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All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich…
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All Quiet on the Western Front (1929)

by Erich Maria Remarque

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
13,300291269 (4.09)1 / 956
  1. 80
    The Road Back by Erich Maria Remarque (DeDeNoel)
    DeDeNoel: Also by Remarque, The Road Back is often considered a sequel to All Quiet. It has some of the same characters and alludes to others.
  2. 70
    Storm of Steel by Ernst Jünger (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: Taken together, Jünger's memoir and Remarque's novel present a pair of radically different views of the German experience in World War I.
  3. 72
    Goodbye to All That by Robert Graves (Nickelini, chrisharpe)
  4. 50
    Lay Down Your Arms! by Bertha von Suttner (MarthaJeanne)
    MarthaJeanne: Two anti-war novels written in German. Suttner wrote before WWI about how war affects the families, Remarque after the war about how it affected the soldiers.
  5. 51
    Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo (usnmm2)
  6. 52
    Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks (Simone2)
  7. 20
    Three Comrades by Erich Maria Remarque (Anonymous user)
  8. 10
    1948: A Soldier's Tale - The Bloody Road to Jerusalem by Uri Avnery (Polaris-)
  9. 32
    The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien (chrisharpe)
  10. 11
    The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers (aliklein)
  11. 11
    Fall of Giants by Ken Follett (mcenroeucsb)
  12. 11
    The Unknown Soldier by Väinö Linna (andejons)
  13. 11
    The Middle Parts of Fortune by Frederic Manning (timspalding, timspalding)
  14. 00
    Beaufort by Ron Leshem (SqueakyChu)
    SqueakyChu: Both books look at the personal toll of war.
  15. 11
    Johnny the Partisan by Beppe Fenoglio (UrliMancati)
  16. 11
    A Long, Long Way by Sebastian Barry (starfishian)
  17. 01
    Adjusting Sights by Haim Sabato (SqueakyChu)
    SqueakyChu: Both books look at war without mentioning the politics that go along with it.
  18. 01
    Zero Hour by Georg Grabenhorst (lmichet)
  19. 01
    Life in the Tomb by Stratis Myrivilis (ten_floors_up)
    ten_floors_up: A different perspective on trench warfare in the First World War. Fictional experiences of a Greek soldier on the Macedonian front, written in a less earthy, more florid style by a veteran of that campaign.
  20. 01
    Heeresbericht by Edlef Köppen (Dekki)

(see all 23 recommendations)

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English (263)  German (5)  French (5)  Yiddish (3)  Dutch (3)  Swedish (2)  Spanish (2)  Finnish (2)  Portuguese (1)  Norwegian (1)  Czech (1)  Danish (1)  Italian (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (291)
Showing 1-5 of 263 (next | show all)
The grave that they dug him had flowers,
Gathered on the hillside in soft summer colors,
And the brown earth bleached white at the edge of his gravestone,
He’s gone.
But eternity knows him, and it knows what we’ve done.

-Don McLean

World War I, the war to end all wars, though of course it didn’t. It was just “The Great War” until humanity decided to do it again and could begin to give them numbers. Lest we ever forget, however, there are men fighting in those trenches, surviving those brutalities, and this book is the story of one of them, a twenty-year old German boy, who loses his innocence and boyhood in the midst of falling bombs and gas cannisters.

He is right. We are not youth any longer. We don’t want to take the world by storm. We are fleeing. We fly from ourselves. From our life. We were eighteen and had begun to love life and the world; and we had to shoot it to pieces. The first bomb, the first explosion, burst in our hearts. We are cut off from activity, from striving, from progress. We believe in such things no longer, we believe in the war.

Remarque captures not only the active moments of the war, but the lulls between, the times when thoughts about both what you are enduring and what you have lost can drive you crazy.

Monotonously the lorries sway, monotonously come the calls, monotonously falls the rain. It falls on our heads and on the heads of the dead up in the line, on the body of the little recruit with the wound that is so much too big for his hip; it falls on Kemmerich’s gave; it falls in our hearts.

And, he tells us what saves a man at a time like this. What he fights for, in fact. What keeps him from giving up the fight and sinking into the pit to die.

At once a warmth flows through me. These voices, these quiet words, these footsteps in the trench behind me recall at a bound from the terrible loneliness and fear of death by which I had been almost destroyed. They are more to me than life, these voices, they are more than motherliness and more than fear; they are the strongest, most comforting thing there is anywhere: they are the voices of my comrades.

