly. But as an assignment I had no way around it. I tend to rate novels by how much I enjoyed them rather than whether I think they are good or bad – after all – who am I to judge? Nonetheless, I found this a good book. But I didn’t enjoy it. It was, quite simply, depressing. The deaths and mutilations were described with such matter-of-fact detail that it often made me cringe while reading, and even more so when it came to the suffering of animals.
I liked that the book never seemed to portrait any specific country. Even though it was told from a German soldier’s perspective, it never seemed like a German point of view. One could relate and pity either side as the novel certainly did criticize war in general.
The characters were mostly like-able and I am glad that the writing style was good – it made reading it much easier for me.

As a whole, the book is plain depressing to me and I don’t think I would ever like to read it again. Yet it did have something that many stories seem to lack for me; an ending that I found satisfying. Not to say that this book had a happy end – I don’t think one could expect a happy ending from such a depressing read. But I don’t think an ending needs to be “happy” in order to give the story a feeling of completion. The book spirals down towards the bottom and you very well know where it’s headed for; we see Bäumer losing more and more grip to the actual world and as such his ideas for the future fading. He didn’t really seem to want a future anymore; he saw no point in it. While I do not wish anything bad to anyone – one almost feels happy for him that he receives the ending he, at the end of the spiral, seemed to long for.

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