This book might have been oppressive, there are certainly parts of it that will freeze your soul, but it wasn’t, because there is so much of humanity and love and camaraderie here, that you can see beyond the horror and say to yourself, “yes, the human race is responsible for this travesty, but there is hope for the human race in the person of these individual men.”

I have heard it said that this is the definitive novel on World War I, and I agree. It captures every human emotion that war brings with it and you feel, as much as understand, what it is to be at war, to witness the deaths of so many, to look into the eyes of a man you have killed for no reason that you can understand, to question what you are doing there in the first place but to go on nonetheless. The book was banned in Germany and the author was ousted from the country shortly before World War II. I can certainly see why--who would march proudly to a senseless and greedy war with you after reading this account? The first thing to go must be the truth.

I could not help thinking of the words of Thomas Hardy’s The Man He Killed:

"Yes; quaint and curious war is!
You shoot a fellow down
You'd treat if met where any bar is,
Or help to half-a-crown."


And the impossibility that even after this, men forget and rush to war. ( )
  phantomswife | Jul 18, 2018 |
"I am twenty years of age; but I know nothing of life but despair, death, fear"
By sally tarbox on 15 May 2018
Format: Kindle Edition
The First World War seen from the other side; narrated by a young man who was drafted straight from school, and has been three years in the fray. This is a really moving work, bringing out the futility of war: our 19-year old hero describes the occasional good...the cameraderie, amusing escapades, extra rations...but these are far outweighed by the horrors as they end up on the Front, engaging in trench warfare.
And the events are interspersed by the young man's musings...on how the horrors have changed him- the great gulf between the light-hearted schoolboy on the cusp of life and the man he is now. He reflects on the future for those of his generation who return - the older men have their jobs and wives; while "behind us a new generation is growing up, one like we used to be, and that generation will be strangers to us and will push us aside. We are superfluous...many of us will not know what to do."
Anger at his elders who propelled him into war; an increasing awareness that the enemy are just ordinary men no different to his comrades and that war is "a combination of completely mindless superficiality with an abyss of suffering."
Powerful work. ( )
  starbox | May 14, 2018 |
This was not an uplifting book by any means, but knowing about the era in which it was written, this is a fantastic work of literature. The novel follows a group of young German soldiers during the fighting in World War I in the trenches. It is not a linear novel in the sense that there is a build up and great reveal, but it rather shows all sides of the war a little at a time. It puts a real face to what war is like and is an important story for people to read. ( )
  msaucier818 | Apr 9, 2018 |
A stunning book, easily described as an anti-war novel like Johnny Got His Gun, but this is a much more sophisticated novel than Tremain's. ( )
  browsers | Mar 8, 2018 |
ɝ_ü ( )
  joelymarsh | Mar 4, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 263 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (122 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Erich Maria Remarqueprimary authorall editionscalculated
Faulks, SebastianIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hämäläinen, ArmasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lawrence, TomReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Murdoch, BrianTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Westphalen, TilmanAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wheen, A.W.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
This book is to be neither an accusation nor a confession, and least of all an adventure, for death is not an adventure to those who stand face to face with it. It will try simply to tell of a generation of men who, even though they may have escaped shells, were destroyed by the war.
Dedication
First words
We are at rest five miles behind the front.
Quotations
The war has ruined us for everything.
We were eighteen and had begun to love life and the world; and we had to shoot it to pieces. The first bomb, the first explosion, burst in our hearts. We are cut off from activity, from striving, from progress. We believe in such things no longer, we believe in the war.
But now, for the first time, I see you are a man like me. I thought of your hand-grenades, of your bayonet, of your rifle; now I see your wife and your face and our fellowship. Forgive me, comrade. We always see it too late. Why do they never tell us that you are poor devils like us, that your mothers are just as anxious as ours, and that we have the same fear of death, and the same dying and the same agony.
Every little bean should be heard as well as seen.
We are little flames poorly sheltered by frail walls against the storm of dissolution and madness, in which we flicker and sometimes almost go out.
- page 298
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0449213943, Mass Market Paperback)

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

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:25 -0400)

(see all 9 descriptions)

The testament of Paul Baumer, who enlists with his classmates in the German army of World War I, illuminates the savagery and futility of war.

» see all 26 descriptions

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